Mt Coonowrin is one of the peaks forming the Glass House Mountains, and part of the Glass House Mountains National Park.
Mt Coonowrin is also known as Crookneck, the meaning derived from the Aboriginal word coonoon-warrang. Aboriginal tales tell that Coonowrin is the son of Tibrogargan (father) and Beerwah (mother), and after running off in a storm instead of looking after his mother, his father hit him on the back of the head and he hasn’t been able to straighten his neck ever since.
Mount Coonowrin can be seen from the Mt Coonowrin Viewing Point, along Murphys Road. There is no specific area marked out, only a brown sign on Old Gympie Road indicating 100m up Murphys Rd.
I found a better spot is a further 300-400 metres further on Murphys Road, where the mountain isn’t obscured with a power pole in the view. There isn’t as much room on the side of the road, but it wasn’t busy with only one other vehicle coming by the time I was there.
Mount Coonowrin can also be seen from a different perspective from the summit of Mt Ngungun , lined up in front of Mt Beerwah and worth the walk to the summit.
The entire Mount Coonowrin section of the park is closed from public access and is only accessible with a permit or written approval. At the end of Murphy Road is where the park starts, and a sign is displayed showing it is closed.
Climbing was allowed in the past, but it was a difficult and dangerous climb, only suitable for experienced rock climbers. Serious injuries and deaths have occurred on Mount Coonowrin, prompting the park to be closed off. With unstable rocks that may fall, the whole section of the park has been closed.
To get there:
From Steve Irwin Way (take exit 163 heading north on Bruce Hwy, or exit 188B heading south), turn into Reed St for the Glass House Mountains township. Follow the road for 1.6km, the name will change a few times, eventually becoming Coonowrin Rd. Turn right into Fullertons Rd, with the brown sign for Mt Ngungun, and follow for 2.5km to Old Gympie Rd. Head straight across Old Gympie Rd into Murphys Rd. The official viewing point is in 100m, and another point 300-400m further on.
From Glass House Scenic Lookout, head towards Old Gympie Rd for 2.8km east on the bitumen road. Turn left into Old Gympie Rd and continue for 3km, and turn left into Murphys Rd. The official viewing point is in 100m, and another point 300-400m further on.
From Mt Ngungun, head west along Fullertons Rd for 1.2km to Old Gympie Rd. Head straight across Old Gympie Rd into Murphys Rd. The official viewing point is in 100m, and another point 300-400m further on.
From Mt Beerburrum Lookout, head back out of Mount Beerburrum Access to Beerburrum Rd, and turn right, then after 170m turn right again into Beerburrum Woodford Rd. Follow Beerburrum Woodford Rd for 4.0km, turning right into Old Gympie Rd. Continue for 5.4km, and turn left into Murphys Rd. The official viewing point is in 100m, and another point 300-400m further on.
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Pets: Yes, on leash as it is an open road