Great Sandy National Park

Great Sandy National Park, Cooloola QLD, Australia

There is nothing short of an abundance of nature within the Sunshine Coast, and it’s best explored within the Great Sandy National Park. With options of walking or driving, a terrain of rolling sand dunes in pastel hues await you amongst intriguing forests and wetlands coupled with long stretches of beaches. Ideal for camping, the Great Sandy National Park is a place to truly get away.

The Great Sandy National Park is made up of two sections: the Cooloola Area which is accessible from Noosa, and the Rainbow Beach Area that sits in the north. You can access the park with a 2WD vehicle in sections like Elanda Point, Boreen Point, and Bymien. However, a more suitable option that lends to further exploration is with a 4WD vehicle (with high clearance) to be accessed through Teewah Beach, Freshwater Road, Cooloola Way, and Poverty Point Road. In most cases, you’ll need a driving permit issued so check in advance before heading out. 

Explore Great Sandy National Park on foot with walking trails like the Melaleuca Circuit, or spend several days along the Cooloola Wilderness Trail where you can hike and camp along the way. If you want to cover a larger area, use a 4WD vehicle alongside trails and beaches that will take you through forests, heathlands, and towering sand cliffs. Check for permit restrictions on some trails, and be aware of restricted areas.

Camp in areas found at Harry’s, Freshwater, and Fig Tree Point. There are information centres at Tewantin and Rainbow Beach that can provide you with various trails and permit requirements. The park also has some of the best canoeing in Australia, where you can travel up the Noosa River and within its tributaries. You can hire a boat in Tewantin, Noosa, Boreen Point, or Elanda Point. 

Spend a day or several in the Great Sandy National Park for a true escape from it all. Its undisturbed waters and awe-inspiring views will have you paying more attention to the fish, birds, whales and wildlife. It’s bound to leave an impression on solo travellers, families, and couples alike. 

Great Sandy National Park, Cooloola QLD, Australia