Great Sandy National Park
|Great Sandy National Park|
|Nearest town/city||Hervey Bay|
|Managing authorities||Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service|
|Official site||Great Sandy National Park|
Great Sandy is a coastal national park and suburb in Queensland, Australia. The park features untouched beaches, large sand dunes, heathlands, rainforests, swamps, creeks, freshwater lakes and mangrove forests.
Great Sandy National Park is divided into two sections. The Cooloola section is situated on the coast between Noosa Heads in the south and Rainbow Beach in the north and covers 18,400 hectares (45,000 acres). The Fraser Island section encompasses almost all of the world's largest sand island, Fraser Island, situated north of Rainbow Beach, covering 56,000 hectares (140,000 acres).
The land within the park is classified by BirdLife International as the Cooloola and Fraser Coast Important Bird Area because it supports a large population of Black-breasted Button-quails as well as many Bush and Beach Stone-curlews, Green Catbirds, Regent Bowerbirds, Mangrove Honeyeaters and Pale-yellow Robins. Cooloola is also home to the Eastern Ground Parrot and has one of the last coastal populations of the Emu.
The Cooloola section contains the Cooloola Great Walk, a five-day hiking trail. Boat tours and canoeing along the Noosa River are popular visitor activities. On Fraser Island is the 90 km long Fraser Island Great Walk. Lake Cootharaba offers fishing, sailing and canoeing opportunities.
The only place in the world where tall rainforest grows in sand is on Fraser Island. Fraser Island has coloured sand cliffs on its eastern beach as well as numerous walking tracks from short boardwalks to longer walks which cross sand blows.
Access to both sections of the park requires a four-wheel drive vehicle. Four-wheel drive vehicles on Fraser Island need to obtain a vehicle permit. Both sections have numerous camping areas.
- "IBA: Cooloola and Fraser Coast". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
- Queensand Government: National parks, marine parks and forests: Cooloola Recreation Area: Park Features
- "Fraser Island Great Walk". Department of Environment and Resource Management. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- Explore Queensland's National Parks. Prahran, Victoria: Explore Australia Publishing. 2008. pp. 23–27. ISBN 978-1-74117-245-4.
- "Lake Wabby". Queensland Holidays. Tourism Queensland. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
- Southern Cooloola, Great Sandy National Park: Frequently Asked Questions