Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park Sunshine Coast

Go back in time to the late 1800s at the Mill Point Settlement site where remnants of this flourishing timber mill township remain today. Photo credit: Rob Cameron © 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

Be inspired: 5 tech challenges for getting teens outdoors in Sunshine Coast parks

We get it. Dragging your teens and tweens away from their technology and into the great outdoors can be difficult, if not downright impossible. Photo credit: © Lise Pedersen

Be inspired: Cooloola offers a family-sized camping adventure with ‘the lot’!

Chances are, if you’ve heard of Cooloola, you might know it as the sandy beach highway between Rainbow Beach and Noosa, the mecca of four-wheel drivers and fishers. Photo credit: © Lachlan Gardiner

Be inspired: Explore the Sunshine and Fraser coasts—your go-to weekend escapes!

They’re renowned for surf and sun-drenched beaches, and deservedly-so, but take a closer look and you’ll find the Sunshine and Fraser coasts have so much more in store! Photo credit: Adam Creed © Queensland Government

Be inspired: Queensland National Parks’ best-loved camping areas

We are truly a nation of coast dwellers, so when it comes to camping holidays, where do we head? To the water, of course! Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Be inspired: Short walks for the family around south east Queensland

Walking in Queensland National Parks is a fun way to be healthier and happier, and to share special times with family and friends. Photo credit: Ellie Jamieson © Queensland Government

Mill Point circuit

Amble through the allocasuarina and paperbark forests that fringe the wetlands bordering Lake Cootharaba, and discover the area’s early European heritage.

Journey type
5.1km return Start and finish points are the same and the traveller must return via the same path
Time suggested
Allow 2hrs walking time.
Grade 3 walking track

Accessible by

  • Conventional vehicle
  • Trail bike

Journey facilities

  • Walking

From the Elanda Point car park, follow the Cooloola Wilderness Trail through Elanda Plains, a stretch of once-cleared farmland that has since been revegetated with native trees. Walk along an old tramway track towards Mill Point and discover the ruins of an old farmhouse in a clearing.

Continue along the tramway track to the historic Mill Point Settlement site, a timber mill township that flourished from 1862 to 1892. Explore the site—you won’t find much structural evidence of the mill but read the signs and journey back in time to appreciate how people lived—then continue along the circuit and return to the car park.

Refer to the Cooloola and Inskip recreation areas discovery guide (PDF, 4.3MB) for a map and more details.

Getting there and getting around

Mill Point circuit 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 in the southern section of Cooloola, and starts from the Elanda Point car park, which is accessible by 2WDs.
  • The first 1.9km of the track ventures along the Cooloola Wilderness Trail before branching off to the mill site and returning via a circuit to the Cooloola Wilderness Trail and back to the car park.
  • Campers at the privately-operated Elanda Point camping area can also access the circuit from linking tracks (enter from the back of the camping area and exit at the road entrance to the camping area).
  • The mill site at Mill Point can also be accessed by boat from Boreen Point or by canoe from Elanda Point.

Getting to 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.

Wheelchair access

  • There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Drinking water

Do not drink from Lake Cootharaba as it is salt water and unsuitable for drinking.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Mill Point circuit 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.