Cooloola, QLD: Destination Guide

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For guaranteed fun in the sun all year round, grab your bathers and head straight to Cooloola.

Read on to discover the best things to see and do in Cooloola, or find and book accommodation in Cooloola today.

About Cooloola

Located between the stunning Rainbow Beach and flashy Noosa, it’s easy to understand how Cooloola has been flying under the radar. However, with great camping spots, the beautiful centrepiece that is the Noosa Everglades attracting more visitors and its proximity to other holiday hot spots – we don’t think Cooloola will be a secret for much longer. So don’t hesitate when it comes to planning your trip to Cooloola, this region is only going to get busier, and there is a playground of activities and adventures (for kids big AND small!) that await you.

Things to do in Cooloola

Recreation is what it’s all about here, in one of the most beautiful natural environments in the world. Cooloola has it all: two long stretches of magnificent beaches, spectacular sand blows and sea cliffs, lush forests penetrated by walking trails and driving tracks, a pristine river with everglades to explore by kayak and canoe, freshwater lakes on which to sail and windsurf, and fantastic camping in which to make it all your home while doing it.

A particular highlight is the dark tranquil waters of the Noosa river’s upper reaches, which are renowned for their splendid reflections and provide some of the best stillwater canoeing in south east Queensland. More than 44 per cent of all Australia’s bird species reside here – more than Kakadu National Park, in an area 25 times smaller.

Attractions

Double Island Point

James Cook sighted the headland’s twin volcanic features on 18 May 1770 and named it Double Island Point, but today visitors can access it via 4WD from Rainbow Beach, or Noosa North Shore. The 2.2km (return) track from the beach to the lighthouse, constructed in 1884, is one of many walks (long and short) in Cooloola, but is undoubtedly the most rewarding for its 360° views at the top. Standing beside the tower, or sitting on the bench seat thoughtfully provided by QPWS, the summit is an excellent vantage point for whale watching. You can also spot large rays, dugongs and pods of dolphins in the azure waters off the 96m cliffs.

Harry’s Hut

Harry’s Hut is a timber and corrugated iron cottage nestled in a shady grove of palms and paperbarks in the heart of the Noosa Everglades. Originally built in 1957, the hut was home to timber cutters who lived onsite and operated the crane that transferred logs across the river for transport to the Tewantin sawmill. When the crane ceased operating in the early 1960s, the hut was purchased by local Cooroy pharmacist Harry Spring who continued to use it as his holiday retreat while fishing for bass. Today, the heritage-listed site is managed by the Environmental Protection Agency as a relic of the region’s bygone forestry industry.

Boreen Point

Boreen Point, which takes its name from an Aboriginal word referring to the pathway between two bora rings, overlooks Lake Cootharaba. Surrounded by sandy shores, this small village is a popular destination for sailing, kite-surfing and canoeing. It is home to the Lake Cootharaba Sailing Club and, since 1987 when it was moved here, the historic Apollonian Hotel. First constructed in 1868 during the Gympie gold rush and initially dubbed Barlow’s Apollonian Philharmonic Music Hall Hotel, this rustic pub offers accommodation in a bush setting and a Sunday spit roast lunch that draws patrons from near and far. A short walk from the Apollonian is the Boreen Point campground, which provides absolute lakefront camping with kayaks for hire, and is an ideal base for nature-based outdoor recreation such as bushwalking, mountain biking and bird watching.

Weather

Cooloola has a mild, sub-tropical climate, meaning you can escape to Cooloola in the middle of winter and bask in the sun’s rays. Average temperatures in summer range from 22-30° with high humidity, and 12-22° in winter, which further proves there isn’t a bad time (weather-wise), to visit.

Getting to Cooloola

Nestled in the very heart of the Sunshine Coast, Cooloola is approximately 220km north of Brisbane.

By car

The accessibility of Cooloola is part of what makes it so appealing, and from Brisbane Cooloola is an easy 2 hour drive north along the Bruce Highway.  

Where to stay in Cooloola

For accommodation options in and around Cooloola, click here.