Great Sandy National Park

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Great Sandy National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Fraser Island Cathedral cliffs.jpg
The Cathedral coloured sands
Great Sandy National Park is located in Queensland
Great Sandy National Park
Great Sandy National Park
Nearest town or city Hervey Bay
Coordinates 25°02′43″S 153°12′36″E / 25.04528°S 153.21000°E / -25.04528; 153.21000Coordinates: 25°02′43″S 153°12′36″E / 25.04528°S 153.21000°E / -25.04528; 153.21000
Established 1971
Area 2,195.55 km2 (847.7 sq mi)
Managing authorities Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
See also Protected areas of Queensland

Great Sandy National Park is a coastal national park in the Fraser Coast Region, Queensland, Australia.[1]


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 K'gari (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.[2] Cooloola is also home to the eastern ground parrot and has one of the last coastal populations of the emu.[3]


SS Maheno shipwrecked on the beach in 1935
and the rusted remains of the ship in 2007
SS Maheno shipwrecked in 1935 and its rusted remains in 2007

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.[4] Lake Cootharaba offers fishing, sailing and canoeing opportunities.

Whale watching, fishing, four-wheel driving and bushwalking are also popular. The park also features two shipwrecks; the SS Maheno and the Cherry Venture.[5]

The only place in the world where tall rainforest grows in sand is on Fraser Island.[5] 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.

Lake Wabby is a popular swimming and fishing spot.[6]

Lake Wabby


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.


Permits are required to camp in the park. In the Cooloola section there are about 15 camp sites.[5] Only electric motors and non-motorised vessels are permitted past Campsite 3.[7]


There are fines for feeding Fraser Island's dingo population or leaving food or rubbish which may attract them.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Great Sandy National Park (entry 44177)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "IBA: Cooloola and Fraser Coast". Birdata. Birds Australia. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "About Cooloola Recreation Area". Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Fraser Island Great Walk". Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing. 24 March 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d Explore Queensland's National Parks. Prahran, Victoria: Explore Australia Publishing. 2008. pp. 23–27. ISBN 978-1-74117-245-4. 
  6. ^ "Lake Wabby". Queensland Holidays. Tourism Queensland. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  7. ^ (21 August 2014). Southern Cooloola, Great Sandy National Park: Frequently Asked Questions. Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing. Retrieved 8 September 2014.

External links[edit]