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Rainbow Beach (Queensland)

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Rainbow Beach[3][4] is on the Fraser Coast of Queensland, Australia.


Rainbow Beach is your golden gateway to some of the most amazing natural attractions to be found anywhere in the world.

From this picturesque coastal village, enchantingly nestled between Tin Can Bay and the Pacific Ocean, you can experience an enthralling mosaic of these wonders and indulge in your favorite pursuits at the same time.

The town was called Back Beach, but was renamed in 1969 into Rainbow Beach after the Coloured Sands. It was in this year, too, that the first road to the town was built - up to then, it could only be reached by boat.

Get in[edit]

By car, Rainbow Beach is about 75km from the Bruce Highway at Gympie, and the drive takes around an hour. The turn-off onto Tin Can Bay Road is well signposted from both directions, as is the turning onto Rainbow Beach Road after 40km.

If you have a 4wd, and the weather has been good, you can also drive in from Noosa via the Cooloola Way, or at low tide along the beaches of the Great Sandy National Park. Permits are required for the latter.

Premier Coaches operate one bus per day in each direction from Brisbane to Cairns via Rainbow Beach, calling in the morning southbound and the evening northbound. Greyhound Australia have two buses per day in each direction from Brisbane to Cairns via Rainbow Beach, again calling in the morning southbound and the evening northbound.

Get around[edit]

Rainbow Beach is small enough to walk around, though there are taxis available if you need to get to some of the further flung caravan parks.

Visit the National Parks Office (on the right just as you enter town) for maps of the town, walking maps for the surrounding area, and driving/4wd maps of the national park.

See[edit][add listing]

  • The Cooloola section of Great Sandy National Park with its rainforests, heathlands and freshwater lakes.
  • Carlo Sand Blow, a sand dune that is 120m high. After climbing it, you have a great view on the sea and the rainforest. About 1,2km walk from the town, Cooloola Drive.[5]
  • Coloured Sands, sand formations of different colours. Walk south along the beach for about 2km.
  • Inskip Point, looking out over Fraser Island

Do[edit][add listing]

  • do a bushwalk in Cooloola Park[6]
  • Swim with the dolphins, or take the morning boat trip to feed them
  • Surf Australia's longest wave at Double Island Point.
  • Take a joyflight in a helicopter or plane.
  • Para or hang-glide in one of the top ten spots in the world – the Carlo Sand Blow, an amazing spectacle in itself with postcard views.
  • Dive with sharks at Wolf Rock
  • Enjoy and eco Stand Up Paddle with local wildlife
  • Rent a 4wd, drive on the beaches and explore the driving trails in the national park. Or, take it on a ferry over to Fraser Island and camp there whilst exploring
  • Take a 4wd bus tour to Fraser Island
  • Visit a ship wreck,
  • fish till you’re wrecked, or
  • just drag your feet along miles of golden sand.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Rainbow Beach has a few shops selling clothing, and two small supermarkets. There are plenty of places selling and renting camping gear, and plenty selling ice, bait, firewood etc. The butcher generally has an excellent selection of meats for BBQs. There's a bottle shop too.

For a larger supermarket or a pharmacy, you'll need to visit Cooloola Cove, which is about 25km from Rainbow Beach on the round way to Tin Can Bay.

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are several cafes at the end of Rainbow Beach Road in the main shopping area, which are usually open for breakfast and lunch, but not usually dinner.

There's a Surf Club which does food and drinks, with a view over the beach, and a hotel. The tennis club on Double Island Drive does food too.

Near the entrance to the town is also a very nice seafood restaurant and takeaway, which serves a variety of local fish dishes.

Further afield, the Yacht Club in Tin Can Bay has lovely views over the bay, and does fairly nice lunches and dinners.

Drink[edit][add listing]

The Surf Club and the Hotel are the main places in town.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are two Backpackers in town, both on Spectrum Avenue:

  • Dingo's backpackers resort, 20 Spectrum Street, Rainbow Beach, Queensland, 4581, [1].  edit
  • Fraser's on Rainbow Beach, 18 Spectrum Street, rooms grouped in small units with their own bathroom. Pool and barbecues. [7]

There are several motels, hotels and holiday appartment complexes including:

  • Rainbow Beach Holiday Village, [2].  edit
  • Rainbow Getaway Holiday Apartments - 1-3 bedroom apartments, pool and gym
  • Rainbow Sands Resort

In addition, there's a caravan park on Carlo Road near the boat ramp, and those with appropriate national park permits can also camp near the town.


Stay safe[edit]

Get out[edit]

  • Explore the spectacular scenery of Fraser Island
  • Discover the hidden surfing paradise and tropical aquatic playground of ([Double Island Point])
  • See the towering ([Carlo Sand Blow]) lookout views and spectacular sunrise & sunsets.

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