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About Inskip

Getting there and getting around

Flocks of resident and migratory birds can be seen along the coastal beaches. Photo: Briony Masters, Queensland Government

Flocks of resident and migratory birds can be seen along the coastal beaches. Photo: Briony Masters, Queensland Government

Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area lies opposite the southern tip of Fraser Island, at the entrance to Tin Can Bay. Bounded by the Pacific Ocean on its eastern side and the sheltered waters of Tin Can Bay and Great Sandy Strait to the west, most of the peninsula is managed for nature-based recreation.

  • Head towards the township of Rainbow Beach.
  • Once in Rainbow Beach, turn north into Clarkson Drive, and at the first roundabout turn right into Inskip Avenue.
  • Drive approximately 10km before reaching the recreation area located along 9km of sealed road.
  • At low tide four-wheel-drive vehicles may have access to Inskip via the beach by turning right into Pacific Boulevard off Inskip Avenue.

Barge services carry 4WD vehicles between Inskip Point and Fraser Island.

Two-wheel-drive (2WD) access

There are limited sites suitable for access with 2WD vehicles, small caravans and camper trailers.

  • From Gympie, take the Tin Can Bay–Rainbow Beach Road.
  • From Rainbow Beach, turn north into Clarkson Drive, at the roundabout turn right into Inskip Avenue.
  • Drive approximately 10km before reaching the recreation area located along 9km of sealed road.

Don’t get stuck! Choose a suitable camping area at Inskip for your vehicle type and trailer set-up.

Four-wheel-drive (4WD) access

Travelling without a dog?

Take an alternative beach drive—4WD only!—from the south, by driving along Cooloola's beaches from Tewantin to Rainbow Beach. You will need a Cooloola Recreation Area vehicle access permit for this drive.

Always travel around low tide times and check beach conditions (PDF, 671K)* before going.

  • Access from Tewantin is across the Noosa River ferry at the end of Moorindil Street, Tewantin.
  • Travel to the beach access point called 3rd Cutting, Noosa North Shore.
  • Travel north from 3rd Cutting along Teewah Beach to Freshwater, Double Island Point and Rainbow Beach.

Travelling with a dog?

Dogs and other domestic animals are not permitted in vehicles traversing the Cooloola Recreation Area (PDF, 2.3M)*. You must drive via another route to Rainbow Beach to avoid penalties for having a dog in a recreation area.

Other roads are:

  • The sealed roads from Gympie, Maryborough or Tin Can Bay to and from Rainbow Beach.
  • An unsealed road through bushland—Counter Road.
  • Be aware that vehicle access permits are not required before traversing these roads.
  • The unsealed roads are not QPWS roads. These council-maintained roads vary in conditions—4WD recommended.

Please note: 

Possible danger points

  • Mudlo Rocks (in front of Rainbow Beach township)
  • sand cliff slips between Rainbow Beach and Double Island Point (Cooloola Recreation Area)
  • Sand depressions located on the beach between the navigational lead lights and the barge landing area (Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area).
  • Beware! Sand depressions can develop anytime on any section of beach at Inskip Peninsula.

Wheelchair accessibility

Due to the sandy environment, there are no wheelchair-accessible tracks on the Inskip Peninsula. Wheelchair access ramps are available at some toilets, but assistance may be needed to push chairs along the sandy paths that lead up to the ramps.

Wheelchair accessible toilets are located in:

  • Inskip day-use area—toilet is alongside the bitumen road.
  • M.V. Beagle camping area—toilet near the exit.
  • M.V. Sarawak camping area—toilet on the beachfront.
  • M.V. Natone camping area—toilet at the entrance.
  • S.S. Dorrigo camping area—toilet parallel to the bitumen road.
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Park features

Inskip aerial: view over Hook Point (foreground) on Fraser Island World Heritage Area, to Inskip Peninsula (mid-ground), looking south to Double Island Point. Photo: Queensland Government

Inskip aerial: view over Hook Point (foreground) on Fraser Island World Heritage Area, to Inskip Peninsula (mid-ground), looking south to Double Island Point. Photo: Queensland Government

Some waters surrounding Inskip are protected within the Great Sandy Marine Park. The Great Sandy Strait, including Tin Can Bay and Tin Can Inlet, has been listed as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. For more information see the Australian Wetlands Database.

