Mount Beerburrum Walking Track – Footpaths & Fire Towers

If you’re looking for a family-friendly walk in the Glass House Mountains, the Mount Beerburrum Walking Track is one to put on your list. There are a few things that make this peak worth a visit. Firstly, the ground is fairly even the whole way up, it’s not particularly back-breaking and the views at the top are well worth it. Additionally, there’s a decent café waiting for you right across the road from the track’s entrance.

Panoramic view from the fire tower at the summit of the Mount Beerburrum Walking Track

I reached the summit of Mount Beerburrum – my 4th peak in the Glass House Mountains – last Sunday. However, it wasn’t my intention to do so. When the day began, Marty and I were psyched to climb Mt Beerwah, but we arrived to find it closed. So, looking for alternatives in the area, we soon found ourselves in the car park in front of the Mount Beerburrum Walking Track.

Mount Beerburrum Walking Track – The First Section

I was pretty happy to find ourselves setting off up the mountain on an overcast day. Today would be less brutal, at least on our skin. It was roughly 10 am when our journey began along the first section of the Mount Beerburrum Walking Track, which is 1km to the Yul-yan-man trailhead junction.

This section is about as easy as bushwalking gets, as it’s all flat and you’re following a dirty trail that’s fairly wide for the most part. We passed tall trees and the odd monitor lizard, and the air smelt of pine and eucalypt. While it was overcast, it was a steamy, muggy day, being early February. My shirt was already pretty saturated with sweat.

The first section of the Mount Beerburrum Walking Track

After about 20 minutes we arrived at the Yul-yan-man trailhead junction, where our journey towards the summit began.

At the junction of the Mount Beerburrum summit and Yul-yan-man trail

The Second Section – Footpaths

While from here it’s just three-quarters of a kilometre to the summit, it’s where things start to get interesting. The inclination kicks in and the foliage around us began to change, as we walked through a pretty tunnel of ferns. However, what disappointed me and impressed me in equal measure is that the rest of the Mount Beerburrum Walking Track is a paved footpath!

The start of our ascent

Even though it’s short, the footpath is fairly steep and I thought about the workers, trying to level the ground and lay the concrete. What a feat of engineering. Although, why?! Well, this certainly detracted from the overall experience for me. Marty didn’t seem to mind and he just looked amused when I went on about how amazing and appalling it was.

The infamous footpath – clever but an eyesore

We plodded upwards through the muggy, February heat. I was sweating profusely, even though I didn’t find the walk that taxing. We did have to rest at several points as it’s quite a steep walk up the footpath. Footpath! Okay I’m over it (sort of). At one point on the path we came across what looked like a stringybark tree that had been peppered with feathers of some kind, which looked pretty cool.  

The feather tree on the Mount Beerburrum Walking Track

We continued for another 20 minutes until the path sliced through a field of waist-high grass and we saw the summit, which was adorned with a fire tower.

Marty reaching the summit

The Summit & The Views

I like fire towers, although I’m not sure I particularly like them at the top of a mountain hike. Adjacent to the fire tower is a concrete structure of some kind with solar panels attached to it. Trying to ignore this, I walked through tall grass to the edge of the summit to gaze across the Glass House Mountains. The view is pretty darn tops, I must admit.

Mount Beerwah towering (no pun intended) on the left, with Mount Coonowrin (back) and Mount Tibberoowuccum (front) on the right

You can see Mount Tibrogargan to the right, then Mount Tibberoowuccum and Mount Coonowrin in a line, while Mount Beerwah is off to the left in the distance. I stood here for a few minutes, enjoying the mountains, vast plains and undulating hills which surrounded the Mount Beerwah Walking Track. I then went to join Marty on the fire tower.

Me and Marty standing on the fire tower, with the elusive Mount Beerwah in the background

It was when I got to the fire tower that I realised the footpath provided better access to the tower, which is used to keep an eye on the surrounding forest during high fire danger. Still, I’m sure a dirt path would have sufficed! Anyway, the views from the tower are slightly better, and I had a nice chat with an adventurous family who did the walk with their two young kids.

Marty on the fire tower

There were a fair amount of people on the fire tower this Sunday, and I thought it was interesting how virtually nobody walked to the edge of the mountain on the Mount Beerburrum Walking Track. The fire tower was their summit. Marty and I now returned and while the descent wasn’t difficult, my knees were groaning ever so slightly back along the steep path until we rejoined the forest floor.

Summit view from the edge of the Mount Beerburrum Walking Track. Mount Tibrogargan on the right

I had a little winge on the way back about the footpath and the fire tower and how we were lucky there wasn’t a cinema on the summit. Marty’s response was, ‘the views were pretty good though’! God bless ya Marty.

