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.


We Are Explorers acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Kabi Kabi people who have occupied and cared for the lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Quick Overview

The Carlo Sandblow Walk is located in Great Sandy National Park within the Gympie Region. To get to the Sandblow, you’ll follow a 20km return trail through towering eucalypt trees and rainforest.

About Carlo Sandblow Walk

The Carlo Sandblow Walk is part of a 15-hectare Moonscape sandmass. A highlight of the trail is the incredible view overlooking Rainbow Beach and back towards Double Island Point.

It has an 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. You can also expect a wide range of funghi, skinks, and other wildlife in the lush rainforest.


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

How To Get There

The Bymien Picnic Area is located about 4km south of Rainbow Beach. Turn off Rainbow Beach Rd onto Freshwater Rd, travel about 3km, and keep an eye out for the Bymien Picnic Area.

There’s a second way to get to Carlos Sandblow if you’d prefer a shorter walk. Head for Cooloola Dr in Rainbow Beach and it’s just a 600m stroll to get there.

Skill Level


Distance / Duration / Elevation Gain of Carlo Sandblow Walk

20km / 4-6 hours / 238m

As you’re 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.

Things To Do at Carlo Sandblow Walk

  • Hiking along the Cooloola Great Walk
  • Photography
  • Watching the hang gliders that frequent Carlo Sandblow
  • Swim at Poona Lake via a short detour on the return trip if you have time


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

Essential Gear

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


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

What It’s Like to Walk the Carlo Sandblow

The Carlo Sandblow Walk 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 Sandblow 10km’. We did that instead (so 20km round trip) and it was absolutely amazing.

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

Read more: Remember to leave no trace


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.

Most of the walk takes place under a lush canopy which keeps the trail shaded and relatively cool. About 8km along there’s a small path leading off to the right, not signed, but well worth the slight detour as the view is spectacular. After a fairly steep cliff face down to the beach – WOW! We are blown away by the view.

Continue back onto the track to Carlo Sandblow and prepare to activate stun mode – it’s one of the most stunning scenes I have come across. Classified as a ‘moonscape’, you’ll see sandmass 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

FAQs Carlo Sandblow Walk

How long is the Carlo Sandblow Walk

The walk is 20km return, 10km each way from the Bymien Picnic Area. Or you can start at Rainbow Beach and reach Carlo Sandblow in just 600m. Choose your own adventure!

Is the Carlo Sandblow Walk in full sun?

No. Most of the walking trail on the Carlo Sandblow Walk is actually within a rainforest so it’s quite protected. Once you reach the sand you’ll be fully exposed to the elements though so make sure you still bring sunscreen, hat, and long sleeves to cover up.

How hard is the Carlo Sandblow Walk?

If you opt for the 20km option to reach the sandblow, you’ll need to be prepared for some hills. It’s relatively flat for most of the way but be prepared to walk on the sand at the end, which is quite gruelling. This is an intermediate hike.

This piece was brought to you by a real living human who felt the wind in their hair and described their adventure in their own words. This is because we rate authenticity and the sharing of great experiences in the natural world – it’s all part of our ethos here at We Are Explorers. You can read more about it in our Editorial Standards.