Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park Sunshine Coast

Paddle the upper Noosa River to your secluded camp site, and get away from it all. Photo credit: © Steven Nowakowski

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 5

Escape everyday life and immerse yourself in nature in this remote and peaceful camp site on the upper Noosa River.

Accessible by

  • Canoe or kayak

Camping area facilities

  • Tent camping
  • Short walk to tent
  • Canoeing and kayaking
  • Fishing

Paddle your canoe or kayak a little way upstream from camp site 4, around a sharp bend, to this spot on the river’s eastern bank, in the Upper Noosa River waterway. Clamber up the steep boronia-clad river bank to a clearing, and set up your tent in the shade of pink bloodwoods, brush box, coast banksia, wallum banksia and Moreton Bay ash.

Spend a quiet weekend or just stay for the night—there are no motorised boats to disturb the serenity. Enjoy the sunset from the water’s edge and watch for wildlife. At night, listen for ‘acid frogs’ calling from the river reeds and surrounding wetlands.

Getting there and getting around

Upper Noosa River camp site 5 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 from Kinaba to Harrys camping area, then a further 1hr 40mins to camp site 5.
  • Read water safety for important information about staying safe in and near water and caring for parks.

By boat

  • You can take your motor boat on the Upper Noosa River waterwayas far as camp site 3; to proceed to camp site 5 you need a boat with an electric motor.
  • 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 1.5hrs at 6 knots (and no wash) to travel to camp site 3. From here it is about another 20mins travel time to camp site 5.
  • 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.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Upper Noosa River camp site 5 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 4 people.

Visiting safely

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