Cooloola Sand, wind and water have sculpted a varied landscape at Cooloola, the largest remnant of coastal vegetation on the southern Queensland’s mainland. High sand dunes, coloured sand cliffs, sweeping beaches, sandblows, freshwater lakes, tall forests, paperbark swamps and wildflower heath make the Cooloola Recreation Area a spectacular part of the Great Sandy National Park. http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/cooloola/index.html
Inskip Peninsula is a narrow, sandy finger of land built up by wind and waves. It forms a natural breakwater at the entrance to Tin Can Inlet and Great Sandy Strait. Inskip is a gateway to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island. Beach she oaks, cypress pine and other coastal trees and shrubs shade the very popular camping areas ringed by open ocean beaches and sheltered estuary shores. All are within 15 minutes drive to Rainbow Beach. Most of the peninsula is protected as a Recreation Area. http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/inskip-peninsula/index.html
The Great Sandy Marine Park extends from Baffle Creek in the north to Double Island Point in the south. It includes Hervey Bay, Great Sandy Strait, Tin Can Bay Inlet and the waters off the east coast of Fraser Island, seaward to three nautical miles.Seagrass meadows, mangroves, rocky shores, reefs, sandy beaches, bays, sheltered channels, rivers, creeks and estuaries host a wealth of wildlife including whales, turtles, dugong, grey nurse sharks, fish, corals, birds and more. http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/great-sandy-marine/index.html
Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island and an area of remarkable natural beauty. Growing on seemingly infertile sands are a great variety of plant communities ranging from coastal heath, mangrove forests and swamps to subtropical rainforest. The many archaeological remains found on Fraser Island record thousands of years of culture and tradition, and provide important links to their past for the Butchulla people. The island is 123 km long and covers an area of 166,038 ha, so you need to allow plenty of time to explore and appreciate it. http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/fraser/index.html
Unless you intend holidaying on Fraser Island, most probably your best way of seeing all its beauty is to take a 1 day or 2 day tour. Or you can make the trip in your own 4WD, driving up the road or beach to Inskip Point and crossing in the barge. Rainbow Beach Flying Services offer a daily service to Fraser Island, but prior bookings are required. Remember that going independently, a permit is required and is available from the National Parks Office.