Climbing over rocks, checking each foot was secure before taking the next step, I eagerly pushed my way past the crowds of people at the summit looking for not only the best vantage point, but also to find my own little spot to sit and take in the view uninterrupted.
I had known that the walk to the top of Mt Ngungun was popular but I had not realised exactly how many people would greet us when we reached the top. I also hadn’t anticipated the possibility of not being able to secure a car park at the base. Lucky for us on lap 2 of the area we managed to time the drive by perfectly with a leaving vehicle.
This walk was one of those things that I had put on my to-do list a few years ago and never took the time to actually go and do it. One Sunday last month the weather was perfect, no other plans were made, and it felt finally like time to head outside and climb a mountain.
I have never known how to pronounce Mt Ngungun. I talked about it with a few other people as well and no one seemed to know. The conversation would just involve both of us trying to make the phonetic sounds and hoping the other would understand. Turns out it is pronounced ‘noo noo’, but I guarantee not many people in Brisbane actually know that. Or maybe I just haven’t met them.
Mt Ngungun is an easy 1 hour drive from Brisbane up the highway towards the Sunshine Coast, taking Steve Irwin Way into the little township of The Glass House Mountains. The walk itself is so popular as it is relatively easy with spectacular views for the effort. It is about 2.8km return with some steep inclines, but the track is very well maintained, just make sure to have appropriate footwear for stepping over loose rocks.
Mt Ngungun is one of the 11 mountains that make up the famous Glass House Mountains and one of the things I loved about it was the view of the unusually shaped Mt Tibrogargan, Mt Coonowrin and Mt Beerwah you get from the summit. This gives you that iconic view and makes it a perfect place for photographers as well as those who want the views without being a professional rock climber.
Personally I had been really inactive prior to this walk so it took me a little longer to get to the top. I took it slow just going with the pace that I felt comfortable with and I think it took around 40 minutes to reach the top (it only took half this to get back down though). Stepping out of the forest from the path, we were greeted with a 360 degree unobstructed view with the summit being essentially a pile of rocks and no vegetation. I love walking around on rocks so felt in my element on the top.
Once getting to the highest point, it was overly crowded so I began scrambling around ending up on the other side. I would recommend that you do keep going around past the highest point where everyone is because that is where you will find the best views. It seemed that most people didn’t make it this far so we were able to find a quiet spot to sit and take in the epic landscape in front of us.
I can see exactly why this is such a popular walk as it is really accessible and the views are incredible. While I will never become one of those people who run up and down the track trying to beat their previous time, I would like to add this walk on a more frequent rotation when I am in need of a little exercise in nature as those views are just too good.
For more information about Mt Ngungun and other walks in the Glass House Mountains, visit the QLD National Parks website.
Related: An Unexpected Walk to Mt Beerburrum