The Noosa Everglades officially extends for 60km, but you only need half a day to explore the most scenic stretches extending near Boreen Point.
- Explore at your own pace on a kayak or canoe
- Enjoy the reflections on the tea tree stained water
- Learn about the history of the area at Harrys Hut and explore some nearby hiking trails
- Bush camping!
Take Off From Harrys Hut
Did you know there are only two everglades systems in the world? And one of them is located in Queensland’s Great Sandy National Park between Noosa and Rainbow Beach.
One of the best ways to see the Noosa Everglades is under your own power. Hire a canoe or kayak and wind your way along the serene river.
During our exploration, we opted to start from Harrys Hut, paddling through the Noosa Everglades from there in a canoe rather than traversing Lake Cootharaba, which we’ve heard can be long and difficult depending on the winds.
After picking up the keys to our canoes from Habitat Noosa at Boreen Point, we drove to Harrys Hut via scenic, twisting roads.
The area has a quaint country feel to it with lots of trees, including a stretch of beautiful rainforest. The roads turn to corrugated dirt about halfway to Harrys Hut, as it winds past swathes of pine plantations.
We grabbed our dark green canoes upturned on their rack and hauled them down into the water at a landing jetty near the Harrys Hut camping area.
Then we zig-zagged down the river, taking lots of photos as the dark river narrowed and the reflections of the surrounding landscape deepened.
The River of Mirrors
This stretch is known as the River of Mirrors due to the vivid reflections on the water’s surface which is the result of calm waters and its deep tea tree stained colour.
We passed reeds growing to the water’s edge and rows of banksias, tea trees, and melaleucas. We dodged fallen tree branches, and listened to the sounds of local birdlife, and the wind passing through the treetops.
About a third of the way through our paddle, it started to rain, but we didn’t mind too much as it made the scenery all the greener.
We followed the river downstream until we reached the Noosa River junction with Lake Cootharaba then returned the way we came.
All up the return trip took about three hours of paddling but we weren’t in any rush.
Extend Your Stay!
While a perfect starting point for a trip down the Noosa River, Harrys Hut also offers up peaceful bush camping.
No fires are allowed, however there are toilet facilities and some campsites have picnic tables.
If you have a few more hours, you can also explore hiking trails that traverse the area, including the Cooloola Wilderness Trail. You can also stay overnight in the picturesque camping area.
How To Get There
Harrys Hut can be reached in a 50 minute drive from Boreen Point. Harrys Hut Road is a dirt road for 10km and a 4WD is needed.
If you’re confident you can steer and power a kayak or canoe and you’ve got the enthusiasm to give it a try, then you’re good to go. When you pick up your lifejacket, you can get a map of the area and any tips.
Habitat Noosa owns the canoes located on the racks at Harrys Hut. You can collect the key for the canoes as well as life jackets and paddles at Habitat Noosa’s reception desk at Boreen Point.
If you don’t have a 4WD, you can still reach the Noosa Everglades by kayak – it’s just a longer journey on the water.
You can hire kayaks from Habitat Noosa and then depart from Lake Cootharaba, which joins the Habitat Noosa campground. You traverse the lake and then enter the Noosa Everglades, and you can paddle up to Harrys Hut or further up the Noosa River. If you’re taking the lake route, plan to travel early in the morning as strong winds are possible later in the day and can make it hard to cross.
Distance / Duration
About 7km round trip on the water. Allow about three hours depending on your pace and any breaks or photo stops.