The Cooloola Coast Fraser Island Tourist Drive will take you on a journey from one aquatic playground to another through the UNESCO recognised Great Sandy Biosphere and a unique eco coastal system known as the Great Sandy Straits.
Meandering between the seaside towns of Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach and acting as the southern gateway to World Heritage listed Fraser Island, the Cooloola Coast Fraser Island Tourist drive is a great nature based drive.
Start your drive at the Tin Can Bay Marina, which is home to the local Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins that visit every morning around 7.30am. Take the rare chance to hand feed these wonderful animals before breakfast. After breakfast take a walk around the water front and along the Tin Can Bay Wildflower Walk to the wetlands and view the many unique and rare bird species that live in this special eco system called the Great Sandy Strait. The sheltered waters around Tin Can Bay are a perfect place to hire a house boat for a night, or simply spend some time kayaking around the area. The village is also home to fishing fleets and several seafood outlets, or throw in a line in at one of the great fishing spots and catch one of your own.
Once you have looked around Tin Can Bay drive along the Ghost Gumtree lined road for approximately 10km to the turn off to Rainbow Beach.
Silky Oak Tea Gardens
Tin Can Bay Dolphin Feeding
You have now entered the Cooloola Great Sandy National Park. Wild and beautiful, the park offers some of the best four-wheel drive trails in Queensland. These trails will take you deep into the Pine plantations and rugged coastal bush. Staying on the road to Rainbow Beach you will pass a variety of bush systems and species as the road winds and rolls along towards the coastal playground of Rainbow Beach.
Stop and explore Searys Creek (8km before Rainbow Beach) and swim in the clear water. The flat boardwalk and accessible shallow water at Seary’s Creek makes this site wheelchair friendly and a popular swimming spot for young families. For those who want more adventure, a couple of kilometres before Rainbow Beach is Freshwater Track. The track is gravel but 2WD accessible to Lake Poona picnic area before becoming a 4WD only track that will take you through rainforest and coastal dunes to Teewah Beach south of Double Island Point.
Staying on the bitumen you will reach the seaside paradise of Rainbow Beach.
Rainbow Beach is a true coastal gem that retains its character from the 1980’s with a few more modern additions. Along the main street stop and enjoy a coffee and snack at one of the cafes, before strolling down to the beach for the view around to Double Island Point.
One of the must visits of Rainbow Beach are the towering cliffs of coloured sands. The coloured sands in the cliff face gave Rainbow Beach its name; they can be accessed by driving (it is an actual road) or walking along the beach. Rainbow Beach is a great adventure destination, where you have your choice of skydiving, surfing, kayaking with dolphins and sometimes whales, scuba diving with Grey Nurse sharks or horse riding along the beach front. Double Island Point is a magnet for marine life and makes a great day trip for scenic walks and camping out under the stars; all this is accessible at low tide via 4WD vehicles only. To continue on the tourist drive follow the signs in Rainbow Beach to Inskip Point.
Leaving Rainbow Beach and heading out Inskip Point comes with coastal scenery.
Inskip is a popular beach camping area that is just across from the famous World Heritage listed Fraser Island- another great holiday camping location. Inskip Point recreation area is a popular destination as it offers both open ocean surf and the sheltered estuary waters of Tin Can Bay and the Great Sandy Strait.
Just north of the recreation area the Cooloola Coast Fraser Island drive ends, from here you can catch the Mantaray Barge across to Fraser Island for more fun and adventure. – 4WD permits apply.