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Explore stunning hiking trails of Great Sandy National Park

Discover the diverse trails of Great Sandy National Park, Queensland, offering hikes and walks for all skill levels and interests. Find your perfect adventure today.

Grade 3

Explore the Great Sandy National Park: Fraser Island and Cooloola Recreation Area

The Great Sandy National Park encompasses a unique combination of mainland Queensland and Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. This vast park, stretching north from Noosa Heads (155 kilometres from Brisbane) to Rainbow Beach (240 kilometres from Brisbane), boasts a stunning diversity of landscapes.

Fraser Island, accessible by barge, offers a remarkable contrast. Along its eastern coast, long white beaches border rainforests teeming with life. Freshwater lakes and towering sand dunes complete this island paradise.

The mainland section of the park, Cooloola Recreation Area, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore a network of walking tracks, ranging from leisurely strolls to challenging multi-day hikes like the Cooloola Wilderness Trail or the Cooloola Great Walk. History buffs can climb the short but steep track to the historic Double Island Point Lighthouse, built in 1884, and be rewarded with panoramic views of Fraser Island, Rainbow Beach and Noosa on a clear day.

A natural wonder awaits at the Carlo Sand Blow walk. Here, the relentless wind has sculpted the landscape into a moonscape of ever-shifting sand dunes that engulf the surrounding forest.

Great Sandy National Park is a tapestry of diverse landscapes. Imposing sand dunes, vibrant cliffs of coloured sand, and vast ocean beaches have been shaped by wind and water. Tall forests, fragrant wildflower heaths, and paperbark swamps add a touch of green to the golden expanse. Water lovers can enjoy the surf along the coast, explore the serenity of freshwater lakes, or paddle the tranquil upper Noosa River.

Unwind and reconnect with nature at one of the park’s many campsites. Choose from options ranging from well-equipped campgrounds with amenities to secluded walker’s camps offering a back-to-basics experience. Information centres in Tewantin and Rainbow Beach offer valuable advice and assistance.

Beyond its natural beauty, Cooloola Recreation Area is a refuge for threatened and endangered species. The park protects one of the few remaining emu populations in coastal Queensland and provides a haven for rare animals like the Cooloola acid frog and ground parrot. The upper Noosa River and its tributaries are another vital feature of the park. These dark, tannin-stained waterways provide habitat for diverse aquatic life and reflect the beauty of the surrounding paperbark and bloodwood forests.

Great Sandy National Park offers a unique blend of natural wonders and cultural heritage. Explore Fraser Island’s rainforests and beaches, hike through the Cooloola wilderness, or simply relax on the golden sands. This park caters to all interests and offers an unforgettable escape.

Want to find the best trails in Great Sandy National Park for an adventurous hike or a family trip? Trail Hiking Australia has the top trails for walking, hiking, running and more.