Mount Coolum National Park Sunshine Coast

Photo credit: © Lise Pedersen

Things to do

    Many steps lead visitors to Mount Coolum's summit, 208m above sea level! The track is suitable for fit walkers only. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

    Many steps lead visitors to Mount Coolum's summit, 208m above sea level! The track is suitable for fit walkers only. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

    Golden candlesticks Banksia spinulosa var. collina flower in the montane heath mainly between May and August. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

    Golden candlesticks Banksia spinulosa var. collina flower in the montane heath mainly between May and August. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

    Two endangered she-oaks grow in the park—Mt Coolum she-oak Allocasuarina thalassoscopica and Emu Mountain she-oak Allocasuarina emuina. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

    Two endangered she-oaks grow in the park—Mt Coolum she-oak Allocasuarina thalassoscopica and Emu Mountain she-oak Allocasuarina emuina. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

    Camping and accommodation

    Camping

    Camping is not allowed in the national park.

    Private camping areas are located at the nearby coastal resorts of Mudjimba and Coolum Beach.

    Other accommodation

    A wide variety of accommodation is available throughout the Sunshine Coast area. For more information see the tourism information links.

    Walking

    Take a challenging walk to the summit where there are spectacular 360 degree views of the coastal area, including Point Cartwright and the Glass House Mountains to the south, the Blackall Range to the west, and Noosa Heads to the north.

     Mount Coolum summit walk (Grade 4)

    Distance: 1.6 km return

    Time: Allow about 2 hrs return

    Warning Caution:

    • This Grade 4 walking track is suitable for fit walkers only—there are steep, rocky sections and the summit is 208m above sea level.
    • Loose gravel surfaces and exposed naturally-occurring lookouts. Supervise children closely.
    • In the summer months walk in the cooler parts of the day to avoid heat exhaustion.
    • Walk the track in fine weather only. The track becomes extremely slippery when wet.

    Details: Enjoy a steep trek to the summit of one of the Sunshine Coast’s ancient volcanic domes. Created about 26 million years ago, Mount Coolum is a laccolith, formed when a dome-shaped bulge of magma cooled below the Earth’s surface.

    The walking track includes some of nature’s own rock steps. Formed during the volcanic period, large hexagonal cooling columns lie almost horizontally in the track’s path.

    The walk begins in open forest and as the elevation increases and soils change, the forest becomes woodlands, shrublands, and then low montane heath on the summit.

    Montane heath plants are dwarf species that rarely grow above 1 m in height. This is due to the harsh conditions in which they grow, including exposure to high winds and sun, as well as infertile substrates and high evaporation rates.

    Many rare and threatened species grow here, including the endangered Mount Coolum she-oak Allocasuarina thalassoscopica, a plant found nowhere else.

    It is essential that visitors keep to the walking track and defined viewing areas to avoid trampling and damaging plants.

    This park is excellent for birdwatching—many honeyeaters can be seen in the heath and birds of prey, including resident peregrine falcons, soar above. During winter and spring migrating whales can be seen out at sea.