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About Mount Coolum

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Getting there and getting around

Midway between Noosa and Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast. Several major access roads, Sunshine Motorway R70, Maroochydore Road R8, Bli Bli Road R10 or Yandina Coolum Road R11 link the Bruce Highway M1 with the David Low Way R6, which provides access to the park.

Turn off the David Low Way 6km south of Coolum Beach township or 3km north of Marcoola township into Tanah Street West. The car park entrance is near the junction of Tanah Street West and Jarnahill Drive. Roads to the car park are suitable for all vehicles.

Bicycles and pedestrian access from nearby town areas is also possible via a wide pathway running beside the David low Way.

A bus stop is located close to the park entrance on the David Low Way, near its junction with Tanah Street East. See bus information on the travel smart website.

Walking the track in wet weather is not recommended. The track becomes extremely slippery.

Wheelchair accessibility

Wheelchair access is not available in Mount Coolum National Park.

Park features

Panoramic 360 degree views reward visitors when they reach the summit. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Panoramic 360 degree views reward visitors when they reach the summit. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Spectacular coastal views, rare and threatened plants, wildflowers, birdlife and geology feature here.

The impressive dome-shaped Mount Coolum, which rises 208m above sea level and is visible from many locations across the Sunshine Coast, is a central feature of this small park.

Montane heath—a plant community with many rare and threatened species—survives on Mount Coolum’s summit. On the Sunshine Coast this plant community only grows here and on a few peaks in Glass House Mountains National Park.

The protected coastal plains within the park conserve a range of plant communities including wallum, paperbark wetlands, open eucalypt forest and rainforest remnants. They were all once common across the Sunshine Coast prior to extensive clearing for a rapidly increasing human population. Approximately half of all the plant species that occur on the Sunshine Coast are represented in Coolum National Park.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camping is not allowed in the national park.

Private camping areas are located at the nearby coastal resorts of Mudjimba and Coolum Beach.

Other accommodation

A wide variety of accommodation is available throughout the Sunshine Coast area. For more information see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Many steps lead visitors to Mount Coolum's summit, 208m above sea level! The track is suitable for fit walkers only. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Many steps lead visitors to Mount Coolum's summit, 208m above sea level! The track is suitable for fit walkers only. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Golden candlesticks Banksia spinulosa var. collina flower in the montane heath mainly between May and August. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Golden candlesticks Banksia spinulosa var. collina flower in the montane heath mainly between May and August. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Two endangered she-oaks grow in the park—Mt Coolum she-oak Allocasuarina thalassoscopica and Emu Mountain she-oak Allocasuarina emuina. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Two endangered she-oaks grow in the park—Mt Coolum she-oak Allocasuarina thalassoscopica and Emu Mountain she-oak Allocasuarina emuina. Photo: Ross Naumann, QPWS volunteer.

Walking

Take a challenging walk to the summit where there are spectacular 360 degree views of the coastal area, including Point Cartwright and the Glass House Mountains to the south, the Blackall Range to the west, and Noosa Heads to the north.

Mount Coolum summit walk (Class 4)

Distance: 1.6 km return

Time: Allow about 2 hrs return

WarningGrade 4 walking trackCaution

This Grade 4 walking track is suitable for fit walkers only—there are steep, rocky sections and the summit is 208m above sea level. Loose gravel surfaces and exposed naturally-occurring lookouts. Supervise children closely.

Details: Enjoy a steep trek to the summit of one of the Sunshine Coast’s ancient volcanic domes. Created about 26 million years ago, Mount Coolum is a laccolith, formed when a dome-shaped bulge of magma cooled below the Earth’s surface.

The walking track includes some of nature’s own rock steps. Formed during the volcanic period, large hexagonal cooling columns lie almost horizontally in the track’s path.

The walk begins in open forest and as the elevation increases and soils change, the forest becomes woodlands, shrublands, and then low montane heath on the summit.

Montane heath plants are dwarf species that rarely grow above 1 m in height. This is due to the harsh conditions in which they grow, including exposure to high winds and sun, as well as infertile substrates and high evaporation rates.

Many rare and threatened species grow here, including the endangered Mount Coolum she-oak Allocasuarina thalassoscopica, a plant found nowhere else.

It is essential that visitors keep to the walking track and defined viewing areas to avoid trampling and damaging plants.

This park is excellent for birdwatching—many honeyeaters can be seen in the heath and birds of prey, including resident peregrine falcons, soar above. During winter and spring migrating whales can be seen out at sea.

In the summer months walk in the cooler parts of the day to avoid heat exhaustion.

Walk the track in fine weather only. The track becomes extremely slippery when wet.

Things to know before you go

Toilets are not provided in this national park. Plan to visit nearby public toilets before you visit. Public toilet locations:

  • Birrahl Park public toilets—1.8km north of the walk entrance via David Low Way, turn right onto Goongilla Street.
  • Felix Parry Park public toilets—3.2km south of the walk entrance via David Low Way. Turn left onto Tamarindus Street, then left onto Marcoola Esplanade.