For thousands of years, Inskip and Cooloola have been special places for Aboriginal people. Through timber-getting, agriculture and sandmining, the areas have undergone many changes in the past 150 years. Today, Inskip and Cooloola protect valuable coastal ecosystem remnants and are among the most popular tourist destinations in Queensland.

Camping and accommodation

Obtain camping permits before you set up camp and display them at your camp site. Photo: Alyssa Muller, Queensland Government

Obtain camping permits before you set up camp and display them at your camp site. Photo: Alyssa Muller, Queensland Government

Camping

All camping areas within Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area require a camping permit and fees apply.

Camping permits

  • Permits must be obtained prior to arrival.
  • Camping permits must be purchased for the number of people in a group—NOT per camp.
  • Capacity for the area is based on maximum number of people—NOT camps.
  • You must display a camping tag with your booking number and details at your campsite.
  • Pre-pay for permits online or by phone.
  • Permit packs for people who have pre-paid bookings—that is, people who have already purchased their permits online or by phone—are available 24hrs from outside the QPWS information centre in Rainbow Beach and Tewantin.
  • Campers are responsible for renewing expired permits.
  • On-the-spot fines apply for camping without a valid permit.
  • Rangers may visit camps during the day to check permits and answer questions.

Setting up camp

  • All sites are occupied on a ‘first in, best placed’ basis.
  • Reserving or roping off areas is not permitted at any time.
  • Sites suitable for camper trailers or large tents are limited.
  • Small tents are recommended.
  • Sites suitable for 2WD vehicle access are limited.
  • Campers may have to carry their camping equipment to an available site.
  • Caravans are not recommended.

Camping during peak periods

Camping areas at Inskip are popular all year, but are often full at peak periods—school holidays, long weekends, Christmas, New Year and Easter.

Remember, only campers with pre-purchased permits are allowed to set up camp.

Be aware! Vehicle Access Permits (VAPs) are required and dogs are not permitted in vehicles while traversing beaches and beach access tracks in the nearby Cooloola Recreation Area (i.e. Double Island Point and Freshwater Road)

Penalties and evictions apply for camping without a valid permit. Avoid the disappointment of being turned away:

  • Permits must reflect number of people and duration of stay.
  • Buy permits well in advance.

Plan ahead especially in peak times!

  • Visitors cannot book specific camp sites.
  • All camp sites are available on a ‘first in, best placed’ basis.
  • Most camping areas are for 4WD only.
  • 2WD vehicle access is very limited.
  • Very few sites cater for large tents or camper trailers.
  • Caravans are not recommended.
  • Bring small tents, particularly during peak periods, as they are more easily accommodated.

During peak periods, strict conditions of camping apply

  • Camping structures belonging to all people registered under a single camping tag must be in one place and no more than 3 metres apart.
  • Rangers will ask campers to reset their camping structures to allow for all visitors with valid permits to fit into the camping areas.
  • Camp sites MUST be vacated by 11am on the day of departure.

Camping permits for special groups

Certain groups may be able to request a special account—group account, school account or commercial operator account—for booking camping.

Also see: Permits for special group accounts

Schools and other organised groups

If you are planning an organised use of a QPWS-managed area contact your local QPWS office to discuss your proposal.

  • Group activity permits may be required for weddings and large, organised group activities, such as school excursions or adventure training.
  • Maximum group sizes and other conditions may apply depending on the location you wish to use and the type of activity you are planning.
  • It is recommended that group leaders view the Teachers' and group leaders' package (PDF, 247K)* for planning hints and safety information.

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around Rainbow Beach. For more information see the tourism information links below.

