Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park Sunshine Coast

The Kings Bore circuit 4WD track is an inland circuit drive for experienced four-wheel drivers. Photo credit: © Bluedog Photography

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

Kings Bore circuit 4WD track

Put your 4WD skills to the test on this remote challenging inland circuit through tall eucalypt forests high on the Cooloola sandmass.

Journey type
4WD, trail bike
Distance
40km circuit The same start and finish point, but the traveller doesn’t return along the same path
Time suggested
Allow 3-4hrs driving time.
Grade
Unrated
Where
View map

Accessible by

  • High clearance 4WD
  • Trail bike

Journey facilities

  • Lookout (natural)
  • Scenic drive
  • Trail bike riding

From Rainbow Beach Road, explore part of Cooloola's inland fire-management trail network on this difficult unsigned 4WD circuit, suitable only for experienced and self-sufficient drivers. The circuit has four sections: Pettigrews Road, eastern firebreak, Kings Bore Road and western firebreak. Discover tall eucalypt forests growing on the high sandmass, where elevations vary from 50m to 190m above sea level.

Along the way look for basking frilled-neck lizards, goannas and snakes, and huge trees left over from the timber-cutting days. Take in some regional heritage too—Camp Milo, at the start of the circuit, was part of Pettigrew's Cooloola Timber Tramway Complex, which operated from 1865 to 1884. The tramway was built to overcome the difficulty of hauling cut timber through this challenging terrain.

Getting there and getting around

Kings Bore circuit 4WD track is in Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park, on the Sunshine Coast between Noosa Heads and Rainbow Beach (155–240km north of Brisbane).

  • Kings Bore circuit can be accessed only via Rainbow Beach Road in the northern section of Cooloola.
  • This remote 40km circuit starts and finishes on the access track to Rainbow Beach Road. The circuit has four sections: Pettigrews Road, eastern firebreak, Kings Bore Road and western firebreak.
  • You need a high-clearance 4WD and off-road experience for driving this circuit.
  • A vehicle access permit must be purchased. Display the permit on your windscreen before driving in the recreation area.
  • At Rainbow Beach, 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).
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

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 18.5km along Rainbow Beach Road towards the township then take the turn-off to Kings Bore circuit on your right.

From Rainbow Beach

  • Drive back along the Rainbow Beach Road for about 10km to the Kings Bore turnoff on your left.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Kings Bore circuit 4WD track 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: