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Rainbow Beach | Hidden Paradise in Queensland

Rainbow Beach, we all have our own version of “The perfect beach”, where sugar-soft sands meet electric-blue seas, and all is like in paradise. We knew you would be searching for this dream place, and that is why we took out our map and had it all uncovered for you!

Let’s be honest, the name alone already gives you that warm feeling of sun rays falling on your face, with the relaxing sound of the ocean waves in the background.

Rainbow Beach has a lot to offer for its visitors than just a picturesque ocean scene. What’s more, if you get there out of the peak season, you will pretty much have this natural wonderland all to yourself.

About Rainbow Beach

Rainbow beach coloured sand

Mother nature has truly outdone herself on this stretch of coastline. Located between Fraser Island, Great Sandy National Park and massive Pacific Ocean waters, Rainbow Beach is a charming Australian Beach town, formed by cliffs of colorful sand.

It’s the colored sands of the Rainbow Beach that really put this area on the map.

According to old local legend, the beautiful rainbow colors on cliffs appeared when a spirit represented by the rainbow crashed on the coastal cliffs as a result of a heroic battle with an evil tribesman.

Today, these colorful sand layers, along with many interesting beach activities, have made the Rainbow Beach one of the best-loved spots for beachgoers, fishing enthusiasts, campers, eco-tourists, and everyone else looking to take a stroll in the fresh air.

Being a low-key place and having an extensive area, you will usually see a few people there. So, there’s always lots of space for everyone.

Like traveling to not-so-crowded places? Check out 15 Amazing Places for Introverts!

Rainbow Beach Directions

Rainbow Beach is about 2.5 hours drive from Brisbane Airport. So, if you are coming from there, take the Bruce Highway north and be sure to take the right-hand turn when you reach Gympie.

If you want to see all the beautiful scenic places when driving, try the car ferry from Tewantin in Noosa. This way you will travel across the Noosa river (by car ferry), and enjoy the drive along the beach after.

Things to Do in Rainbow Beach:

Coloured Sands

Colored sands are one of the main reasons why travelers visit Rainbow Beach. If you are driving, you can go along the shore from Rainbow Beach to Inskip Point. And if you are more into walking, then you can get there from Rainbow Beach town. You will see the beginning of the sands 2 km away from Rainbow Beach Surf Life Saving Club. Just make sure you have plenty of water with you.

The stunning colors of the sandy cliffs will appear like a work of art that nature has been creating for thousands of years. There are about 72 different colors on the sand that become more vibrant after the rain.

If you want to explore the rest of Queensland, make sure to visit Mission Beach!

Dive with Sharks

Dive with the sharks If you are a diving aficionado, then you are about to get excited because Rainbow Beach is also home for one of the best diving sites in Australia. The place is called Wolf Rock Dive center. It is located near Double Island Point, and about 200m off the coast of Rainbow Beach.

From Spring to Autumn period, the site is normally jam-packed with grey nurse sharks, although you can find them there all year round. During winter, there are not many of them, but the good news is that it’s the best time for humpback whale migration. During the warmer months, you will also be joined by beautiful leopard sharks.

You need to be an experienced diver to dive in Wolf Rock; the current in this part tends to change a lot.

Inskip Point Recreation Area

Bar-tailed godwits (Limosa lapponica) in flight with water in the background

Inskip Point is a 12-km long peaceful area that creates calm waters for the Great Sandy Strait and Tin Can Inlet. The main attraction of the site is the fascinating nature and wildlife. You can see a wide range of birds like Grey-tailed tattlers, Bar-tailed godwit, and the Red-necked stint. And the calm water around Inskip is a perfect habitat for turtles and dolphins.

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Carlo Sandblow

Carlo Sandblow Rainbow Beach QDL

Carlo Sandblow is a sloped hill, the top part of which was “blown” by a lightning strike. It was later flattened even more due to erosion. Apart from the stunning views of Tin Can Bay and Double Island Point, Carlo Sandblow is a popular place for hiking, parasailing, and hang-gliding. And if you are lucky, you may even see whales in summer.

Cooloola National Park

Cooloola National Park

Cooloola is part of the Great Sandy National Park, which is a large coastal national park in the Fraser Coast Region. Located just a couple of hours from Brisbane, this is a perfect place for camping, fishing, canoe trips, and many other interesting activities to provide an unforgettable experience.

You may get there both with 4WD and walking. Either way, you will see giant sandhills hidden rainforests, wildflowers, and many more along this endless coast.

Before visiting the area, make sure to get acquainted with the local rules, such as bringing sealable food containers, etc.  There are several camping and driving areas, and each has its own perks and features. .

Double Island Point Lighthouse

Double Island Point Lighthouse

One of the most celebrated spots in Queensland is the 19th-century lighthouse located at the top of the Double Island Point. The name comes from an elongated sand split that creates the illusion of two islands.

