|Trip Length: 3 days Total Distance: 190 km Road Conditions: Some unsealed roads|
High sand dunes, coloured sand cliffs, sweeping beaches, sandblows, freshwater lakes and tall forests make the Noosa North Shore and Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park a spectacular experience. This 3-day trip transverses the national park - heading north along Teewah Beach and returning south through the wooded forests and around Lake Cootheraba. It is suitable only for 4WD vehicles and is perfect for camping enthusiasts.
|Noosa Heads to Rainbow Beach||3 hrs||70 kms|
|Rainbow Beach to Harry's Hut Camp Area||2 hrs||80 kms|
|Harry's Hut to Noosa Heads||45 mins||40 kms|
From Noosa Heads follow the Noosa River to Tewantin, the municipal and historical heart of Noosa Shire. Tewantin was settled as a port, shipping timber out and bringing gold prospectors into the Gympie goldfields in 1870.
Turn off the main road when you see the sign for the Motor Ferry. Cross the river (fee applies) and follow the road which snakes its way through the Great Sandy National Park. After a short drive you can access the beach by a number of sandy cuttings.
You're now on Teewah Beach, also known as 40 Mile Beach Road - a public road with a designated speed limit of 80 km per hour. Head north past Teewah Village, a small oceanfront settlement located about 10 km north of the mouth of the Noosa River. This little fishing village is changing face with only a handful of the early huts still standing - most being upgraded or replaced with modern up-market homes.
Just north of Teewah Village is the famous Coloured Sands, ancient sand cliffs displaying a magnificent array of sand formations of various colours. About 72 different hues of red, orange, brown and yellow adorn the cliffs, which date back to the Ice Age.
About 20 kms north of the Noosa/Cooloola Shire boundary is the turn-off for Freshwater Road, which meanders its way to Freshwater Lake, a camping ground and picnic area.
Further along the beach road is the Double Island Point lighthouse built in the 1880s. A walking trail (2.2 km return) will guide you from the beach to the lighthouse, affording a great vantage point for spotting migrating humpback whales (July to September). Nearby is the rusted relic of the wrecked cargo ship, Cherry Venture, which was dumped onto the beach during a cyclone in 1973. From the lighthouse you can continue onto Rainbow Beach or camp in the National Park, provided you have a permit from Queensland Park and Wildlife Services. The Freshwater Lake camping area has tent and caravan sites, water, toilets, showers, a public telephone and bins. Camping is also permitted among the dunes (north of Noosa/Cooloola Shire boundary).
If the wind is blowing, take a walk from Rainbow Beach water tower to Carlo Sand Blow (1.2 km return) to see hang-gliders launch out over Wide Bay. Named after one of Captain Cook's deck hands, Carlo Sand Blow provides excellent views south-east to the Coloured Sands and north to Fraser Island. Follow the trail through Toolara State Forest and turn off at Harry's Hut Road. From here it's a short drive to Harry's Hut camping and day-use area. Picnic tables, toilets, barbecues, firewood and water are provided. A camping permit is required. Now it's time to lace up your walking boots and check out one (or more) of the walking trails in the area.
Spend today on Lake Cootharaba, the largest lake of the Noosa River system and a haven for canoeing, sailing and boating enthusiasts.
Stop at Elanda Point for canoeing through the Everglades. Here you can join a guided tour or hire canoes at Kinaba Information Centre.
Traveling a few kilometres further south will take you to Boreen Point, a village on the shores of Lake Cootharaba. Boreen Point has holiday cottages, a general store, caravan parks and boat hire facilities. History buffs should look amongst the trees on the shores of Lake Cootharaba for the monument to the shipwrecked Eliza Fraser who was rescued here in 1836.
Transplanted from the Gympie goldfields of the last century, the famous and beautifully refurbished Apollonian Hotel lies on the road to Tewantin and is well worth visiting for a refreshing beverage after a day on the lake.
Continue on to Noosa Heads.
* Please note: These rates are indicative based on the minimum and maximum costs only. To obtain a firm price from the provider, please use the contact the operator. All prices are quoted in Australian dollars.
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