Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park Sunshine Coast

Stop for a cool, shady picnic among the rainforest at the Bymien day-use area. Photo credit: © Queensland Government

Four-wheel drive past towering coastal sand cliffs and coloured sands in the paradise of Cooloola Recreation Area. Photo credit: © Tomek Z Genek

Bymien day-use area

Enjoy a respite from the sun when you picnic in the midst of subtropical rainforest and watch birds as they feed on rainforest fruits.

Accessible by

  • Conventional vehicle

Attraction facilities

  • Toilets (non-flush)
  • Picnic tables

Relax over a lazy picnic in this magical rainforest setting, under towering piccabeen palms. Once you are refreshed, continue exploring Freshwater Road by 4WD or set out on a walk. Stroll along Dandathu circuit through rainforest or take the longer Poona Lake walk along white sandy shores. You can also access the Cooloola Great Walk from here.

See colourful wompoo pigeons and the rose-crowned fruit-doves feeding on red fruits of piccabeen palms—watch out for falling fruit!  Spot noisy pittas feasting on snails on the forest floor, and in spring, admire the vibrant purple and white flowers of native wisteria vine near the sign.

Getting there and getting around

Bymien day-use area is in Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park, on the Sunshine Coast between Noosa Heads and Rainbow Beach (155km–240km north of Brisbane).

From Rainbow Beach

  • From Rainbow Beach township drive about 5km back along Rainbow Beach Road, turn left onto Freshwater Road and drive a further 3km to the day-use area.
  • Vehicle access permits are not required if you are travelling from Rainbow Beach Road (unless you plan to travel past the day-use area along Freshwater Road to Cooloola's beach).

Getting to Rainbow Beach

  • From Brisbane, drive about 160km north on the Bruce Highway towards Gympie. At the southern edge of Gympie, turn onto Tin Can Bay Road and drive 42km, then turn right onto Rainbow Beach Road.
  • From Maryborough, drive 57km south on the Cooloola Coast Road, then turn left onto Tin Can Bay Road and drive 3.5km, then turn right onto Rainbow Beach Road.
  • Drive 29km along Rainbow Beach Road into Rainbow Beach township.

From Cooloola Beach drive

  • The day-use area is also accessible by high-clearance 4WD via the Cooloola Beach drive, by driving 12km inland along Freshwater Road 4WD track.
  • A vehicle access permit must be purchased. Display the permit on your windscreen before driving in the recreation area.
  • Remember all vehicles must be registered, drivers must be licensed and all Queensland road rules apply, even on beaches.
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.
  • At Rainbow Beach, visit the Manta Ray barge office, Shell service station, Rainbow Beach caravan park (BP service station) or the Rainbow Beach Tourist Information Centre for vehicle access permits, also camping permits and other information (business hours only).

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Bymien day-use area is open 24 hours a day

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Cooloola Recreation Area safely.