Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services Queensland Government
Home / Sunshine Coast / Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park Carlo Sandblow, Cooloola. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government
Carlo Sandblow, Cooloola. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government

Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park

A little taste of paradise

The Sunshine Coast is the gateway to the popular Cooloola Recreation Area in Great Sandy National Park. Escape the hustle and bustle and soak up the stunning beauty of this expansive landscape of sand dunes and tranquil waterways. The best way to experience the upper Noosa River is by canoe—take your own or join a canoe tour. If you prefer something less strenuous, take a leisurely wilderness cruise on the Noosa River. Enjoy short walks to explore woodlands and waterholes; and discover a freshwater lake perched amidst sand dunes. Get some ‘True Aussie’ 4WD action and make the journey north along the beach from Noosa North Shore, driving past towering cliffs of coloured sands and across wide open beaches shaped by wind and water. For a longer stay in this paradise, camp among blooming wildflowers, catch your dinner fresh from the sea and experience a misty pink sunrise over the river. Cooloola is a refuge for coastal and marine wildlife—it can be your refuge too!

Location and getting there

155–240km N of Brisbane. Elanda Point: Access is from the Tewantin-Boreen Point Road, via Tewantin and Noosa. Rainbow Beach: Access is via Tin Can Bay Road and Rainbow Beach Road from Gympie. Beach access is from Rainbow Beach or Tewantin (via the Noosa River ferry). River access is via tour boat from Noosa or canoe or small boat from Elanda Point.

Visitor facilities and opportunities

ToiletsPicnic areaCampingCaravan/camper trailer/campervan sitesShort or easy walksHikesCyclingFishingHorseridingWheelchair access

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Did you know?

Great Sandy National Park is part of the Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve and the neighbouring Noosa Biosphere Reserve, which give world-wide recognition of this special area’s cultural and conservation values.