Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park Sunshine Coast

Don't miss the stunning reflection of the trees on the tannin stained water at Neebs Waterhole. 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

Neebs Waterhole camping area

Camp next to a waterhole among fringes of wallum heath and scribbly gum woodland, and enjoy a truly remote bush camping experience.

Accessible by

  • Walk-in

Campground facilities

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Tent camping
  • Long walk to tent

Immerse yourself in remote inland Cooloola when you spend a peaceful night beside this waterhole, one of the camping areas along Cooloola Wilderness Trail.

Take a dip in the refreshing water and keep an eye out for freshwater turtles basking on logs. In the late afternoon, enjoy stunning reflections of trees on the tannin-stained water and delight in the afternoon birdsong. After nightfall, be lulled to sleep by a different orchestra—‘acid’ frogs calling from reeds fringing the waterhole and 'mopoke' calls of tawny frogmouths in the trees. Then at dawn, friarbirds and honeyeaters will greet you as another day begins.

Getting there and getting around

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

  • The camping area is on the Cooloola wilderness trail, 13.1km north of Wandi waterhole camping area and 8.1km south of the Mullens car park (northern) trailhead.
  • The Cooloola Wilderness Trailcan be accessed from the southern entrance at the Elanda Point car park, and from the northern entrance at Rainbow Beach.
  • At Rainbow Beach (northern access) visit the Manta Ray barge office, Shell service station, Rainbow Beach caravan park (BP service station) or the Rainbow Beach Tourist Information Centre for camping permits and other information (business hours only).
  • At Tewantin (southern access), visit the Great Sandy Information Centre, located near the Noosa River ferry on Moorindil Street for camping permits and other information (business hours only).
  • Taxi services are available in Tewantin and Rainbow Beach.
  • Read walk with care for tips on walking safely and walking lightly.

Southern entrance (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.
  • Travel a short distance along the access road to the Elanda Point car park. The entrance to the Cooloola Wilderness Trail is on the opposite side of the car park.

Northern entrance (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 7km along Rainbow Beach Road towards Rainbow Beach (or if coming from Rainbow Beach township drive 22km along Rainbow Beach Road).
  • Look out for the Cooloola Wilderness Trail road sign in the Mullens car park on the right side of the road. This is the entrance to the Wilderness trail.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Neebs Waterhole camping area is open 24 hours a day. Check-in to your camp after 2pm and check-out by 11am on the day of departure.

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

Neebs Waterhole camping area offers walkers a picturesque camping experience. Photo: Robert Cameron, Queensland Government

Neebs Waterhole camping area offers walkers a picturesque camping experience. Photo: Robert Cameron, Queensland Government

Neebs Waterhole camping area is small, flat camp site set in open woodland. Photos: Robert Cameron, Queensland Government

Neebs Waterhole camping area is small, flat camp site set in open woodland. Photos: Robert Cameron, Queensland Government

Features: Neebs and Wandi camping areas are set among fringes of wallum heath (melaleuca and banksia species) and woodland (bloodwood and eucalypt species including scribbly gum). All camp sites provide some shade and are close to natural waterholes, providing a picturesque camping experience.

Location: Set along the western catchment area of the upper Noosa River, along the Cooloola Wilderness Trail. From Elanda Point on the Cooloola Wilderness Trail: Wandi is approximately 26.7km and Neebs is approximately 39.8km.

Maps:

No. sites: Large, open camp areas with no individual camping sections. Each camp site caters for up to 3 groups to a maximum of 25 people.

Access: The camp sites can be reached by walking track only. Motorised vehicles and bicycles are not permitted on the walking track. Vehicle access permits are NOT required to access these camping sites.

Suitable for: Walk-in camping only

Surface: Dirt or grass, reasonably flat

Facilities: No facilities. These are remote camping sites.

Open fires: Prohibited

Generators: Prohibited

Essentials: These are remote camping sites and visitors must be self-sufficient. Please take rubbish and toilet waste with you when leaving.

Mobile phone coverage: Not available.

Bookings: Advance bookings required for holiday periods including long weekends and public holidays.

Please note: schools and other organised groups are required to make advanced bookings online.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Cooloola Recreation Area safely and camp with care.