Cooloola Beach and the backing dunes rival Fraser Island in nature and origin. Cooloola is, however, half the size of Fraser and is connected to the mainland by swamps. The first 40 km of the beach and backing dunes are part of Cooloola National Park, and offer a more accessible beach, dune and lake system, compared to Fraser. The northern tip of the beach is anchored by the prominent Double Island Point, named by Cook on account of its twin 90 m high peaks. The point also houses a lighthouse on the eastern peak. The beach begins amongst a field of basalt boulders at the foot of the point, then runs south for 53 km from Double Island Point to the Noosa River mouth. For most of its length it is exposed to energetic waves averaging 1.5 m, which maintain a wide, low gradient beach and double bar system (Fig. 2.5b). Rips dominate the inner bar with up to 250 operating along the beach (Figs. 2.6b & 3.2c). The inner bar and rips are fronted by a wide, deep trough, then the outer bar. Two small creeks, Freshwater and Little Freshwater drain the dunes and flow across the beach. From Teewah village down to the river mouth, the 12 km of beach become increasingly protected by Noosa Head. Wave height slowly decreases and the double bar deteriorates to one rip-dominated bar.
The beach (1531) is totally accessible by 4WD from the ferry across the Noosa River in the south, and from a number of tracks off the Rainbow Beach Road, or Rainbow Beach via Double Island Point in the north. Much of the beach is backed by high, scarped, coloured dunes (Fig. 4.105), while freshwater creeks and some springs cross the beach. Three kilometres south of Double Island Point is the wreck of the 'Cherry Venture', a popular tourist drawcard (Fig. 2.7a). There are protected camping sites at Freshwater Creek and Kings Bore in the national park, as well as the Teewah settlement, which contains about 50 houses all only accessible by 4WD and tucked in behind the lower southern dunes.
Beach Length: 53km
General Hazard Rating:
There are currently no services provided by Surf Life Saving Australia for this beach. Please take the time to browse the Surf Safety section of this website to learn more about staying safe when swimming at Australian beaches.
Click here to visit general surf education information.
SLSA provides this information as a guide only. Surf conditions are variable and therefore this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for observation of local conditions and an understanding of your abilities in the surf. SLSA reminds you to always swim between the red and yellow flags and never swim at unpatrolled beaches. SLSA takes all care and responsibility for any translation but it cannot guarantee that all translations will be accurate.