The Cooloola Coast
lies between the coastal towns of Noosa Heads and Rainbow Beach
. The landscape of the Cooloola Coast
is a diverse ecological treasure - sculptured by wind and water, and sand washed from river systems for over several million years. Cooloola Coast
lies within the Great Sandy National Park, which is one of the largest ‘vegetated sand dune
systems’ in the world. Along with its unique wilderness of indigenous flora and fauna - and its historical significance, the region has recently been nominated for ‘World Heritage
The coastal strip of Cooloola features high sand dunes, coloured sand cliffs, sand-blows, perched lakes, high dune rainforests, and over 70kms of pristine beaches. Whales can be seen offshore between August and October, while dolphins and manta rays are more regular visitors.
There are plenty of camping spots within the 15km Teewah Beach camping zone, as well as plenty of sites to see such as the spectacular Coloured Sands
. Visitors can enjoy bushwalking, camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, lake and surf swimming (although the beaches are unpatrolled) sharks are common and bluebottles are present during northerly winds. Wildflowers
bloom on the heathlands in spring, which is the ideal time to visit.
The Cooloola Coast
is a popular beach run and is one of the 4WD routes from Noosa to Fraser Island
. The Cooloola Way
, another 4WD access road into Cooloola, passes through the western catchment and links the Kin Kin
-Wolvi Road with Rainbow Beach
How to Use this Trek Note
Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places
on each POI page.
If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
- Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from Google Play or the App Store. The app enables you to carry the ExplorOz Places, Treks, & Maps data offline in your mobile device ready for your adventures. It is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
- You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
- If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
- If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.
is part of the Great Sandy National Park and is managed by Queensland
Parks and Wildlife Service. The region is a superb part of the Great Sandy National Park and is a refuge for a diverse species of flora and fauna. These include heathland, banksia woodlands
, dry sclerophyll forest of scribbly gum and blackbutt. Fauna include Cooloola acid frogs and ground parrots - a rare and threatened species. The region also has one of the few remaining emu
populations in coastal Queensland
The coastal route is made up of two parts, one for beach driving, the other an inland track for high tides. This rough, single lane, but 2 way track, passes rainforests, tall blackbutt forests, sand dunes and coloured sand cliffs towering to 200m high.
At the northern end, the beach exit must only be attempted on very low tide otherwise the exit is blocked by some nasty tyre-ripping rocks. Also, the sand in the high section is very boggy, and there has been a number of vehicles that have encountered tyre damage here or become bogged and washed away by rising tide. There are plenty of disaster photos to serve as a reminder in the local service stations, caravan parks and information centres.
For thousands of years, Cooloola has been a special place for Aboriginal people. The Kabi Aborigines were the first known inhabitants of the Cooloola region. This tribe occupied an area from the Mooloolah River to the Burrum River
. Evidence from the amount of broken shells found on the beaches suggested the group ate fish and various molluscs.
In 1770, Captain Cook
sailed past and named Double Island Point
at the northern end of Cooloola. It was not until 1842, that Governor Gipps sent Andrew Petrie to explore this area and this paved the way for resource use of a magnificent area known as the Kin Kin
Scrubs - where today, only a small remnant of this vast rainforest is left.