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Double Island Point lighthouse walk

© Chris Whitelaw

Double Island Point lighthouse 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 (built) 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 (built) No lookouts
Tent camping No tent camping
World Heritage Area

Gaze at mesmerising ocean views from the lighthouse high on the headland, and imagine life for the early lightkeepers and their families.

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)

Enjoy views of Rainbow Beach along the Double Island Point lighthouse walk.
Enjoy views of Rainbow Beach along the Double Island Point lighthouse walk. © MJL Photography
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Park Cooloola
Traditional Owners Traditional Owners
Park Ranger Park Ranger

Stop along the Cooloola beach drive to tackle this short but steep walk to the historic Double Island Point lighthouse. Be rewarded with amazing 360-degree views reaching from Fraser Island and Rainbow Beach around to Noosa on a clear day.

Double Island Point lighthouse is spectacular, standing tall against a backdrop of low wind-stunted pandanus and coastal banksia. Explore around the lighthouse and surrounding buildings, built back in 1884, and imagine the daily lives of early lighthouse keepers and their families.

Look for dolphins, marine turtles and manta rays in the waters off the headland, and migrating humpback whales during the cooler months.

At a glance

Distance: 2.2km return (start and finish points are the same and the traveller must return via the same path).
Time suggested: Allow 1hr walking time.
Grade:
Journey type: Walk

Getting there and getting around

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

  • The walk is at Double Island Point and can be accessed from the Cooloola Beach drive between Noosa North Shore and Rainbow Beach.
  • From the south end, drive 45km north along the Cooloola Beach drive to Double Island Point and the walk entrance.
  • From the north end, drive 10km south along the beach, then drive 1km inland on the Leisha track, turn left on the southern beach and drive a further 2km north to the walk entrance.
  • The walk starts at a locked gate at the southern beach of the Double Island Point headland. An 800m side trail branches off from the walk to the northern beach of the Double Island Point headland.
  • You need a high-clearance 4WD to access the walk.
  • Remember all vehicles must be registered, drivers must be licensed and all Queensland road rules apply, even on beaches.
  • A vehicle access permit must be purchased. Display the permit on your windscreen before driving in the recreation area.
  • At the northern beach access, visit the Manta Ray barge office, Shell service station, Rainbow Beach caravan park (BP service station) or the Rainbow Beach Tourist Information Centre for vehicle access permits, also camping permits and other information (business hours only).
  • At the southern beach access, visit the Great Sandy Information Centre, located near the Noosa River ferry on Moorindil Street for vehicle access permits, also camping permits and other information (business hours only).
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

Getting there from the south

  • From Brisbane drive 135km north on the Bruce Highway or the Sunshine Motorway to Tewantin; or from Gympie drive 58km south and east on the Bruce Highway to Tewantin.
  • In Tewantin, follow Moorindil Street to the Noosa River ferry, cross the river to Noosa North Shore, and drive 2.2km on Maximillian Road.

  • Turn right onto Beach Road and drive 2.1km on the bitumen road, then turn sharply to the left (past the first beach access cutting) and head north on the Wilderness Track.
  • Drive 2.8km to the end of the bitumen road to the 4WD-accessible third beach cutting. You must enter and exit the beach and the Cooloola Beach drive via this sand track.

Getting there from the north

  • 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 9km along Rainbow Beach Road to Rainbow Beach township.
  • At the end of Rainbow Beach Road, turn left onto Kirchner Avenue, drive 300m, turn right onto Griffin Esplanade and follow this road to the council car park and vehicle access ramp to access the beach and the start of the Cooloola Beach drive.

Road conditions

  • Cooloola's beaches are suitable only for high-clearance 4WDs with low range gears. They are not suitable for caravans, campervans and motorhomes. Off-road camper trailers must have good clearance.
  • Cooloola's narrow inland sand tracks and beaches are rough and generally have dry powdery sand making driving difficult.
  • Mudlo Rocks (in front of Rainbow Beach township) and the ongoing erosion to the sand cliffs between Rainbow Beach and Double Island Point may impede travel.
  • 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).

  • See traffic and travel information for road and travel conditions.

