Rainbow Beach’s sands are thought to have begun forming since the last Ice Age, with iron oxide and vegetable dyes giving them their amazing mix of over 70 colours. A local Kabi legend tells of a rainbow-coloured god who was smashed into pieces on the cliffs in a fight with an evil man. The town was accessible only by boat until 1969, when roads were built to accommodate the local sandmining industry. Sandmining lasted until 1976, and now Rainbow Beach is a quiet town with a population of just over 1000 and an influx of thousands more visitors every year!
Don’t miss your chance to visit Carlo Sand Blow! Named after a member of Captain Cook’s deck crew, it’s made up of 15 hectares of sand mass and offers spectacular views of coloured sand and ocean. You might also catch hang-gliders launching from the top of its cliff, or whales moving about in the ocean between August and October. And it’s only a short bushwalk from Cooloola Drive, close to the main part of town.
The Great Sandy National Park covers 2,196 square kilometres and can be accessed via 4WD. Deserted beaches, bush, wildflowers and lakes await you. For a refreshing swim, take a bushwalk to Poona Lake, which you can access from Rainbow Beach Road.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie or just love a good view, Rainbow Beach has hang-gliding, paragliding or skydiving with impressive views over Carlo Sand Blow and Fraser Island. Now that’s worth overcoming your fear of heights for!
Close to the main swimming beach, you’ll find the town’s main strip on Rainbow Beach Road, with cafes, shops and a nice big green park.
For a colourful time, book a flight to Brisbane or Maroochydore with us and hire a car or catch a bus to Rainbow Beach. If you want to continue onto Fraser Island, take a look at our Fraser Island hotels.
Need insider tips on must-see attractions in Rainbow Beach? Check out our Rainbow Beach travel guide!
Hotels in Rainbow Beach start at AU$81 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.