The Glass House Mountains - Mount Ngungun
In Queensland, Australia
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Situated about 60 kms north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland are a group of volcanic plugs rising dramatically from the coastal plain and known as ‘The Glass House Mountains.’ The first European to see the Glass House Mountains was Captain James Cook (then Lieutenant)in 1770 who noted the way that the sunlight reflected from the rocks. Cook noted that their singular form and elevation resembled a glass house and for that reason named them the Glass House Mountains.
The next European explorer to visit the area was Matthew Flinders during his exploration of Moreton Bay in 1799. Flinders climbed Mount Beerburrum and surveyed the whole of Moreton Bay.
The mountains are the eroded cores of central volcanoes of Cenozoic age and were formed between 25-27 million years ago. There were at least ten centres of eruptions, each represented by a separate hill. Made from very fine grained to glassy volcanic rocks, mainly alkali rhyolite (comendite), and trachyte. They have intruded through almost horizontally bedded Jurassic sandstones and shales of the Landsborough Formation. Many of the volcanics have well developed columnar jointing. Originally, each of the eruptive centres would have had volcanic cones of softer pyroclastic material, now eroded away. Many of the dome shaped hills and conical peaks have Aboriginal names. Mount Beerwah, made of trachyte, is the highest peak at 556m. Mount Beerburrum (276m) and Mount Miketeebumulgrai form dome like intrusions of trachyte and Mount Coonowrin is a steep spire of rhyolite. Mount Ngungun and Mount Tibrogargan are made of coarser rhyolite. Mount Tunbubudla, Mount Tibberoowuccum, Mount Coochin and Wildhorse Mountain are rhyolite intrusions.
Tibrogargan, the father, and Beerwah, the mother, had many children. Coonowrin the eldest, Beerburrum, the Tunbubudla twins, the Coochin twins, Ngungun, Tibberoowuccum, Miketeebumulgrai and Saddleback. There was Round who was fat and small and Wildhorse who was always paddling in the sea.
One day Tibrogargan, the father, observes that the sea is rising and asks that Coonowrin the eldest son help their pregnant mother to safety. Terrified, Coonowrin instead flees. Infuriated by his sons cowardice Tibrogargan pursues him and strikes him so hard that he dislocates Coonowrin's neck.
Feeling ashamed, Coonowrin went over to Tibrogargan and asked for his forgiveness, but filled with shame at his son’s cowardice, Tibrogargan could do nothing but weep tears which, trickling along the ground, formed a stream that flowed into the sea. Then Coonowrin went to his brothers and sisters, but they also wept at the shame of their brother’s cowardice. This is said to explain the many small streams that flow through the area.
Tibrogargan then called to Coonowrin, asking him why he had deserted his mother. Coonowrin replied that as Beerwah was the biggest of them all she should be able to take care of herself. He did not know that she was again pregnant, which was the reason for her great size. Then Tibrogargan turned his back on his son and vowed that he would never look at him again.
Even today, Tibrogargan gazes far out to sea and never looks around at Coonowrin, who hangs his head and cries, his tears running off to sea. His mother, Beerwah, is still heavy with child, as it tales a long, long time to give birth to a mountain.
At a height of 253mtrs Mount Ngungun is made of rhyolite and the vegetation is the most varied of the Glass House Mountains. 126 of 178 plant species found in the Glass House Mountains are found within the forests of Mount Ngungun.
The walk to the summit is classed as one of the most accessible in the Glass House Mountains. It is a class 4 track with a 2.2K return journey which requires you to allow 2 hours return. I completed the return journey in 1 hour and I am of average fitness.
To Log this earthcache you have to complete the following things and email me the results. The listed co-ords will take you to the information board;
1) At the first location, what are the names of the 3 species of butterflies that often grace the summit of Mount Ngungun?
2) Go to S 26 53.983 E 152 56.101 (summit), What type of rock and colour is it at the summit?
3) How many of the Glass House Mountains can you see from here?
4) Take a photo of you with your GPS or just your GPS from the summit. Post this photo with your log.
Please email the answers to the questions, please DO NOT post them with your log.
Permission to list an earthcache at this location was given by Norm Taylor, Ranger in Charge, Glass House MU.
I WILL DELETE LOGS THAT DO NOT MEET ALL REQUIREMENTS FOR THIS EARTHCACHE.
[email answers and PLEASE await my reply before logging]
Last Updated: on 7/27/2014 4:38:56 AM Pacific Daylight Time (11:38 AM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum