Mount Beerwah is the tallest of the eleven rocky peaks scattered throughout the beautiful Glass House Mountains on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Read this complete hiking guide to the Mount Beerwah climb if you’ve decided to take on the summit viewpoint.
Located only an hour’s drive from Brisbane is one of Australia’s most iconic hinterlands. These rocky mountain outcrops were formed after volcanic eruptions over 25 million years ago. All eleven peaks are significant Indigenous landmarks with an important history to the Jinibara people.
It’s important for me to tell you that you should show respect when in the area. The local tribes are not too fond of people climbing the peaks but if you choose to do so, please do so respectfully. While it is discouraged, many people take on the Mount Beerwah summit every day, mostly without a proper guide to reference. Therefore, I’ve written this blog post to help better prepare hikers who wish to appreciate this incredible place from the summit.
Also, note that the Mount Beerwah climb is steep and involves a scrambled climb rather than a pleasant walk. Ensure that you plan your trip according to your own abilities and experience and monitor the conditions. Don’t attempt this hike if it has been raining or if rain is forecasted.
How to Get to the Mount Beerwah Trailhead
The Mount Beerwah trailhead has it’s own designated parking area in the Glass House Mountains hinterland, approximately 1 hour 15 minutes from Brisbane or 1 hour 20 from Noosa. Sections leading up to the trailhead carpark are sealed, so you won’t need a 4WD to access it.
Enter the location below and Google Maps will lead you to the carpark.
The Mount Beerwah Climb
Climbing Mount Beerwah is a rewarding experience for those looking for the absolute best views in the Glass House Mountains. However, as soon as you get to the rocky outcrop at the beginning of the trail, you’ll realise that this hike is much more a scrambling climb than a hike.
If you’re not one for heights or don’t have much experience on steeper trails, then again, I’d suggest hitting one of the other popular trails in the area. Warnings aside, if you’re up for the challenge, you’ll be in for a steep scramble, followed by an easy wrap-around goat trail to the summit. If you scroll down, I’ve written a clearer step-by-step hiking guide below that goes into a bit more detail.
Things to Know Before You Attempt the Climb
I mentioned it at the start of this blog post, but if you skipped it, don’t attempt the Mount Beerwah climb if it has been raining. The rocks are steep and almost impossible to climb when wet. This means that you’ll also need to check the weather radar to ensure you don’t get stuck in the rain at the summit.
Many people have been stuck on Mount Beerwah due to bad weather, falls, or simply just being overcome by fear of heights on the way down. Don’t be one of those people and prepare accordingly. A helicopter fee is not cheap!
The First Nations people from this area are Jinibara.
Beerwah is in fact two words; Birra, meaning sky, and Wandum, meaning to climb upwards in the Turrbal language. Together, Bira-wa means to climb up in the sky, a fitting name for such an unusual mountain rising from the plateau below.
The Glass House Mountains are a sacred place for Traditional Owners. It was a special meeting place for gathering to trade and to participate in important ceremonies. The legend says that Mount Tibrogargan is the father, Ngungun his faithful dingo and Mount Beerwah, the sacred mother.
Read more about the Glass House Mountains Dreamtime Stories here.
What to Expect on the Mount Beerwah Climb – Hiking Guide
This section should help you to summit Mount Beerwah if you are well prepared. Remember that the route is not a climbing crag and there are several paths to ascend. My advice is to wear grippy shoes and keep moving, following the best foot and handholds.
First Section – The Steepest Rock Scramble
Just a couple of hundred metres from the trailhead carpark is the beginning of the scrambling climb to the summit. This first section is in fact, the steepest and most difficult part of the entire scramble. There are some obvious cracks and a worn route is visible in the face.
Fortunately, this was my second time ascending Mount Beerwah, so I was well-prepared for this section and not dissuaded by the difficulty.
Soon after conquering the initial scramble, we continued up, moving continuously and thoughtfully. As I mentioned earlier, there isn’t one particular route. However, I’d suggest taking breaks on flat sections to plan your way up the face as it can be easy to go off on a dangerous route.
There are several ledges along the way where you can rest and enjoy the ever-better views as you make your way up the incredible Mount Beerwah climb.
The Beerwah Organ Pipes
After a rather long scrambling climb, you’ll get to a soaring vertical wall. This represents roughly the 80% mark and signifies the end of the steep scrambling.
The Organ Pipes are a famous climbing crag. You’ll often see people carrying up ropes and climbing gear to tackle this epic wall.
There are also some caves just under the wall that are worth checking out.
Follow the arrows and the obvious, worn path leading to the right for the last leg of the Mount Beerwah climb to the summit.
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Last Section – Goat Trail to the Mount Beerwah Summit
This last leg is easy doesn’t involve any climbing or scrambling. A winding path leads around Beerwah’s face on a rocky goat trail to the summit.
The Mount Beerwah Summit
On my most recent Mount Beerwah climb I was fortunate to get an absolutely incredible sunrise. The rising sun shone on the blanket of low-lying mist, which made it feel as if we were thousands of metres above the clouds.
From the summit, you are rewarded with sprawling views across the Glass House Mountains hinterlands, with all of the 11 major mountains in plain sight. We spend an hour at the summit in awe at the incredible views and admiring the sacredness of the mountain.
For many, including myself, the descent is much more difficult than the initial climb. In saying that, I think it’s more of a mental challenge as a result of going backward. Follow the same path you took up to the summit to return to the Mount Beerwah car park.
Just as the first section was the most difficult on the ascent, the climb down the final wall is difficult. As you get sight of the finish line, avoid going to the right. Deceivingly, this route looks as if it’ll be an easier path down, however, ends in an almost vertical descent with limited footholds.
More Epic Queensland Travel Guides and Articles
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this hiking guide to tackling the Mount Beerwah climb in Queensland’s Glass House Mountains. For more epic adventure articles and ideas from Queensland and across Australia, make sure to head to some of my other posts below.
Also, If you have any questions or wish to share your experience, leave a comment in the field below.