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Carlo Sandblow walk

Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Carlo Sandblow walk

Walking No Walking
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access
Mountain biking No mountain biking
Horseriding No horseriding
Two-wheel driving No two-wheel driving
Four-wheel driving No four-wheel driving
Trail-bike riding No trail-bike riding
Canoeing & kayaking No canoeing & kayaking
Boating No boating
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
Lookout (natural) No lookouts
Tent camping No tent camping

Legend

Walking No walking
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access
Mountain biking No mountain biking
Horseriding No horseriding
Two-wheel driving No two-wheel driving
Four-wheel driving No four-wheel driving
Trail-bike riding No trail-bike riding
Canoeing & kayaking No canoeing & kayaking
Boating No boating
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
Lookout (natural) No lookouts
Tent camping No tent camping
World Heritage Area

Emerge from rainforest onto Carlo Sandblow, an impressive ‘moonscape’ of windblown sand with amazing views over the coast and Fraser Island.

Park alerts

Cooloola conditions report

Critical information for your safety is included in the conditions report (updated fortnightly), always check it before you visit.

Subscribe to the RSS feed to receive automated updates. (About RSS feeds)

Explore the sand mass of Carlo Sandblow and enjoy extensive views of Rainbow Beach.
Explore the sand mass of Carlo Sandblow and enjoy extensive views of Rainbow Beach. © Sue Gregory
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Park Cooloola
Traditional Owners Traditional Owners
Park Ranger Park Ranger

Meander through eucalypt forest and rainforest to reach Carlo Sandblow, part of the huge accumulation of windblown sand known as the Cooloola sandmass. As you cross the sandblow, marvel at this dynamic landscape, where wind is transforming a forest and burying everything in its wake with sand.

From the top of the sandblow, enjoy stunning 180-degree views over Rainbow Beach, the Coloured Sands, Double Island Point, Fraser Island and Inskip Peninsula. Look overhead for birds of prey, such as brahminy and whistling kites. If you want a shorter walk, or if the day is hot, start your walk from the Carlo Sandblow car park instead of walking from the Rainbow Beach Information Centre.

At a glance

Distance: 2.8km one way (a path where the start point is different to the finish point).
Time suggested: Allow 1hr walking time.
Grade:
Journey type: Walk

Getting there and getting around

Carlow Sandblow walk is in Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park, on the Sunshine Coast between Noosa Heads and Rainbow Beach (155km–240km north of Brisbane).

  • The walk is in the northern section of Cooloola, near Rainbow Beach township.
  • You can start the walk from the QPWS Information Centre or from the Carlo Sandblow car park, both in Rainbow Beach township.

From the information centre

  • The QPWS Rainbow Beach Information Centre is on the right hand side of Rainbow Beach Road as you enter Rainbow Beach township. The walk starts from the far corner of the car park.
  • This one-way walk ends at the Carlo Sandblow car park at the top of Cooloola Drive in the Rainbow Beach township, alternatively you can retrace your steps.

From Carlo Sandblow car park

  • In the Rainbow Beach township, turn off Rainbow Beach Road onto Double Island Drive, travel 280m, turn left onto Cooloola Drive and travel 900m to the end of the road and the Carlo Sandblow car park.

Getting to Rainbow Beach

  • From Brisbane, drive about 160km north on the Bruce Highway towards Gympie. At the southern edge of Gympie, turn onto Tin Can Bay Road and drive 42km, then turn right onto Rainbow Beach Road.
  • From Maryborough, drive 57km south on the Cooloola Coast Road, then turn left onto Tin Can Bay Road and drive 3.5km, then turn right onto Rainbow Beach Road.

  • Drive 29km along Rainbow Beach Road into Rainbow Beach township.

Road conditions

Parking

Park at the Information Centre or at Carlo Sandblow car park. Secure all valuables.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

When to visit

Opening hours

Carlo Sandblow walk is open 24 hours a day.

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Climate and weather

Cooloola enjoys a mild, sub-tropical climate. The average daily temperature range is 22–30°C in summer and 12–22°C in winter. The mean annual rainfall for the area is approximately 1400mm with the driest times between July and September.

Permits and fees

Organised events

  • If you are planning a school excursion or organising a group event such as a wedding, fun run or adventure training, you may need an organised event permit. Maximum group sizes and other conditions apply depending on location and activity type.

Pets

Domestic animals are not allowed here.

Staying in touch

Mobile phone coverage

Unreliable. Check with your service provider for more information.

Tourism information

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland.com, and for friendly advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to do, find your closest accredited visitor information centre.

Be prepared

  • Parks are natural environments and conditions can be unpredictable. You are responsible for your own safety and for looking after the park.
  • Read stay safe and visit with care for important general information about safety, caring for parks and essentials to bring when you visit Queensland’s national parks.

  • Check the Cooloola Recreation Area conditions report prior to arrival for any park closures, fire prohibitions, warnings, tide times and beach and track conditions. Subscribe to the RSS feed to receive automated updates. (About RSS feeds).

  • Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Drinking water

  • Drinking water is not provided. Carry your own drinking water and take extra as there is no shade on this walk.

Open fires

  • Open fires are not allowed.

Rubbish

  • Rubbish bins are not provided. Pack your rubbish securely in rubbish bags and carry out of the recreation area.

Walking

  • Do not try and access the beach from the sandblow. People have been injured, requiring rescue, when attempting to do this.
  • Be aware that hang gliding operators walk their bulky equipment from the Carlo Sandblow car park to the sandblow section of this walk.
  • Read walk with care for tips on walking safely and walking lightly.

Bad weather and emergencies

  • For all life threatening emergencies (police, fire, ambulance), phone Triple Zero (000).
  • Tsunami, cyclones and extremely high tides may occur along coastal areas.
  • The Noosa River is also susceptible to flooding, cutting off escape routes.
  • Tune into a local radio station for updated warnings and advice. Be aware that an emergency alert may be received at any time.

Last updated: 22 March 2018
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