Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park Sunshine Coast

Watch the sunset over the water and listen as the bird calls come to life from the jetty at this river-side camp site. 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

Upper Noosa River camping area 1

Revel in the seclusion of this bushland camp site, with adjacent landing jetty, on the bank of the Upper Noosa River.

Accessible by

  • Boat
  • Canoe or kayak

Camping area facilities

  • Mooring points
  • Toilets (non-flush)
  • Tent camping
  • Short walk to tent
  • Walking
  • Canoeing and kayaking
  • Boating
  • Fishing

After paddling or boating 3.5km from Harrys day-use area, on your exploration of the Upper Noosa River waterway, tie up at the jetty and walk the short distance to this pleasantly-secluded camp site. Sleep surrounded by a shady forest of pink bloodwoods, Moreton Bay ash, coast banksia, wallum banksia, brush box, white cypress pines and swamp paperbarks.

If you have a day spare, set off early in the morning on the Camp site 3 walk to camp site 3 and from there you can tackle the long but rewarding Cooloola Sandpatch walk. Alternatively, just relax! Lounge on the jetty at sunset, watching as the light fades over the water and listening for evening bird calls.

Getting there and getting around

Upper Noosa River camp site 1 is in Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park, on the Sunshine Coast between Noosa Heads and Rainbow Beach (155–240km north of Brisbane).

Via Kinaba

By canoe

  • Launch your canoe at Elanda Point and 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.
  • From Kinaba, paddle 1hr 20mins to Harrys camping area then a further 35mins to camp site 1.
  • Read water safety for important information about staying safe in and near water and caring for parks.

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 and 15mins travel time.
  • From Kinaba allow 1hr at 6 knots (and no wash) to travel to camp site 1.
  • Read boat and fish with care for tips on boating and fishing safety and caring for parks.

Getting to 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.

From Harrys Hut

Getting to Harrys Hut

  • From Brisbane, drive 135km north on the Bruce Highway or the Sunshine Motorway to Tewantin. Follow McKinnon Drive, Louis Bazzo Drive and Junction Road for about 18km north-west to Cootharaba Road. Turn right and travel about 10km along Cootharaba, Kimmond Creek and Dr Pages roads to the Gympie Kin Kin Road. Turn right and drive 6km, then turn right onto Cooloola Way.
  • From Gympie, drive 10km east on Tin Can Bay Road, turn right onto to the Gympie Kin Kin Road and drive about 31km, then turn left onto Cooloola Way.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Upper Noosa River camp site 1 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.

1 site – maximum of 8 people.

Visiting safely

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