Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park Sunshine Coast

A popular destination for day visitors and campers alike, camp site 3 has two large jetties for mooring boats, canoes and kayaks. 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 3

Spend a night camped amongst banksias and scribbly gums in this large popular camp site on the Upper Noosa River.

Accessible by

  • Boat
  • Canoe or kayak

Campground facilities

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

From camp site 2, paddle 2.5km upstream to this partly-shaded camp site on the Upper Noosa River waterway. Catering for large groups and boasting 2 jetties, this spot is popular with boating day trippers.

Set out in the early morning on the Cooloola Sandpatch walk to see the iconic sandblow, or stop a short way along the track to explore ‘Noosa Plain’, a cleared emergency helipad on the edge of the vast heathland. Noosa Plain comes to life from late winter to spring in a colourful display of yellow, purple, blue and white flowers. Alternatively, explore south along the river on the Camp site 3 walk towards Harrys Hut.

Getting there and getting around

Upper Noosa River camp site 3 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 1hr 20mins to camp site 3.
  • 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 30mins at 6 knots (and no wash) to travel to camp site 3.
  • 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 3 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.

Visiting safely

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