Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park Sunshine Coast

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

Park specific conditions

  • Check the Cooloola conditions report (PDF, 636.4KB) prior to arrival for any park closures, fire prohibitions, warnings, tide times and beach and track conditions.
  • Use established vehicle tracks to access beach camp sites.
  • Driving or parking on vegetated dunes is prohibited.

Campers are permitted to camp with dogs at the nearby Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area. Be aware that domestic animals are not permitted in the Cooloola Recreation Area, unless otherwise sign-posted.

Please note:

  • Dogs are not permitted in vehicles while traversing Cooloola’s beaches and beach access tracks on the way to Inskip.
  • Detour via Cooloola Way or the Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach roads.

24hr number plate surveillance cameras in use

All vehicles entering and exiting the recreation area may have their vehicle number plates recorded. Vehicle registration details are checked against the Queensland National Parks Booking Service and a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) will be issued to the registered owner of any vehicle that does not have a valid vehicle access permit.

A penalty of $200 applies for entering a recreation area without a valid vehicle access permit. This amount will increase each financial year from 1 July. To avoid receiving a PIN, ensure you purchase a vehicle access permit before entering the recreation area. For more information see:


  • Permitted only at Teewah Beach camping area and Poverty Point camping area (except when fire bans or prohibitions apply). Use a pre-existing site at Teewah Beach or the fire rings provided by QPWS at Poverty Point. Extinguish campfires with water, not sand. Embers under sand stay extremely hot for hours and can cause serious burns.
  • Collection of firewood in the recreation area is not permitted, including leaves and twigs for kindling. For campfires, bring clean firewood, such as untreated mill off-cuts, not bush wood.
  • Fires are prohibited at all other camp sites, including Freshwater camping area and all upper Noosa River camp sites.
  • Bring a gas or fuel stove for cooking.


  • Maximum length of stay is 30 days except for the upper Noosa River camp sites, which is 21 days.
  • Camping structures belonging to all people registered under a tag must be no more than 3m apart.
  • Keep noise to a minimum after 9pm.
  • To reduce impact, use existing camp sites.
  • Reserving or roping off of areas is not permitted.
  • Keep groups small; large groups have more environmental impact and can adversely affect the experience of other visitors. Organised event permits may be required for large groups.
  • Where permitted, only use low decibel generators up to 2.0Kva. Turn generators off after 9pm.

On the upper Noosa River

  • A six-knot speed limit and no-wash rule applies upstream of Kinaba.
  • Please slow down, if the vessel still generates wash at 6 knots.
  • Motorised vessels are permitted only up to Camp site 3.
  • Electric motors and non-motorised vessels are permitted past Camp site 3.
  • Observe the no-landing zone between Fig Tree Point and Harrys hut.
  • Organised event permits may be required for weddings and large, organised events. Visit Parks permits and policies for more information. Maximum group sizes and other conditions apply depend on location and activity type.
  • As a minimum safety precaution, it is recommended that walkers carry a mobile phone and a spare battery if needed, a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) and a first-aid kit when walking along the Cooloola Wilderness Trail or the Cooloola Great Walk. Leave a trip plan with a family member or friend.
  • Visit the Great Walks website for information on the Cooloola Great Walk.