The Naturally Eco Great Beach Drive is for those who value nature based and educational ecotourism experiences. The journey winds its way through the beautiful Glasshouse Mountains, Noosa National Park, Maroochydore, Lady Elliot Island, Hervey Bay, Fraser Island and Rainbow Beach.
The trail offers sightseeing, shopping, bushwalking and hiking in some truly stunning natural settings and plenty of opportunities to enjoy eco-friendly tours and accommodation along the way. No 4WD self-driving will be required on this itinerary.
Day 1 - Glass House Mountains
To start your journey, you will drive to and explore the Glass House Mountains, a group of eleven hills that rise abruptly from the coastal plain in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland. Each of the peaks is protected within the Glass House Mountains National Park.
In Aboriginal legend, the mountains are members of a family with the father being Mount Tibrogargan and the mother Mount Beerwah. All of the other mountains are sons and daughters with the eldest being Mount Coonowrin. The highest mountain is Mount Beerwah.
The Glass House Mountains area was a special meeting place where many Aboriginal people gathered for ceremonies and trading. Many ceremonial sites are still present today.
Spend the day bush walking and hiking in some truly stunning natural settings, before checking into your eco-friendly accommodation in the Glass House Mountains.
Day 2 - Noosa National Park
Take an early morning drive to Noosa and explore the Noosa National Park at your leisure. You will see an abundance of wildlife, including Australia’s famous koalas that inhabit native Eucalypt trees. Alternatively, you can one of Noosa’s Eco Certified operators to explore this place where more than 626 vertebrate fauna species have been recorded.
In the afternoon, explore the Noosa Everglades on an unforgettable wilderness cruise into one of Australia’s most pristine regions. You will see an abundance of wildlife whilst exploring the Noosa Everglades, as well as the beautiful Noosa River.
In the evening, enjoy a fine dining experience like no other at one of Noosa’s many world-class restaurants, and spend the night at in one of Noosa’s many eco-friendly accommodation options.
Day 3 - Lady Elliot Island
Wake up with the birds for an early morning transfer from Noosa to Maroochydore airport, where you will catch an early morning scenic flight to Lady Elliot Island, gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, for an unrivalled reef experience.
If your trip falls between November and March, you could find yourself captivated by the Green Sea Turtles during their egg laying season and, some of the most amazing sunsets that you’ll ever see.
The snorkelling and diving experience on Lady Elliot Island is regarded as one of the best throughout the entire Great Barrier Reef. The diversity of fish species and the clarity of the water are unrivalled, and Lady Elliot Island is also well known as being the best location for Manta Ray sightings in Queensland, if not Australia!
Stop over or catch a flight on to Hevey Bay.
Day 4 - Hervey Bay
Take a relaxing tour around Hervey Bay. In season (July – November), experience the best whale watching Queensland has to offer with a half-day cruise with an Eco Certified whale watch operator in Hervey Bay. Get up close and personal with the majestic humpback whales in Hervey Bay’s world heritage marine park, and enjoy very close encounters with these giants of the sea.
Out of season, Eco Certified operators also offer the opportunity to explore the untouched west coast of Fraser Island (K’Gari), where you can experience the hidden and remote parts of Fraser Island that no other operators can access. You can explore the island while bush walking, snorkelling, fishing, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking and swimming. On one of these tours, you are likely to encounter dolphins, turtles, dugongs and possibly even dingoes!
After your tour, check in to your accommodation in Hervey Bay at one of the many eco-friendly resorts, apartments and bed and breakfasts that are available.
Day 5 - Fraser Island (K'Gari)
Have an early start to the day with a courtesy pick up from your accommodation thanks to an Eco Certified Fraser Island (K’Gari) tour operator. You will be transferred to the World Heritage listed Fraser Island (K’Gari) from Hervey Bay to start your 2 day tour exploring everything that the world’s largest sand island has to offer.
Day 6 - Fraser Island (second day)
On a 2 day Fraser Island (K’Gari) tour (all meals, permit fees included), you will experience a number of Fraser Island’s (K’Gari’s) most stunning natural and culturally significant locations. Just some of these locations include Lake McKenzie, Central Station, Eli Creek, the Coloured Sands, 75 Mile Beach, Indian Head, Champagne Pools, the Maheno Shipwreck and Lake Wabby – all the way experiencing expert commentary provided by one of Fraser Explorer’s knowledgeable guides and Fraser Island (K’Gari) experts.
Day 7 - Rainbow Beach
Have a leisurely morning exploring the stunning Rainbow Beach, enjoy a breakfast with a view at one of the bustling local cafés, before embarking on the next leg of your journey, wherever that may take you (be sure to arrange a hire vehicle from Rainbow Beach). You have now completed the Naturally Eco Great Beach Drive.