National Parks


QLD Sunshine Coast - Great Sandy National Park

Sand, wind and water have sculpted a varied landscape at Cooloola, the largest coastal vegetation remnant on southern Queensland’s mainland. High sand dunes, coloured sand cliffs, sweeping beaches, sandblows, freshwater lakes, tall forests, paperbark swamps and wildflower heath plains make this a spectacular part of Great Sandy National Park.

Cooloola protects the headwaters of the Noosa River, the cleanest river in south-east Queensland and the only coastal river in Queensland with most of its catchment protected in a national park.

Cooloola is a refuge for plants and animals whose habitats have dwindled with coastal development. Some of the animals living here, such as the Cooloola acid frog and ground parrot, are rare or threatened with extinction, and the park has one of the few remaining emu populations in coastal Queensland.

Canoe the calm Noosa River waters, walk through flowering heaths and forests or discover the early timber-getting industry.

Explore the beach around low tide. See coloured sands, jagged sand cliffs, migrating humpback whales and the Double Island Point lighthouse. Go fishing at Teewah Beach, the Noosa River and Kin Kin Creek.

See flowering banksias, heath shrubs, ground orchids and Christmas bells in spring and summer. Go birdwatching by day or spotlighting at night.

Stop for a picnic on the shores of Lake Cootharaba at Mill Point, or picnic at Fig Tree Point, Harrys or campsites along the upper reaches of the Noosa River. You can also picnic at Freshwater, Seary’s Creek or in the rainforest at Bymien. Toilets, barbecues and picnic tables are provided at Bymien, Freshwater, Fig Tree Point and Harrys. Seary’s Creek has toilets and tables but no barbecues. Take insect repellent.

Camp overnight at Harrys, Fig Tree Point, Freshwater, campsites along the Noosa River or along Teewah Beach. Picnic tables, toilets, barbecues, firewood and water are provided at Fig Tree Point and Harrys. Take your rubbish home with you or put it in the bins at Teewah Beach. Boil the water for five minutes before drinking. The Freshwater camping area has tent and caravan sites, water, toilets, showers, a public telephone and bins. Book your campsite in the holidays. Take insect repellent.

The Cooloola Wilderness Trail has bush camping areas without facilities at Neebs and Wandi waterholes. Take fresh water and a fuel stove for the Trail, the Noosa River campsites, beach campsites and Poverty Point camping area. Open fires are not allowed. Remove all rubbish.

Boat landing sites are provided along the Noosa River. A private campground is located at Elanda Point.

Go for a scenic drive along the Cooloola Way, between Rainbow Beach Road and Kin Kin–Wolvi Road. Discover more about the park by visiting information centres at Kinaba and Rainbow Beach or reading signs at Bymien, Seary’s Creek, Harrys, Freshwater and Elanda Point.


The Great Sandy National Park at Cooloola lies between the coastal resorts of Noosa Heads and Rainbow Beach and is two to three hours’ drive north of Brisbane

Further Information

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
PO Box 15187
City East Q 4002

13 QGOV (13 74 68)