Glass House Mountains National Park Sunshine Coast | Brisbane

Photo credit: Maxime Coquard © Tourism and Events Queensland

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Discover more about the park’s plants by purchasing a copy of the ‘Ranger field guide: Native plants of Glass House Mountains National Park’. They can be purchased over the phone or by visiting a sales outlet.

Mount Coonowrin restricted access area

    Mount Coonowrin, like other peaks in the Glass House Mountains, is an example of a volcanic plug. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

    Mount Coonowrin, like other peaks in the Glass House Mountains, is an example of a volcanic plug. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

    Since March 1999, the Mount Coonorwin section of Glass House Mountains National Park has been a Restricted Access Area under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. This effectively closes the area to public access in the interests of public safety.

    We appreciate your co-operation in protecting this special area and being responsible for your safety.

    If you enter a Restricted Access Area, on the spot fines apply: 3 penalty units ($400, current February 2020). Maximum penalty: 120 penalty units.

    View the Mount Coonowrin Restricted access area sign (PDF, 132.1KB) with map showing closure area.

    Why is Mount Coonowrin a restricted access area?

    To reduce injury and death in this high to very high risk of rockfall area.

    The management decision to declare a restricted access area was made based on the recommendations of a geological report The Coffey report: Stability assessment, Mount Coonowrin, 12 April 1999.

    The report determined that there is a high to very high risk of rockfalls from the cliffs around Mount Coonowrin with a corresponding risk to personnel or members of the public accessing this area. It recommended that the trail accessing the base of the cliffs be closed to the public and that the area be closed to rock climbing.

    Past recorded injuries and deaths associated with rock climbing at this site include:

    • 1970s—Death of a male climber after falling from the north face.
    • Early 1980s—Death of a male climber who fell while climbing with ropes on the north face.
    • 1990—Fall with compound leg fracture.
    • 1993—Free climber fall from north-west climb resulting in bruising and ligament damage.
    • 1997—Two rescues—one for injury.
    • 2003—Death of an experienced male climber who fell 40m from start of Salmons Leap route.
    • 2013—A woman fell 40m after loose rocks on the vertical rock face gave way; she was critically injured and retained serious injury.

    Don’t take stupid risks! Obey the closure and climb elsewhere.

    • The risk of climbing injury is high to very high here because of the rock conditions.
    • One dislodged rock or accident could cost you your life—and ruin your family’s lives.
    • You could kill others by dislodging rocks.
    • If you survive a fall, you could injure your brain or break your neck or crush discs and be paralysed for life.
    • If you need rescuing, you put your rescuer’s safety at risk while trying to get you out of trouble.
    • High-risk rescues can cost thousands of dollars and tie up the emergency services crews for hours, perhaps making them unavailable for others in need.

    Enforcement

    Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers patrol all sections of the Glass House Mountains National Park.

    People found within the Mount Coonowrin restricted access area will be fined under the Nature Conservation (Protected Areas Management) Regulation 2017.

    On the spot fines apply: 3 penalty units ($400, current February 2020). Maximum penalty: 120 penalty units.

    View the Mount Coonowrin Restricted access area sign (PDF, 132.1KB) with map showing closure area.

    Alternative climbing locations

    There are several alternative locations for rockclimbing and abseiling in the Glass House Mountains area:

    Other climbing sites in protected areas of the Sunshine Coast and Gympie area include:

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.