Saturday, 11 January 2014

Mt Ngungun - Glasshouse Mts

To better enjoy the photos, please click on them to increase their size.

The massive storm on Monday afternoon had brought welcome relief from our soaring temperatures, so on Friday, our group  quickly revised our walking plans.

The bush was calling. Scattered showers were predicted, but they weren't a deterrent.
Just over halfway to our destination the heavens opened and we were assessing if we had brought enough wet weather gear. 

This is the imposing monolith, Mt Tibrogargan - the most photographed of the Glasshouse Mts, a volcanic plug of a vent of a volcano, 27 million years ago. In Aboriginal lore, Tibrogargan was the father of all the Glasshouse Mts.

On arrival at the car park at the base of Mt Ngungun, the rain had appeared to have cleared, so we relaxed with our coffee and cake before setting off.

We were grateful that we spent this time relaxing, as the next shower came through and we were able to organise our wet weather gear, before setting off.

Mount Ngungun,  one of the most impressive of the Glasshouse Mountains, was discovered by Captain James Cook during his epic voyage along Australia's east coast. The word 'Ngungun' is actually an Aboriginal word believed to mean 'black'. Like the other Glasshouse Mountain peaks, Ngungun is held sacred by the Aboriginal people. The area was actually a special meeting place to the Gubbi Gubbi Aboriginal people. The mountains themselves are rhyolitic volcanic plugs left by volcanic activity millions of years ago. 

It was over 4 months since  we had hiked in the bush together and we were rapt in the sounds, colours and aroma's which  attacked our senses. Their impact was heightened by
the refreshing power of the falling rain.

 The rain enhanced the colours of the shedding bark.

 This tree was weeping. Most unusual. 

Halfway up we had an open view of the rear of Mt Tibrogargan.

There are a number of caves formed from wind erosion on rock softened by the flow of ground water.

Climbing further, we had our 1st view to the west and I spotted these raindrops clinging to the grass like leaves of the grass tree or yacka plant.

Nearing the 1st crest we had our 1st rock scramble.

It was not long before we were standing on a narrow ridge, our breath taken from us by the beauty of the ever changing panorama, orchestrated by the heat and rain induced low clouds.
 Mt Coonowrin or Crooked Neck, standing in front of his brother Beerwah. Coonowrin disobeyed his Father during a storm. His Father bashed the back of his head and turned away never to look at him again.

The showers had returned. We found protection in the lee of a rocky outcrop and enjoyed the changing view and the arrival of those less prepared, in their sodden clothing. 

Half an hour later we continued the short but rockier path to the summit, with views again of Tibrogargan.

Our return hike down was equally enjoyable and shower free. 

We drove to Centennial Park on the banks of the Cabulture River to enjoy our lunch, while watching the antics of ducks, geese, water fowl and egrets on the pond.

This hike most definitely whetted our appetite for more bush walking  'Down Under with Friends'.

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  1. Thank you for sharing your day with us! While I don't enjoy hiking in the rain, I love how the rain magnifies colors and aromas.

  2. Wonderful photographs, Helen. Provided a real sense of the overall experience. I am curious about the height of the mountains and the depth of the caves. The unique foliage and wildlife is fascinating.

  3. Thank you Barry and Alexandra. The rain actually made the hot hike quite exciting.
    Sadly Mt Ngungun, in comparison to the Rockies, is only an anthill at 265 m, but in our corner of Aus it is difficult to find anything much higher.

  4. What a great hike! Love the mountain. And some of my best hikes have been in the rain.

  5. Thanks Linda. It was exhilarating to be able do something a little more challenging.

  6. Hi Helen! Love those volcanic plugs! My day in the Glasshouse was much toastier. :) Thinking of you as I take a day off in NZ - crazy weather today - time to relax indoors for a change.