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Cooloola Recreation Area
Cooloola Recreation Area

Cooloola Recreation Area

At the heart of the Great Sandy National Park, the Cooloola Recreation Area provides wild landscapes and coastal views to rival neighboring Fraser Island. Adventurers that choose to stay on the mainland can explore woodlands, waterways, and wildflower-blanketed headlands bordered by towering sand dunes and rocky cliffs.

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Cooloola Recreation Area, Cooloola, Queensland

The basics

Outdoor enthusiasts can hike the coastal trails, canoe along the creeks, take a horseback ride through the forest, or camp at the beach at the Cooloola Recreation Area. Venture off-road in a 4WD to explore the sand blows and dunes, follow the Great Beach Drive along the coast, or trek out to remote bush campsites. Highlights include the walk to Double Island Point, where you can enjoy views out to Fraser Island from the Double Island Point Lighthouse; canoeing or kayaking along the Upper Noosa River; camping out along Teewah Beach; and the colored sands and dunes of the Carlo Sand Blow.

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Things to know before you go

  • Look out for turtles, dolphins, and whales along the coast, as well as birds such as kookaburras, currawongs, and brush turkeys.
  • There are very limited facilities within the Recreation Area so bring everything you need with you, including sturdy hiking shoes, sunscreen, a hat, food, and plenty of water.
  • There are a number of campsites, day-use areas, and Visitor Centres throughout the Recreation Area, where you can find restrooms, picnic areas, and park maps.
  • Some trails and viewpoints in the Cooloola Recreation Area are accessible for wheelchairs but it’s best to contact one of the Visitor Centres in advance to check.
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How to get there

The Cooloola Recreation Area is part of the Great Sandy National Park and stretches along the coast between Rainbow Beach in the north and Noosa North Shore in the south. The main access points are Rainbow Beach and Noosa Heads, both of which are less than an hour’s drive away, depending on where you are heading. You will need your own transport or to join a tour to explore the area, and a 4WD is essential.

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When to get there

Outdoor activities are possible at the Cooloola Recreation Area year round, but winter (June to November) offers the most pleasant weather for hiking and camping. It’s busiest and hottest in summer (December to February), when it’s best to plan activities early or late in the day.

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Hiking in the Cooloola Recreation Area

Experienced hikers can tackle one of two long-distance hikes that run through the Cooloola Recreation Area. The 64-mile (102-kilometer) Cooloola Great Walk runs from Noosa North Shore to Rainbow Beach, taking around five days and covering beaches, lakes, and woodland. There’s also the 30-mile (48-kilometer) Cooloola Wilderness Trail, which loops around rainforest trails and waterholes, where you can enjoy bird-watching and camping along the riverbanks.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Cooloola Recreation Area?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Queensland?