Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park Sunshine Coast

Sitting at the entrance to the upper Noosa River, the information centre is a great place to rest up after crossing the lake before exploring the narrow river channel. Photo credit: Rob Cameron © 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

Kinaba Visitor Information Centre

Admire glorious lake views and learn more wetlands and waterbirds at this gateway to the Upper Noosa River.

Accessible by

  • Boat

Attraction facilities

  • Lookout (constructed)
  • Toilets (flush)

Stop at this visitor centre, also known as the Sir Thomas Hiley Visitor Centre, on the northern fringe of Lake Cootharaba before you begin exploring the Upper Noosa River waterway by kayak, canoe or boat. You can also walk to the centre from Elanda Point along the Kinaba Information Centre walk.

Relish stunning vistas over the lake, look for stingrays in the waters around the building and explore the Mangrove self-guided walk. After your long paddle or walk, enjoy a rest or snack on the wide steps that wrap around the front of the information centre before continuing your journey.

Getting there and getting around

Kinaba Visitor Information Centre is in Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park, on the Sunshine Coast between Noosa Heads and Rainbow Beach (155–240km north of Brisbane).

  • The centre is in the southern part of Cooloola, on the northern shore of Lake Cootharaba.
  • It can be accessed on foot from the Kinaba Visitor Information Centre walk, by canoe from Elanda Point, or by boat from Boreen Point.
  • Commercial boat tours on the upper Noosa River also drop into Kinaba.

Via the Kinaba walk

  • From Brisbane drive 135km north on the Bruce Highway or the Sunshine Motorway to Tewantin; or from Gympie drive 58km south and east on the Bruce Highway to Tewantin.
  • From Tewantin drive 19km west and north via McKinnon Drive and Louis Bazzo Drive to Boreen Point. Turn left onto Lake Flat Road and drive 2km to the Elanda Point access road.

Via Boreen Point and Elanda Point

  • From Brisbane drive 135km north on the Bruce Highway or the Sunshine Motorway to Tewantin; or from Gympie drive 58km south and east on the Bruce Highway to Tewantin.
  • From Tewantin drive 19km west and north via McKinnon Drive and Louis Bazzo Drive to Boreen Point. Turn left onto Lake Flat Road and drive 2km to the Elanda Point access road.

By canoe

  • Travel 1.4km to the Elanda Point QPWS car park and canoe launch area.
  • Paddle 4.5km (1hr) to the Kinaba Visitor Information Centre.
  • Stay close to the shore line while paddling northwards. Plan to cross Lake Cootharaba early in the morning when conditions are likely to be calm and easy to travel.

By boat

  • Launch your boat from the Boreen Point boat ramp and follow the lake navigation markers out into deeper water and then head on a north-east trajectory towards the visible Cooloola Sandpatch in the distant landscape.
  • When you approach a red navigational marker in the middle of the lake (opposite Elanda Point), turn on a near northerly trajectory to the channel markers through very shallow shoals to the Kinaba Visitor Information Centre. The trip is 7km (about 15mins travel time).

Read water safety for important information about staying safe in and near water and caring for parks.

By commercial tour

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Kinaba Visitor Information Centre 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.