Essentials to bring

  • Bring your own drinking water—this is not provided.
  • Carry a first-aid kit, insect repellent and a mobile phone.
  • Wear sturdy shoes, a hat, protective clothing and sunscreen.
  • Bring a camera and binoculars.
  • Remove your rubbish from the park.

Opening hours

For your safety, walk in Mount Coolum National Park in daylight hours only.

Permits and fees

Permits are required for commercial or organised group activities. Contact us for further information.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted within Mount Coolum National Park.

Climate and weather

The Sunshine Coast enjoys a mild, subtropical climate. The average daily temperature range is 21 to 29°C in summer and 10 to 21°C in winter. In summer temperatures can exceed 30°C.

For more information see the Bureau of Meteorology and tourism information links.

Fuel and supplies

The nearest fuel and supplies are available at Coolum Beach township, a short drive from the park. For more information see the tourism information links.

Staying safe

  • Sheer cliffs and slippery rocks can be hazardous. Always supervise children, keep to the walking tracks, stay behind safety fences and follow all warning signs to avoid tragedy.
  • Stay on track. Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you should return. Wear sturdy shoes. Carry adequate clothing, water and snack food.
  • Never walk alone. Always walk with a group and walk in daylight hours only.
    • Walk the track in fine weather only. The track becomes extremely slippery when wet.
  • Supervise children. Natural areas have hazards that children are unfamiliar with, including creeks, cliff edges, stinging plants and wildlife.
  • Carry a first-aid kit—and know how to use it. Use repellent on exposed skin and shoes to discourage mosquitoes, leeches and ticks. Remove ticks immediately or seek medical advice.
  • Carry fresh water. Drinking water is not provided.
    • In the summer months walk in the cooler parts of the day to avoid heat exhaustion.
  • Check Park alerts for current warnings or closures. Closures can occur during severe wet weather, during high winds and for fire management. For your safety, do not enter the park when closure signs are displayed.
  • Do not leave valuables unattended. While visiting the park, please ensure that you lock your vehicle and remove all valuables, including garage remote-controls.
  • In an emergency phone Triple Zero (000). Mobile phone reception can be poor in these areas.

For more information about staying safe while visiting national parks, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

Help protect natural resources by being a minimal-impact visitor.

  • Leave your domestic animals at home. They are not allowed in Mount Coolum National Park. Domestic animals can distress or kill native animals that live here.
  • Do not feed or leave food for animals. Human food can harm wildlife and cause some animals to become aggressive.
  • Everything within the national park is protected. Do not take or interfere with plants or animals.
  • Take all your rubbish out of the park. Remove excess food packaging at home before your visit to the park, and pack strong sealable bags or containers to store food and rubbish.
  • Stay on the walking track to avoid damaging plants.

See the guidelines on caring for parks and forests for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

Mount Coolum National Park was first gazetted in 1990 as a small area covering the mountain. In 2001 the Marcoola sections on the coastal plain were added increasing the park size to 367.24 ha and further enhancing conservation of the rapidly disappearing coastal and open forest communities of the Sunshine Coast.

Mount Coolum National Park is managed by the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing’s Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to preserve and present its remarkable natural and cultural values in perpetuity.

Surrounded by urban development and receiving around 50, 000 visitors a year, the park’s values are under increasing threat.

Recovery plans exist for the endangered Mt Emu she-oak Allocasuarina emuina and vulnerable wallum frog species, including the wallum sedgefrog Litoria olongburensis.

Aboriginal people have affiliations with places in the park and involvement of Traditional Owner groups form an important component of park management.

The park supports birds on the National List of Migratory Species, and is subject to the World Heritage Convention, the Bonn Convention, the China–Australia Migratory Bird Agreement, Japan–Australia Migratory Bird Agreement and Republic of Korea–Australia Migratory Bird Agreement. For this reason, provisions of the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 also apply.

The South East Queensland Regional Plan 2009–2031 is the statutory regional planning strategy under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 that guides growth and development in south-east Queensland. Under this regional plan, Mount Coolum National Park is classified as a ‘Regional Landscape and Rural Protection Area’ and, therefore, is subject to the management objectives and policies applicable to this classification.

See natural environment, culture and history for more information about the history and values of Mount Coolum National Park.

Tourism information links

Visit Sunshine Coast
www.visitsunshinecoast.com
ph 1300 847 481 (within Australia)
email

Visit Sunshine Coast manages accredited Visitor Information Centres across the Sunshine Coast that provide a range of local and regional tourist brochures and information, as well as a tour, attraction and accommodation booking service.

  • 198 Main Road, Montville
  • Settler's Rotary Park, Bruce Parade, corner of Reed Street, Glass House Mountains
  • 7 Caloundra Road, Caloundra
  • 77 Bulcock Street, Caloundra
  • Cnr Melrose Parade and Sixth Avenue, Cotton Tree (Maroochydore)
  • Cnr First Ave and Brisbane Rd, Mooloolaba
  • Tickle Park, David Low Way, Coolum Beach
  • Arrivals Terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport, Friendship Drive, Mudjimba

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
28 October 2016