1 Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing Cooloola Recreation Area Towering coastal sand cliffs, coloured sands, tranquil waterways and lakes, rainforest remnants, vast sandblows, blooming wildflowers, diverse wildlife and dappled woodland Cooloola offers something for all visitors. and surrounds Great Sandy National Park Visitor guide Great state. Great opportunity.
2 Cooloola a coastal wonderland with long sweeping landscapes. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt. Welcome to Cooloola and Inskip Peninsula 2 Traditional Owners have a long and ongoing relationship with the area that falls under Queensland s national parks and forests. In order to acknowledge the important connection with Aboriginal people, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) urges visitors to treat the country through which they walk with respect and care. Cooloola is a refuge for plants and animals whose habitats have been reduced by rural, urban and coastal development. The area showcases spectacular sand dunes and the tranquil headwaters of the upper Noosa River with one of the most protected catchments left in Queensland. Cooloola s fascinating sandmass, built up over the past years, includes long beaches backed by high dunes. Its open heath plains are splashed with colourful wildflowers. Cooloola features mangroves, woodlands of banksias and scribbly gum, shady blackbutt forests, rainforests with towering trees, and tranquil lakes and waterways. A haven for birds, both sea and land, Cooloola is a photographer s delight offering long landscapes and stunning sunsets a perfect holiday destination for walking, camping, canoeing and four-wheel driving. The Cooloola Recreation Area, totalling ha, covers the existing ha of the Great Sandy National Park, as well as various state and local governmentmanaged areas, such as roads, beaches, esplanades and other lands to the low water mark. More than a third of the Noosa River s catchment area is national park. The Noosa River s excellent water quality is largely due to this protected upper catchment. The Noosa River is around 60km long and flows into the South Pacific Ocean at Laguna Bay, Noosa Heads. Shallow lakes in the river system are tidal and contain brackish and fresh water. The surrounding wetlands are a nursery for juvenile fish. Enjoying Cooloola means seeing some of the best preserved coastal landscapes in Queensland. It s a place worth visiting and looking after. Fire management is just one of the many major tasks of QPWS in Cooloola. Photo: Qld Govt. Management Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing s (NPRSR), Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) manages Cooloola as a protected area to conserve its natural, cultural and recreational values and resources for all to enjoy, now and in the future. Most of the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park is included in the Cooloola Recreation Area. The area is protected under the Recreation Areas Management Act 2006 and the Nature Conservation Act The recreation area provides for the protection of the area and the management of activities right down to the low water mark. To the north of Cooloola lies the Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area, popular for camping and fishing and as a gateway to access the Fraser Island World Heritage Area, which is also a recreation area and is the other significant section of the Great Sandy National Park. The coastal waters of Cooloola north of Double Island Point, including the Tin Can Inlet and the Great Sandy Strait, are protected under the Great Sandy Marine Park. Marine park zones and designated areas have been identified and implemented within the Great Sandy Marine Park specifically to protect the area s features, wildlife and habitat. All of these areas are managed by QPWS. More information is available online at
3 Access Cooloola lies between the coastal towns of Noosa Heads and Rainbow Beach. It is about 240 km or a 2 3 hour drive north from Brisbane. Conventional vehicle access is very limited within the recreation area. See map for more details. Beach and track conditions Always carry a recent version of the Cooloola Conditions Report, which shows track and beach conditions and any park alerts, closures or weather warnings. Pick one up from a QPWS information centre with a permit pack or download a copy online at before leaving home. Beach access Vehicle access to the beach is possible from Rainbow Beach or Tewantin (near Noosa). From Rainbow Beach, access the beach vehicle ramp at the end of Griffin Esplanade. Alternative beach access points are from Freshwater Road or the Kings Bore circuit track (off Rainbow Beach Road). From Tewantin, catch the ferry at the end of Moorindil Street, across the Noosa River and drive to the beach access points at Noosa North Shore. Cooloola Way (high clearance 4WDs only) This council-maintained track is suitable for high clearance 4WDs only it is often very rough and slippery when wet. It passes through the western catchment of the upper Noosa River. The track links Rainbow Beach Road with the Kin Kin Wolvi Road. The Noosa River bridge may be impassable after wet weather. Seek local advice before travelling. For 2WD vehicles Conventional 2WD vehicles can reach Bymien picnic area from the Rainbow Beach Road. Turn off 4 km south of Rainbow Beach onto 3 km of unsealed road. Do not travel further as 2WDs or allwheel-drive vehicles are likely to get stuck. Only 4WD vehicles with high clearance can travel beyond Bymien to Teewah Beach. The road turns into a rough sandy track with some long stretches of deep loose sand. Inland tracks are not suitable for caravans. Camper trailers must have good clearance. Two-wheel-drive vehicles can reach Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area via Rainbow Beach along Clarkson Drive. The S.S. Dorrigo and M.V. Sarawak camping areas have 2WD access under normal conditions. At all other times and at all other camping areas, 4WD vehicles are needed. In the south, 2WD vehicles can reach Boreen Point and Elanda Point. Once over the Noosa River via ferry at Tewantin, there is sealed road access around the Noosa North Shore. Stay clear of beach access cuttings as these sand tracks are only suitable for 4WD vehicles. Please use the car parks provided nearby, if spending time on the beach. Boating Tour boats operate daily from Noosa and Tewantin. Canoes, kayaks and small power boats can be hired from private operators at Boreen Point and Elanda Point. Power boats can be launched from the boat ramp at Boreen Point. Canoes or kayaks can only be launched at Elanda Point (100 m south of the private camping area) and Harrys camping and day-use area. Lake Cootharaba forms the southern entrance to the upper Noosa River. It is a large, shallow lake, and can be rough to cross in strong winds. Plan to cross in the morning when conditions are likely to be calm. Stop for a break and short boardwalk at Kinaba, a small information centre on the edge of the lake. From Kinaba, explore the calm, more protected waters of Kin Kin Creek and the upper Noosa River. Photo: Qld Govt. Don t let a trip turn into tragedy. Mudlo Rocks are just south of the beach access ramp at Rainbow Beach. When exposed, these rocks are generally impassable at high tide, and often at low tide as well, depending on conditions. Only experienced drivers should attempt to cross. Use extreme caution at all times. Conditions change daily always check first. Due to continual beach erosion of the sand cliffs between Rainbow Beach and the Leisha Track, and the exposure of Mudlo Rocks in front of Rainbow Beach, this section of beach may be impassable at low tide. Use Freshwater Road as an alternative route. Photo: Kerry Schultz 3
