- Start: Havana Road East, Coolum Beach
- Grade: Easy
- Distance: 1.7km
Also known as Mount Peregian, Peregian is the aboriginal name for Emu; in days gone by, Emus used to inhabit this wild heathland. Our toddler was convinced we’d see one when we did this walk recently. “Emu, where are you?” he would shout. We pretended the emu was hiding to keep the magic alive, only to come out when we had gone. Unfortunately, Emus no longer live here due to the urbanisation of the coast but their spirit remains strong on Emu Mountain.
This is an easy hike of approximately 1.7 km, so easy we saw someone complete it in thongs; not to be recommended, though, as some places are steep. The walk starts from Havana Road East; there’s a car park just opposite the gates of Coolum State High School. The path will take you on an undulating journey over a mass of rhyolite rock or volcanic rock rich in silica. Meander up through wildflowers like the appropriately named “Happy Wanderer” with a scattering of Burrawang trees that could have been there for over 100 Years; for the budding botanist, the very rare Bancrofts red gum and endangered Mt. Emu she-oaks which only exist in a 35mile radius on the Sunshine Coast. Emu Mountain has recently been added to Noosa National Park in order to protect the threatened species of plantlife in this coastal heathland.
The 360-degree views are absolutely magnificent, with the sparkling ocean to the east, Noosa National Park inland and a glimpse of the Glass House Mountains on the horizon. The higher you climb up this 71-meter high mound of rock, the better the views get. Keep your eyes peeled for humpback whales on their migration up the coast between June and November; also, look up, and you may be lucky enough to see a Whistling Kite soaring high on the airwaves. Nestled below is the suburb of Peregian Springs and the seaside town of Coolum Beach.
If you would like a longer walk, you can start with the low lying Hakea Walk, which is approximately 2.4km return and then finish off with the Emu Mountain Summit climb. This is also accessed from Havana Road East.