Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability
The Honourable Kate Jones
COOLOOLA TAKES GREAT STRIDES WITH NEW WALK
Walking and camping enthusiasts are encouraged to try out Queensland's latest Great Walk at Cooloola stretching more than 100 kilometres.
Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones today officially opened the $1.35 million Cooloola Great Walk, the ninth in a series of ten State Government-funded Great Walks throughout Queensland.
"This is one of the most spectacular and diverse walking experiences in Queensland," Ms Jones said.
"And at 102 kilometres, it is one of the longest.
"It has four camping areas for overnight breaks and will take five days to finish.
"It's a magnificent addition to our tourism industry and a great economic bonus to the local business and tourism community.
"The Cooloola Great Walk takes in the very best of Cooloola's outstanding natural and cultural attractions.
"I'd like to thank the Traditional Owners, local business and community groups, bushwalking and environmental groups as well as local government, who all contributed to the design of the walk."
Ms Jones said an extra 14 kilometres of track had been added to take walkers via the picturesque Double Island Point lighthouse, thanks to feedback from stakeholders.
The walk links the Noosa North shore to Rainbow Beach via the eastern high dunes, the upper Noosa River and Poona Lake with a total of 102 kilometres of track.
It passes through Cooloola's rich diversity of vegetation from rainforest to heathland plains, including perched lakes, a sandblow and coloured sands with spectacular scenic lookouts at Mt Seawah, Double island Point, Rainbow Beach and the Carlo Sand Blow.
"The walk has been designed as a five-day experience, making it a chance to swap the working week for a walking week," Ms Jones said.
"It includes seven bridges, four new environmentally sensitive camping areas and more than 820 signs and track markers to guide and inform walkers."
The two major track entrances are located next to major tourist destinations at Noosa North Shore and Rainbow Beach with other access points at Teewah landing track, Campsite 3 from upper Noosa River, Freshwater, Double Island Point and Bymien picnic area.
This walk will complement the Fraser Island and Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walks, as well as the proposed Noosa/Caloundra Coastal Walk being developed by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council.
Ms Jones said Cooloola was the latest, but not the last Great Walk of Queensland.
"We already have Fraser Island, Gold Coast Hinterland, Mackay, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Wet Tropics, Carnarvon, Whitsunday Great Walks and the Whitsunday Ngaro Sea Trail," she said.
"We're now working to finish the Conondale Range Great Walk in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland to complete the 10-track network by the middle of this year."
Further details of the Great Walks of Queensland including the Cooloola Great Walk are on the Department of Environment and Resource Management's website http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/parks_and_forests/great_walks/index.html