4 Searys Creek picnic in the bush at one of the smaller day-use areas in Cooloola. Photo: Rene Burgess, Qld Govt. On-park information and facilities QPWS information centres are the best source of information. Cooloola has two centres Rainbow Beach and Tewantin see map for details. Drop in before heading out to collect any updated conditions reports or to read more about the area. To help visitors find their way through the park and to enrich their visitor experience, QPWS provides a host of orientation and interpretation signs in the main camping and day-use areas. Management, traffic, safety, warning and danger signs are in place to alert visitors Cooloola day-use areas and information centres at a glance Location/Facilities Access Description to potential risks or management issues that help keep Cooloola beautiful and its visitors safe. Please read and heed these signs. Day-use areas Pack a picnic and enjoy a short stay at one of Cooloola s day-use areas. Freshwater is just behind the foredunes of Teewah Beach. Bymien is within subtropical rainforest off the Freshwater Road. Searys Creek is close to a creek-side e boardwalk off the Rainbow Beach Road. Fig Tree Point and Harry s Hut are both on the upper Noosa River. Boardwalks keep visitors feet dry and protect the fragile creek side plants. Photo: Qld Govt. Photo: Qld Govt. Searys Creek day-use area 2WD Cool off next to this clear freshwater creek, and watch for small fish and crustaceans from the boardwalk. Bymien day-use area 2WD, walk Small picnic area set in rainforest. Wheelchair accessible toilet and table facilities available. Short walking track nearby (not suitable for wheelchairs). Freshwater day-use area 4WD, walk Set behind the dunes on Teewah Beach, the Freshwater day-use area is a good spot for a picnic or barbecue. Stroll to the beach through coastal dune vegetation. Cold Boil before drinking Kinaba Information Centre (unstaffed) Walk, canoe/kayak, motorised vessel The Sir Thomas Hiley Information Centre (Kinaba) provides great views of Lake Cootharaba. Visit displays and a self-guided boardwalk through the mangroves. From here, a narrow channel provides access to the upper Noosa River. Fig Tree Point day-use area Boil before drinking Walk, canoe/kayak, motorised vessel Follow the signs across Fig Tree Lake to Fig Tree Point camping and day-use area. Visit the Melaleuca circuit boardwalk through paperbark and cabbage palm wetland. Harrys day-use area Boil before drinking Walk, canoe/kayak, motorised vessel, 4WD View the culturally listed timber-cutter s hut known as Harry s Hut and enjoy lunch with river views. Goannas and brush turkeys frequent this area. Please do not feed or leave scraps for them or any other wildlife. 4
5 Drives around Cooloola Roads through the park allow visitors to explore Cooloola s magnificent natural features. Take time to plan trips and enjoy the area s highlights. Cooloola s sand tracks are only suitable for high clearance 4WDs. All-wheel-drive vehicles, or vehicles towing trailers, boats or caravans may have difficulty and are not recommended on inland tracks. Photo: Qld Govt. Photo: Adam Creed, Qld Govt. Domestic animals restricted Domestic animals are prohibited in the Cooloola Recreation Area, including dogs: Travelling inside vehicles traversing through the recreation area; On beaches north of the village of Teewah to Middle Rock, including the intertidal zone (see map pp 10 11); On all vehicle tracks (see map pp and table below); In all camping and day-use areas. A designated dog-friendly area in the beach intertidal zone is provided from 1 st cutting on Noosa North Shore to the northern edge of the village of Teewah, but dogs must be on a leash and under control at all times. Cooloola s inland tracks are generally one lane. Use existing passing bays (pulloff areas) when encountering other traffic. Avoid driving over vegetation. Horses are permitted in the beach intertidal zone on Noosa North Shore between the beach closure at the Noosa River estuary and Teewah township. Horses must not exceed walking pace between the 1 st and 3 rd cuttings. Horses are not permitted on the Cooloola Great Walk. Cooloola drives at a glance Drive Vehicle access permit required? Access Distance More details Teewah Beach Yes 4WD only 44 km Providing access to the Teewah Beach camping area (spanning 15 km), the Freshwater camping and day-use area and Double Island Point. Cooloola Way No 4WD 32 km Connecting Rainbow Beach Road and the Kin Kin Wolvi Road, through Cooloola s western catchment. This track contains a low area of wallum banksia that flowers prolifically in spring, with some taller forests on sand ridges. Freshwater Road Yes (only between Bymien Picnic Area and Teewah Beach) 2WD Rainbow Beach Road to Bymien. 4WD only Bymien to Teewah Beach 19 km A delightful drive through Cooloola s diverse plant communities. From Rainbow Beach Road, 2WD vehicles can drive 3 km to view rainforest around Bymien picnic area. The road winds on, suitable for 4WD only, through tall blackbutt forest, scribbly gum woodland and coastal banksia communities. Freshwater camping and day-use areas are 500 m inland from Teewah Beach. Kings Bore circuit track (locally known as Pettigrews Road, Kings Bore Road and the eastern and western firebreaks) Yes 4WD 18 km (1hr) 40 km circuit (4 5 hrs) Take care! remote, unsigned, rough sand tracks. Entry is off Rainbow Beach Road. The final section Kings Bore Road is very steep and one way only to the beach. Study the map carefully. Be self-sufficient and carry enough drinking water, appropriate communication equipment and vehicle recovery gear. Read Sand driving safety (pp 18 19). Harry s Hut Road No 4WD 10 km (30 mins) Poverty Point Road No 4WD 6.3 km (20 mins) This track is prone to flooding, so take care when driving as there are generally washouts and large potholes. The track meanders through open scribbly gum woodlands and a pocket of hidden rainforest before ending at Harrys camping and day-use area on the bank of the upper Noosa River. Track winds through low-lying wallum wetlands and ends at a remote camping area on Tin Can Inlet. Expect some long stretches of deep loose sand with some sections becoming inundated after heavy rainfall. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt. 5
6 Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government Walking around Cooloola Walking is a good way to experience Cooloola. Tracks range from short circuits to long hikes and lead to some of the park s best features. Walking track classification Most of Cooloola s walking tracks are class 4 walking tracks, except for some See Walking safety on page 18 of this guide. Photo: Briony Masters, Qld Govt. boardwalk tracks (Searys Creek and Kinaba) and the shorter tracks, such as the class 3 Carlo Sandblow track (600 m). Take time to read the classification details before walking out into the park. Study the map in detail. Class 4 track Australian Standards Distinct tracks with junctions signposted, rough track surfaces with exposed roots and rocks. Variable in width, muddy sections and steep grades likely to be encountered. May be extensively overgrown; hazards, such as fallen trees and vines, likely to be present. Caution needed at creek crossings and naturally occurring lookouts. Moderate fitness level with bushwalking experience and anklesupporting footwear required. Moderate level of navigation skills recommended, involving self-reliance in first aid and coping with weather hazard situations. Track Distance/Time Description 1 Teewah landing track 4 km return 1 hr 30 mins 2 Kinaba track 12.2 km return 4 hrs 30 mins 3 Mangrove self-guided walk 4 Elanda circuit via Mill Point 5 Elanda to Fig Tree Point 6 Melaleuca circuit at Fig Tree Point 500 m circuit 20 mins 5.1 km 2 hrs 10.6km one way 3 hrs 30 mins 500 m 20 mins 7 Boronia trail 1.8 km one way 1 hr 8 Fig Tree Point to Harrys camping and day-use area 9 Harrys camping and day-use area to camp site 3 10 Camp site 3 to Cooloola Sandpatch 11 Harrys camping and day-use area to Wandi waterhole 12 Wandi waterhole to Neebs waterhole 13 Neebs waterhole to Mullens car park 6.6 km one way 2 hrs 30 mins 12.8 km return 4 hrs 30 mins 12 km return 4 hrs 9.5 km one way 3 hrs 30 mins 13.1 km one way 4 hrs 30 mins 8.1 km one way 2 hrs 30 mins Walk from Lake Cootharaba through coastal heath and woodland to Teewah Beach. A side track to Seawah Hill (4 km return to Teewah Landing track) offers spectacular views from the river to the ocean and to Noosa Heads. Walk to Kinaba through paperbark and cabbage palm wetland. Follow the