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Cooloolabin Dam – Day use short walk

Escape the hustle and bustle this weekend and enjoy a relaxing stroll around this stunning and quiet hinterland lake.

The 2.8km circuit is suitable for walkers, recreational cyclists, mountain bikers and horse riders.

Cooloolabin Dam, built in 1979, offers a picturesque short trail around the peninsula close to the recreation area.

The walk begins in the recreation area with a green signpost marking the start point. The flat trail that winds through the bushland is great for littlies, or as a relaxing stroll lakeside, with beautiful openings onto the dam (follow the outside path the whole way).

Keep an eye out for birds both in the bush and on the dam!

You can fish from the shoreline (no permit required), just note the lake itself is off limits.

The day use area has ample parking, a little playground, picnic table and amenities.

The area also serves as the head of a trail through the adjacent Mapleton National Park. The trail uses local roads and the fire-trail network for mountain biking, horse riding and walking.

Take a short drive to Jack Harrison Park at Wappa Dam. The park is filled with endless green open space, picnic tables, playground, amenities, large parking areas and lawns which stretch right down to the dam – perfect for lounging and soaking up the sun. From the park, follow a short walk through the bush to Wappa Falls. Whilst this is a popular swimming hole, we urge caution in the water and accessing the pool as the rocks can be slippery.

Mountain bikers – it is possible to walk or mountain bike the whole way around the lake, and down the mountain on fire trails if you want some serious saddle-time!

Horse riders can enjoy a longer ride by continuing on Cooloolabin Road towards Yandina, turning left into Buckby Road and then taking a track on the right about 1 km along which goes through Mapleton National Park coming out on Cooloolabin Road or Browns Creek Road.

There are several exits but most riders typically use the float parking area located on the right hand side just as you come across Mapleton National Park, 2 km from Browns Creek Road. Most riders prefer to ride from here to the Day Use area and return.

Take the Yandina exit off the M1 and head west through the first roundabout. At the second roundabout turn left into Fleming Street. At the traffic lights, cross over Farrell Street and you are on Old Gympie Road, follow this to Cooloolabin Road. Keep driving along Cooloolabin Road until you see Cooloolabin Dam day parking/picnic area on your right. It’s about 10.5km from Yandina.


For 200 walking, paddling, cycling and riding trails on the Sunshine Coast #chooseyournextadventure with Adventure Sunshine Coast.

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