Mount Coolum National Park – A hike with a view
Mount Coolum is an ancient volcanic dome located on the Sunshine Coast and was created around 26 million years ago. It offers incredible views both over the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast and also the ocean. On a clear day, you can see an incredible distance. It really is quite breathtaking.
Getting to Mount Coolum
Located 1.5 hours north of Brisbane, you will find yourself at Mount Coolum. Take the David Low Way exit which is located 6 km south of Coolum Beach. You will find the car park entrance near the intersection of Tanah Street (West) and Jarnahill Drive. Parking is quite minimal so you may find yourself parking on nearby streets.
About the hike
The summit walk is a Grade 4 hike and is 1.6km return. It doesn’t seem like a far distance, but I can promise you the summit is 208m above sea level and given it is a grade 4 walking track, I would recommend only for fit walkers.
The hike up is incredibly steep and there are some rocky sections. We visited early one morning and were impressed with the number of people running up and down the track. There were also heaps of families there. But if you do take your children, you need to watch them closely as there are many rocky edges.
You should allow around 2 hours return for the hike, plus additional time when you’re up the top to catch your breath and to take some photos!
The walk starts in the open forest and you will notice the incline starting pretty quickly and the type of soil and trees around you change dramatically.
The further up you go the more you will notice that only montane heath plants exist which due to the harsh conditions, are the only thing that can grow up there!
If you’re interested in birdwatching, you may be in luck to see some honeyeaters and you may just be lucky enough to see some falcons above you.
Throughout the winter months, if you are there on a clear day you may even see some migrating whales out at sea.
The hike is open during daylight hours only. This is primarily for your safety.
How incredible is this view?
Click here for the Mount Coolum National Park map.
Tips for the hike
In the summer months, try to walk in the early morning or later in the afternoon making sure you don’t run out of daylight to come down. Also, do not attempt to walk the track in wet weather. The rocks can become extremely slippery and very dangerous.
There are no toilets in the national park. You will need to make sure you’ve made a pit stop before starting the hike.
What to bring with you
- Comfortable walking or hiking shoes
- Insect repellent, especially in the summer months
Note: Remember to take your rubbish with you!
After the hike, why not stop into Coolum Beach for some relaxation and cooling off!
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide