8 reasons to walk 88km from Noosa to Rainbow Beach
Me & My Travel Bugs
Travel photographer Jesse Lindemann from meandmytravelbugs.com recently hiked the Cooloola Great Walk with Tropical Treks and shares eight reasons why you should too.
Thinking about hiking one of Australia’s up-and-coming Great Walks? Between Noosa and Rainbow Beach, lies a remote region of tall eucalyptus forests, hidden sub-tropical
rainforests, epic coastal cliffs and giant sand dunes just waiting to be explored. Here’s eight reasons why the Cooloola Great Walk should be on your
hiking bucket list this year.
1. HIKING THE BEACH
After starting the walk through plains of stunning wildflowers (late Winter to Spring), you’ll find yourself hiking along the beach highway that is Noosa
North Shore early on day one. I can’t think of a better way to start a hike than soaking up sea breezes, sunshine and golden sand as you find your
rhythm for the days ahead.
2. THE VIEWS
Walking along the beach at Noosa North Shore.
From glimpses of the hinterland ranges and rivers to epic coastal cliffs, you won’t be short of rewarding views along the way. Some of my favourites include the coastal views near Brahminy camp (see below), the top of Cooloola Sand Patch, Mt Seewah and the Carlo Sand Blow.
3. WAKING UP TO THE SOUND OF THE RAINFOREST
Stunning coastline views before the final stretch to camp on day one.
Letting your circadian rhythm get back to rising and falling with the sun is itself a great way to reset your body and de-stress. Add in the early morning chirping and whistling of birds and other animals as the rainforest comes to life and you find yourself about as close to bliss as possible for any nature lover. Waking up on the last morning of the hike at Kauri walkers’ camp might just make you forget the previous seventy-odd kilometres.
4. AH THE SERENITY
Rainforest vibes from Kauri walkers’ camp.
In the middle three days of the hike, I think we probably saw a dozen people, max. Roam where the wifi is weak, let your mind wander even further and just enjoy the serenity. Nowhere on the hike is this more true than on the morning of day 2, eating breakfast by the river at Dutgee walkers’ camp. Just one of the many simple pleasures you begin to enjoy when you’re disconnected from the hectic pace of everyday life.
5. SECLUDED SWIMMING SPOTS
It’s not hard to see why the Noosa Everglades are famous for their mirror-like reflections!
There might not be a shower anywhere in sight for five days, but there’s a much cooler (pun very much intended) way to freshen up along the way. The best two spots are undoubtedly the Noosa Everglades and Lake Poona. After reaching the top of the Cooloola Sand Patch around lunchtime on day two, just know that it’s all downhill to the river for a refreshing dip in the teatree-stained waters of the Noosa Everglades. And by the morning of day five, you could be forgiven for mistaking the white sandy beaches and mirror reflections of Lake Poona for a mirage playing tricks on your mind. No, its very much real and a perfect place to freshen up before hitting the home straight.
6. UNIQUE AUSTRALIAN FLORA
Lake Poona: an Oasis in the middle of the Great Sandy National Park
From different varieties of eucalyptus trees (including the fascinating ‘Scribbly’ gums), massive Kauri Pines and rainforest strangler figs, to wildflowers and foxtail grass, you see countless varieties of native flora species during the hike.
These gorgeous Banksia wildflowers will guide your way into Brahminy walkers' camp and make you almost forget the aches starting to kick in after the day’s journey.
7. WATCHING THE SUNSET FROM CARLO SAND BLOW
Banksia wildflowers lining the track into camp on day one.
A golden sunset from the golden sand dunes of Carlo Sand Blow means you’ve made it. And whether you’re looking east towards Double Island Point or west to Tin Can Bay, the views from this place are well worth the journey.
8. THAT ACCOMPLISHED FEELING
Watching the sunset over Tin Can Bay from the Carlo Sand Blow.
When was the last time you or anyone you know walked almost 90 km over five days across sand dunes, rainforests and plains? With relatively few people having completed this up-and-coming hike, not only will you have some awesome stories to share with family and friends, you’ll also likely have adventure bragging rights for some time to come!
ABOUT TROPICAL TREKS
The final few hundred metres across the Carlo Sand Blow and time for a celebratory drink!
Tropical Treks Guided Bushwalks and Birdwatching is the first tour company to offer guided Cooloola Great Walk bookings. With accredited and passionate tour leader Steve Grainger, you’ll be able to share this amazing hike with small groups of six from April 2018. Head to Tropical Treks website to learn more.
You can read more of Jesse’s adventures on the world’s healthiest travel blog Me & My Travel Bugs.