Located near an idyllic coastal town on the Great Beach Drive route in Gympie, Queensland, Rainbow Beach is a major tourist attraction. Serving as a gateway to the 41,000 hectares Cooloola National Park, the beach draws its name from the rainbow colored sand dunes that surround the town.
With a wide variety of activity for beach lovers, adventure enthusiasts and wildlife watchers in addition to Fraser Island just a quick boat ride away, there’s plenty to do in this tropical beachside treasure town.
Here are the top ten activities to do and see in the vicinity of this natural wonder.
#1 Visit the Coloured Sands of Rainbow Beach
Just a short walk east from the center of the town are distinct sandy cliffs. Reaching up to 200 metres in height, these impressive cliffs reveal a strata of 72 different colours of sand, worn away over tens of thousands of years through erosion.
While the colours in the sands are caused by a combination of leached vegetable dyes and iron oxide, local Aboriginal legend attributes the polychromatic nature of the sands to the workings of a rainbow spirit.
#2 Go Sand Tobogganing at Carlo Sandblow
Named by intrepid explorer Captain Cook after a deckhand on his boat, The Endeavour, the Carlo Sandblow is a 15-hectare wide sand mass that overlooks the colored sands. A short 600-metre walk away from the sands, the Carlo Sandblow offer360-degreeee views of the ocean from which lucky adventurers may catch a glimpse of a migrating whale.
#3 Take a Day Tour to Fraser Island
The world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island is a heritage-listed tourism spot. With more than 100 freshwater lakes, towering rainforests, and some of the most spectacular beaches on earth, Fraser Island is a must-see for any east coast visit. Verging onto the Great Barrier Reef’s coral cays, Fraser Island is an unforgettable ecological experience that you won’t soon forget.
#4 Explore the Breathtaking Local Landscape from Horseback
Local horse tours provide a unique and exciting way to survey the local landscape and take in the beautiful natural environment. Ranging down the beach, horse tours are suitable for riders of all experience levels and offer views of Fraser Island, Double Island Point and the Coloured Sands.
With full moon rides, beach swimming rides and country day rides all available, a horse tour is a memorable way to enjoy the rugged landscape..
#5 Make Friends With a Dolphin on a Kayak Tour
For those looking for a nautical adventure, the Gympie region is a great place to cast off on a kayaking tour. Offering visitors the chance to see local bottlenose dolphins up close and personal, a kayak tour also provides opportunities to catch a glimpse of humpback whales, sea turtles, soldier crabs, sea birds and more.
#6 Soar Above the Surf on a Tandem Paragliding Flight
The Gympie region is few places in the world that offer visitors the ability to take flight on a tandem paraglider. Consisting of a giant hollow fabric wing resembling a parachute, a paraglider is foot-launched and has no engine, using thermals to rise far above the landscape to provide serene and silent views.
With flights of up to two hours available, a paraglider is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the natural wonders the area has to offer.
#7 Take Your Adventure Under the Sea by Diving at Wolf Rock
Wolf Rock is considered one of the very best dive spots in Australia. With a huge amount of local sea life including grey nurse sharks, humpback whales, leopard sharks, eagle rays and giant Queensland gropers, a dive at Wolf Rock is guaranteed to bring you face to face with some of the most interesting undersea animals in the world.
With deep dives available from advanced divers and daily dive charters available, diving Wolf Rock is an experience not to be missed.
#8 Take a 4WD Offroad Trip to the Waves and Learn to Surf
The local beaches offers beginner surfers one of the longest and safest beginner wave breaks in the world. With many local 4WD companies offering dual package tours that take you right to where the action is. With floaty, easy breaks in waist-high water presenting ideal learning conditions, the Gympie coast is one of the best places to learn how to surf anywhere.
#9 Get Amongst the Local Bush on the Cooloola Wilderness Trail
A great way to get stuck into the Great Sandy National Park, the Cooloola Wilderness Trail is a 47.9km long walking trail that takes hikers through a broad spectrum of rugged landscapes, from high sand dunes and sweeping beaches to freshwater lakes, paperbark swamps and tall forests.
#10 Experience Some of the Best Deep Sea Fishing in the World with a Fishing Charter
The surplus of teeming reefs off the coast of the coastal region offer anglers some of the best fishing spots in the world. With full day fishing charters leaving daily, the ocean surrounding the area is rich with Snapper, Coral Trout, Pearl Perch, Red Emperors and more.