Mount Coonowrin restricted access area
Mount Coonowrin, like the other Glass House Mountains, is an example of a volcanic plug. Photo: Ross Naumann, NPSR volunteer.
Since March 1999, the Mount Coonorwin section of Glass House Mountains National Park has been a Restricted Access Area under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.
This effectively closes the area to public access in the interests of public safety.
We appreciate your co-operation in protecting this special area and being responsible for your safety.
If you enter a Restricted Access Area, on the spot fines apply: 4 penalty units ($471, current September 2015). Maximum penalty: 120 penalty units.
- Why is Mount Coonowrin a restricted access area?
- Don’t take stupid risks! Obey the closure and climb elsewhere.
- Alternative climbing locations
To reduce injury and death in this high to very high risk of rockfall area.
The management decision to declare a restricted access area was made based on the recommendations of a geological report, "The Coffey Report—Stability Assessment, Mount Coonowrin." April 12, 1999.
The report determined that there is a high to very high risk of rock falls from the cliffs around Mount Coonowrin with a corresponding risk to personnel or members of the public accessing this area. It recommended that the trail accessing the base of the cliffs be closed to the public and that the area be closed to rock climbing.
Past recorded injuries and deaths associated with rock climbing at this site include:
- 1970s Death of a male climber after fall from the north face.
- Early 1980s Death of a male climber who fell while climbing with ropes on the north face
- 1990 Fall with compound leg fracture.
- 1993 Free climber fall from north-west climb resulting in bruising and ligament damage.
- 1997 Two rescues—one for injury.
- 2003 Death of experienced male climber who fell 40m from start of Salmons leap route.
- 2013 A woman fell 40m, after loose rocks on the vertical rock face gave way, was critically injured and retained serious injury.
- Climbing injury risk is high to very high here because of the rock conditions.
- One dislodged rock or accident could cost you your life…and ruin your family’s lives.
- You could kill others by dislodging rocks.
- If you survive a fall, you may injure your brain or break your neck/crush discs and be paralysed for life.
- If you need rescuing, you put your rescuer’s safety at risk while trying to get you out of trouble.
- High-risk rescues can cost thousands of dollars and tie up the emergency services crews for hours, perhaps making them unavailable for others in need.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers patrol all sections of the Glass House Mountains National Park.
People found within the Mount Coonowrin restricted access area will be fined under the Nature Conservation (Protected Areas Management) Regulation 2006.
On the spot fines apply: 4 penalty units ($471, current September 2015). Maximum penalty: 120 penalty units.
There are several alternatives for rockclimbing and abseiling in the Glass House Mountains area:
In the Sunshine Coast and Gympie area other climbing sites in protected areas include: