It’s funny, Mt Ninderry is just up the road from where I live, and while I look at it on pretty much a daily basis, I had never walked up it – or thought to. We have walked up most of the Glass House Mountains, and Mt Coolum repeatedly, but Mt Ninderry… nup. I am pleased to announce that has all changed.
The fabulous volcanic plug that juts from the earth not far from Yandina, attributes its name to aboriginal myth – a mighty warrior, Ninderry who incurred the wrath of the gods and solidified as punishment. To read the full myth click here
I have always liked the look of Mt Ninderry. It stands proud. At 304 metres high, it is not the biggest Sunshine Coast monolith that you will climb, but it certainly is not the smallest either.
I guess I never really considered climbing Mt Ninderry because it looks a lot harder than it is from the road – odd that I never thought that about Mt Tibrogargan. The angle that I so often view is a sheer rockface. It looks like it needs ‘skilled scaling’, however, you can access it from the other side (eastern), and while it is a steep walk at times, no skill is required.
You will see Mt Ninderry from the Bruce Highway as you approach Yandina. Depending on which direction you are coming from, make your way to Ninderry Road and follow it towards the mountain. Eventually Ninderry veers to the right and becomes Eucalyptus Cresent. Keep an eye on the right hand side, for a concrete driveway – it is signposted – and drive up it. When you get to the end there is a parking area.
It doesn’t hurt to point out that this is a residential area, so be respectful when parking. There is a picnic shelter to the right and the track begins behind that. On the day we visited, there was a bit of confusion as to where the track was… so a few people were walking up a road that led to a construction site on private property… I am not sure why, you would think the sign on the chain across the road stating quite clearly ‘DO NOT ENTER’ would be a clue and the additional warning not to enter unless wearing hard hats, might just reemphasis the first clue… I admit, it was tempting to follow, but I am a bit of a scaredy-cat when it comes to ‘do not enter’ signs, so suggested we look for a track that does not have such a sign. So let me reemphasis… the summit of Mt Ninderry is NOT up that road… look behind the picnic shelter…
The track is an old 4WD track and it is a pretty direct route to the top. Few up and down slopes and then the track thins out into a rubbly path, and gets a little steeper too. While it is by no means the easiest walk I have ever done, it certainly wasn’t the most challenging. There were many parents with young children, even carrying babies, so as long as you take your time and are reasonably able you shouldn’t have a problem. Though I didn’t envy the parents that had to carry the toddlers who ran out of steam half way up… and I would take care when it is wet.
At the top there is a meteorology station and you could really go either way but perhaps start by wandering towards the left and some pretty spectacular views unfold.
What a magical view, the vivid green cane fields below sprawl out towards the coast, the Maroochy River carving its meandering path through the countryside towards the coast. Mt Coolum an incredible monolithic mound with Old Woman Island a spec in comparison. To get the best views, you need to scramble out onto the rock ledges, which I love doing. It is not especially dangerous, unless you are particularly clumsy, but be careful just the same, especially if you are up there with small children.
Most people just seem to walk to the top, go to the one vantage point and then leave, but the best part for me was wandering around the perimeter of the rocky summit and discovering the different vantage points. I guess I am just a view junky. Every time I would discover a new ledge to scramble out on to I would be just as excited and awestruck at the incredible views as I was with the first ledge. I might mention too, we were on the onset on of an incredible cold snap – ‘artic vortex’ they called it – so on the day that we visited, it was FREEZING! Sitting out on the ledge, while it was blowing its artic gale over us, was quite a unique experience… Looking out at this expansive tapestry of farmland and forestry, rivers and roads stitching it all together, the shrubbery billowing around us, it is such a beautiful connection with nature. I sometimes feel like I just can’t get enough, even if I am freezing my tootsies off!
It is a great walk, and one of the best ocean views (next to Mt Coolum). You can do the round trip easily in an hour, but leave yourself some extra time for some rock scrambling and maybe even a picnic lunch.
This story was written by Petra Frieser – Pebbles + Pomegranate Seeds