self-guided walk along the boardwalk from Kinaba through the mangroves. Walk through allocasuarina and paperbark forests. Take a 400 m side track to Mill Point and follow the self-guided historical walk to the site of a timber mill township that flourished from 1862 to Walk through the Elanda Plains and open woodland to the remnant rainforests of Kin Kin Creek (4.7 km). Cross the footbridge and walk to Fig Tree Point, a further 5.9 km. Also see Long-distance walking tracks in this section. Follow the boardwalk through paperbark and cabbage palm wetland. Branching off the Cooloola Wilderness Trail (700 m from Kin Kin Creek footbridge) on the northern bank of Kin Kin Creek, walk through rainforest and woodland to Harry s Hut Road. This track follows part of the Cooloola Wilderness Trail through some low lying areas of open and closed forests. Also see Long-distance walking tracks in this section. Paddle across the river from Harry s Hut and follow the walking track along the river to camp site 3. Walk through coastal heath along a low sandy ridge from camp site 3. The track ascends through blackbutt forest to the Cooloola Sandpatch for panoramic views over the ocean and national park. Walk next to the upper Noosa River then change course into the remote western river catchment system, ending at a camp site beside a naturally-dammed section of the Noosa River catchment. Also see Long-distance walking tracks in this section. Walk through pockets of scribbly gum, melaleuca and wallum banksia woodlands before relaxing at a camp site beside a large waterhole. Beware of traffic when crossing the Cooloola Way. Also see Long-distance walking tracks in this section. Continue walking through a mix of woodland and heath communities towards Mullens car park. Also see Long-distance walking tracks in this section. 6
7 Long-distance walking tracks Long distance walkers should walk in small groups and take a map and compass. Cooloola Wilderness Trail 47.9 km, three to five days This track follows mostly level terrain and winds through heathland and rainforest. It connects East Mullen car park (off Rainbow Beach Road) to Elanda Point. Camping is available at Neebs and Wandi waterholes, Fig Tree Point and Harrys camping areas. Bring gas or fuel stoves, as campfires are not permitted. Walkers need to be relatively fit; it can be strenuous in high summer temperatures. Low-lying areas are wet all year round, but never walk here after heavy rain; flooded creek crossings are too dangerous. It may be necessary to cancel walking at short notice. Be prepared to make alternative arrangements when tracks are closed. Check before leaving home. Search for Cooloola Conditions Report or park alerts online at Cooloola Great Walk up to 102 km one way, five days Camping is limited. Bookings are essential to ensure a place in one of the four walkers camps. Do not undertake the Cooloola Great Walk without a topographic map, a compass, reliable communication and navigation gear. Photo: Briony Masters, Qld Govt. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt. For more details search for Cooloola Great Walk on Please note: topographic map sale points are listed under the Further information section. Track Distance/Time Description 14 Rainbow Beach to Carlo Sandblow 15 Rainbow Beach to Coloured sands 3.8 km return 1 hr 30 mins 6 km return 2 hrs 16 Searys Creek 250 m return 10 mins 17 Dandathu circuit at Bymien 18 Bymien to Poona Lake 19 Freshwater camping area to Freshwater Lake 20 Freshwater Lake circuit 21 Freshwater Lake to Bymien 22 Rainbow Beach to Bymien 23 Teewah Beach to Double Island Point lighthouse 24 Rainbow Beach to Double Island Point Cooloola Wilderness Trail Cooloola Great Walk 250 m return 10 mins 4.2 km return 1 hr 30 mins 2.4 km return 50 mins 4.7 km return 2 hrs 17 km return 5 hrs 15 km return 5 hrs 2.2 km return 45 mins 30 km return One full day 47.9 km one way Three to five days Up to 102 km one way. Five days Leave from the QPWS information centre car park in Rainbow Beach and follow this track through woodland to a natural sandblow with extensive views east and west. Walk east along the beach from Rainbow Beach township to where spectacular eroded cliff lines expose coloured sands. Start at the roadside car park (off Rainbow Beach Road) 7.5 km south of Rainbow Beach and follow the boardwalk to reach a stream that flows through wallum and low woodland. Enjoy an easy walk through rainforest. From Dandathu track, climb a rainforest-clad high dune before descending to Poona s white sandy beach and tea-coloured waters of this perched lake. Walk through scribbly gum woodland and open forest to Freshwater Lake, flanked with reeds and twisted paperbarks. The lake is often dry. An easy walk through rainforest and open forest and woodland, along part of the Cooloola Great Walk and around the lake. Pass through scribbly gums, blackbutt and rainforest, passing Poona Lake through carrol scrub Backhousia myrtifolia understorey. From Carlo Sandblow follow a section of the old telegraph line through undulating terrain of woodland and rainforest to Bymien picnic area. Starting from the southern side of the headland, the walking track to the lighthouse is steep, but has fantastic views. Please do not enter the mowed grassed areas at the houses. An early start is recommended. From QPWS information centre in Rainbow Beach walk along a sandy bush track along the high dunes before crossing the Leisha Track to the Double Island Point toilet block. Continue along the northern beach to reach the historical Double Island Point lighthouse. This long-distance track offers a wilderness experience with wildflowers, chattering birds, cool clear waterways and solitude. Best time to visit is wildflower season; late winter to early spring. This three to five day walk is a combination of tracks 5, 8, 11, 12 and 13 on the map. Also see Long-distance walking tracks section. This five-day walk links the Noosa North Shore to Rainbow Beach via the high eastern dunes known as the Cooloola sandmass. The track winds through rainforest, tall eucalypt forest, dry coastal woodland and heath plains. Also see Long-distance walking tracks in this section. Photo: Briony Masters, Qld Govt. 7
8 Low-key camping and 180-degree views at the Brahminy walkers camp along the Cooloola Great Walk. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt. Camping Cooloola offers camping in beautiful natural surroundings across a variety of locations from beach to riverside and walk-in to car camping, as well as large camping areas with facilities. Some areas are very popular, especially in school holidays and over long weekends. Expect crowds. Capacity is limited. Choose to visit in a quieter time of year or book early to avoid disappointment. See Permits on the back page of this guide for booking details. Photo: Adam Creed, EHP Group activity permits may be required for large organised group activities, such as weddings, school or scout outings or large gatherings. See Group activity permits on the back page of this guide. Rangers may visit camp sites to check permits and to answer questions. Police patrol camping areas and beaches to help keep camping experiences safe. In any emergency call Triple Zero (000) or try 112 in no or low mobile reception area. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt. Don t risk a fine! Camp only in designated camping areas. Penalties apply for camping in a restricted area. Camping permits are required before setting up camp. Vehicle access permits are required in some areas, marked on the map. Domestic animals are not permitted inside or outside of cars in the Cooloola Recreation Area. Campfires are only permitted at Poverty Point and Teewah Beach camping areas unless a fire prohibition is in place more details under Care for Cooloola and Inskip (pp 16 17). Generators are not permitted in Cooloola camping and day-use areas unless signposted. The use of portable sand spears to collect sub-surface water from the foredune areas is not permitted. Beach camping is not permitted outside of Teewah Beach camping area, including areas from Double Island Point west to Rainbow Beach. 8 Photo: Rene Burgess, Qld Govt.
