Rainbow Beach might be quite a small town but what it lacks in size, it makes up in fun things to do. As well as being an incredible holiday destination for 4×4 drive enthusiasts, you’ll easily be able to fill a week exploring off-road tracks, swimming, surfing, fishing and enjoying the outdoors. We’ve always said it’s one of Australia’s best-kept secrets, but, we’re about to spill the beans by sharing the top 10 things to do at Rainbow Beach with you.
Quick List To the Top 10 Things To Do at Rainbow Beach
- Enjoy the View from the Carlo Sand Blow
- Drive Along Teewah Beach
- 4×4 drive through the Great Sandy National Park
- Visit the Spectacular Coloured Sands
- Take a Surf Lesson at Double Island Point
- Hike the Cooloola Wilderness Trail
- See the Lighthouse at Double Island Point
- Kayak with Dolphins
- Enjoy Sunset Drinks with a View
- Head to Fraser Island for the Day
- Driving Rainbow Beach
Here Goes Each One Of The Attractions In Details:
The Carlo Sand Blow is a huge sand ‘moonscape’ that covers almost 15 hectares of land and overlooks many of the Rainbow Beach attractions. The view from the top is absolutely stunning and shouldn’t be missed. Simply take a 600 meter walk along the wooded track from the end of Cooloola Drive or walk up from the town if you want a short hike. The sand can get uncomfortably hot during the midday summer’s heat so aim for sunrise or sunset when the outlook is the most spectacular anyway.
No matter how much of an experienced 4WDer you are, it’s always fun driving on the sand! Take your ride off road from Griffin Parade and head north towards Inskip Point or south towards Laguna Bay. Stop for a swim, some fishing and to see the coloured sands. To make sure you avoid an encounter with the ‘coffee rocks’ that’ll land you on the coffee shop’s ‘wall of shame’, drive at low tide, and talk to the locals and keep your eyes open. Driving on the sand at Rainbow Beach does require a permit so grab yours online along with some information on how to drive safely on the beach.
From Rainbow Beach, you’ll be sitting at the doorstop to the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park. Here, you’ll find a range of fun, 4×4 only roads that’ll take you through some spectacular scenery to some pretty amazing lakes, waterholes and campsites. If you don’t have time to do them all, we’d recommend hitting the 32 kilometre Cooloola Way and the 19 kilometre Freshwater Way. For more information about these tracks, see our Rainbow Beach trip plan.
Rainbow Beach was named so after the multi-coloured sand cliffs that sit along the beach and offer an incredible vista from the Double Island Point lighthouse up over to Fraser Island. To access the cliffs, 4×4 drive along the beach with a permit or walk 2 kilometres from town. Although they’re impressive at any time of the day, aim for sunrise when the early morning light turns up the colourful hues.
Always been meaning to give surfing a go? Or, have kids who would enjoy riding some waves? Double Island Point is known as the home of Australia’s longest and safest beginner wave. Park up the 4×4 and test out the skills of your own legs. You could be carving it up in no time!
The Cooloola Great Walk takes you through some of the area’s most scenic natural attractions including rainforest, dry coastal woodlands and heath plains. While the whole trail is 102 kilometres long and requires 5 full days of tough hiking, there’s no reason not to complete a shorter section of this incredible trail.
There’s an entrance to the trail at Rainbow Beach from which you can walk as far as you’d like before turning back.
The Double Island Point Lighthouse has been a continuous beacon to warn ships away from the treacherous rocks since it opened in 1884. And although it’s now solar powered and automated, it’s still a nostalgic sight to be seen. Access the headland by walking one of the hiking trails or 4×4 drive (with a permit) down the beach. While the land is publicly owned, the lighthouse is closed to the public but feel free to wander around and enjoy the incredible views. You might even be able to spot whales and dolphins in the sea below.
Dolphins love Rainbow Beach as much as we do, making it a great place to get up close to these friendly sea creatures. The best way to see them? Rent a kayak or take a sea kayaking tour. The chance of seeing dolphins on a tour are about 90% and you might also get to see turtles, rays and whales too.
When the day’s done, make sure you head to the Waterview Bistro for a drink and a delicious meal. Perched on the hilltop, this fabulous restaurant offers views to match. It’s the perfect place to top off a great day. Make sure you try the signature seafood chowder or cook your own steak over a hot stone.
If you’ve exhausted the best 4×4 tracks, swimming and fishing spots, there’s nothing stopping you from taking a day trip over to Australia’s largest sand island, Fraser Island. Barges leave from Inskip Point throughout the day so take your 4×4 vehicle and head on over to drive 75 Mile Beach or one of the many inland tracks. For more information on the best things to do on Fraser Island, read our article here.
Just because you can head to Rainbow Beach without a 4×4 doesn’t mean that you should! Completing the top 10 things to do at Rainbow Beach is only possible with your own set of off-roading wheels. So, make it the ultimate Aussie holiday by hiring your own 4×4 from FleetCrew in Brisbane.
We’ve got a recreational 4×4 vehicles that’s perfect for your tribe and they all come with comprehensive insurance, unlimited kilometres and 24 hour RACQ roadside assistance. It’s never been easier to drive off road! Contact us for a free quote today and let us help you make your Rainbow Beach holiday one to remember.