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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Kinaba Information Centre and Mill Point Walks, Cooloola Section, Great Sandy National Park, Qld.

Dock at Kinaba Point on Lake Cootharaba

While camping at Elanda Point Campground we took the opportunity to do a couple of walks. The campground has it's own entry point to the walks which is great because the walks are shorter by about 600 m each way.  For more information on the campground please refer to our previous blog found here:

Kinaba Information Centre Walk

The Kinaba walk is 11 km return from Elanda Point Campground or 12.2 km return from the National Park Carpark. This is an easy flat walk through a paperbark swamp so please wear appropriate clothes and take insect repellent. About 300 m into the walk there is a turn off to Mill Point but we walked on as we were going to do the Mill Point Walk the next day. 

Kinaba Information Centre Trail

We saw a great variety of butterflies: Common Crow, Blue Triangle, Lemon Migrant, Meadow Argus, Blue Tiger, Caper White, Orchard Swallowtail, Swamp Darter and other Grass Darts. We only saw one Blue Triangle which made us think about how reduced their numbers seem to be these days where once they were very common. We thought we saw Richmond Birdwing butterfly vines but we didn't see the butterfly; another butterfly that has come under pressure although there has been substantial replanting of the vine in recent years.

Meadow Argus Junonia villida, wings closed

Meadow Argus Junonia villida wings open

Lemon Migrant Catopsilia pomona

Bar-shouldered Doves walked along the track ahead of us and Golden Whistlers sung alongside the track. We saw magnificent Brahminy Kites and White-bellied Sea-eagles. These large birds of prey were cautious of us and kept moving away which surprised us as we were walking in such an isolated area and we are used to the birds of prey in Pumicestone Passage taking no notice of mere humans below.

Brahminy Kite, sub adult

The walk took us through extensive Paperbark forest and pockets of Cabbage Tree Palms. We saw several goannas along the way. About 15 mins out from our destination we entered an area of Piccabeen Palms and it became damp underfoot. At this point we were inundated by mosquitoes and were very glad that we were wearing our light weight long sleeved "fishing" clothes. The remaining distance was covered at a fast pace. 

Lace Monitor (Goanna) Varanus varius in a Paperbark Tree Melaleuca quinquenervia

The Kinaba Information Centre is an impressive sight arising out of Lake Cootharaba. Thankfully, there was a stiff breeze blowing at Kinaba Point and the mosquitoes magically disappeared leaving us to enjoy a picnic lunch. We had the place completely to ourselves but a water taxi does call in here and it is a popular kayak and canoe destination. We didn't see any other people on the walk either. All manner of watercraft can be hired at Elanda Education Centre for reasonable prices.

Kinaba Information Centre

We took the time to explore around the Kinaba Information Centre which has information boards downstairs and toilets and a viewing area upstairs. We choose to sit in the breeze on the kayak launching platforms and soak in the tranquility. After our picnic we did the 300 m Mangrove Boardwalk Circuit and the Melaleuca Walk, 1 km return, before setting off back to Elanda Point Educational Centre Campground.

Boardwalk on Lake Cootharaba

Dock on Lake Cootharaba

Mangrove Circuit: Orange Mangroves Bruguiera gymnorhiza front of photo

Mill Point Walk:

The Mill Point walk is an easy, flat, 2.4 km return walk from Elanda Point Education Centre or a 5.1 km circuit from the National Park carpark.

Mill Point was once a thriving timber community and when you stand there today in the wilderness it is hard to visualize the vast size of the operation. There was a tragic accident here when a boiler exploded, injuring five workers, all of whom later died from their injuries.

We had heavy rain the night before we walked here and unfortunately the mosquitoes enveloped us in great clouds every time we stopped to look at anything so we weren't inclined to linger. This fungi was flourishing in the wet conditions though.

There are many more walks in the Cooloola Section of Great Sandy National Park and we only scratched the surface in our short time there.

Trailhead from Elanda Point Campground


  1. Looks like an interesting area. So often I see immature Brahminy Kites get labelled as something else - usually Whistling Kites but even harriers and Little Eagles - so it's great to see you're on top of your game! :)

    I haven't noticed less Blue Triangles myself but then there are plenty of Camphor Laurel trees in Brisbane. Maybe that pest tree has been 'taken care of' in the Sunshine Coast a bit better, but then there's less butterflies as a result?

    1. Thanks Christian, adolescent birds can certainly be a challenge. We're glad to hear that Blue Triangles are stable in Brisbane.

    2. Thanks Christian, adolescent birds can certainly be a challenge. We're glad to hear that Blue Triangles are stable in Brisbane.