9 Cooloola camping at a glance Location/Facilities Access Description Teewah Beach camping area Poverty Point camping area Freshwater camping area Hot Fig Tree Point camping area Harrys camping area Camp sites 1 and 2 Camp site 3 Camp sites 4-15 Boil before drinking Boil before drinking Wandi & Neebs waterholes (Cooloola Wilderness Trail) Boil before drinking Boil before drinking 4WD, walk 4WD, boat 4WD, walk Walk, canoe/kayak, motorised vessel Walk, canoe/kayak, motorised vessel, 4WD Walk, canoe/kayak, motorised vessel Walk, canoe/kayak, motorised vessel Canoe/kayak, electric motors and non-motorised vessels only Walk This is a 15 km camping area between the Sunshine Coast Regional Council boundary and Little Freshwater Creek. Cold showers are available at Freshwater day-use area. Treat all water before drinking. Fresh water obtained from pools, creeks or from sub-surface supplies on Teewah Beach is not suitable for drinking, cooking, showering or swimming. Campfires permitted. Collection of firewood is prohibited, bring untreated mill off-cuts as firewood. Do not litter. Bulk rubbish bins are provided in the camping area. Bring a portable toilet, rather than bush toileting in the dunes. A toilet waste disposal facility is located at Freshwater, opposite the day-use area. Generators are permitted between 7 am and 9 pm. Maximum stay: 30 days This undeveloped camping area overlooks the shallow, tidal waters of Tin Can Inlet. Turn-off to Poverty Point is 13 km south of Rainbow Beach off Rainbow Beach Road. The camping area is a further 6.3 km from the turn-off on a 4WDonly track. Bring insect repellent to discourage mosquitoes and sandflies. Fires are permitted in QPWS-provided fire rings only, but bring untreated, mill off-cuts as firewood. Generators are not permitted in the camping area. Maximum stay: 30 days Located 8 km south of Double Island Point along Teewah Beach, the camping area (59 sites) is set among scribbly gum woodland about 500 m inland from the beach, off Freshwater Road. Sites must be pre-booked at all times of the year. A group site is also available for large groups. Book through the QPWS office at Tewantin. Bring $1 coins for hot and cold showers. Bring fuel stoves for cooking. Free gas barbeques are provided in the nearby day-use area. Do not litter. Bulk rubbish bins are provided in the camping area. Maximum stay: 30 days On the northern fringe of Fig Tree Lake (upper Noosa River) set among open forests with some wet, closed forest types (melaleuca species and cabbage tree palms). Camp sites cater for multiple groups. Maximum stay: 21 days Enjoy camping on the western bank of the upper Noosa River set among fringes of open forest and woodland (melaleuca, allocasuarina, bloodwood and eucalypt species). There are vehicle camp sites and river camp sites for canoe or boat users. Maximum stay: 21 days These sites are on the eastern bank of the upper Noosa River north of Harrys camping and day-use area. Set among fringes of open forest or woodland (melaleuca, allocasuarina, bloodwood and eucalypt species) bordering open heathland plains to the east. Maximum stay: 21 days Caters for larger groups with walking track access to the Cooloola Sandpatch a large well developed sandblow on the Cooloola sandmass offering spectacular views over the Noosa river and lakes. Maximum stay: 21 days These remote camp sites cater for small groups wishing for a more remote camping experience. No facilities. Please take all rubbish and, if possible, toilet waste when leaving. Personal hygiene kits are available at bigger camping stores. Maximum stay: 21 days These two camping areas offer reasonably flat camp sites among wallum and woodland, along the Cooloola Wilderness Trail. No facilities. Please take all rubbish and, if possible, toilet waste when leaving. Personal hygiene kits are available at bigger camping stores. Maximum stay: 21 days Inskip camping 2WD, 4WD See Inskip section (pp 14 15) of this guide. Cooloola Great Walk walkers camps Boil before drinking Walk Four walkers camps are provided along the Cooloola Great Walk. The topographic map is essential for planning and walking this 102 km long-distance track. See page 7 for more details. Maximum stay: one night Note: Camper numbers in the upper Noosa River are limited. This offers visitors a less crowded camping experience and helps to minimise impact on this fragile ecosystem. In contrast, Teewah Beach camping area caters for very large numbers. It is very full on weekends, school and public holidays. Bookings are essential. 9
10 (Permit sales) Carlo R d To Gympie Mullens car park 13 Neebs Waterhole GREAT SANDY NATIONAL PARK 15 C b ow Ti n C Carlo Sandblow 22 GREAT SANDY NP sa Noo WIDE BAY MILITARY RESERVE (Permit sales) QPWS Office COOLOOLA RECREATION AREA To Maryborough Rainbow Beach (Permit sales) Manta Ray office To boa t ramp Beach R d ow Rainb Coloured Sands Rive Poverty Point Tin Can Bay Camp 15 Cooloola Cove Bea ch R an Shell service station in l o ola W ay ys 16 k ee Cr Fr a nk r esh G s ulch W K O Ro ings ne wa ad B or y e Lake Cooloomera Little Freshwater Creek Freshwater Creek 20 (local name only) Middle Rocks Poona Lake Freshwater Lake 4WD only (Remote, unsigned tracks) Bymien picnic area 17 d t er R 22 Carlo Sandblow (Mudlo Rocks often impassible. Seek local advice) Rainbow Beach (see inset) Pacific Boulevard, Northern beach access road WIDE BAY Fraser Island World Heritage Area Great Sandy National Park Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area ad o Ro Carl Carlo Point Searys Creek day-use area ar Se Bullock Point Tee wa h Cr ee k Ba y Ro ad r Tin Can Inlet i Rain b ow B e ach Roa d G Inskip Point 13 km C Bathing reserve K riff Bullock Point 10 km lar A irchn in Es Beach access ks ve p e r on W Rainbow Beach Tourist Ba ide Information Centre (Permit sales) Dr y Rainbow Es p Beach Camping service facility Rainbow Beach Caravan Park (BP) (Permit sales) Carland Ck oo k Cree la oo l o Co nly Do W 4 River Ra area d Dr an Isl F ping le ub Do r wa cam 10 oloo l a D Co D n Bymie from y l on d oa Dogs (on a leash and under control at all times) are permitted in the dog-friendly beach zone between 1st cutting and the northern edge of the village of Teewah. Freshwater camping and day-use area Leisha Track km (no facilities) Recreation area boundary low water mark Ocean Pacific South Dogs are not permitted in the Cooloola Recreation Area, including in vehicles traversing the area. 2 Teewah Double Island Point Conservation Park (includes lighthouse) Scale 0 Camping is only permitted in designated camping areas and camp sites. Penalties apply. Campfires are prohibited in Cooloola, except in the camping areas at Poverty Point, Teewah Beach and Inskip. No fires permitted anywhere when fire prohibition or fire bans are imposed. Great Walkers are required to obtain a Cooloola Great Walk topographic map prior to undertaking this five-day trek. It contains a comprehensive walking guide, planning hints, safety tips, topographic map and track profiles.
