An aerial view of the sinkhole. Photo / Kieren Hudson, Higgins Storm Chasing

A camper at a popular beach on Queensland's Sunshine Coast has described the terrifying speed with which a sinkhole swallowed a car, caravan and camping trailer.

The 150 by 50 metre sinkhole opened up at the Inskip Point camping area near Rainbow Beach on Saturday morning.

Authorities say the sinkhole is now three metres deep and takes in a large part of the MV Beagle campsite.


A view of where the campsite used to be. Photo / Facebook, Clayton's Towing


Camper Melanie Wotherspoon described her horror in a Facebook post.

"Yep, can't believe we made it out," Ms Wotherspoon wrote.

"I thought we were goners for sure. Was truly scary how fast it came into our campsite and swallowed it up."

A woman ran through nearby campsites, screaming at people to wake up and get out, the ABC reports. 

A post on the Facebook page for Clayton's Towing says two of the company's employees were caught up in the mayhem.

"Two Claytons employees and friends were on holidays in a group in the middle of the mayhem. They had camped approx 200 metres from the beach next to the boundary fence of the campsite and heard a noise like a storm," the post said.


This was reportedly the campsite near Rainbow Beach before the sinkhole swallowed everything. Photo / Facebook, Clayton's Towing

"On looking they realised the sand was rapidly disappearing into the ocean at a amazing speed. They only just got their 4wds and caravans out with seconds to spare as their campsite disappeared 3 metres down into the ocean. A 4wd, large caravan, camper trailer, tents etc on the site next to them all got swallowed into the ocean.

"Appears no injuries with property being lost into sink hole."

One person commented saying she avoided camping near the beach.

"That why we don't camp right near the beach that's happen at Easter this year," said Sheryl Walshe.

Police and SES crews raced to the site, and 140 people were evacuated but no one was reported injured or missing.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife staff have cordoned off the area to prevent vehicle and pedestrian access.

Other camping grounds at Inskip Point remain open but people are being warned to stay away from the sinkhole.

"There is a real possibility the hole could expand with ocean currents, so people are urged to avoid the area, senior ranger Dan Clifton said.

While we continue to assess the situation, our priority is public safety.

Holidaymakers who have booked at the MV Beagle campsite can call park authorities for alternative arrangements or to arrange refunds.

The sinkhole is the second in four years at the spot, with a similar sized hole opening up in 2011.

- AAP