Like bulbous beacons of outdoor adventure just minutes from the Sunshine Coast, the Glass House Mountains rise from the plains like eruptions frozen in stone. The pinnacles, in fact, are volcanic plugs that were once Australian volcanoes, and rise today to 1,800 feet above the coastal plain. Named by Captain Cook when he sighted them from his ship, the Glass House Mountains today are an outpost of hiking, climbing, and horseback riding, with views stretching out towards Maroochydore and Brisbane and the shores of Moreton Island. Of all the walks inside of the park, one of the most popular is the Glass House Mountains Lookout Circuit, which at only half a mile is a comfortable stroll, but still offers views looking all the way out towards the Sunshine Coast in the distance. More avid adventurers can shoot for the summit of Mt Tibrogargan, which requires some climbing and scrambling skills to reach the 1,200-foot peak. In the surrounding area, outside the official National Park but still in the Glass House vicinity, the Blackall Range offers a scenic drive that’s one of the best in Australia, and passes through small, hinterland towns that are a welcome change from the fast pace of the popular Sunshine Coast.