There isn’t a lot that will get me up out of bed while it’s still dark out, but rising to climb one of the beautiful glasshouse mountains is something that will!
Up before light, I dressed in the dark and soon my ride was there. The air was crisp and we had our fingers crossed that the rain was going to hold off. As we drove on, the sun started to rise, almost as sleepily as we did. Making our way off the main highway and along the winding local roads, we were getting closer to our destination, heavy morning mist still sitting on the treetops.
Climbing out of the car, it felt good to stretch our legs. We took a deep breath in – the air was so fresh out here – then set off on our climb. The cool, damp weather made for some gorgeous conditions, with bright and dense greenery around us and trees towering above us. I was lagging behind on the hike up, stopping every chance I got and peaking out at the views between the tree lines as we gradually rose higher. At one point, we all hopped off course and climbed inside a large rock cavity, feeling just like kids again (getting pretty dirty in the process).
As we made it to the opening at the end of the track, clambering up a rock face, we were treated to stunning views out over the national forest and towering craggy volcanic peaks that stretched out for miles below us.
The morning dew still sitting on leaves and a heavy morning fog still hanging low over the landscape, our decision to climb later than originally planned turned out to be a good one. We heard there was next to no visibility earlier on.
Coming up to the top, there was a young couple perched up on the highest point, arms around each other looking as though they were sitting up above the clouds. I never did say hello, but couldn’t resist taking a photo. We left them in that beautiful moment and continued to explore.
On top of this small mountain, we felt miles away from civilisation. We took a good moment to just sit and take it all in. This had to be one of the most incredible ways to start a day.
Before long, hunger began to take over, and so it was time to make our way back down to the bottom. Back in our cars, we drove 30 minutes further north to Caloundra, stopping at Moffat Beach for a delicious late breakfast, with views out to the ocean.
If you ever find yourself on the Sunshine Coast, a visit to the Glass House Mountains National Park is a must. There are a number of walking tracks, challenging summit routes as well as abseiling and rock climbing opportunities. For some valuable local advice on the area, click here.