Four Wheel Driving
Roads through the park allow visitors to explore Cooloola's magnificent natural features. Take time to plan your trip and enjoy the area's highlights. Check Cooloola conditions report before embarking on a trip.
Cooloola Way is suitable for 4WD vehicles only. The 32km dirt road connects Rainbow Beach Road and the Kin Kin–Wolvi Road. It passes through Cooloola's western catchment, a low area of wallum banksia which flowers prolifically in spring, and taller forests with scenic views east over the Cooloola sandmass. This road has access points to parts of the 48km Cooloola Wilderness Trail — a wonderful walk in spring.
Freshwater Road is a rough 19km track that passes through Cooloola's diverse plant communities. From the woodlands of the west, 2WD vehicles can drive 3km to the rainforest around Bymien picnic area. The road winds on, suitable for 4WD only, through tall blackbutt forest, scribbly gum woodland and coastal banksia communities, and then continues to the Freshwater campground and day-use area or 500m further to Teewah Beach.
Kings Bore Track off Rainbow Beach Road (10km south of Rainbow Beach) passes through open forest, with stands of blackbutt, tallowwood and pockets of rainforest. The track continues to Teewah Beach as a steep one-way track that requires careful driving. The entire trip totals 18km one-way (allow one hour).
A circuit drive is possible by taking a northern branch off Kings Bore Track (circuit totals 40km — see map). This is a remote, unsigned track and visitors should be self-sufficient and carry sufficient vehicle recovery gear. Please read the advice on Beach Driving Tips.
Safe sand driving
Sand driving can be dangerous or cause serious damage to the environment unless great care is taken. The beach has hazards including washouts, particularly after heavy rain and rough seas. Wave action may expose dangerous rocks. Check beach conditions before setting out and know your tide times.
Obey all road rules - The beach and all vehicular tracks are designated roads, and all road rules apply. Obey all speed limits and wear seatbelts at all times. Never carry passengers outside the vehicle cabin or in utility trays.
Slow down when passing people, oncoming vehicles and wildlife - Pedestrians often cannot hear approaching vehicles above the sound of surf and wind. Slow down around camping areas and busy spots such as Double Island Point. Drive around, not through, flocks of resting shorebirds. Penalties apply for disturbing flocks of birds.
Be prepared to stop or give way - The inland tracks are narrow and carry two-way traffic. Be ready to stop. Use the passing bays, and do not drive on vegetation.
Engage 4WD - Engage locking hubs and 4WD on inland tracks and soft beach sand. You may choose to reduce tyre pressure to maintain traction. Keep within the manufacturer's specifications. On tyres with reduced pressure, avoid sharp turns and sudden braking. Reinflate the tyres to specifications when driving on harder sand or sealed surfaces.
Travel around low tide - Plan to drive around low tide and avoid driving the two hours either side of high tide. Always drive to suit the conditions because some areas are more affected by tidal activity and onshore winds. For safety, avoid travelling at night.
Stay on formed tracks across dunes - When driving into beach camping areas, use established or formed tracks. It is illegal to drive on dunes, unless on a formed track. Do not park your vehicle or set up camp on a vegetated dune. Penalties apply.
Drive only when you are safe - Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You need to be constantly alert when driving in Cooloola. Police patrol regularly. Speed checks and breath testing can happen at any time of day.
Mudlo Rocks - Mudlo Rocks are just south of the beach access ramp at Rainbow Beach. These rocks are generally impassable at high tide, and often at low tide as well, depending on conditions. Only attempt the crossing if you have the experience to do so. Use extreme caution at all times. Conditions change daily — always check first. Check our Beach Report.
Leisha Track - Continuing natural erosion of sand at the northern entrance to the Leisha Track may at times impede travel. The track may become inaccessible towards high tide – plan to travel at or near low tide. Please do not park on the Leisha Track.