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Things to do

Enjoy fishing at Inskip, but stay well out of traffic lanes. The beach is also used as a road. Photo: Queensland Government

Enjoy fishing at Inskip, but stay well out of traffic lanes. The beach is also used as a road. Photo: Queensland Government

Relaxation is high on the list for most visitors to Inskip. The surrounding waters are rich in sea life and the area is a popular fishing spot. Please take only enough for your immediate needs—bag and size limits apply. Dolphins, dugong and turtles may be sighted.

Walking

Long walks along the beaches at Inskip are popular, especially at sunrise and sunset.

  • Be alert to traffic, as the sound of surf and wind make it difficult to hear approaching vehicles.
  • Also see: Walk safely section.

A short walk (425m one way, 900m circuit) leads to Pelican Bay from the roundabout near the day-use car park. The varied plant life provides habitat for a surprising assortment of birds such as the black-breasted button-quail Turnix melanogaster—considered a vulnerable species. These little birds rotate on one foot leaving distinct circular depressions as they scratch in leaf litter for seeds and insects.

  • Keep dogs on a leash and under control, so these little birds can survive around Inskip Peninsula.

Driving

  • Only use established or formed tracks, when driving into beach camping areas at Inskip.
  • It is illegal to drive on vegetated dunes.

Vehicle access permits (VAPs) are not required at Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area, but are needed if you want to drive into the nearby Cooloola Recreation Area—that is Double Island Point, Freshwater Road and Pettigrews Road to Kings Bore track.

Penalties apply:

Swimming

People have suffered serious injuries in water-related accidents at Inskip.

  • Swimming in the ocean is not recommended. 
  • There are no regularly patrolled swimming areas at Inskip, except at certain times on a section of beachfront (clearly signed) in front of the Rainbow Beach township.
  • Check local signs for patrol times in this small area.

Avoid tragedy!

  • Always stay with children when near water.
  • Sharks are common in the ocean.
  • Be aware of warning signs stating crocodiles may be present in the vicinity, even though the risk of encountering one is low.
  • Rips occur frequently in the ocean.
  • Marine stingers, including bluebottles, are prevalent during spells of northerly and easterly winds.
  • Do not jump or dive into water. Serious injuries have occurred as submerged obstacles can be anywhere.
  • Power boats and jet skis use the waters off Inskip and swimmers may be difficult to see.

Boating

  • Coastal waters from Double Island Point, including the headland, and the Tin Can Inlet are protected within the Great Sandy Marine Park and regulations apply.
  • There are no boat launching facilities within Inskip.
  • Nearby council-managed boat ramps are located at Bullock Point, Carlo Point and at Norman Point, Tin Can Bay.

Fishing

Recreational fishing is popular at Inskip Point. Bag limits, size and seasonal restrictions apply to some fish species. For more information search for "Fisheries" online at Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) for rules and guidelines.

On Inskip and Cooloola’s coastal beaches

  • All waters surrounding Inskip are protected within the Great Sandy Marine Park as are the coastal waters from Double Island Point to Inskip Peninsula, including the Tin Can Inlet. Restrictions apply.
  • All rubbish from fish cleaning, including offal, scales and unused bait, should be buried at least 50cm deep just below the high tide line.
  • When fishing at night, wear high-visibility vests and use glow sticks to alert approaching drivers of your location.

Also see: Short information video clips:

Horse riding

Independent recreational horse riding is only permitted below mean high water mark on the eastern beach between the Pacific Boulevard beach access track and ‘The Oaks’. Conditions apply. 

Viewing wildlife

The Inskip Peninsula offers excellent opportunities for viewing wildlife, especially birds. Flocks of resident and migratory shorebirds are often seen resting and roosting along the coastal beaches. Please slow down and go around flocks of shorebirds; most are resting and restoring energy after their long flights from the northern hemisphere.

To report wildlife emergencies and marine strandings, phone RSPCA Queensland on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).

Also see: Slow is safe—a short safety video—and wildlife online for more information.

All wildlife is protected

Birds are particularly wary of dogs and horses. When disturbed birds will rise up and fly away, sometimes into the path of oncoming vehicles.

