Carlo Sandblow walk
Emerge from rainforest onto Carlo Sandblow, an impressive ‘moonscape’ of windblown sand with amazing views over the coast and K’gari (formerly Fraser Island).
- Journey type
- 2.8km one way A path where the start point is different to the finish point
- Time suggested
- Allow 1hr walking time.
- Grade 3 walking track
- Conventional vehicle
- Lookout (natural)
- Photo credit: © Sue Gregory
- Photo credit: Maxime Coquard © Tourism and Events Queensland
- Photo credit: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government
- Photo credit: Briony Masters © Queensland Government
Meander through eucalypt forest and rainforest to reach Carlo Sandblow, part of the huge accumulation of windblown sand known as the Cooloola sandmass. As you cross the sandblow, marvel at this dynamic landscape, where wind is transforming a forest and burying everything in its wake with sand.
From the top of the sandblow, enjoy stunning 180-degree views over Rainbow Beach, the Coloured Sands, Double Island Point, K'gari and Inskip Peninsula. Look overhead for birds of prey, such as brahminy and whistling kites. If you want a shorter walk, or if the day is hot, start your walk from the Carlo Sandblow car park instead of walking from the Rainbow Beach Information Centre.
Refer to the Cooloola and Inskip recreation areas discovery guide for a map and more details.
Getting there and getting around
Carlow Sandblow walk is in Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park, on the Sunshine Coast between Noosa Heads and Rainbow Beach (155km–240km north of Brisbane).
- The walk is in the northern section of Cooloola, near Rainbow Beach township.
- You can start the walk from the QPWS Information Centre or from the Carlo Sandblow car park, both in Rainbow Beach township.
From the information centre
- The QPWS Rainbow Beach Information Centre is on the right-hand side of Rainbow Beach Road as you enter Rainbow Beach township. The walk starts from the far corner of the car park.
- This one-way walk ends at the Carlo Sandblow car park at the top of Cooloola Drive in the Rainbow Beach township, alternatively you can retrace your steps.
From Carlo Sandblow car park
- In the Rainbow Beach township, turn off Rainbow Beach Road onto Double Island Drive, travel 280m, turn left onto Cooloola Drive and travel 900m to the end of the road and the Carlo Sandblow car park.
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 29km along Rainbow Beach Road into Rainbow Beach township.
There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.
Before you visit
Carlo Sandblow walk is open 24 hours a day.
Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.
- Cooloola Wilderness Trail - No pedestrian access across Kin Kin Creek 31 January to 1 July 2024
- Portable toilets mandatory for Teewah Beach camping zones 15 March 2022 to 29 November 2024
- Unstable sand cliffs and dunes along Rainbow and Teewah beaches 4 August 2023 to 30 June 2024
- Marine turtles breeding season 1 November 2023 to 30 April 2024
- Cooloola Great Walk and Cooloola Wilderness Trail advanced booking restriction 1 November 2023 to 29 February 2024
- Poison canisters washing up on Southeast Queensland beaches 4 September 2023 to 31 March 2024
- Permanent fire prohibition on Teewah Beach 1 April 2021 to 11 April 2024