In search of the coloured cliffs of Rainbow Beach

Recently, or more precisely a whole month ago now (whoa, where does the time go?!?), we went away in our lovely rusting car to do some beach driving and camping along the Cooloola Coast, part of the Great Sandy National Park. As the Cooloola section is only an hour’s drive north of the Sunshine Coast, it’s an ideal camping weekend getaway!
Rainbow Beach - weekend getaway

To get to our camp site at Freshwater campground, we took the car ferry across the Noosa River at Tewantin, lasting a whole 30 seconds, and then made our way onto Teewah Beach at the third cutting (= entrance).

Some 40 kms of beach driving later (for which you need a vehicle access permit) we got to our spot. The beach is so flat and wide that driving along it pretty much felt like driving on a highway – at least from the passenger’s point of view! 🙂

rainbow-beach-1.jpg

Driving along Teewah Beach to get to our camp site on the first day

Instead of camping directly on the beach, we decided to stay at the Freshwater camping area. The weekend we were there was relatively quiet except for the steady morning and evening traffic of cars rolling in to use the toilets and shower facilities. I can only imagine how insane the traffic would be during school holidays given that Teewah Beach caters for some 2,000 campers and has no amenities!

rainbow-beach-9.jpg

Beach camping along Teewah Beach

The next day we went off for a drive towards Inskip Point from where you can go to Fraser Island, and then back along Rainbow Beach and Double Island Point towards Teewah Beach (check out the Great Sandy National Park’s map for more details).

Rainbow Beach is most famous for its coloured sands but to be honest, I was a bit disappointed. We did see some nice cliffs and sand swirls but I’m not sure I’d exactly describe them as coloured.

rainbow-beach-2.jpg

Coloured sand cliffs along Rainbow Beach

rainbow-beach-4.jpg

Driving along Rainbow Beach

rainbow-beach-5.jpg

At Double Island Point, looking towards Rainbow Beach

At Double Island Point, we went for a relatively uninteresting walk except for the lighthouse at the top of the point and the view towards Teewah Beach. Since I love lighthouses, this was a nice surprise!

I’ve heard stories though that you can see whales from Double Island Point – that would be fun!

rainbow-beach-8.jpg

Lighthouse at Double Island Point

rainbow-beach-7.jpg

Looking towards Teewah Beach from Double Island Point

That day was pretty b-u-s-y, especially at Double Island Point to which you can only get by 4WD and only for short periods of time given tidal patterns. But Queenslanders continue to amaze me with all the paraphernalia they bring to a beach outing… surfboards, gazebos, BBQs, camping chairs, jetskies, fishing gear … it’s like they want to move in.

rainbow-beach-6.jpg

At Double Island Point, apparently named by Captain Cook

On our way home the next day we stopped at Red Canyon along Teewah Beach, which I probably appreciated a whole lot more than the coloured cliffs at Rainbow Beach. We had quite a bit of fun trying to climb up the massive sand dunes! 🙂

rainbow-beach-10.jpg

Coloured cliffs at Red Canyon, Teewah Beach

rainbow-beach-13.jpg

Close-up of the coloured sand

rainbow-beach-11.jpg

More sand cliffs at Red Canyon

rainbow-beach-12.jpg

View of the coloured sands on Teewah Beach

SUMMING UP…

A great weekend away, especially in the off-season. At Christmas and other school holiday times, it would probably be insanely busy and not my cup of tea at all.

Hopefully our next adventure won’t be too far off!

4WD-ing across sandy Bribie Island
Beach driving along the Burrum Coast
May 13, 2014
5 ideas for Hamilton Island when the weather sucks
Sunshine, baby turtles and waves: Deepwater NP
Getting eating alive by mozzies: Eurimbula NP

No Comments

Leave a Reply