  • Penalties apply when dogs are allowed to chase wildlife, whether deliberate or not.
  • Keep your dog/s on a leash and under control at all times.
  • Keep your distance from nesting and roosting shorebirds, so everyone can enjoy the magnificent array of birds that visit Inskip.
  • Where horses are permitted, ride at walking pace only.

Sometime dolphins come in close to shore. Let them find their own food so they can stay wild.

Please note: Penalties apply for harassing or unauthorised feeding of dolphins.

Consider the locals

Brush turkeys in camp?

The Australian brush-turkey Alectura lathami uses long claws to scratch through leaf litter in search of insects and seeds. In spring, males rake up a large mound of leaf litter in which they incubate the eggs laid by many females.

  • Please don’t feed them; they become a real nuisance and may even become aggressive.
  • Also see: Keep wildlife wild—a short information video.

Curlew calls keeping you awake?

The beach stone-curlew Esacus magnirostris was once common, but is now considered a vulnerable species in Queensland. Their eerie wailing calls at night often frighten people who have not heard them before. These curlews nest just above high tide in shallow sand depressions. The chicks are difficult to see.

  • Please don’t destroy bird nests!
  • Avoid beach driving around high tide.
  • Avoid driving in the soft sand above the high tide mark.

A vulnerable little bird

The black-breasted button-quail Turnix melanogaster—considered a vulnerable species—rotates on one foot leaving distinct circular depressions as it scratches in leaf litter for seeds and insects. Keeping dogs on leashes and under control at all times, helps this little bird to survive around the Inskip Peninsula.

Shorebirds

Great Sandy Strait merges with the open ocean, creating rich and varied habitats for abundant sea life. Isolated sand spits adjacent to Inskip Peninsula are within the Great Sandy Marine Park. These fall within the designated shorebird roosting and feeding area. The Great Sandy Strait was listed under the Ramsar Convention 1999, primarily for the protection and conservation of waterfowl and wader habitat.

Help shorebirds survive!

  • Dogs must be kept under control and restrained at all times.
  • On-the-spot fines apply.
  • Also see: Weeds, animals and pathogens—a short information video.
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Things to know before you go

Peak times means peak crowds at Inskip. Book well in advance. Photo: Queensland Government

Peak times means peak crowds at Inskip. Book well in advance. Photo: Queensland Government

Inskip's rules at a glance

  • Chainsaws cannot be used.
  • Dogs are permitted on a leash and under control at all times.
  • Horses are permitted only in the Independent Recreational horse riding area.
  • Camping permits are required before arrival—fees apply.
  • Specific camp sites cannot be booked—first in, best placed.
  • Campfires are permitted at Inskip.
  • No campfires when a fire prohibition is in place.

Essentials to bring

  • Leash for your dog—dogs are permitted, but must be kept on a leash and under control at all times.
  • Bring a good supply of disposable bags for your dog's droppings, as you must clean up after your dog.
  • First-aid kit—it's a good idea for at least one person in the group to have a current first-aid certificate.
  • Personal prescription medicines—bring adequate supplies for your stay.
  • Drinking water and water containers—replenish water supplies at the service facility on Clarkson Drive.
  • Fuel stoves preferred—test them before leaving home and never use them in confined spaces, such as tents.
  • Firewood—none is provided, so bring adequate supplies of clean untreated firewood, such as mill off-cuts.

Be warned!

Everything is protected in the Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area, so collecting bush wood, even twigs and leaves, from Inskip is an offence. Penalties apply.

Campfires

Campfires are permitted at Inskip, but:

  • No campfires are permitted at all when a fire prohibition is in place; check park alerts and the Cooloola Conditions Report (PDF, 671K)* before going.
  • Never leave a fire unattended—penalties apply.
  • Supervise children carefully around fires.
  • Extinguish fires totally with water, not sand.
  • Do not dispose of non-combustible or toxic materials in fire, including glass, cans, rubber and plastic.
  • Also see: Safety video clips.

Dogs

Dogs are permitted in the:

  • Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area
  • Dog-friendly zone—between First and Third cuttings—in the Cooloola Recreation Area.

