Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park Sunshine Coast

Step back in time along the short but steep walk to the historic Double Island Point lighthouse. Photo credit: © Chris Whitelaw

Four-wheel drive past towering coastal sand cliffs and coloured sands in the paradise of Cooloola Recreation Area. Photo credit: © Tomek Z Genek

Double Island Point lighthouse walk

Gaze at mesmerising ocean views from the lighthouse high on the headland, and imagine life for the early lightkeepers and their families.

Journey type
Walk
Distance
2.2km return Start and finish points are the same and the traveller must return via the same path
Time suggested
Allow 1hr walking time.
Grade
Grade 3 walking track
Where
View map

Accessible by

  • High clearance 4WD
  • Trail bike

Journey facilities

  • Lookout (constructed)
  • Walking

Stop along the Cooloola beach drive to tackle this short but steep walk to the historic Double Island Point lighthouse. Be rewarded with amazing 360-degree views reaching from Fraser Island and Rainbow Beach around to Noosa on a clear day.

Double Island Point lighthouse is spectacular, standing tall against a backdrop of low wind-stunted pandanus and coastal banksia. Explore around the lighthouse and surrounding buildings, built back in 1884, and imagine the daily lives of early lighthouse keepers and their families.

Look for dolphins, marine turtles and manta rays in the waters off the headland, and migrating humpback whales during the cooler months.

Getting there and getting around

Double Island Point lighthouse walk 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 walk is at Double Island Point and can be accessed from the Cooloola Beach drive between Noosa North Shore and Rainbow Beach.
  • From the south end, drive 45km north along the Cooloola Beach drive to Double Island Point and the walk entrance.
  • From the north end, drive 10km south along the beach, then drive 1km inland on the Leisha track, turn left on the southern beach and drive a further 2km north to the walk entrance.
  • The walk starts at a locked gate at the southern beach of the Double Island Point headland. An 800m side trail branches off from the walk to the northern beach of the Double Island Point headland.
  • You need a high-clearance 4WD to access the walk.
  • Remember all vehicles must be registered, drivers must be licensed and all Queensland road rules apply, even on beaches.
  • A vehicle access permit must be purchased. Display the permit on your windscreen before driving in the recreation area.
  • At the northern beach access, visit the Manta Ray barge office, Shell service station, Rainbow Beach caravan park (BP service station) or the Rainbow Beach Tourist Information Centre for vehicle access permits, also camping permits and other information (business hours only).
  • At the southern beach access, visit the Great Sandy Information Centre, located near the Noosa River ferry on Moorindil Street for vehicle access permits, also camping permits and other information (business hours only).
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

Getting there from the south

  • 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.
  • In Tewantin, follow Moorindil Street to the Noosa River ferry, cross the river to Noosa North Shore, and drive 2.2km on Maximillian Road.
  • Turn right onto Beach Road and drive 2.1km on the bitumen road, then turn sharply to the left (past the first beach access cutting) and head north on the Wilderness Track.
  • Drive 2.8km to the end of the bitumen road to the 4WD-accessible third beach cutting. You must enter and exit the beach and the Cooloola Beach drivevia this sand track.

Getting there from the north

  • 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 9km along Rainbow Beach Road to Rainbow Beach township.
  • At the end of Rainbow Beach Road, turn left onto Kirchner Avenue, drive 300m, turn right onto Griffin Esplanade and follow this road to the council car park and vehicle access ramp to access the beach and the start of the Cooloola Beach drive.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Double Island Point lighthouse walk is open 24 hours a day.

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 Walk with care.