Rainbow Beach, Sunshine Coast
Sitting between Noosa and the Great Sandy National Park, Rainbow Beach is a great holiday destination and the gateway to Fraser Island and the Cooloola National Park.
Formerly a sandmining town, Rainbow Beach gets its name from the towering coloured sand cliffs nearby, which are part of an aboriginal legend. The legend states that an ancient aboriginal god threw himself into the sand cliffs in a fight over a woman, colouring them forever. Today these are known as the Coloured Sands and have become a popular tourist attraction.
There’s a whole range of other natural wonders worth checking out while you’re in Rainbow Beach. A bush walk up to the Carlo Sand Blow is a must for every visitor. It’s the best spot to take in great views of the area including the Coloured Sands, Double Island Point and the Tin Can Inlet. In good weather you may also see Para-Gliders and Hang Gliders taking off and landing.
If you have a four-wheel drive there are plenty of sandy beaches to explore. Catch the ferry from Tewantin and drive along the sand up to Rainbow Beach or take the Freshwater track through the Cooloola National Park. The area is also perfect for bushwalking, boating, fishing, picnics, scenic drives and swimming.
Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island and has endless kilometres of pristine beach, fresh water lakes, creeks and rainforest to explore. The barge that takes you to the southern tip of the island is just a 10 minute drive from Rainbow Beach. Whether you take your own four wheel drive (permit required) or join a tour, it’s a great day out for the whole family.
For something special try dolphin feeding at Tin Can Bay. At the Barnacles Dolphin Centre you can interact with two wild dolphins, Mystique and Harmony. Catch the Dolphin Ferry which leaves daily from Carlo Point in Rainbow Beach, or drive 30 minutes to the Norman Point Public Boat Ramp in Tin Can Bay. Dolphin View Sea Kayaking off Double Island Point is another way you can get up close and personal with them.
There are also heaps of adventure activities on offer in Rainbow Beach. Try tandem skydiving for a thrill or tandem paraglide over the Coloured Sands. Double Island point has the longest break in Australia (when the swell lines up) and is a very popular surfing spot. And nearby Wolf Rock offers great scuba diving.
In short, Rainbow Beach is the ideal getaway for families, friends and couples wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of life and get back to nature.