Avoid a fine

  • For safety, it is a requirement to keep dogs on leashes and under control at all times, both in the camping areas and on the beach.
  • Do not allow dogs to chase birds or other wildlife.
  • Wrap or bag dog droppings and place these in the bins.
  • Ensure that your dog does not prevent rangers' access to view your camping permit tag.

Remember—keep your dog in line and avoid a fine.

Dogs are not welcome everywhere

Be warned that dogs are not permitted anywhere else in the Cooloola Recreation Area, including inside vehicles traversing beaches and access tracks—for example Teewah Beach, Double Island Point and Freshwater Road.

Also see: Things to know before you go into the Cooloola Recreation Area.

Horses

Independent recreational horse riding is only permitted below mean high water mark on the eastern beach between the Pacific Boulevard beach access track and ‘The Oaks’. 

Horse riding is controlled by regulatory notice. Conditions apply:

  • Horses must not exceed walking pace.
  • Grazing or feeding of horses in the recreation area is prohibited.

Remember—camping with horses is prohibited.

Extra hints:

Seriously consider bringing:

  • portable toilets for beach camping
  • mobile phone and spare battery—even though phone reception is intermittent.
  • sunscreen and insect repellent
  • torch and spare batteries
  • wet weather gear
  • sand pegs, tarpaulins, extra poles and ropes (but never tie ropes to trees).

Opening hours

Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area is open 24 hours a day, except for periods of scheduled maintenance or during severe weather events.

Permits and fees

Purchasing vehicle access permits (VAPs)

No VAPs required for Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area.

Yes! Vehicle access permits (VAPs) are required:

  • in nearby Cooloola Recreation Area—on beaches and some access tracks
  • before entering Fraser Island.

Purchasing camping permits

Camping permits—fees apply—are required before arrival at all camping areas within Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area. On-the-spot fines apply for camping without a valid permit.

A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site. Pre-paid permit packs—for campers who have booked and paid online or by phone—are available 24 hrs from outside the QPWS information centre in Rainbow Beach and Tewantin.

Staying longer?

It is your responsibility to renew your expired permit if you intend to stay longer.

If you are part of an organised group, a group activity permit may be required.

Also see: 

Permit refunds

For information on permit refunds, please read Camping and vehicle access permit fee and pre-paid booking refunds (PDF, 176K)*. To apply for a refund please email: camping.refundenquiries@nprsr.qld.gov.au

Pets

Other than dogs and horses under strict conditions, no other domestic animals, including birds, are permitted at Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area. Walking dogs at Inskip—on a leash and under control—is best for you, other visitors' safety and best for wildlife.

Also see: Keep wildlife wild—a short information video clip

Climate and weather

Inskip Peninsula enjoys a mild, subtropical climate. The average daily temperature range is 22°C to 30°C in summer and 12°C to 22°C in winter. Inskip camping areas are close to the ocean and visitors will often enjoy soft sea breezes at the end of the day.

Summer months can be humid with long periods of rain. Thunderstorms, often with strong winds, can occur from spring through to early winter and can dump large amounts of rain in a short period of time.

Winters are generally dry. September is one of the driest months of the year. Dry conditions increase the risk of wildfires.

After long periods of rain, the sand in intertidal zones can become waterlogged, increasing the possibility of sand depressions forming—soaked sand patches that subside and collapse. Although rare occurrences, these unstable areas are dangerous.

Park closures and warnings

Prior to arrival, check Park alerts and the Cooloola Conditions Report (PDF, 671K)* (updated regularly) for park closures or warnings about issues, such as floods, fires, road and walking track conditions and scheduled maintenance.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Rainbow Beach.

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Staying safe

Be prepared, as areas at Inskip are prone to flooding, cutting off escape routes. Photo: Queensland Government

Be prepared, as areas at Inskip are prone to flooding, cutting off escape routes. Photo: Queensland Government

In an emergency

  • Phone Triple Zero (000) for all life threatening, critical or serious emergencies, or for reporting a bushfire or acts of arson.
  • If having difficulty connecting to Triple Zero (000) from a mobile phone, try dialing 112.
  • Stay with the injured person—keep them calm and protect them from the elements.

