Mt Tinbeerwah is probably one of the easiest climbs (read ‘walks’) you would find yourself doing. Actually, it is not really a climb at all, so I shouldn’t mislead you by saying it is. And even as a walk, is an easy one. But do not underestimate its beauty.
We ended up at Mt Tinbeerwah by default. We were aiming for a much more substantial climb/walk on this particular day. However, in a bit of bad planning (on my part), we found ourselves at the base of Mt Cooroora, along with a few hundred others who were there for the annual King of the Mountain race. I marvelled at my immaculate timing… out of the 365 days of the year I had to chose from, to walk up Mt Cooroora, I had to choose exactly that day. I didn’t even think to check the date as I thought the probability of that happening was so unlikely, I didn’t think I needed to. Wrong…
After a coffee stop, regroup and a bit of quick thinking we drove down to Mt Tinbeerwah instead.
Mt Tinbeerwah and the lookout is just a short drive from Noosa and is in the Tewantin National Park, accessible from Mt Tinbeerwah Road, which branches off the Cooroy-Noosa Road (it is signposted). The name is aboriginal for ‘place of grasstrees’ or ‘high hill climbing up’ – I am not sure which, neither was Wikipedia, which where I got this information from. But both make sense, before the road, I imagine it would have been quite the climb and yes, there are plenty of grasstrees around.
Now, when I say easy, you pretty much drive most of the way up, so the only real ‘climbing’ you do is out of the car. From the carpark it is just 500 metres or so, on an ever so slight incline that leads you to the lookout – 260 metres of it is suitable for the wheelchair assisted.
But again, don’t be deterred, it is still a beautiful walk, be it short. Noosa Northshore and the ocean sprawl out to the east. Mt Cooroy and Mt Cooroora to the west. The Glass House Mountains and Mt Coolum are dwarfed in the distance to the south, Cooloola and whatever peaks they were to the north (I will get back to you). Stunning. I imagine this would be a great sunrise and sunset viewing platform as it is so easy to get to.
The peak is an impressive exposed face of rhyolite rock and sandstone. Like most of the jutting ‘mountains’ of the Sunshine Coast, they are remnant volcanic plugs of years gone by (as in millions of years). It is only 265metres above sea level but it is still an impressive vantage point.
However, the best part for me was scrambling down to the lower plateau. Bored by the ease of the walk, my son scrambled down there, and not to be outdone, we followed suit. It isn’t hard, but if you are not good with heights or able bodied, it is probably not for you, as it is quite steep and it really is a scramble so not something I should probably encourage… my bad. Though I am sure you could probably walk around the perimeter from the carpark to get there and avoid the scramble all together. I will have a look next time.
The reason why I liked this so much as being on the lower plateau, you can look back at the lookout and really appreciate the exposed face, which you otherwise don’t see as it is on the opposite side of the approach. And then looking through the trees to Mount Cooroy and back to Mount Cooroora… I am always in search of the ultimate panorama to photograph.
I wandered around for quite some time taking photographs of the moss and lichen… so vivid and green. Love it.
When we scrambled back up to the top we walked along the summit edge – it is fenced. I know I should be happy I am not about to accidentally slip off the edge, but I always prefer the climbs that are devoid of the safety bling. I know it is there for a reason, and that’s what makes this lookout so accessible to families with small kids etc., but it just takes away some of that wow factor and natural magic.
Having said that, on the other side of the fences were the abseiling rings that are secured into the rock for abseilers, which has made me seriously want to do an abseiling course, so that I too can be on the other side of the fence… hanging for my dear life on the side of a cliff… sounds fun… watch this space…
Mt Tinbeerwah, is a worthy climb. It is the sort of climb that you are quite happy to carry the picnic basket up at sunset and sit on one of the boulders and watch the sun go down. I think you could even enjoy a cooling ale and not worry that you are going to risk your life stumbling back down in the dark. Plan for next time… though may take a torch just in case.
This story is written by Petra Frieser – Pebbles + Pomegranate Seeds