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48 hours in Rainbow Beach

48 hours in Rainbow Beach

So you’ve got two days up your sleeve and want to experience nature, epic adventures, and incredible food all within breathtaking surroundings - then you’ll want to make tracks to Rainbow Beach.

48 hours in Rainbow Beach
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Carlo Sand Blow, Rainbow Beach

Nestled between K’gari and Cooloola National Park, and just a three-hour drive north of Brisbane, this special pocket of the Sunshine Coast is calling your name.

Gather your mates, load up the car and follow our guide on how to have an incredible 48 hours in Rainbow Beach. 

Epic Ocean Adventures, Double Island Point
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Epic Ocean Adventures, Double Island Point

Where To Play In Rainbow Beach

At Rainbow Beach prepare to be wowed by its stunning, rugged natural beauty at every turn. Start your visit here the right way - by sinking your feet into the golden sand of the Carlo Sandblow, a unique "moonscape" sand mass covering over 15 hectares overlooking the towering peach-hued dunes. It’s also the entrance to the Cooloola Great Walk which is your next must-do of the day. Spanning 102km - and depending how far you wander - you’ll traverse through lush rainforest, enchanted woodlands, long sandy beaches, dunes and alongside glistening lakes.

Next, it’s time to get your feet wet with the myriad of watery adventures on offer at Rainbow Beach. Kick it off with a magical horse ride along the sparkling coast. Let the water tickle your feet as your horse trots along the sand and up into the bush, delivering you a goosebump-inducing experience. If you can swing it, opt for a sunset ride and watch the sky transform into a dazzling, technicolour rainbow of orange, purple and pink. If you prefer your adventures on four wheels, rent a Land Cruiser from Rainbow Beach Adventure Centre 4wd Hire for the day and experience the adrenaline rush of the sandy highway.

Rainbow Beach Coloured Sands, Great Beach Drive, Rainbow Beach
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Rainbow Beach Coloured Sands, Great Beach Drive, Rainbow Beach

Meet the locals who call this blue oasis home with a kayak tour from the crew at Epic Ocean Adventures. You’ll glide along the tropical warm waters amongst a buzzing hub of wildlife. Don’t be surprised if a pod of Bottlenose dolphins or a friendly turtle (there are seven marine species found here) pop up and say g’day as you cruise through Honeymoon Bay and Double Island Point. 

Go on an under the sea adventure with Wolf Rock Dive Centre. Filled with volcanic pinnacles, gutters and gullies as deep as 38m, Wolf Rock is an underwater playground. Along with your guide, you’ll be able to get up close and personal with incredible marine life like grey nurse and leopard sharks, sea snakes, manta rays, turtles and humpback whales, plus tropical reef fish and beautiful coral. 

And finally, you can’t come to this beautiful beach without taking to the waves for a surf. If you’re a beginner or want to hone your skills, Rainbow Beach Surf School offers group or private lessons. Or for something a little cruisier, give their stand-up paddleboarding sessions a go, cruising along the flat water lagoons of Honeymoon Bay. It’s pure holiday vibes. 

Where To Eat In Rainbow Beach

After all that adventuring, you’ll be absolutely famished, which is a good thing because Rainbow Beach has a culinary scene that’s absolutely worth exploring. In the village centre you’ll find local favourite, the Rainbow Beach Hotel. The Queenslander-style building is country pub meets coastal cool with wide timber verandahs, plantation-style fans and french doors. Perfect for large groups, tuck into hearty pub fare made from fresh local produce and enjoy live music on the weekends.

Perched on the edge of the ocean you’ll find the Rainbow Beach Surf Club. Boasting some of the best views in town, enjoy a crisp beer while scoring a front row seat of the 4WDs that zoom along the sandy highway.

Epic Ocean Adventures, Double Island Point
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Epic Ocean Adventures, Double Island Point

For good vibes and excellent eats, you can’t go wrong with The Deck @ Sea Salt. Sip your way through their epic cocktail menu and tuck into tapas and share-style dishes like bug rolls, pork belly bites, truffle fries and cheese boards. Pro tip: snag a table on the rooftop. And because every day should involve a caffeine hit, head to Somewhere Over Coffee for smooth brews and an excellent brekky. 

Where To Stay In Rainbow Beach

Located just minutes from the town centre, BIG4 Breeze Holiday Parks – Rainbow Beach
offers studio cabins to three bedroom villas that sleep up to eight people. Recently renovated, the digs boast modern kitchens, large lounge rooms and big verandahs, perfect for the whole family to enjoy - and best of all, some are even pet friendly. 

Rainbow Beach Horse Rides
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Rainbow Beach Horse Rides

For something a little luxurious, treat yourself to a night or two at Rainbow Beach Ocean Palms Resort. Perched on the highest point at Rainbow Beach, nestled within the Great National Sandy Park, you’ll score sweeping views of the region’s white sand beach. Spend your day floating in the forest-fringed infinity pool and chill out in your swanky apartment (or penthouse if you want to push the boat out), with large balconies and modern, open-plan living spaces.