Posted by: travelrat | November 26, 2010

Rainbow Beach

Coloured Cliffs

Rainbow Beach: 28th July 2010

The first questions to suggest themselves when you reach Rainbow Beach are ‘Where’s the beach? And, why is it Rainbow Beach?’

The lady in the shop was most helpful.

‘Sounds like the title of a bad soap opera, doesn’t it?’ she said ‘but, if you just follow the main road, you’ll get there’

More Coloured Cliffs

It was a little strange to walk uphill to get to the beach; I guess that low hill up to the Surf Club was once a sand dune. And, if you walk along the beach … with caution, for it is, legally, a road … you’ll come to the Coloured Sands. Rather, these are cliffs, made up of different coloured sands, which give the beach its name. At this time of the day, they were in the shade, and a little muted. Maybe the early morning would be a time to see them at their best?

Above these cliffs is the Carlo Sandblow. This is where blown sand has been deposited on a clifftop, and is said to be a rare geological feature. It’s been known about from the earliest times; James Cook, in his explorations of the area in Endeavour, named it after a member of his crew.

Carlo Sandblow

But, when Cook saw it, it was smaller; it still continues to encroach slowly inland.

It’s a favoured place for sand-surfing and paragliding. We didn’t see any of this activity going on, which is a pity, because I’d love to have tried them. Especially the latter, which I’ve tried before. Normally, I have no wish to try parachuting, but in this case, the chute is fully deployed before you leave the ground.


  1. The Sandblow reminds me of a similar, but rather higher, gully laeding onto Hout Bay in South Africa’s Cape.

    • I seem to remember something like that on Anglesey, too but, of course, on a much smaller scale.

  2. Hi Keith,
    Very nice photo’s, and a clear day for you. I love Rainbow beach, although haven’t been there for a few years myself, but have always enjoyed the walk and looking at the colored cliffs of sand. No matter how many times I go, the different colors have always intrigued me, and I love the way that a lot of souvenirs are done with the colored sands.

    Looks very quiet the day you were there, this has only happened to me once, most of the time there are people everywhere, but when you stand at the top, and you can’t see any other people, it’s like the world is yours.

    • Well, there were plenty of people on the beach, mainly fishing, but only a handful on the Sandblow itself.

  3. Really great post about Rainbow Beach. I haven’t ever been there but now definitely want to see it. Thanks, Keith!

    • It’s a good place to stay if you want to get to Fraser Island. I’ll be posting about our accommodation tomorrow.

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