Into The Sunshine: Rock climbing in the Glass House Mountains [video]

Into the Sunshine is a series of short films that will take you into the lives of some remarkable Queenslanders, showcasing their powerful connection to the environment.

In this episode, renowned rock climber John O’Brien recalls his childhood fascination with the Glass House Mountains and how a poster once pinned on his bedroom wall grew into a dream to conquer the craggy volcanic remnants that rise from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland (70 kilometres from Brisbane).

Like many dreams, John’s took a while to materialise and it wasn’t until he was 45 years old that he really started pushing his limits in rock climbing – proving that age is no barrier to learning a new skill (or an extreme sport)!

Now aged 54, John is a bit of a rock star on the Queensland climbing scene – achieving notoriety for his remarkable strength and agility, and more specifically for his daring feat of scaling overhanging walls and supporting his entire body weight with the clutch of his fingertips and the strength of his forearms.

Into the Sunshine: The Picture of the Mountains follows some of John’s favourite climbs including Mt Tibrogargan, Mt Tinbeerwah and Coolum Cave – where hikers can find him casually suspended above a 40-foot drop or scaling a seemingly impossible cliff face, just for fun.

Inspired to meet your own mountain?

Get started either by visiting your neighbourhood indoor climbing gym or places like Riverlife or Pinnacle Sports.

For those who are in it just for the breathtaking views and cool crisp fresh air, the Sunshine Coast is home to a raft of accessible lookouts and peaks like the hike to Mt Ngungun, Mt Beerburrum, Whitehorse Mountain Lookout, and the Glass House Mountains Lookout. Even the less energetic can enjoy the ancient landscapes with scenic drives along Maleny’s Mountain View Road or surrounding trails.

Follow John’s climb to the top at