Noosa Everglades, Camp Site 3 to 5
Great Sandy National Park (Cooloola)
A nice short paddle along one of only two Everglade systems in the world, with camping available upstream on the Upper Noosa River.
This lightly trafficked paddle starts from Camp Site 3 on the Upper Noosa River. It is accessed after paddling 6.1 kms from the Harry’s Hut day-use area, at the end of Harry’s Hut Road in Como (north of Noosa), in the Cooloola Section of the Great Sandy National Park.
Launch from the Camp Site 3 jetty, heading upstream (right).
The river is lined with a variety of vegetation, including paperbark trees (whose leaves release the tannins that give the river its tea-coloured appearance), scribbly gums and other natives and heath grass.
Dead trees line the banks and make for beautiful reflections on the glassy calm waters.
The paddle winds upstream and after a short while you will arrive at Camp Site 4 (on the right bank), which has a small sandy beach that is a perfect location for a swim.
On the way to Camp Site 5, there is another smaller sandy beach located on the right bank on a sweeping right-hand bend.
Camp Site 5 is less constructed than previous sites, with a more natural dirt bank being the method to disembark.
Camp Site 3 has two jetties for disembarking and no motorised vessels are allowed past this point (electric motors accepted), adding to the tranquillity of paddling upstream.
The jetty is an exceptional location to watch both sunrise, and in particular sunset, with the reflections on the glassy calm waters an absolute delight.
Camp Site 3 is also the starting point for the 12 kilometre return walk to the Cooloola Sand Patch.
There is also the option to continue upstream for a considerable distance further, however the river straightens out and there is little change in scenery.
Difficulty: The river is wide and typically protected from the wind, making it a pleasant paddle.
Direction: This is an out-and-back paddle that returns the way it came. There are no forks or tributaries and therefore no possible ways to take a wrong turn.
The paddle starts at Camp Site 3 on the Upper Noosa River. This site is accessed by paddling from Harry’s Hut day-use area, at the end of Harry’s Hut Road in Como (north of Noosa), in the Cooloola Section of the Great Sandy National Park, 2.25 hours drive north of Brisbane.
Parking is ample at the day-use area, however the location can become busy on weekends and public holidays. Arriving early increases the chance of getting a park close to the launch spot.
best time to go
The paddle can be completed year-round. There is limited shade during the middle parts of the day, so morning or afternoon is recommended.
As with any kayak, it is recommended to go in low-wind conditions.
The river is tidal, but given its substantial upstream location, the impact is very minimal.
Remember, whenever venturing into the outdoors, practice the Leave No Trace principles and be considerate of others. This means: dispose of your waste properly, don't remove things or move things from their natural position and respect all wildlife. Also be sure to plan ahead and adequately prepare for any adventure.
I respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which all activities listed on this website are found, as well as Elders past, present and emerging. I strive to not promote sites where requests have been made for people not to explore due to the cultural significance of the site to Indigenous peoples, or note how to respectfully visit a site. If I have a promoted a site with cultural significance, please send me a message and let me know.