Book delivers mountains of interest

As kids, we all knew the Glasshouse Mountains had been named by Captain Cook as he sailed up the coastline in 1770.

We also learnt he had named them for the glasshouses of native Yorkshire. The one thing I couldn’t get though, was how these rugged volcanic peaks could possibly remind anyone of a glasshouse, my vision being of a greenhouse.

I must confess that it is only in recent years, that I have seen pictures of the Yorkshire glasshouses and all has become clear. Yes, the brick cones used for glassmaking are definitely reminiscent of the landmark mountains between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

A new book, The National Heritage Listed Glasshouse Mountains, by Ivon Northage explains all there is to know about these magma intrusions exposed by natural erosion over the past 25 million years.

From the geology and the Dreamtime legend, to the early explorers (Matthew Flinders was the first tourist) to the significance of National Heritage listing, the 76-page book is aimed at correcting the myths (they are not remnant volcanoes) and providing consistent and definitive information of the mountains.

The book also explains the National Heritage application and listing process; the origin of the names of the mountains and the walks and climbs.

There’s also a map detailing some of the less-obvious roads and what’s where, useful for a Sunday drive.

“This not-for-profit book finally brings all this information together in a fully researched, concise and easy to read book,” says Roger Reilly who compiled Ivon’s meticulous research.

 “We are proud of what we have achieved with this user-friendly book and know it will provide accurate and informative information that can be used as a definitive resource on this amazing Sunshine Coast attraction and National Heritage landmark.”

He is an active member of Celebrate Glasshouse Country Inc which provided support and assistance for the production of the book, which was funded by a federal government grant.

With lots of pictures and quotes, it’s the sort of book that tourists will pick up to learn more about the area they are visiting and is also an interesting read for residents – there’s even a chapter dedicated to planning a day out in the mountains and becoming a tourist at home.

 Available from the Glasshouse, Mary Cairncross and Maleny visitor information centres, some newsagents, The Book Shop of Caloundra and Rosetta Books in Maleny or email

Image: Captain Cook’s Yorkshire glass houses.