Hiking Mt Ngungun, Glass House Mountains

Hiking Mt Ngungun, Glass House Mountains


NARRATOR>>Visible from quite a few Southeast
Queensland locations, the Glass House Mountains, in the Sunshine
Coast hinterland, captivate onlookers with their dramatic, craggy
peaks. And some of these volcanic remnants are so
abrupt, so peculiar, that you can’t help but wonder if they have
some sort of unfinished business. Their collective name hails from Lieutenant
Captain James Cook, who, upon sighting them in 1770, thought they resembled the shape of glass
furnaces back in England. However, their individual names are derived
from local Aboriginal words, for example, Tibrogargan, which means ‘flying
squirrel’; Beerwah, or ‘up in the sky’; Coonowrin, derived from the term for ‘crooked
neck’; and Ngungun, which means ‘charcoal’ or ‘black’. KARA>>So we’re getting ready to hike up 253m
Mt Ngungun today. It’s only 2.2kms return, so it shouldn’t take
us that long. The sign here tells us it’s going to take
about two hours, so we’ll see. The great thing about this hike is that it’s one of the easiest hikes here in the
Glass House Mountains… NARRATOR>>I’ve walked this track before,
and, at first, it behaves as expected. It starts out flat and ascends gently, passing soft ferns, slow-growing grass trees, and expressive scribbly gums. Then it develops into a series of switchbacks, with occasional steps, as it proceeds towards
the summit. Just before the cave, though, the track pleasantly
surprises me. KARA>>Last time we did this hike, the path
took us straight up this gully, which was a bit of a climb, a little bit challenging. But now it’s closed off, entry is prohibited, and the track, instead, runs this way… NARRATOR>>The track still climbs, of course,
but it’s a heck of a lot easier. Pausing briefly to look towards the Pacific, we continue along the final stretch towards
the ridge. Coonowrin and Beerwah are first to greet us, and they remain in our company the rest of
the way to the summit. KARA>>So that took less than a half-hour
to get up here, and as you can see, from the top, we’ve got these fabulous views of Tibrogargan
over here, and over to our side, this way, Crooked Neck and Beerwah. NARRATOR>>From this vantage, we also take
in the lush hinterland, Wild Horse Mountain, and, in the distance,
Moreton Island. KARA>>How was that? TONY>>Absolutely wonderful, beautiful day,
crisp, great. KARA>>How’s the climb? TONY>>Relatively easy, actually, since they’ve
done the bypass. NARRATOR>>While getting here isn’t difficult, the drop-offs from the upper ridge and summit
demand caution. KARA>>Last time we were here, we abseiled
off the side of this, which was a thrill, it was great fun, but I think today I’m kind of glad that we’re
just enjoying the view from here and not scaring ourselves too much. NARRATOR>>These mystical mountains have inspired
me from the first moment I saw them, and they’re spiritually significant for local
Aboriginal people. Their creation legend goes something like
this: Long ago, a family lived by the sea. When the father, Tibrogargan, saw the seas
rising he ordered Coonowrin, his eldest son, to help
his pregnant mother, Beerwah, and younger siblings get to higher ground. Fearful for his own life, though, Coonowrin
instead ran away. Fuming, Tibrogargan caught up with his eldest
son, striking and permanently dislocating his neck. Tibrogargan, disgusted with his son’s cowardice,
now stares out to sea, with his back to Coonowrin, who holds his
head in shame. Thankfully, though, our emotions on this lovely
autumn day don’t reflect this story at all. Like the other hikers we encounter, we’re
absolutely elated to be here.

19 thoughts on “Hiking Mt Ngungun, Glass House Mountains

  1. Very nicely done Kara, I haven't walked the "new" track but you have inspired me to start planning my next walk. Thank you for a great video of Ngungun.

  2. Thanks so much, Phil. I'm glad to know this video helped inspire you! Enjoy your next walk.

  3. Nice video, but some of your facts are not quite right, I've climbed all of the Glasshouse Mountains at least 20 times for 30 years… every route inside and out..these are my babies, please check the Indigenous story as well, not quite right, PM me for details if you wish, Regards JH.

  4. Ngungun is pronounced "noo noo" or "ŋoo ŋoo" in Gubbi Gubbi (meaning "faces"), and Tibrogargan means "biting sugar glider".

  5. So cool! I am in the Uk and I'd love to visit Australia zoo and see the glasshouse mountains, this is the next best thing, thanks so much for taking me with you 🙂

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