Cooloola Great Walk - S5 track to Freshwater Campground

Great Sandy National Park

Day 1 of the Cooloola Great Walk starting at the Rainbow Beach end but staying at the Freshwater campground rather than the walkers camp.

Camping Permitted
Eucalypt Forest
Total Climb

Getting there

Rainbow Beach is 240km north of Brisbane or about 3 hours drive. The northern entrance of the Cooloola Great Walk is at the Carlo Sandblow carpark approximately 1.5km from the Rainbow Beach central business district.


Route/Trail notes

Start at the sandblow carpark and follow the marked track.

The sandblow is great at sunset and sunrise.

After about 4k there's a turnoff to Poona Lake to the right.  Take that turn-off and the lake a great spot to take break.

Here the signs are a bit confusing- the sign says straight for freshwater - if you follow this you end up on the lake.  At th sign you need to go left, and go past the side track to the lake and keep walking till you see the sign for freshwater.

Follow this track till you hit the turn off - stright to goto Kauri walkers camp or left to go to Freshwater. 

As soon as you turn left the track has a set of very up and down sections. You will crosh freshwater road and probably a string of 4WD's. Keep following the walking track until you hit the camp. You will see the shower block and phone booth.

The camp has toilets, hot showers ($2 for 5 mins), large dumpster bins, and tank water (still need to treat it).


Camping permit at Freshwater is ~$6

Other References

GPS Tracks

  • No GPS available for this walk yet.


Sunrise at the Blow and the Lake were beautiful.
Was really hot (34 while walking) and 37 in camp. Drank 4.5 litres of water.
Hot shower was well worth finding a $2 coin for.

bronwenz on 25 Sep, 2021


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