Carlo Sand Blow is part of the immense Cooloola sandmass, one of the largest coastal sand deposits in Queensland. Located along the Cooloola Great Walk, this is a must-see.


  • 15-hectare Moonscape sand mass that makes up Carlo Sand Blow
  • Amazing variety of flora, particularly the Strangler Figs which create web-like designs on their host tree and columnar trees with a hollow core if the host tree dies.
  • Wide range of Funghi, skinks and other wildlife in the lush rainforest.
  • Incredible view overlooking Rainbow Beach and back towards Double Island Point.

The Lowdown

Well this was an absolute gem of a find!! About 4km south of Rainbow beach is Freshwater Rd — turn down there and keep an eye out for the Bymien Picnic area.

Our original plan on the day of this hike was to just go Bymien Picnic area to Poona lake (about 2km) for a swim and back. That was until we saw a sign stating Carlo Sand Blow 10km. We did that instead (so 20km round trip) and it was absolutely amazing.

The hike follows the Great Walk trail through bushland and has the most amazing variety of trees, fungi, skinks and a couple of spiders — one that scared the bejeebers out of me at the picnic area restroom!!

Carlo Sand Blow // Cooloola Great Walk (QLD) Pru Islip funghi

Carlo Sand Blow // Cooloola Great Walk (QLD) Pru Islip beach view ocean

The hike is relatively easy in that there are only a few “hills” but no major climbs along the way. There is something incredibly special about being completely surrounded by nature on a walk few seem to tread — stay on the path and you can’t go far wrong.

It is under a lush canopy which keeps the walk shady and relatively cool. About 8km along there is a small path leading off to the right, not signed but well worth the slight detour as the view is spectacular. Fairly steep cliff face down to the beach — WOW!!

Continue back onto the track to Carlo Sand Blow and prepare for stun mode — it is one of the most stunning scenes I have come across. Classified as a “moonscape”, you’ll see sand mass that covers over 15 hectares overlooking the coloured sands and coastline of Double Island Point — a very popular spot for hang-gliders and sand-boarders.

Carlo Sand Blow // Cooloola Great Walk (QLD) Pru Islip ocean cliff

There is a second way to get to Carlos Sand Blow if you wish for a shorter walk — head for Cooloola Drive in Rainbow Beach and it’s just a 600m stroll.

Essential Gear

  • Good quality shoes
  • Comfortable light weight hiking apparel including a hat
  • Water — preferably a camel back or similar
  • Insect repellent, sunscreen
  • Snacks/food
  • Phone for emergencies and photos

How To Get There

Unable to find on google maps, however the picnic area is located about 4km south of Rainbow beach turn off Rainbow Beach Road onto Freshwater Rd travel about 3km and keep an eye out for the Bymien Picnic area


  • Hiking along the Great Walk
  • Photography
  • Watching the hang gliders that frequent Carlos Sand Blow
  • Swim at Poona Lake via a short detour on the return trip if you have time.

Skill Level


Distance Covered / Elevation Gain

As you are hiking 20km round trip a good fitness level is required. While the hike is a fairly easy one in terms of elevation there are some challenging hills along the way.


More Queensland breaks to put sand in your shoes…

Capricorn Coast Road Trip (QLD)

Camping The Whitsundays // Cairn Beach Campground (QLD)

Get Lost on South Molle Island // Whitsundays (QLD)