Parking

Park on the beach at the bottom of the headland.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

When to visit

Opening hours

Double Island Point lighthouse 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

Vehicle access permits

  • Vehicle access permits are required to traverse Cooloola's beaches.
  • A vehicle access permit must be purchased. Display the permit on your windscreen before driving in the recreation area.

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. Bring your own drinking water.

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.

Driving

  • Dogs are not permitted in vehicles while traversing Cooloola's beaches and beach access tracks on the way to Inskip. Detour via Cooloola Way or the Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach roads.
  • Consider carrying a Personal Locator Beacon especially if travelling into remote areas with no mobile phone reception.
  • Unless otherwise signed, maximum speeds are:
    • 80km/hr on beaches
    • 50km/hr along beaches adjacent to camping and day-use areas
    • 20km/hr on all other inland roads
    • 20km/hr within camping areas
  • Avoid travelling at night; washouts and rocks can be difficult to see.
  • The best time for driving on the beach is two hours either side of low tide. Be aware of tides as they rise quickly and if you become stuck, it will be many hours before you can drive out safely.
  • Stay on the formed tracks and do not drive or park on the fragile foredunes. The dunes may be soft and unstable, collapsing under the weight of a vehicle.
  • The beach is exposed to seasonal larger-than-normal tides. Large winds and/or ocean swells can push water further up the beach causing beach erosion.
  • Deep washouts can happen at any time, particularly after heavy rain and large ocean swells. Debris, such as tree trunks and coffee rock, is often exposed in the intertidal zone—between high and low tide marks—following severe weather events.
  • Mudlo Rocks, just south of the beach ramp at Rainbow Beach, are generally impassable at high tide and often at low tide as well, depending on conditions. Use extreme caution; only experienced drivers should attempt the crossing. Conditions change daily. Always check first. Use Freshwater Road as an alternate route.
  • Leisha Track northern entrance is subjected to continuing natural erosion and at times this can impede travel. The track may become totally inaccessible on or around high tide so plan to travel at or near low tide. Due to traffic congestion, do not park on the Leisha Track.
  • Do not drive on the foredunes. They are fragile, are damaged easily and are nesting sites for shorebirds. For this reason, do not travel on the high tide! Drive slowly around (not through) flocks of birds. They are resting after long, exhausting migration flights.

  • After periods of severe weather scouring the beach sand, outcrops of coffee rock can be exposed on the beach between the third beach access cutting to Teewah township, and in other random areas, that can impede beach driving times.
  • After periods of severe weather scouring the beach sand, metal fragments of the removed Cherry Venture shipwreck north of the Freshwater Road entrance, can be exposed.
  • The lagoon on the northern beach, between the Leisha track and the rocky headland, changes on a daily basis and at rare times, vehicle access can be difficult.
  • Driving on the section of beach from Double Island Point to Middle Rocks is extremely hazardous at times, and only experienced drivers should attempt this beach drive. Take Freshwater Road as an alternative route to Rainbow Beach.
  • Middle Rocks, approximately 4km south of Rainbow Beach, can be impassable at times, depending on conditions.
  • Remember all vehicles must be registered, drivers must be licensed and all Queensland road rules apply, even on beaches.
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

Walking

  • Stay on the track at all times and do not shortcut. Dangers include steep cliffs and sharp rocks.
  • Read walk with care for tips on walking safely and walking lightly.

Around water

  • Swimming is not recommended because visitors have been seriously injured or killed diving or jumping into water. All water bodies have hidden dangers that cannot be seen and may contain swift currents.
  • The river system, lakes and coastal beaches are not patrolled. The nearest patrolled beaches are at Rainbow Beach and Noosa Heads.

  • Rips occur frequently and sharks are common in the ocean.
  • Bluebottles (a species of marine stinger) are prevalent during spells of northerly winds.
  • For health reasons, do not dam or swim in creeks or soaks along the beach.

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.

Restricted access

Commercial tour operators and management vehicles only are permitted on the Double Island Point lighthouse track. There is no public access to the lighthouse cottages.

Last updated: 22 March 2018
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