A Bit of History

Mount Beerburrum was the first peak in Queensland to be climbed by Europeans, as Matthew Flinders led a party to the summit in 1799. From the summit, Flinders conducted the first survey of what was to become the Caboolture Sunshine Coast area.

View from the summit today. I wonder how much different this looked through Flinders’ eyes?

Beerburrum was also the site of a logging industry of native cedar and pine in the late 1800s. After extensive logging, Beerburrum became home to Australia’s largest planted forest, as it was discovered that pines native to the US could grow well in the sandy soil here. Hence the Mount Beerburrum Walking Track and region surrounding it are home to North American pine trees, which are particularly obvious along Steve Irwin Way.

Aboriginal Significance

I couldn’t find any information at the Mount Beerburrum Walking Track, or post-walk, about the Aboriginal significance of Mount Beerburrum. Aboriginal history and mythology seems to focus on the two more conspicuous peaks in the Glass House Mountains, Mount Beerwah and Mount Tibrogargan. However, according to Hinterland Sunshine Coast Tourism, the word Beerburrum stems from the words parrot and mountain in the Kabi Kabi language.

View of Mount Tibrogargan from the summit of the Mount Beerburrum Walking Track

You can read more about the indigenous significance of the Glass House Mountains on my Mount Tibrogargan post, here.

Flora and Fauna

As I mentioned earlier, lace monitor lizards scurry about the Mount Beerburrum Walking Track. You might also see golden orb spiders and king parrots – which is perhaps why the Kabi Kabi people named it Beerburrum. Flora here includes dwarf banksias, eucalyptus gum, strangler figs and the flowers shepherd’s crook and prickly wattle, both of which unfortunately escaped my attention.   

The variety of flora on the summit of the Mount Beerburrum Walking Track

Difficulty & Time Taken

The Mount Beerburrum Walking Track is a grade 3 walk, which means it’s suitable for most ages and fitness levels, although it’s not a walk in the park (it’s up a mountain, after all). As I mentioned, I did see young kids doing this. I also didn’t find this particularly taxing, but the paved path is quite steep and you should take your time doing this one. You might not have a choice!

Marty taking a breather on the footpath

The ground is fairly flat and even on this trail, particularly as the steep section is a fricken footpath. So in all, you should be able to get to the top in about 40 minutes, back down in 20-30 and give yourself 30 minutes at the top. You could comfortably experience the entire Mount Beerburrum Walking Track experience in two hours, given you have a reasonable level of fitness.

How to Get There?

From Brisbane, head north along the Bruce Highway until you get to Steve Irwin Way. Turn right into Steve Irwin Way and after about five kilometres, turn into Beerburrum Road. Keep going until you see signs to Mount Beerburrum Trailhead. Park your car in the trailhead car park, which lies adjacent to a school and across the road from a cafe. The drive from Brisbane CBD to the car park is roughly one hour.

What to Bring?

A good pair of walking shoes, a broad-rimmed hat and at least 1 litre of water. If you tackle the walk Wed – Sun before 2pm, you won’t need to bring any food, as there’s a bonus café across the road from the car park and it’s good!

Café Phillies on Beerburrum

One of the bonuses of the Mount Beerburrum Walking Track is that it has a decent cafe a few hundred metres from the walk’s entrance. Marty and I strolled across the road to a café with friendly service and pleasant surrounds. There are lots of plants at Café Phillies on Beerburrum, which I like. They also have a solid selection of food. I opted for the roast vegetable roll, which had roast eggplant, capsicum and haloumi, amongst other things.

Cafe Phillies on Beerburrum is open from Wed – Sun, 7am – 2pm.

Marty struggling with post-walk food envy at Cafe Phillies on Beerburrum

The roll was a whopper and I was stuffed! It turns out this was good fuel to climb Mount Coochin, which we were off to next….

Final Thoughts

I’ll be straight up and say this was probably the least thrilling climb I’ve done in the Glass House Mountains. Other peaks I’ve climbed in the region are Mount Tibrogargan, Mt Ngungun, Mt Tibberoowuccum and Mt Coochin.

The footpath and fire tower, and the fact that the summit area was lacking in scope, were big contributors. It also wasn’t a very long walk and as you can probably gather by now, I like my walks more rugged and natural.

Saying that, is it worth doing? Yes, as the views (as Marty reminded me) are pretty good! Also, Mount Beerburrum is up against some tough competition in the Glass House Mountains.

Go for it!

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