by Sarah Vercoe

Equally breathtaking and poetic, a hike to the top of Mount Ninderry is a ruminative experience with a side of Dreamtime romance. 

Mount Ninderry is steeped in legend. According to dreamtime lore, Mount Ninderry is the remnants of a tragic love triangle. Before Ninderry was a mountain, he was a mighty warrior who loved a beautiful girl named Maroochy. But she was in love with another man, Coolum. 

One day Ninderry stole Maroochy away from Coolum. After waking to find Maroochy missing the next morning, Ninderry was furious. He discovered Coolum’s tracks and gave chase; when he found them he hurled a nulla (club) at Coolum, knocking his head off into the ocean. Coolum was turned to stone and became Mount Coolum, his head Mudjimba Island. 

The Spirit God, Beeral, was enraged at Ninderry and turned him to stone too, transforming him into Mount Ninderry. 

Distraught at losing her love, Maroochy disappeared into the hinterland, her constant flow of tears cascading down the Blackall Ranges to create the Maroochy River. Longing for her lost love, Maroochy transformed herself into a swan, fated to search the river for Coolum’s spirit forever.  

These days Mount Ninderry is an unassuming peak hiding in the shadows of the more prominent Mount Coolum. 

For me, Mount Ninderry is one of the Sunshine Coast’s most restrained peaks. Rising up alongside the Maroochy River just outside Yandina, the mountain is beguiling in its unobtrusive presence. 

I’ve driven past the looming landform innumerable times in the 30-odd years I’ve lived on the Sunshine Coast. But not until recently have I hiked its trail.   

I learned of Mount Ninderry’s star-crossed tale while hiking up the mountain one steamy Saturday afternoon in December. A Sunshine Coast Council ‘Hinterland to Headland Poetry Trail’ it’s a dedicated audio site, one of six in the Yandina area. 

The artistic concept from Pente Poets, a Sunshine Coast Hinterland poetry group, seeks to inspire and connect poetry with people and place. 

Fascinated by the notion of a hike through nature accompanied by poetry, I eagerly scanned the code and let rhyme transport me back to Dreamtime as I hiked. 

Equal parts boot camp and views, before I was privy to Dreamtime legend, I would have said Mount Ninderry is Mount Coolum’s counterpart. Irrespective, there remains two indisputable similarities: the hike entails a relatively steep climb with startlingly beautiful views at its peak. 

But unlike Mount Coolum, you don’t have to contend with hoards of people; rather, you’re inspired by a poetic narrative that will connect you with the land you’re on.  

Classified as a grade-3 hiking trail it’s no walk in the park. But if my 4-year-old is anything to go by, the summit trail is not beyond little legs. 

Breaks in the canopy afford glimpses of the ocean as you scale the seemingly endless natural staircase towards the summit. Once there, you’re offered an impressive 360-degree view of the region with the choice of two platforms, one looking out across the Blackall Ranges and the other towards the coastline. 

While the stunning panoramic views are indisputable it’s not the main reason I plan to include this captivating trail in regular rotation. It’s the ruminative experience that captured my soul, hiking to the whimsical sounds of poetic lore that helped me play witness to the Indigenous history of our region. 

Mount Ninderry Summit Walk is located at 3 Eucalyptus Cres, Ninderry. It’s a 3km return track with a Grade 3 classification. It’s suitable for moderate fitness levels and there’s a picnic table on-site to refuel after your hike.

Call Now ButtonCall Now