Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park Sunshine Coast

Set up camp on the sandy banks of Tin Can Inlet at Poverty Point camping area. Photo credit: © Chris Whitelaw

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Poverty Point (Cooloola) camping area

Revel in this ideal escape on the sandy banks of Tin Can Bay, with fishing, boating, birdwatching and yabby pumping.

Accessible by

  • High clearance 4WD
  • Boat
  • Canoe or kayak

Camping area facilities

  • Campfires allowed (conditions apply)
  • Tent camping
  • Caravan camping
  • Camper trailer camping
  • Tent camping beside car
  • Short walk to tent
  • Walking
  • Scenic drive
  • Canoeing and kayaking
  • Boating
  • Fishing

Venture along Poverty Point Road in your 4WD to this remote, partly-shaded camping area surrounded by mangroves on the shores of Tin Can Bay. It’s the perfect base for fishing, canoeing, kayaking and even sailing. Make sure you bring plenty of insect repellent!

At low tide, explore the old jetty that dates from the area’s timber-cutting days. Try your hand at yabby pumping on the sand flats and watch pelicans and other shorebirds feeding on the sand banks. When the tide is high, you can fish from the camping area! Explore the inlet further by launching your kayak, canoe or rooftop tinny.

Getting there and getting around

Poverty Point camping area 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 camping area is in the northern section of Cooloola on the shore of Tin Can Bay, on Poverty Point Road 4WD track.
  • You can access the camping area from Rainbow Beach Road near Rainbow Beach; you need a 4WD.
  • Vehicle access permits are not required for Poverty Point Road but may be required if traversing beaches and other inland tracks within the Cooloola Recreation Area.
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

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 16km along Rainbow Beach Road to the Poverty Point Road turnoff on your left and drive 6.3km on this rough sandy track to the camping area.

From Rainbow Beach

  • From Rainbow Beach township drive along the Rainbow Beach Road for about 12.5km to the Poverty Point Road turnoff on your right and drive 6.3km on this rough sandy track to the camping area.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Poverty Point 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.

Poverty Point camping area overlooks the tranquil, tidal waters of the Tin Can Inlet.

Poverty Point camping area overlooks the tranquil, tidal waters of the Tin Can Inlet.

Photo credit: René Burgess, Queensland Government

Features: Poverty Point camping area offers small, undeveloped coastal camping overlooking the tranquil, tidal waters of the Tin Can Inlet.

Location: Turn-off to Poverty Point is 13km south of Rainbow Beach off Rainbow Beach Road. The camping area is a further 6.3km from the turn-off on a 4WD-only track.


No. sites: Open area without separately defined sites. Maximum capacity of 24 people.

Access: The camping area can be accessed by 4WDs only via Poverty Point Road off Rainbow Beach Road. Vehicle permits are not required to access this camping area.

Suitable for: Tent camping beside a car, and off-road camper trailers with high clearance.

Surface: Sand and/or grass

Facilities: QPWS-provided fire ring. No other facilities.

Open fires: Permitted (except when fire bans or prohibitions apply) in QPWS-provided fire rings only. Refer to the Cooloola conditions report (PDF, 668.6KB) and park alerts for updates on fire prohibitions and fire bans. Fuel stoves are preferred.

Generators: Prohibited

Essentials: Drinking water, fuel or gas stove, rubbish bags, first-aid kit, insect repellent, sunscreen and clean firewood, such as untreated mill off-cuts, not bush wood. Collecting and burning wood (including leaves and twigs for kindling) from the recreation area is illegal. Portable toilets are preferred.

Mobile phone coverage: Not available.

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

Visiting safely

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