Be prepared for disaster

Inskip Peninsula is a narrow, low-lying peninsula with only one road back to Rainbow Beach. Some camping areas can become flooded with access and exit tracks becoming impassable.

Be aware!

  • Most camp sites are very close to sea level.
  • Strong winds, sea swells, tsunami, cyclones and extremely high tides can occur and quickly inundate the camping areas—you must get out quickly.
  • Tides play a big role in Inskip with some low-lying camping areas flooding quickly.
  • Beach conditions can change quickly, especially after rain, strong winds, high tides and choppy seas.
  • Weather changes can affect your camping experience, so tune in to a local radio station and listen carefully to weather reports.

Play it safe—pack up and leave in bad conditions

  • In case of a tsunami warning, leave immediately—you may have only minutes to respond!
  • For comprehensive information on preparing for floods, cyclones, tsunami and severe storms, visit Queensland Disaster Management Services.
  • Before leaving home, check Bureau of Meteorology weather forecasts and warnings.
  • Tune into a local ABC radio station for updated warnings and advice.
  • Check for up-to-date Tsunami warnings; telephone 1300 TSUNAMI (1300 878 6264) or visit www.bom.gov.au/tsunami.
  • Be aware that an Emergency Alert may be received at any time.

Check for park alerts

For more information, check park alerts and read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Pack good communication gear

Although mobile phone coverage is intermittent throughout Inskip, some areas have good reception.

Prepare an emergency kit

This could include:

  • portable transistor radio and spare batteries
  • torch and spare batteries
  • extra warm clothing
  • first-aid kit (and be trained in first aid)
  • list of emergency contact numbers.

Walking safety

Be alert for approaching four-wheel-drive vehicles when on the beach. The sound of the surf makes it difficult to hear approaching vehicles.

  • Also see: Bushwalking for more comprehensive information.

Drinking water

No drinking water or shower facilities are provided in the camping areas. Drinking water is available at the council service facility just outside Rainbow Beach on Clarkson Drive. See Rainbow Beach inset in the Cooloola Recreation Area map (PDF, 2.3M)* for directions. This facility is about 15 minutes drive from the camping areas. Bring clean water containers.

Water safety

Swimming in the ocean is not recommended, but drivers of power boats and jet skis should always be wary of people in the water, fishers and marine animals. Please be careful over the seagrass beds as dugong feed there all year around. For the sake of all marine animals, please go slow for those below.

Sand safety

Sand slips are silent. Exposed sand dunes and sand cliffs along Inskip and Rainbow Beach are unstable and can collapse without warning. Climbing on, sliding down or digging into them is dangerous and can lead to serious injury or death. Do not park close to dunes. Never allow children to play near or on sand dunes and sand cliffs.

Driving safety

All Queensland road rules apply on all roads, vehicle tracks and beaches in the Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area. Police patrol all areas of the Inskip Peninsula. Speed checks and breath testing can happen at anytime anywhere.

View the short Driving on sand and Slow is safe safety videos for more detailed information on rules, preparation, hazards and other handy sand driving tips. Before leaving home, check the Cooloola Conditions Report (PDF, 671K)* (updated regularly) for beach and track conditions.

Driving around Inskip

Be aware!

  • All Queensland road rules apply on roads and beaches.
  • Drivers must be licensed.
  • All vehicles must be road registered.
  • Conditionally registered vehicles are not permitted (including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles or ATVs).
  • Wear seatbelts at all times—it's the law!
  • Never carry passengers outside the vehicle cabin.
  • Keep to the left of oncoming vehicles at all times.
  • Only use indicators when overtaking or turning.

Keep to speed limits

  • The speed limit on beaches is 80km/h unless signposted otherwise.
  • The speed limit on all beaches adjacent to camping and day-use areas is 40km/h.
  • The speed limit in camping areas is 10km/h.
  • Drivers must assess conditions and be responsible for the safety of themselves and their passengers.