11 K in Kin Kin Ki n Ki Kin Ki ad Cooroy C r eek nr o Dr Pages C oola W D oad kr ar rec om Lo u R ry s Cr R ed Junction Road McKinnon ) oa 4 Fig Tree Point Teewah Elanda Point Landing canoe hire Great Sandy Information Centre Tewantin (Permit sales) Airstrip propery) Moorindil Street Lake Cooroibah 10 Teewah Beach each Laguna Bay Noosa Beach is trafficable at low tide for 4WD vehicles only e Bor e D r ive (Tewa ntin Cooloola Wilderness Trail Cooloola Great!Walk Beach camping area Walking track 4WD track (VAP) 4WD track Unsealed road Sealed road Waterways Beach closed to vehicles Vehicle Access Permit (VAP) required Dog-friendly area On leash/under control Cooloola Recreation Area boundary 1 Water Picnic area Rubbish disposal Showers Caravan park 4WD camping only Camping Fire ring Dog on leash area 24 Walking tracks (see pages 6-7) Domestic animals prohibited Generators prohibited Open fires prohibited 4WD access prohibited Camping prohibited treat before drinking Drinking water Lighthouse Sheltered picnic area Vehicular ferry Post office Viewpoint Telephone Hiking track Restaurant 4WD access only Wheelchair access Accommodation Petrol Toilet Other land Portable toilet disposal Boat ramp Water Noosa River Mouth Noosa Heads Ranger station Noosaville Noosa North Shore 1st cutting (vehicle access to beach, south only) 3rd cutting (vehicle access to beach, north only) Information Parking Tewantin Noosa caravan park (Permit sales) Great Sandy Information Centre Lake Cooroibah Airstrip Noosa North Shore Beach Campground Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area National park Legend Recreation area boundary to low water mark VAPs required Teew ah B 1st cutting (beach access, south only) Beach access cuttings Mount Seawah Cooloola Sandpatch Camp 2 Kinaba Information Centre Mill Point 3 6 Lake Cooloola Lake Como 9 Camp 1 Camp 4 Camp 3 Camp 5 Camp 8 Canoe (private lease 1 launch camping area) area Lake Teewah Cootharaba (private 2 Boreen Point 7 5 d 8 11 Camp 9 Camp 13 Harrys camping and day-use area Wandi Waterhole t Rd Lake Fla Kin K i n Bazzo R ra b a tha oo 12 Noosa only 4WD Wa y See Noosa River section mond Cree Kin is o ad To Wolvi n Roa d Co ol Rd d n 4 ee k Ki H t d Hu me n n 11
12 The Narrows, Upper Noosa River. Photo: Lise Pedersen Explore the upper Noosa River Enjoy the dark tranquil waters of the upper Noosa River, with its excellent water quality largely due to this protected upper catchment. The river is around 60 km long and flows into the South Pacific Ocean at Laguna Bay, Noosa Heads. The northern fringe of Lake Cootharaba forms the southern entrance to the upper Noosa River. It is a large, shallow lake, often becoming choppy due to strong winds. Tour boats operate daily from Noosa and Tewantin. Canoes, kayaks and small boats can be hired from private operators 2 8 Kin Kin Creek Lake Como (brackish) Warning! wreck site Walking tracks. For more information see the main map and pages 6 & 7. Pathway for canoes and boats at Boreen Point and Elanda Point. Power boats can be launched from the boat ramp at Boreen Point. See map for other canoe, kayak and boat launching areas. The shallow lakes in the river system are tidal and contain brackish and fresh water. Keep it clean! The surrounding wetlands are a nursery for juvenile fish. No landing zone Como Reach 6 Jetty The Narrows Fig Tree Lake Lake Cooloola overflow Lake Cooloola (fresh) Fig Tree Point camping and day-use area Boaties rules Go slow and look after the river banks. Maximum six knots and definitely no wash. If your vessel creates wash at six knots, slow down! Observe no-landing zone between Fig Tree Point and Harry s Hut. Motorised vessels are only permitted as far as camp site 3. Electric motors and non-motorised vessels are permitted past camp site 3. Maritime Safety Queensland regulations apply on Lake Cootharaba and the upper Noosa River. Sail boats should lower their masts before entering the upper Noosa River due to overhanging branches. Releasing effluent from boats is prohibited. Consider others when tying up at jetties. Leave space for other canoes. Early morning mist rising to a pink dawn sky over the upper Noosa River. 12 Kinaba Sir Thomas Hiley Information Centre (not staffed) Jetty R Red & Green channel markers G 3 Kinaba Island Shallow channel Lake Cootharaba (salt) Speed limit of 6 knots and no wash applies from Kinaba Scale 0 1 km Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.
