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Day Tripping to Cooloolabin Dam and Point Glorious Lookouts

Home > Sunshine Coast > Playgrounds | Picnic Spots | Lookouts | Escape the City | Day Trips
by Elaine (subscribe)
Impromptu adventuring, exploring our backyard and then putting pen to paper, hoping to entice you to try one, if not all, of our escapades, is my true reward!
Published October 20th 2020
Are we there yet?
Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
The spectacular Cooloolabin Dam is surrounded by Mapleton Forest Reserve


You think you know the Sunshine Coast and then on a casual Sunday drive, you discover Cooloolabin Dam, with a day-use area, a couple of picnic tables, a children's mini playground and relaxing short walks.

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
About 10kms out of Yandina ...


Located about 10kms out of Yandina (think Ginger Factory), Cooloolabin Dam is surrounded by Mapleton Forest Reserve and is a water supply area to parts of the Sunshine Coast. This spectacular area also serves as the 'head of a trail' through the adjacent Mapleton National Park. The trail uses local roads and the fire-trail network for mountain biking, horse riding and walking.

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
Children's playground


What can we do at Cooloolabin Dam?

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
A walk suitable for littlies too .... Image: www.alltrails.com


Take a relaxing short-ish stroll. The Cooloolabin Dam walk begins in the recreation area with a green signpost marking the starting point.

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
Start of 2.8km walk


The flat trail meanders through the bushland, with unexpected little gaps in the bush en-route that lead straight down to the dam edge. When we were children we loved to rock skim or rock skip flat stones across the water. Cooloolabin Dam lends itself perfectly to this fun activity. Walkers are encouraged to follow the outside path of the short trail. Keep a look out for birds in the bush and on the dam.

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
The walking trail is not well used, so keep an eye out for local fauna


Fishing is permitted from the shoreline and no permit is required. Keen fishermen in the family please note that the lake itself is off limits i.e. no boating and to please dispose of fishing line and hooks to avoid serious harm to the catchment animals. Accessing private land in this area to fish is also not permitted.

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
Perfect for shoreline fishing and rock skimming


Mountain biking is permitted at Cooloolabin Dam. Please stay on the trails and obey all signage, especially on multi-use trails - to give way to horse riders, and mountain bike riders to give way to pedestrians.
There are a couple of picnic tables overlooking the Dam, so pack a picnic and get out there to enjoy the views. Please remove all rubbish to protect the drinking water supply and local wildlife.
Toilets on site but no drinking water is available

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
A picnic with views ... and shade


How do we find Cooloolabin Dam?

Take the Yandina exit off the M1 and head west through the first roundabout. At the second roundabout turn left into Fleming Street. At the traffic lights cross over Farrell Street and you will be in Old Gympie Road, which you follow to Cooloolabin Road. Keep driving along Cooloolabin Road until you see the dam day parking/picnic area on your right - it's about 10.5km from Yandina.

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
Cooloolabin Dam is a spectacular spot to 'discover'


Hubby and I were feeling decidedly adventurous especially after our surprise discovery - move over Captain James Cook - of Cooloolabin Dam, so felt that further exploration of this forested region would surely not go amiss … and this is how we stumbled upon the Point Glorious Lookouts.

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
A decent rock 'n roll session awaits ... Image: www.google.com


How to get to Point Glorious Lookouts?

Approximately 7.6km from Cooloolabin Dam are the two little-known lookouts of Point Glorious in Eerwah Vale. From the dam head north-east on Cooloolabin Road towards Buckby Road. Turn left onto Buckby Road and travel for 3.7km; turn right and continue for 1.4km; another left for 1.7km and then at last! - bringing to mind another childhood memory 'are we there yet? - a right towards Point Glorious Road. Travel along here for approximately 120m to an informal carpark.

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
The gravel road to Point Glorious is only suitable for 4WD's


Please note that the road from Cooloolabin Dam to the Point Glorious Lookouts is gravel/offroad and is only suitable for 4 Wheel-Drive vehicles with high clearance and the advice is not to attempt these roads during wet weather.

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
And ... voilà! First lookout


There are heaps of humps and bumps and washed-out ravines making for a pretty decent rock 'n roll session, and adventurous us remembering timeously to 'act our age' as we hadn't informed the 'children' where we were headed and that it would not be a good idea to find ourselves 'stuck' in the middle of the towering treed landscape of Mapleton National Park, with no reception.

What can we do at Point Glorious?

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
One of many picnic facilities at Point Glorious


With plenty of picnic tables available and not too many sightseers, a romantic picnic with an awesome view would be perfect - all the other visitors that we came across at Point Glorious were young couples, no doubt all eager for 'alone time';

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
For those who love to cliff dangle ...


Abseiling rings are available, so for those adventurous types who love to cliff dangle, Point Glorious ticks the box;

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
Loos on site ...


Toilets on site make for a more comfy longer stay;

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
Stay away from cliff edges!


Children should be supervised at all times as the cliff edge is signed to be unstable with slippery rocks

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
Second lookout ...


If you find Wappa Falls and Jack Harrison Park a tad overcrowded and yearn for something more solitary, Cooloolabin Dam and Point Glorious could easily be classified as the less-busy siblings, boasting totally different leisure activities. With Cooloolabin Dam and Wappa Falls within easy distance of each other (about 12.6kms), why not do a family day trip combo to enjoy the multiple benefits of a really fun day out.

Day tripping, Cooloolabin Dam, Point Glorious lookouts, day-use area, picnic tables, playground, walks, Mapleton Forest Reserve, Yandina, head of a trail, Mapleton National Park, mountain biking, horse riding, rock skipping, fishing from shoreline, no boating, toilets, no drinking water, Captain James Cook, Eerwah Vale, are we there yet, offroad, 4WD with high clearance, no reception, abseiling, cliff danglers, Wappa Dam, Jack Harrison Park
A picture is worth a thousand words ...


All images courtesy of author, except for maps
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Why? To enjoy multiple leisure activities at different locations, all in one day
When: Every day of the year
Where: Cooloolabin Dam, Cooloolabin Road, Yandina QLD 4560 | Point Glorious Lookouts, Point Glorious Road, Eerwah Vale, QLD 4562
Cost: Free activities
Your Comment
Great article Elaine. A lovely adventure with many spectacular surprises!
by Barry (score: 3|1953) 43 days ago
Great article and photos Elaine. It's the type of location that I like.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|1132) 44 days ago
Congrats on the Silver, Elaine! What a top article and an awesome adventure! Wish we lived in sunny Queensland!
by Belladonna (score: 2|595) 43 days ago
So many gems hidden away. Thank you.
by Annette Vandersluis (score: 2|832) 39 days ago
Thanks, Elaine, without your articles there would be so much of the Coast we wouldn't know about!! My family loves exploring the places you write about.
by laura (score: 0|5) 43 days ago
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