Cooloola Beach Drive - Rainbow to DI Point
Great Sandy National Park (Cooloola)
Allow 1 hr
Elevation gain (m):
Max. elevation (m):
Click to see full image.
Wind down the windows and let the sea breeze in on this unforgettable beach drive beside the towering coloured sands to pristine Double Island Point.
This heavily trafficked drive starts from the Rainbow Beach vehicle entry point at the end of Griffin Esplanade in Rainbow Beach.
The drive heads south from Rainbow Beach, cruising beside the spectacular coloured sands – towering and dramatically wind-shaped sand cliffs that stretch from Rainbow Beach to Double Island Point.
The drive is a slow curve all the way to Double Island Point, meaning the views are astonishing the entire time.
Once at Double Island Point, adventure awaits. Water activities are popular, including surfing, swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking or jetskiing. You can also hike to the Double Island Point lighthouse for great views, especially during whale season. Or simply relax and enjoy the serenity.
This drive can also be combined with the other section of the Cooloola Beach Drive, from Noosa North Shore to Double Island Point, using the Leisha Track to bypass the headland.
There are some very important things to be aware of when tackling this section of the Cooloola Beach Drive:
1) The beach is heavily impacted by tides, with larges sections impassable at high tide (including Mudlo Rocks, where the tide has claimed many a 4WD when drivers pushed their luck). The drive should only be completed 2-3 hours either side of low tide.
2) There is no camping at Double Island Point, with the nearest accommodation options being camping at Freshwater campground or camping and houses at Teewah Beach.
3) This stretch of beach is shared by numerous other users, including walkers and cyclists, so care is needed when driving here. There is a speed limit on the beach and the road rules apply, with police regularly patrolling the beach.
4) A vehicle permit is required to drive on either section of the Cooloola Beach Drive and can be purchased via the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service website.
Difficulty: The drive requires a moderate to high level of experience. The entry point onto the beach and at the entry to the Leisha Track are typically very soft. Experience with beach driving is recommended.
Direction: This drive can be completed as either an out-and-back track that returns the way you came, or combined with the Noosa North Shore to Double Island Point section of the Cooloola Beach Drive, using the Leisha Track to bypass the headland.
The drive starts from the Rainbow Beach vehicle entry point at the end of Griffin Esplanade in Rainbow Beach, approximately 3 hours drive north of Brisbane.
The drive, and in particular Double Island Point, becomes extremely busy on weekends and holiday periods.
best time to go
The drive can be completed year-round. Weather and tide conditions heavily impact accessibility and driving conditions. Always check the weather and only complete the drive 2-3 hours either side of low tide.
Always check the Queensland Parks website for updates on track closures.
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.