The remarkable landscape, plus great opportunities for water sports make this place a wonderful destination for travelers. Although, bear in mind that there is no accommodation available and camping is not allowed.

You can reach there by car in 2-3 hours either from Rainbow Beachside or Noosa, along the Great Beach Drive. But before you go, make sure you check the tide times, because at high tide it will be impossible to get there. Also, you will need to get a beach driving permit online. And, don’t forget to pack some food and water with you.

Fishing/Surf and Watching Crabs

crabs on Rainbow Beach

The endless kilometers of ocean waves and the wowing shades of orange, amber, red, and brown on the sands, make it a dream place for a family trip. If you travel along the beach you will notice of the campers’ favorite spot – the tidal inlet. Here you can set up a tent, fish, and surf. In addition to that, if you go there during the low tide, you will see millions of soldier crabs taking over the beach and moving towards the ocean.


Rainbow beach tours

At Rainbow Beach, there are plenty of tours to unleash your inner adventurer and get lost in the magnificence of nature.

To make sure you get the best of these tours, we have piled up a list of best-rated tours in Rainbow Beach. There are both one-day tours and multi-day venture opportunities.

4WD Beach drive and Rainbow Beach half-day kayak with dolphins – family-friendly, equipment provided, one-day tour.

wild dolphin at Rainbow Beach

Your trip will start with an exciting 4WD ride on the beach till you get to Double Island Point. Then you’ll have a 3-hour marvelous kayak tour, where you’ll see sea turtles, humpback whales (from June to October), and dolphins! If you have never done kayaking – no worries. An expert guide will provide you with basic instructions, and you will be good to go.

Horse ride along Rainbow Beach – equipment provided, one-day tour.

horse riding at the beach

What can be better than a horseback ride along the golden sands of Rainbow Beach! The beautiful tropical landscapes, bushland trails, and the magnificent ocean waves will create unforgettable memories. The tour is suitable for both beginners and expert riders.

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Rainbow Beach surf lesson – equipment provided, one-day tour.

surf lesson

Always dreamt of learning to surf? Rainbow Beach has one of Australia’s surf hotspots – Double Island Point, where the gentle waves and some expert instruction will get on the surfboard.

Fraser Island 2-day camping tour

Fraser Island

Visit the most stunning spots of the island, such as Lake McKenzie. Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters and head towards the famous Maheno Shipwreck. Enjoy thrilling beach driving throughout the entire tour!

Rainbow Beach fishing tour – equipment provided, one-day tour.


Visit the best fishing spots at Rainbow Beach surrounded by abundant wildlife and pristine waters of the region. If you are a beginner, the guide will provide both the necessary equipment (fishing gear and bait) and instructions.

Rainbow Beach Accommodation

Rainbow beach accommodation

At Rainbow Beach you may find any type of accommodation ranging from pleasant hostels to elegant villas. We have the most-booked places here, from which our top picks are:

Debbie’s Place

Located 500m from Rainbow Beach and 150m from the Great Sandy National Park. Has free wifi and patio.

Little Salty Vibes

Located in Rainbow Beach, has free private parking and a beautiful garden.

Rainbow Sea Resort

Has a mesmerizing view of the ocean. The place is very close to Rainbow Beach. There are free parking and laundry facilities available.

Interested in budget-traveling? We have plenty of options for you! Breath-Taking Places To Travel On A Budget.

Rainbow Beach Restaurants

Couple eating

At Rainbow Beach, you may find almost all types of restaurants that offer vegetarian-friendly, gluten-free, and vegan options too.

Here are our top choices:

Arcobaleno on the Beach

Looking for a cozy place in town to have dinner? This is the perfect choice! Pizzas, pastas, tapas, and antipasto are waiting for Italian food appreciators. The restaurant also has an outdoor seating area to enjoy the beautiful sunset views!

Brent’s Burgers

attractive man eating burger

Brent’s Burgers will make burger lovers feel like in heaven. A wide choice for burgers also includes vegetarian options. This place suits for lunch, dinner, or simply for having a drink at the bar.

Cafe Jilarty at Rainbow

Whether you are looking for a quick lunch or romantic outdoor dinner, Cafe Jilarty will not disappoint you. The staff is nice and friendly, and there are gluten-free and vegan options on the menu.

Eds Beach Bakery Rainbow Beach

This nice, old-fashioned bakery will not let you leave hungry. The place is also believed to have the best pies in town! Quick snacks and gluten-free options are also available here.

Rainbow Beach Sports Club

Select a bottle of wine from their shop and enjoy it with a delicious meal. The place perfectly suits for lunch too. However, for dinner, you may need to book a table. Vegetarian-friendly and gluten-free meals are also offered here.

If you are a big-time foodie, then don’t forget to check out our article on Top Dream Cities For Food Lovers.

Visitor Information

Stop by at the visitor centre for a map, tours, permits info and more. They are open 7 days. Find all details here.

Plan your next travel destinations with us!