13 Points of interest along the upper Noosa River Kinaba Information Centre Enjoy a break from the water and tie up at Kinaba. Information displays are available. Take a short walk through the forest that fringes Lake Cootharaba. Mosquitoes and midges are always present, as are the beautiful birds and unusual insect life along this boardwalk track. Kin Kin Creek Recommended for canoes and kayaks only. Beware of many submerged logs. Mangroves mingle with cotton trees along the creek banks for about 3km upstream. Continue and explore the rainforest of Kin Kin scrub. Como Reach and the upper Noosa River Junction A 500 m long unnamed island in the mouth of the upper Noosa River can be circumnavigated by canoe or kayak. The eastern side of this island is not recommended for access by power boats, due to the many submerged logs. Lake Como The wreckage of an old timber barge lies on the eastern side of the lake entrance. Beware of protruding wreckage. Photo: Rob Cameron, Qld Govt. Photo: Harry Hines, Qld Govt. Kinaba Sir Thomas Hiley Information Centre is a good resting spot for canoeists crossing Lake Cootharaba. An orchestra of frog calls may be heard among the reeds and sedges, including the Wallum rocketfrog Litoria freycinetti Harry s Hut is a cultural site from previous timber cutting days. The Narrows This narrow, winding section of the river is renowned for its reflections. On calm, slightly overcast days the still dark waters mirror the paperbarks and banksias on the riverbank. Observe the no-landing zone here and keep off the riverbanks. Lake Cooloola This is an inaccessible freshwater lake, which has outflow only after heavy rain. Canoeing details From/To Distance Time Boreen Point to Kinaba Elanda to Kinaba Kinaba to Fig Tree Fig Tree to Harry s Hut Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt. Harry s Hut to camp site 1 7 km 1 hr 30 mins 4.5 km 1 hr 2 km 20 mins 5 km 1 hr 3.5 km 35 mins Camp site 1 to km 15 mins Camp site 2 to km 30 mins Camp site 3 to 4 1 km 10 mins Camp site 4 to 5 1 km 10 mins Camp site 5 to 8 5 km 1 hr Camp site 8 to 9 1 km 10 mins Camp site 9 to 13 2 km 20 mins Camp site 13 to 15 3 km 30 mins Photo: Rob Cameron, Qld Govt. In late winter to early spring, view a myriad of shrubs abloom in a colourful floral display. Photo: Adam Creed, Qld Govt. 13
14 Inskip is shared by thousands of campers on most school and public holidays. Bookings are essential. Photo: Rene Burgess, Queensland Government Explore Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area A narrow sandy finger of land built up by wind and waves, Inskip Peninsula forms a natural breakwater at the entrance to Tin Can Bay Inlet and Great Sandy Strait. Casuarina, cypress pine and other coastal trees and shrubs shade camping areas lined by open ocean beaches and sheltered estuary shores all within 15 minutes drive to Rainbow Beach. near the day-use area car park leads to a sheltered shorebird-watching area in Pelican Bay. Semi-permanent sand depressions are known to develop on beaches at Inskip. Check the Cooloola Conditions Report for information and updates. The Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area extends to the low water mark. The recreation area was declared in 1996, enabling Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to manage the increasing recreational use of this fragile area. The waters are rich in sea life and the area is a popular fishing spot, but please only take enough to satisfy immediate needs. Bag and size limits apply. See Fishing in the Care for Cooloola and Inskip section of this guide. Dolphins, dugong and marine turtles may be sighted. A short walk (425 m one way, 900 m circuit) from the roundabout Access to Inskip From Gympie, take the Tin Can Bay Rainbow Beach Road. A 4WD alternative is available from the south, driving along Cooloola s beaches. Vehicle access permits (VAPs) are required before entry onto the beach at the Noosa North Shore. See map for details where VAPs are needed in Cooloola Recreation Area. To Fraser Island Soft sand Sandy track M.V. Sarawak camping area Navigation lights Dogs must be on leash and under control at all times. M.V. Beagle camping area Wide Bay Bar M.V. Natone camping area Inskip Point S.S. Dorrigo camping area On beaches always travel around low tide and check conditions beforehand, especially Mudlo Rocks near Rainbow Beach, which may be impassable. From Rainbow Beach, turn north into Clarkson Drive, reaching the Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area along 9.3 km of sealed road. At low tide, 4WD vehicles can access Inskip via the beach. Barge services carry 4WD vehicles between Inskip Point and Hook Point on Fraser Island World Heritage Area. Vehicle permits are needed prior to entry onto Fraser Island. Pelican Bay Photo: Rene Burgess, Qld Govt. Bullock Point Scale m The Oaks 14 To Rainbow Beach
15 Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area camping at a glance Location/Facilities Vehicle access Description The Oaks 4WD only no beach access Open camping area behind the foredunes. Campers can walk to the surf beach or to the more sheltered Pelican Bay. No toilet facilities. Maximum stay: 30 days S.S. Dorrigo camping area M.V. Natone camping area M.V. Beagle camping area M.V. Sarawak camping area No beach access, 2WD in good conditions, 4WD recommended 4WD only, road and beach access 4WD only, road and beach access 2WD (limited), 4WD from beach Large grassy areas near the road are suitable for caravans. Some sandy beachfront camp sites are sheltered by the needle-branched allocasuarinas. Maximum stay: 30 days Sheltered sites available among coastal trees and shrubs. The steep, sandy entrance to Natone can be soft and dry. Vehicles towing boats or camper trailers may have difficulty and are not recommended. Maximum stay: 30 days This a small relatively sheltered camping area suitable for smaller groups. Maximum stay: 30 days This popular camping area is suitable for larger groups. Take a stroll along the wide beach, but always be alert to traffic. Maximum stay: 30 days Camping at Inskip When setting up camp, use an existing or established site and camp within the tree line. Do not camp on the foredunes. There are no separately defined sites. Wind and water conditions generally become calmer as the peninsula curves westward towards Great Sandy Strait. Vehicle access to and from the beach is via signed tracks only. The names of four designated camping areas (see map) recall Cooloola s shipping history. Camping areas at Inskip are popular all year round, but are often full at peak periods school holidays, long weekends, Christmas, New Year and Easter. Buy your permits well in advance. Facilities at Inskip No water or shower facilities are provided on site. Bring clean water containers. Inskip camping and day-use areas are serviced by hybrid toilets (minimal water use) located in each camping area, excluding The Oaks. Do not empty contents of portable toilets in Inskip toilets. Rubbish bins are located near the road at each camping area exit and at The Oaks entrance. Water and a portable toilet disposal point are located at the council service facility on Clarkson Drive in Rainbow Beach. Visitor guidelines for Inskip Keep dogs on leashes and under control at all times. Do not allow dogs to chase birds or other wildlife. Wrap or bag droppings and place in bins. Ensure dogs do not prevent rangers accessing camping permits. Note: dogs are not permitted to enter the Cooloola Recreation Area (this includes dogs travelling in vehicles) see centre map for area boundaries. Refer to the Care for Cooloola and Inskip (pp 16 17) section of this guide for additional essential guidelines. Camper trailers or boat trailers cannot access every camping area. Don t get stuck! Choose a suitable camping area for your vehicle type and trailer set-up. Photos: Rene Burgess, Qld Govt. 15