Beach hazards

Hazards can occur within the Inskip Recreation Area and change on a daily basis. Be aware that:

  • Deep washouts can happen at any time, particularly after heavy rain and rough seas.
  • Wave action can expose dangerous rocks overnight.
  • Washouts and rocks can be difficult to see, especially at night.
  • Night driving is not recommended.
  • Drivers find it difficult to see people lying on the beach or kids playing.
  • People on the beach may not hear approaching cars over the sound of surf and wind.
  • Safest beach driving times are at, or very close to, low tide.
  • Beach driving during the two hours either side of high tide or at night is dangerous.

Wildlife and plants are protected by law

Many shorebirds—migrants and residents—are of international conservation significance. Help to care for them and their roosting and nesting areas.

  • Slow down around wildlife—drive around, not through, flocks of birds.
  • Do not drive over vegetation.
  • Never park vehicles or set up camp on vegetated foredunes. Penalties apply.
  • Always use established or formed tracks when accessing designated beach camp sites behind the foredunes.

People are precious

Beach safety is everyone’s responsibility—drivers, parents and children.

  • Drive slowly when passing people and oncoming vehicles.
  • Take extra care and slow down around busy meeting spots, such as the beach adjacent to the camping areas and the barge landing area.

Ensure your vehicle is mechanically sound

  • Carry a tyre gauge, air pump for tyres, water, snatch strap, tow rope, a first-aid kit and essential spares.
  • Never overload the vehicle.
  • Load your vehicle evenly, with heavier items packed low.
  • Top-heavy vehicles topple easily—only carry lightweight items on roof racks.

Campfire safety

  • Campfires are permitted at Inskip except during fire prohibitions in which case fires are not permitted anywhere.
  • Use a pre-existing campfire site.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended and extinguish all fires with water before leaving camp.
  • Be vigilant with fuel stoves, gas lights and lanterns.

Penalties apply:  

  • for starting a fire during a QPWS-imposed fire prohibition or a total fire ban.
  • for disposing of non-combustible or toxic material (e.g. glass, rubber, cans, plastics) in a campfire.

Check park alerts and the Cooloola Conditions Report (PDF, 671K)* for fire prohibition or fire ban information before going.

Also see: 

Bushfires

In extreme conditions, some camping areas may be closed at short notice for safety reasons.

  • Bushfires can pose a threat to campers.
  • They can occur without warning.
  • Be aware of the dangers and prepare a safety plan.

Planned fire

Rangers also carry out planned fuel reduction burning. These are well broadcast beforehand.

See:

Please observe all signs, barriers and directions from rangers.

Report a fire by calling Triple Zero (000) as soon as possible and alert rangers in the area.

Report suspected arson

Please report suspected arson immediately to Triple Zero (000). This can save lives, property and wildlife.

  • Record the time, location and description of the suspected arsonist/s or the vehicle, including its registration number.

For more information, please read the QPWS Fire management brochure (PDF, 274K)* and guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

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Looking after the park

Escaped campfires can become wildfires in minutes. Never leave a campfire unattended. Photo: Queensland Government

Escaped campfires can become wildfires in minutes. Never leave a campfire unattended. Photo: Queensland Government

For everyone's safety, keep dogs under control and on a leash at all times as this helps to minimise disturbance to this fragile area and its wildlife.

Also see: Keep wildlife wild—a short video.

The following guidelines will help to care for Inskip so it can be enjoyed now and in the future.

Also see: Walk softly guidelines for more information.

Everything is protected

Leave flowers, ferns and all other plant material undamaged. What is easy to take may take years to replace.

Keep forests free of pests

Clean all camping and personal gear before entering the recreation area. Insects, weed seeds and soil pathogens can stick to boots and camping equipment.

Also see: Weeds, animals and pathogens for a short minimal impact video.

Carry it in – carry it out

Please take all rubbish out of the recreation area. 

