If you're ever in Pomona, a small town inland from Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, you can’t miss Mount Cooroora, which towersabove the streets.
On closer inspection you might notice a gash in the rock on one side. That line, despite looking vertical, is part of a popular walking track that leads all the way to the top. It’s not an easy task to complete, which is why it’s the location for the annual King of the Mountain event.
You will be rewarded for your effort at the top of Mount Cooroora
Given the time and patience, anyone can probably complete this walk (perhaps with the exception of kids and the elderly). You don’t have to be super fit, but it’s not something you want to start naively, as there’s a lot of clambouring on all fours.
The walk is steeper than it looks
The first part isn’t too bad, and resembles a typical bushwalk with its horizontal zig-zagging up the hill through bush. There’s not much to see though, because you're surrounded by trees.
Things change when you get to a set of stairs. From this point on there’s no zig-zagging. You’re just ploughing straight up through rock and trees. Some parts have real or rocky stairs, but in other places, there's barely enough ridges and grooves and small piles of rocks to allow you to get up. I’ve never used my hands so much on a ‘walk’ and the chain next to the stairs was put to good use (using my arms gave my legs a break). Some steps were higher than my hips and I had to pull myself up.
No stairs here
Broken bones do happen on this walk. Yet some people manage to run it, such as during the King of the Mountain challenge.
There are great rewards for your struggles when you make it to the top. Due to the height of the mountain and the fact there aren't trees below you (just your path), you get some great views, which offer a great excuse to take a break and catch your breath.
When you reach the end of the track, you really are at the very top of Cooroora Mountain. You can see all the way to the ocean past Noosa (one of the most popular places to stay nearby, even if it's known for being a bit pricey). A walk to the other side allows you to really get 360 degree views.
The view before you even reach the top
Once at the top you can see over the other side of the mountain
Unless you're super fit, allow 1.5 to 2 hours to complete this walk, and though it's well trafficked, make sure you don't complete it alone.
If it sounds like too much of a challenge, or you're looking for another mountain to conquer, many of the other mountains nearby, which along with Mount Cooroora makeup the Glasshouse Mountains, can also be climbed. This one is the most challenging though.