Cooloola Great Walk (original inland route)

Great Sandy National Park
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  • check the walk's official website to confirm if the track is open
  • turn back if it looks like the track is too busy when you get there

This is a 5 day hike starting at Noosa North Shore and ending at Rainbow Beach (or vice versa). The inland route is shorter, at 88.1km. This route includes Poona Lake on Day 5 (or Day 1 if you are walking North to South). The 4 campsites each have toilets (bring toilet paper) and water tanks. Do your homework, get the topo map, do the prep and you will have an awesome time. The Cooloola Sandpatch, Carlo Sandblow and Poona Lake are highlights, but the scenery is breathtaking at many points along the way. I have downgraded the difficulty to medium as while at times the going is hard because of the distance, overall the hiking isn't that hard and if you're doing a multi-day you've probably done some training, yes?

Bird Watching
Camping Permitted
Swamp or Wetland
Eucalypt Forest
Maximum Elevation

Getting there

How do you get to the start of the walk?


Cooloola GW topographic map

Route/Trail notes

A detailed description of the walk!


Book camping permits through QPWS

Other References

GPS Tracks

  • No GPS available for this walk yet.


There are two versions of the Cooloola GW - 88km (original inland route) and 102 (alternative coastal route). I did the 88km version, walking south to north. It was amazing and the facilities were well-maintained. The tanks were topped up by QPWS the week before I did it. Highly recommend but do your research and make sure you prepare!

sarasvati on 11 Sep, 2020

Is there tank water available at every campsite? If so how often is the tank likely to be too low? The website sends confusing messages. It says to carry water just in case, but 5 days worth of water sounds impossible.

emmitt on 22 Jul, 2020

Outstanding views from the ridge tops on a clear day. Really well maintained trail and facilities. Bring the whole family!

Don Graham on 6 Jul, 2017

Completed walk with Husband & 2 children ( 12 & 13) south -north
Fantastic adventure ! we had whole trail to ourselves didn't see any other human for 5 days . Track is well signposted & easy to follow. a few big days and guessing would be hot in summer. To our Suprise each campsite had a completely different feel & landscape . Toilets, water tanks and platform benches are provided at each camping area . ( tanks were full when we walked but still worth treating) check with rangers first on tank conditions. we did get mobile reception on a couple of the high ridges but not reliable. unfortunately some previous campers had lit fires, left rubbish and some toilets could do with a good clean. but the highlights over shadowed all... sunset at Brahminy overlooking lakes system, star gazing at the top of dunes system, whale pods moving up the coast, wildflowers a plenty, animal tracks on the sand blow , a golden sunrise on misty morning in a banksia wallum, A big python on track we stepped over , Rainforest critters at night, moss & fungi covered tree stumps, unusual bird calls in the canopy , refreshing dip in perched fresh water lake poona, stunning views of rainbow bay & ...the feed at rainbow pub at the end! this was our first ever multi day and overnight hike & i did a lot of research on what food and equipment to take . i'd recommend getting your pack weight down as low as possible ( we carried 14kg / 12.5kg / 9kg & 5kg respectively - mostly was food weight as my son gets hungry.. hence it reduced as we progressed ) there is some hilly sections and sandy zones and crossing sand blows with excess wouldn't be fun. I hear the walk is about to become commercialized and i hope that it doesn't become a highway in the process because the beauty of this walk is its remoteness. its one of the most memorable holidays our family has ever had. highly recommend !

Mel G on 28 Jun, 2017


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