16 Photo: Adam Creed, Qld Govt. Care for Cooloola and Inskip The following guidelines will help care for Cooloola and Inskip so these areas can be enjoyed now and in the future. Camping Please use existing camp sites to reduce visitor impact. Consider neighbours keep noise to a minimum after 9 pm. Keep groups small; large groups cause more environmental impact and can adversely affect the experience of other visitors. Camping structures belonging to all people registered under a tag must be in the one place no more than 3 m apart. Reserving or roping off areas is not permitted. Where permitted, only use low decibel generators up to 2.0 Kva. Please turn generators off after 9 pm. Bring sand pegs and do not tie ropes to trees. Maximum length of stay applies (see pp 9 and 14). Campfires Use fuel stoves for cooking rather than campfires. Campfires are only permitted at Poverty Point, Inskip Peninsula and Teewah Beach camping areas unless a fire prohibition is in place. Check before going. Use a pre-existing campfire site and bring your own clean, untreated timber, such as mill off-cuts. It is an offence to collect bush wood (including leaves and twigs) from a national park. Chainsaws cannot be used. Never leave a fire unattended and extinguish with water, not sand, before leaving camp. Do not dispose of non-combustible or toxic materials (glass, cans, rubber, plastic) in a fire. Penalties apply. Rubbish Reduce packaging before going to Cooloola or Inskip. Bring products with lightweight, crushable packaging (e.g. aluminium cans). Avoid bringing glass. Take rubbish home. When on a long stay, place rubbish in the bins, not the bush. Reduce the bulk. Flatten where possible. Do not burn or bury rubbish. Keep rubbish in sealable containers until it can be placed in a bin. Do not hang rubbish bags from trees or tents. Bag disposable nappies and sanitary items and place in the bins provided. Please do not bury or put these items in toilets, as they do not decompose. Come in clean Clean all camping and personal gear before entering the park. Insects, weed seeds and soil pathogens can travel on boots and camping equipment. Keep forests and waterways free of pests Introduced pest fish and plants can kill native fish and make the river an unpleasant place to visit. They will reduce water quality and limit recreational opportunities. Leave no trace Leave flowers, ferns and all other plant material undamaged. What seems easy to pick may take years to replace. Coloured sands are slowly sculpted by natural erosion and are highly susceptible to damage. Carving into cliff faces or removing sands is unsightly and dangerous. Sand cliffs may collapse without warning. Photos: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt. 16
17 Stay on the tracks Walk on designated tracks and avoid getting lost. Shortcuts damage plants and cause erosion. Be aware! Pets are not welcome everywhere. It is an offence to take domestic animals into the Cooloola Recreation Area and national park. Penalties apply. See the centre map for the location of the dog-friendly beach area (southern Teewah Beach), where dogs are permitted on a leash and under control at all times. When driving into beach camping areas, use established or formed tracks. It is illegal to drive on dunes, unless on a formed track. Do not park vehicles or set up camp on vegetated dunes. Penalties apply. Toileting If camping without toilet facilities, it s best to bring a portable toilet. A disposal facility is located opposite the Freshwater day-use area and on Clarkson Drive, Rainbow Beach. Otherwise, bury all faecal matter and toilet paper in a hole at least 50 cm deep and at least 100 m from watercourses, tracks and camp sites. Bag tampons, sanitary pads, disposable nappies and cigarette butts to bin later, as they all have parts that do not readily decompose. Keep food secure Let native animals find their own food. Animals that are fed can become aggressive to humans. They become reliant on the food source, suffer from disease or overpopulate to the extent that they dominate an area and aggressively exclude other wildlife. Fishing Fishing is popular in the Noosa River, along Teewah Beach and at Inskip Peninsula. On the beach, all refuse from fish cleaning, including offal, scales and unused bait, should be buried at least 30 cm deep below the high tide line. Refuse from fish cleaning must be removed from the river. The southern boundary of the Great Sandy Marine Park starts at Double Island Point. Zones regulate permitted fishing activities for future generations to enjoy. Save the area s native fish. Do not dump aquarium fish or exotic water weed into waterways and lakes. Don t let weed seeds and fungus hitch a ride into Cooloola. Come in clean. Photo: John Esdaile, Qld Govt. Unauthorised taking of fish and other animals is strictly prohibited in Cooloola s creeks and streams, including Searys Creek. Fishing is permitted in the upper Noosa River and from Cooloola s beaches. Bag limits and size restrictions apply to some fish species. For more information visit Fisheries Queensland, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry gov.au for rules and guidelines. Get to know your marine park Some waters surrounding northern Cooloola are protected within the Great Sandy Marine Park. Activities within the Great Sandy Marine Park are managed under a specific zoning plan to ensure safe and sustainable use of the marine park. Activities in the marine park may require a permit, but everyone is required to adhere to the regulations of the particular zone or designated area they are in. It is the visitor s responsibilty to know what these regulations are before entering the marine park. Visit for more information. Fishing is fun, but remember marine park regulations may apply. Photo: Nieta Lee Keep waterways healthy Do not use soap, sunscreen, toothpaste or detergent in lakes and waterways. Doing so will promote the growth of algae and affect the purity of the water. Do any washing well away from waterways. Scatter washing water 100 m from waterways. Reduce the amount of detergent by bringing non-greasy foods. Do not redirect streams or create small dams in shallow beach outflows or soaks, as harmful bacteria may accumulate and these areas attract cane toads. Use only defined canoe landing sites. Sedges and reeds on the riverbank are fragile. Tie canoes or kayaks rather than dragging them ashore. Use the jetties provided and observe no-landing zones. Photo: Adam Creed, Qld Govt. 17
18 Pedestrians often cannot hear approaching vehicles above the sound of surf and wind. Slow down when passing people, oncoming vehicles and wildlife. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt. Staying safe Visitors to the area are responsible for staying safe. Generally, stay with children, watch out for vehicles on the beach and treat all water before drinking. Park closures and warnings Walking tracks, roads and camp sites will be closed for scheduled maintenance and during extreme weather events, such as wildfires and floods. Check the online Cooloola Conditions Report at for more information. Inform someone who cares Walkers! Ensure a current emergency plan is left with a reliable adult. Tell them of any last minute changes, as they, not rangers, will need to alert police if a walker s return is overdue. Walking safety Stay on formed walking tracks and do not shortcut. Avoid walking after heavy rain. Carry a first-aid kit and know how to use it. Allow plenty of time to reach a destination well before dark. Wear sturdy footwear, not thongs. Dress to suit the weather forecast. Use protection against the sun and insect bites. Walk in groups. Never walk alone. Avoid walking in the hottest part of the day. Carry sufficient drinking water. Look for and observe all signs. Let someone know the chosen itinerary and expected return date. Canoe safety on the lakes and rivers Stay clear of power boats; they have limited manoeuvrability. Paddle close to the riverbank. Stay clear of channel markers to allow passage for power boats. Ensure gear has waterproof storage. Plan to travel in the morning when conditions are likely to be calm. Strong winds often occurr in the afternoon, making the river and Lake Cootharaba rough to cross. Take note of distances and travel times; plan trips accordingly. Don t paddle alone. Use lifejackets (especially on children). Be careful! Water bodies contain natural hazards submerged logs, overhanging branches and shallow water. Sand slips are silent Exposed sand dunes and sand cliffs along Teewah and Rainbow Beach are unstable and can collapse without warning. Climbing on, sliding down or digging into them is dangerous and can lead to serious injury or death. Do not park close to dunes. Never allow children to play near or on sand dunes and sand cliffs. Water safety Swimming in lakes or the ocean is not recommended. People have suffered serious injuries and death in waterrelated accidents in Cooloola and Inskip. A patrolled swimming beach is located in front of Rainbow Beach township. Check signs for patrol times. Always stay with children when near water. Do not dive into water. Serious injuries have occurred. Take care around rocks. Surf and swell can wash people away. Swimming is not patrolled throughout the upper Noosa River system and is not recommended. Sharks are common in the river system and ocean beaches. Do not dam or swim in Teewah Beach creeks or soaks. Do not dive or jump into rivers or lakes as submerged obstacles can be anywhere. Beware of power boats travelling along the river. Canoeists! Stick to the edge of the river when power boats pass. Fish bright at night If fishing at night, consider using high visibility vests and glow sticks to warn approaching vessels on the river, or vehicles on Teewah Beach. Stick reflective tape on fishing gear and buckets. Park vehicles on the upper part of the beach at 90 degrees to the beach, out of the traffic lanes. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government 18
