Neebs Waterhole, Poona Lake and Carlo Sandblow Bushwalks at Rainbow Beach

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Posted 2023-11-15 by Roz Glazebrookfollow

Last year I spent a week at Rainbow Beach in a rented house with eight bushwalking friends. We did lots of day walks around the local area. I really enjoyed it and was looking forward to going back again this year. This time apart from two people, we had a different group of friends. One woman had to pull out at the last minute because she got sick so we ended up with 11 of us this year.


We arrived on a recent Monday and settled into the house and had a swim in the pool. Most of us went out for dinner every night at a different venue in town.


On Tuesday we drove to Mullen Car Park and walked to Neebs Waterhole, which is part of the Cooloola Wilderness Trail Walk. Unfortunately, it was very hot and a lot of the walk was out in the open so we all suffered from the heat a bit.


Some of us did have a swim in the waterhole to cool off, but by the time we walked back to the cars, most of us had run out of water and were suffering from the heat. The track was 17.6 kilometres to the waterhole and back. The track was a lot drier than when I did the walk last year. There is a remote campsite across the other side of the waterhole, which is part of the Upper Noosa River. Apart from the heat, the walk was very interesting with lots of grass trees, paper bark, banksias and tea trees, but the very hot day made it a bit unpleasant this year.


We did a quick detour on the way back to Rainbow Beach to have a look at Seary’s Creek. We walked down a short 100 metres on the boardwalk to the creek. We swam in the creek last year, but this year the water was a lot shallower and we were all pretty exhausted so only one of us had a quick paddle up to her knees to cool off. We all went for a swim in the pool back at the house.


On Wednesday we had a rest day. Some of us went for a long beach walk and others relaxed around town. We saw a kite caught high in a tree. In the afternoon we walked along the beach to look at the coloured sands.


On Thursday five of us did a car shuffle to walk to Poona Lake and back to Rainbow Beach via the Carlo Sandblow. We left one car in Rainbow Beach and another one where we started the walk at the Information Centre. It was a wonderful walk. It wasn’t too hot because we were in the forest a lot of the time and the weather was much cooler than Tuesday’s walk.

The whole walk was about 22 kilometres. We had a swim in Poona Lake surrounded by paperbarks. There was more beach than on my last visit, but not as much as on my first visit several years ago. It is a beautiful perched lake, which you can only get to by walking in.


We were very excited at Poona Lake to see an endangered Cooloola Sedge Frog. We also saw an interesting crab along the track and heard and saw lots of birds, including a beautiful large bird with emerald green wings. We heard Wompoo pigeons and catbirds. I didn’t get a good enough look at the bird with green wings to find out what it was, just a flash of green as it flew off. We also ran into some of our group at the lake. They had done the shorter walk from the Bymien day-use area. That group also walked into the Carlo Sandblow from Rainbow Beach so they got to see the main scenic areas.



On the way back from Poona Lake we ran into a large group of young people who had walked in from the Bymien day-use area, a 4.2 kilometre return walk. You can get there in a two-wheel drive car.



They were dragging a large esky and looked like they had had enough and asked us how much further it was to get to the lake. We told them it was just around the corner, which it was. They were almost there. Some of the group was afraid to go past a python on the track. They looked like overseas backpackers so probably were a bit afraid of our Australian snakes.


We reassured them the python wouldn’t attack them and they would enjoy their esky drinks by the lake.


We walked back the way we had come until we turned off to head to the Carlo sandblow. It was just as beautiful as I remember it. It was a gorgeous walk through the rainforest with towering kauri and hoop pines and lots of strangler fig trees and tall piccabeen palms. Cathy even climbed one of the trees.


We had an ice cream before heading back to pick up the second car and going back to our house. We went for another walk along the beach to the coloured sands before getting ready to go out for dinner. The colours of the sand dune hills were brilliant golden and red. We passed underneath the Carlo Sandblow.


We went to the Marina to watch the sunset before heading off to dinner to celebrate Karen’s birthday.


It was sad packing up to leave and head home on Friday. It was another wonderful trip to Rainbow Beach. Rainbow Beach is 240 km north of Brisbane. It is named after the famous Coloured Sands. It is the gateway to K'gari [Fraser Island] and also to the Cooloola Great Walk to Tewantin and the Cooloola Wilderness Walk to Lake Cootharaba.



We packed a lot into our 5-day break. A highlight for me was seeing my first Cooloola Sedge Frog. It is an endemic Australian frog, which is only found in Fraser and North Stradbroke Islands off South East Queensland. Its scientific name is Litoria cooloolensis. They are very small frogs, only getting up to 3 cm in body length. Its back looked like moss. It had orange/red on the back of its thighs.

So, if you are looking for an interesting place to spend some quality time, head to Rainbow Beach. You can be as energetic or relaxed as you want.



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270590 - 2023-11-15 11:59:20

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