The Point Cartwright Reserve and La Balsa Park Master Plan proposes to guide the future use and management of this coastal area, balancing the needs of users and the environment, for all the community to enjoy.

Community engagement

The community were invited to share their values and future vision for the Point Cartwright Reserve and La Balsa Park area by completing a survey.

Submissions closed 9 January 2022.


The Master Plan seeks to consider the future of the project area up to 2041, with a focus on the next 10 years. It will include an analysis of the site, uses, opportunities and constraints, the community’s values and vision and associated actions, priorities, and costs for implementation consideration.


Point Cartwright Reserve and La Balsa Park are much loved, having highly valued recreational, ecological, and cultural heritage characteristics. High cliffs in the coastal headland reserve provide spectacular views of Mooloolaba, the Mooloolah River mouth, Mount Coolum to the north and Kawana Beach to the south.

The Point Cartwright headland was a sacred place to First Nations peoples. It is understood that rock engravings existed of local flora down on the soft sandstone below the headland. The point has been a beacon to shipping since 1978 when the new 32 metre pentagonal lighthouse replaced use of the Caloundra Lighthouse.

La Balsa Park on the Mooloolah River is one of the most important protected lowland areas of the Sunshine Coast. A wide range of recreation facilities cater for the popularity of the park including three playgrounds, a fitness station, amenities, shelters, barbeque and picnic facilities, a wedding rotunda and boat ramp.

The park obtained its name from the famous 1970’s La Balsa expedition in which a raft made of balsa logs carrying four men and a cat travelled from Guayaquil, Ecuador to the Sunshine Coast. The La Balsa expedition was to show that it was possible for contact to have occurred between pre-Columbian South American cultures and those of the Pacific region.

The reserve and park are regarded as some of the most beautiful environments on the Sunshine Coast. They offer people an opportunity to get away from the town centres and connect with nature and the ocean.

Where to from here

Council will collate all feedback received through the consultation process. The next phase of community engagement will take place in early 2022 to test and confirm that community aspirations have been captured and incorporated into the draft Master Plan. This stage of engagement is anticipated to include more on-line surveys, pop up stalls, meetings and round table events.

Council will keep the community updated as the project progresses.


For more information, please contact council’s project officer at or on (07) 5475 7272.