Mt Coolum and Emu Mountain




No need to head to Tibet when you can conquer your own Everest on the Sunshine Coast. There are a bunch of treks and climbs for the novice (and slightly petrified) adventurers right up to the daredevil pros, beach and hinterland views to match!

Climbing Mount Coolum is almost a Sunshine Coast rite of passage when you’re here.

We recommend getting up early to tackle the beast to be rewarded with the most stunner sunrise (trust us, it’s worth every one of those steep steps!).

Heading inland you will find the Glass House Mountains whose tracks are varied to suit every age and fitness level. For an easy walk there’s Mount Beerwah, but for something a tad more challenging you’ve got Mount Ngungun and Mount Beerburrum. More experienced climbers should set their sights on the Mount Tibrogargan summit route, with its steep and near-vertical exposed rock sections, you’ll feel like you’re scaling the side of the earth!

Emu Mountain is about 3 km north of Coolum beach. From Coolum Beach follow the David Low Way north. Turn left at Havana Road East and follow this road up to the State High School, where you can park. The gates at the start of the walk are opposite. Great walk. Beautiful ocean views. Easy to do with kids.

COST: Fuel to get you there? Some dollars. The sense of accomplishment? Priceless. But Tess was not able to join us on our climb due to National Parks rules, we know, are not dog friendly….Sorry !


Mount Coolum History

Mount Coolum is an isolated volcanic dome, 208 metres in height, roughly circular in outline, covering a plan area of approximately 1 square kilometre. Geologically, it is principally composed of sodium and potassium rich rhyolite with some sandstone surrounds. Potassium-argon dating gives and age of between 25 and 26 million years. One of the most notable features of the mountain geology is the striking columnar / crystal jointing patterns clearly visible both on the main cliffs and the faces of the disused quarry.

Although the geology of Mount Coolum is in itself quite spectacular, some of its most important aspects are not so immediately obvious. Ecologically, Mount Coolum is one of the most important square kilometres in Australia. The diversity of plant life within such a confined area is unequalled. The site has been intensely studied and over 700 plant types are now documented. This includes 590 flowering plants, 49 ferns and over 100 species of the lesser plants such as mosses, liverworts, lichens etc. By way of comparison, there are only 1400 species in all of Great Britain. Deserving particular note is the fact that the 49 ferns belong to 20 distinct families, some 40% of all fern families living on earth today.

Psilotum Nudum, evolutionary the world’s most primitive plant, is common. Two recently discovered species of trees are found nowhere else, and the area in general is unique in that numerous species find the limit of their distribution, be it in northern or southern, on Mount Coolum.

Even ignoring the technical excellence of Mount Coolum as a place of interest, it still provides an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy those age old delights of escaping from the hurly-burly of contemporary life, looking at beautiful and spectacular scenery and taking a dose of practical, non-regimented exercise all at the same time. It goes without saying that the view from the summit is truly magnificent; a 360 degree overview of the Sunshine Coast can be had by simply turning around; coastline and beaches extending from Moreton Island to Double Island Point, the cane fields and wetland areas of the Maroochy River Valley, as well as the main areas of the Coast, plus more; for the photography buff, there is a seemingly endless supply of material just waiting to be captured.

Long before the appearance of Europeans, the Aborigines were also obviously affected by its aesthetic appeal; its image of solidity; its stark, isolated bulk; almost every story, myth or legend of these parts involves Mount Coolum in some way.

We trust that you, too, will become involved with Mount Coolum, and take a little bit of it away in your memory a symbol of a happy and enjoyable stay.

EMU Mountain

The mountain, also known as Mount Peregian (the Aboriginal word for emu), is the remnant rhyolite rock from a once-larger volcanic mass.

Stand atop the summit and soak in sublime panoramic views of the coastline from Noosa to Maroochydore. Keen eyes will spot the Glass House Mountains to the south-west and Mount Tuchekoi to the north-west.