Camping in Cooloola
Freshwater Camping Area has to be one of my favourite places in South East Queensland to visit. It is about a two hour drive from our home near Boondall on the north side of Brisbane.
There are a couple of ways you can get there—you can drive towards Rainbow Beach and take the inland track a few kilometres before you get to Rainbow Beach, or you can drive along Teewah Beach and take in the awesome beauty that the coastline has to offer. We love the drive along the beach, so followed the highway north and headed towards Noosa. From there, we caught the ferry across to Noosa North Shore. The Noosa North Shore Retreat is on the way to the beach and a great place to stop for lunch. They have a giant bouncy pillow, which allowed our daughter to burn off some energy before heading on a bit more of a drive.
We took the 3rd cutting down onto the beach. This campsite is only accessible by 4WD and you do need a permit to enter the recreation area. After checking tide times and letting down the air in the tyres to drive on the sand, we were on our way. Nothing can quite describe the feeling of relaxation once you hit the sand.
The track off the main beach to the campsite is easy to spot and, before long, we had arrived, chosen our campsite and were kicking back and enjoying the surrounds.
There are many campsites to choose from and they are not allocated. The amenities block is quite centrally located, but can be a bit of a trek through sand for those who have middle of the night toilet requirements, so this is something to keep in mind when choosing your site (I learned that the hard way on a previous trip!).
Our daughter loved exploring around the campsites and looking out for any animals that were wandering around. The birdlife around the campsite was amazing and just on sunrise seemed to be the best time to listen to the wonderful sounds that they create.
Unfortunately, bikes and scooters are not really great here as the surface is sand, so we left them at home for this trip.
Facilities at Freshwater Camping Area
- The campsites at Freshwater Camping Area are suitable for tents or camper trailers. There are several different sized sites, allowing room for even very large tents.
- No domestic pets are allowed at this campsite.
- No generators are allowed either, so it is nice and quiet for the most part.
- After a great day at the beach, the option of a hot shower was very welcoming. The showers here are coin operated ($1 coins only).
- The toilets are what my daughter refers to as “normal toilets”, which just means that they flush! Most of the time they are kept well stocked, but a couple of times the toilet paper ran out, so be sure to have a stash with you.
- There are big rubbish bins at the entrance/exit of the campgrounds.
- A payphone is situated just outside the amenities block as there is no mobile reception at the campsite.
- Near the day use area is a portable toilet waste disposal facility for those that require it.
Activities to enjoy at Freshwater Camping Area
- There are some great walks in the area, for all levels of fitness. The beach is a short walk over the sand dunes and it is easy to lose track of time, watching the waves and enjoying the sunshine.
- For those that enjoy fishing, beach fishing seemed to be a popular pastime for other campers, but is just not our thing.
- None of Teewah Beach is patrolled by lifeguards. The closest patrolled beach is Rainbow Beach, which is about 45 minutes’ drive on an inland 4WD track. We chose to take this drive a couple of times. Be sure to be prepared for the unfortunate situation that you may get stuck in the sand though. Maxx Trax were enough to get us out of trouble at these times.
- Bymien Picnic Area is along the track to Rainbow Beach, with more interesting bushwalking options. We stopped here for a while and did some exploring and also made use of the facilities provided.
- If getting out and about in your 4WD is how you like to spend time, you will not be disappointed in what this whole area has to offer. To the north of the campsite is Double Island Point, where there are lots of great tracks to try out.
How to make the most of your stay at Freshwater Camping Area
- You need to bring pretty much everything with you to Freshwater.
- There is no drinking water.
- The nearest shop is at Noosa North Shore or Rainbow Beach.
- There is a fire ban in place, so be sure to bring gas cookers etc.
- There are lots of shady trees around, but we always put up a tarp for shade and shelter from the falling branches.
- It can get quite windy, so we make sure to secure everything with sand pegs.
- We were at this beautiful place during the heatwave, so were extra conscious of having plenty of drinking water, sunscreen and shelter. We limited middle of the day activities and made the most of 4WDing during those times. Afternoons were spent lazing around the campsite reading books or having a rare daytime nap.
Freshwater Camping Area is located in the Cooloola Recreation Area, around 8km south of Double Island Point along Teewah Beach or approximately 40km north of the 3rd cutting on the Noosa North Shore.
Please visit their website for more information – http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/cooloola/camping.html#freshwater_camping_area
Thanks to Susan for this camp site review!
Take a look at the Brisbane Kids list of Your Favourite Camping Spots for lots more recommended family camp locations to explore, like Agnes Water Beach Holiday Park. We will have many more campsite reviews coming in the very near future.