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Cooran

About three kilometres from the Bruce Highway, Cooran is one of those country towns that offers more than you might think. Close to the Sunshine Coast towns of Pomona, Nambour, Cooroy and popular surfing beaches at Noosa, Cooran is a pretty hamlet in a lush valley. However, for those touring the Sunshine Coast from Brisbane, which is less than two and a half hours drive away, there is much more to discover about Cooran than just its beauty.

Overlooking Cooran are the Cooran Tablelands and Mothar Mountain State Forest areas that have walking tracks and swimming holes. Take care, as access to these often requires a four-wheel drive. From the Cooran Tablelands Lookout, the scenic view along the Sunshine Coast is magnificent.

In addition, for lovers of the bush, the Noosa Trail Network includes trails around Cooran. For example, Trail two of The Scenic Trail is 26 kilometres one way and starts at Tablelands Road, Cooran and moves along to the Cootharaba Views Lookout. This trail takes approximately five hours to complete on horseback and two days to walk one way. There are four lookouts along the trail, providing fantastic views of the hinterland and coastal areas. Be warned, the steep hill climbs along the trail require courage and a high level of fitness. Locals say it is worth camping overnight at either Middle Lookout or Cootharaba Views Lookout and leave a car at each end of the trail.

If curiosities get the blood flowing, then look at Cooran Lagoon, not far from the train bridge on James Street. When it was full, local Aboriginals used the lagoon as a source of Water-lily bulbs and mussels for food and called it Guran. In 1870, the lagoon was also the site of the Half Way Hotel, on the original Tewantin-Gympie Coach route. Sadly, only a faded plaque marks the site now.

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Art Gallery, The

Injune, Maranoa Area
Free Entry
Be ready to be awed by what awaits you on this walk in Carnarvon Gorge National Park, as The Art Gallery contains some of the finest Aboriginal rock art in Australia. Just 5.6 kilometres from the trailhead, at the junction of Kamoloo Creek, a signposted access track leaves the main walking trail upstream of crossing number 10, providing a gentle climb to the escarpment base where the site is located.

Minerva Hills National Park

Springsure, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
A relatively small National Park near Springsure in Central Queensland, Minerva Hills is dominated by Mount Boorambool, rising 600 metres above sea level, and the larger cliff fringed Mount Zamia (560 metres), which offer panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Virgin Rock

Springsure, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
Virgin Rock, which is situated four kilometres from Springsure is on the eastern side of Mount Zamia and has a naturally formed likeness to the Virgin Mary and Child. The spectacular cliffs are floodlit at night and can be viewed from the Lions Park.

Spyglass Peak

Springsure, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
Spring-fed Nogoa River and Louisa Creek wind through a picturesque broad valley beneath craggy sandstone outcrops in the Salvator Rosa section of Carnarvon National Park. At the western edge of Central Queensland'

Looking Glass, The

Injune, Maranoa Area
Free Entry
The Looking Glass walking track leads walkers through the colourful woodlands of the Maranoa River in the Mount Moffatt section of Carnarvon National Park, where pink trunks of smooth-barked apple trees rise above a carpet of wildflowers.

Fairbairn Dam, Lake Maraboon

Emerald, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
If you love fishing, you're going to love this holiday destination. Lake Maraboon is stocked with eight different kinds of fish including barramundi, making it a popular spot for anglers. You'll also find a healthy population of red claw crayfish in the area.

Ka Ka Mundi, Carnarvon National Park

Springsure, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
Ka Ka Mundi, Carnarvon National Park, has more than 30 kilometres of sandstone escarpments and plateaus, dry rainforest surrounding clear springs and brigalow scrubs on clay soil. Aboriginal people have close ties to the area.

Tambos Wilderness Way

Tambo, Blackall-Tambo Area
Free Entry
Tambo's Wilderness Way is a self-drive tour through an area of rugged beauty, known as the ‘Roof of Queensland’. The tour traverses a landscape of deep gorges and vast cliff lines. Enjoy vistas of tangled ranges where the wind and rain have created massive sandstone formations which contrast starkly with the grey-green bush.

Carnarvon Gorge, Carnarvon National Park

Rolleston, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
An oasis of birdlife, unique plant species and freshwater creeks, the Carnarvon Gorge is a sparkling gem amongst the dusty heart of Central Queensland. Is it any wonder it's the region's most popular attraction?
Free Entry
In the Salvator Rosa Section of Carnarvon National Park, the spring-fed Nogoa River and Louisa Creek meander beneath a backdrop of rocky sandstone crags and spires. Spyglass Peak and The Sentinel, sculpted by millions of years of weathering, dominate the skyline.
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