Situated a half hour drive north from Noosa, Queensland’s Rainbow Beach offers a world of attractions beyond its light-coloured sands stretching on seemingly to infinity beyond the bay’s natural curve.
Its name comes from the mineral rich cliffs that surround the beach forming an array of colours, which local aboriginal folklore says is the result of a rainbow spirit crashing in to them during a mighty battle.
Marketed as one of the gateways to Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world, and the only place in Australia where its now possible to see truly wild dingoes, Rainbow Beach is more than able to create lifelong memories without the need to board a boat.
Though its eco-tourism credentials don’t necessarily chime with its off-road offerings – Rainbow is one of the few beaches in Australia where it’s possible to drive right into the surf – the beach is bordered to the south by the Cooloola section of Great Sandy National Park. Here visitors will find the endpoint to the Cooloola Great Walk, while other shorter trails lead through the near-tropical forests and towards Double Island Point Lighthouse, the only real means of getting there. The point is renowned in the surfing community for having one of the longest breaks in Australia.
Views to the point are best from Carlo Sand Blow, a 15-minute walk away. Named by Captain Cook during his 1770 voyage, it is also used for hang-gliding and parasailing, as well as the chance to catch sight of migrating humpback whales from June to October.
Animal lovers might also like the opportunity to ride along Rainbow Beach on horseback, while when it comes to accommodation, the area has everything from static caravans to top-end hotels.
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