  • Bulk rubbish bins are provided at the exit to each designated camping area.
  • Don't burn, bury or leave anything—including dog droppings.
  • Carry out sanitary products, disposable nappies and cigarette butts.
  • Please do not put any rubbish in the toilet facilities.
  • Remove excess food packaging at home.
  • Keep wildlife away—take strong sealable bags or containers to store food and rubbish.
  • Avoid bringing glass as this can’t be crushed and if broken can harm other visitors and wildlife.
  • Never hang rubbish bags from trees or tents.

Also see: Reduce and recycle rubbish for a short minimal impact video.

Let native animals find their own food

  • Please do not feed or leave scraps for wildlife. 
  • Animals that are fed can become aggressive to humans. 
  • These habituated animals become reliant on the food source, suffer from disease or can over-populate to the extent that they dominate an area and aggressively exclude other wildlife.

Also see: Keep wildlife wild for a short minimal impact video.

Use a fuel stove

  • Please bring a fuel stove for cooking.
  • Campfires are permitted at Inskip, but remember to bring your own firewood as it is illegal to collect bush wood from the recreation area.
  • Use firelighters as collecting leaves and twigs is also an offence.
  • Check any Park Alerts in case QPWS-imposed fire prohibitions or QFRS-imposed fire bans are in place—no fires permitted under these conditions.

Also see: 

Generator use

Generators up to 2.0Kva are permitted in the Inskip Recreation Area, but can only be used between 7am and 9pm so everyone can enjoy a quiet night.

Portable toilets are preferred

It’s best to bring a portable toilet, if you intend camping away from toilet facilities.

  • Please do not empty contents of portable toilets into the camping area toilets.
  • The nearest toilet waste disposal facility is on Clarkson Drive just outside Rainbow Beach.

Bush toileting

If bush toileting is necessary in undeveloped camping areas:

  • Dig a hole at least 45cm deep.
  • Fill in the hole properly afterwards—burying all faecal matter and the used toilet paper.
  • Cover the spot well.
  • Don't bury sanitary items, including disposable nappies—bag them and take them out of the recreation area.
  • Bush toiletting is not permitted in the developed camping areas at Inskip.

Also see: Bush toileting practices for a short minimal impact video.

Stay on the tracks

Shortcuts damage plants and cause erosion. Please stay on designated tracks and off the vegetation on the foredunes.

Also see:  

  • guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting the environment and heritage in parks.
  •  Driving on sand for a short minimal impact video.
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Park management

Track maintenance is an ongoing management task for QPWS. Photo: Queensland Government

Track maintenance is an ongoing management task for QPWS. Photo: Queensland Government

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS), part of the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing (NPRSR), manages the Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area, to conserve its natural and cultural resources.

Inskip Peninsula was declared a recreation area in 1996. This enables the department to manage increasing use of this fragile, sandy environment. The Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area extends to the low water mark, except in parts of Pelican Bay. Unlike nearby national parks and recreation areas, dogs are allowed in Inskip, provided that they are kept on a leash and under control at all times. Dogs must never be allowed to block the way, when rangers visit camp sites for permit checks.

A no-vehicle zone on the southern side of the spit conserves shorebird roosting and nesting areas. All of the Great Sandy Strait and waters between Inskip Peninsula and Hook Point on Fraser Island as far down as Tin Can Bay and mouths of the creeks that flow into it, are protected by the Great Sandy Marine Park's shorebird roosting and feeding designated area. These waters and the adjacent coastal areas hold the distinction of being classified as Ramsar sites—that is, they are wetland areas of international importance.

Tourism information links

Gympie Cooloola Tourism:

  • www.cooloola.org.au
    Lake Alford, 24 Bruce Highway, Gympie QLD 4570
    ph (07) 5483 6411 or 1800 444 222
    fax (07) 5483 6411
    email enquiries online.

Noosa Visitor Information Centre:

  • www.visitnoosa.com.au
    61 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads QLD 4567
    ph 1800 002 624
    email enquiries online.

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see www.queenslandholidays.com.au.

Cooloola Recreation Area visitor guide:

  • Obtain a copy at a QPWS Information Centre—Tewantin or Rainbow Beach—when visiting Cooloola or Inskip Peninsula recreation areas.
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Further information

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Last updated
27 June 2014