Escape the boring bitumen and try a unique once-in-a-lifetime driving experience on the Great Beach Drive.
The Great Beach Drive connects the Sunshine Coast and the Gympie region with K’gari (formerly Fraser Island). With wide stretches of beach as your road, you’ll be driving in a rare natural environment where you will witness whales, dolphins, turtles and rare bird species. This tourist drive is steeped in Australian indigenous and pioneering history and encompasses two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, a World Heritage Area, national parks and the largest sand island in the world.
Whether you prefer luxury accommodation, camping under the stars or you’re simply ready for adventure, the Great Beach Drive has something for you. Hire a 4WD vehicle, or for those who want the experience of driving on sand but with the added reassurance of a trained guide close by take a tag-along tour. Fully guided touring itineraries are offered by a number of operators, from budget to luxury.
Before departing visit npsr.qld.gov.au or check in with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service at the Great Sandy Information Centre (240 Moorindil Street, Tewantin) to purchase Vehicle and Camping Permits, check weather, sand conditions and tide times.
Begin your journey at the vehicle ferry for Noosa to Noosa North Shore, southern gateway to the Great Beach Drive and Cooloola Recreation area. Take the third sand exit onto one of the most exhilarating drives in the world.
You have passed through the Noosa Biosphere and are now entering the Great Sandy Biosphere, stop for a picnic at the coloured sands at Teewah. Continue north to Double Island Point where you can climb the hill to the lighthouse for a magnificent view from Noosa to K’gari. Take the short Leisha Track and cross from the exposed Teewah coast to the sheltered bay of Rainbow Beach . Here you can surf one of the best waves in Australia, one some days the ride can be over 40 metres! You can also kayak with dolphin pods and migrating whales in these calm waters.
Continuing to the town of Rainbow Beach you will pass tall sand cliffs that have over 70 different colours. Rainbow Beach is a great place to stop and put your feet up after your exhilarating journey. The next day, dive the short distance to Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area, which is the southern gateway to World Heritage listed K’gari, where you can continue your Beach Drive experience.