19 Extreme weather events Take heed of weather forecasts. Some areas in Cooloola can become flooded or cut off from main access points due to extreme weather events cyclones, bushfires, tsunami. Check weather forecasts online at Bushfires Bushfires can pose a threat to walkers and remote campers. They can occur without warning, so be aware of, and prepare for the dangers. If there is a bushfire, follow the track to the nearest set down or pick up point, road, beach, lake or creek for refuge. Large logs, a ditch or burnt ground can also provide protection. Avoid areas of heavy fuel, such as deep thick bushland, and stay low to the ground where the air is coolest and contains the least smoke. In extreme conditions, the walking track and camping areas may be closed for safety reasons. Never enter closed areas. Rangers also carry out planned fuel reduction burning. Please observe all signs. Alert rangers or police of any fires as soon as possible. Tsunami, cyclones and extreme tides A tsunami is a large destructive sea wave (or series of waves), caused by underground earthquakes, landslides or volcanic action. The wave hits the entire beach as a swell of water many metres deep. It quickly inundates areas hundreds of metres inland, spreading as far as one kilometre. It will retreat, sometimes gradually, pulling anything in its way back out to sea. A tsunami forms so quickly that first warnings may only provide minutes to move to higher ground. Tsunami, cyclones and extremely high tides may occur in coastal areas. Tune in to the local radio station for weather updates or tsunami warnings. Other information sites: Phone 1300 tsunami ( ) or search online at: On hearing a tsunami warning Act immediately! There may only be minutes to respond. People in the water, near the beach or estuaries, on jetties or in harbours may be in danger. Move further than one kilometre inland from the beach or to higher ground (at least 10 m above sea level). If in a vessel on a harbour, an estuary or shallow coastal waters, secure the vessel and return to shore. Vessels already at sea should stay offshore in deep water. Sand driving safety Sand driving can be dangerous or cause serious damage to the environment unless great care is taken. The beach has hazards including washouts, particularly after heavy rain and rough seas. Wave action may expose dangerous rocks. Check beach conditions before setting out and know the tide times. Best beach driving is around low tide. Cooloola s sand tracks are rough and are suitable for high clearance 4WD vehicles only. Beach access tracks are often soft and dry. Drivers of allwheel-drive vehicles, vehicles with low clearance or vehicles towing trailers, boats or caravans may have serious difficulty and can become stuck, holding up traffic for hours. Safe driving is essential Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is essential to be constantly alert when driving in Cooloola. Police patrol regularly. Speed checks and breath testing can happen at any time of day or night. If possible, avoid night driving. Help can be hours away and vehicles may be difficult to find. Engage 4WD Engage 4WD (and lock hubs if applicable) on inland tracks and soft beach sand. Drivers may choose to reduce tyre pressure to maintain traction in deep, soft sand. Keep within the manufacturer s specifications. On tyres with reduced pressure, avoid sharp turns and sudden braking. Reinflate the tyres to specifications when driving on harder sand or sealed surfaces. During cyclones and floods Do not stay in flooded or tide-affected areas. Move to higher ground quickly. Beach driving conditions can deteriorate quickly during cyclones and river levels can rise quickly. Pack up and leave early! Safety is the visitor s responsibility. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt Obey all road rules The beach and all vehicle tracks are designated roads, and all road rules apply. Obey all speed limits and wear seatbelts at all times. Never carry passengers outside the vehicle cabin or in utility trays. All vehicles must be road registered and their drivers licensed. 80 km/hr maximum speed on beaches or as signposted 40 km/hr speed limit on all beaches adjacent to camping and day-use areas at Inskip 50 km/hr speed limit on all beaches adjacent to camping area on Teewah Beach 20 km/hr maximum in inland camping areas or as signposted. Travel around low tide Plan to drive around low tide and avoid driving the two hours either side of high tide. Always drive to suit the conditions because some areas are more affected by tidal activity and onshore winds. Don t take stupid risks! Help can be hours away as rescues are complicated in remote areas. Stay alert and stay alive. Remember the big four when driving on the beach: 1. All road rules apply on beaches and tracks. 2. Watch out for kids. 3. Don t drink and drive. 4. Don t swerve suddenly slow is safe. Rangers and police patrol beaches and camping areas at anytime. 19
20 Permits Vehicle access permits (VAPs) are required before traversing most beaches and some inland vehicle tracks in the Cooloola Recreation Area (see centre map for locations). VAPs must be attached to the lower left side of the vehicle s windscreen or a prominent position on the vehicle. VAPs are not required at Inskip. Camping permits are required prior to camping at all sites. Permits must be current and prominently displayed on tents. Visitors are responsible for renewing permits if expired. On-the-spot fines apply for camping or traversing the defined vehicle access permit areas without a valid permit. Permits camping and vehicle access 1. Book online at: 2. Book over the phone 13 QGOV ( ) (24 hours seven days a week). Mobile phone charges may apply. 3. Permits and further information can also be obtained from these permitissuing centres: Great Sandy Information Centre (QPWS) 240 Moorindil Street (PO Box 818) Tewantin QLD 4565 Open 7 days, 8 am 4 pm (except Christmas Day) QPWS information centre Rainbow Beach Road (PO Box 44) Rainbow Beach QLD 4581 Open Mon Fri, 8 am 4 pm (except public holidays) In an emergency call Triple Zero (000) If there is difficulty connecting to Triple Zero (000) from a mobile phone, try 112. Stay with the injured person keep them calm and protect them from the elements. Group activity permits Group activity permits are required for weddings and large, organised group activities. Check online at for more information. Maximum group sizes and other conditions apply depending on the proposed location and the type of activity you have planned. Further information Online Phone 13 QGOV ( ) for information regarding additional permit issuing agents and general enquiries. To report pollution incidents phone To report wildlife emergencies and marine strandings, phone RSPCA Queensland on 1300 ANIMAL ( ). Other contacts Police RACQ roadside assistance and vehicle recovery Below inset: The coastal banksia, Banksia integrifolia, is a common delight throughout Cooloola. Aboriginal people valued the flower for its sweet nectar, released when soaked in water. Front cover: Aerial view of Noosa River, vast lake systems and the sweeping coastline looking south towards Noosa. Photo: Above Photography. Brahminy Kite inset. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt. Front cover inset (top): Fishing on Teewah Beach is a popular recreational pursuit. Photo: Qld Govt. Front cover inset (middle): A wide range of camping experiences are available, from beach camping to remote campsites. Photo: Qld Govt. Front cover inset (bottom): Canoeing on the upper Noosa River-a quiet, gentle pastime. Photo: Colin Lawton, Qld Govt. Back cover: View to Double Island Point from Carlo Sandblow. Photo: Adam Creed, Qld Govt. State of Queensland Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, BP1934 June 2013 Printed on eco-friendly paper to save energy and resources. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.