Sunday, October 11, 2009

Favourite treats - where to eat in Rainbow Beach

One of the delights of a beach holiday are the special treats after a busy day in the surf and sun.  Creme de la Creme gelateria at the new Plantation Hotel is a popular bribe to entice the children off the beach.

Our visit to Rainbow Beach is not complete without an apple turnover from the bakery in the main street.  Often used as a bribe for help in the garden.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fire on Fraser Island

As dusk fell today, the glow magically appeared from this fire that has been burning on Fraser Island for a couple of days.    The air has been heavy with the smoke all day, but it was not until evening that we could actually see the fire.  The tiny light across on the right of the fire is car headlights way up along the coast of Fraser Island.

Aborigines used fire to manage vegetation on Fraser Island for thousands of years.  According to the Fraser Island Defenders Organisation (FIDO): "We know that Fraser Island Aborigines used fire by the comments of Captain Cook, who passed along the main beach in the hours of darkness on 18 May 1770. He said, "Our course at night was guided by the great number of fires on the shore". Thus Fraser Island would have had relatively frequent, low intensity burns which would have resulted in a landscape with "a park like appearance". That is the description most early explorers gave to describe the lack of a dense understorey in the Australian bush."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Paraglide at Rainbow Beach


The thermals must be good at the moment, because we had a parade of paragliders passing the house.  One photo shows someone just taking off from Carlo Sand Blow with Double Island Point in the background.  From the sand blow they drift up and down, riding the thermals back along to Rainbow Beach.   We are all convinced that we would like to try paragliding because they look so relaxed, literally just having a little sit down in their floating seats.

On the sand dunes today there were three paragliders doing circuits over the beach - one you can see above was "sand surfing", being dragged along the dunes by the sail.   The haze in the sky is from the fire on Fraser Island.

Footprints on Carlo Sand Blow

Not ant trails, but the footprints of people busy investigating the sand blow cliffs. 

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Discovering a camp fire

On a morning walk below the Coloured Sands of Rainbow Beach (Queensland), we found the remnants of a camp fire - perhaps someone had been cooking the fish they just caught.  We gathered dry kindling and then with lots of blowing we managed to reignite the flame.   Of course, before we left, we completely extinguished it!

If you're in to Pinterest, check out this page with hiking and camping ideas.  Biome eco stores has camping supplies including a nifty little flint fire lighter.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Coloured Sands conglomerate

The most recognised images of the Coloured Sands of Rainbow Beach show bands of red and orange colours along the steep sand dune cliffs.   The coloured sands formed as a result of water moving through the sand mass, depositing iron-oxide minerals and organic matter in coloured bands.  Here is a conglomerate of coloured sand "pebbles" on a large boulder that must have fallen onto the beach.  We're not sure how these different coloured pebbles grouped and reformed into a conglomerate like this.  Double-click on the photo to see it up close.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Inskip Peninsula development controversy

View to Inskip Peninsula and Fraser Island from Scribbly Gums beach house.

Even paradise has its troubles. There is a long running fight over development on Inskip Peninsula where Rainbow Shores is proposing a stage 2 development of some 6000 people (Rainbow Beach has a permanent population of around 1000 people). Because of environmental sensitivity, it appears that the Queensland Government is working on a deal to swap some Crown land. As reported in The Courier-Mail, several Government Ministers and staffers have been involved with advising with the developers over time.
A community group called Citizens Helping Inskip Peninsula (CHIP) is fighting this development. You can read more at their website about the issues for Rainbow Beach and what is happening.

This is precious land bordering a World Heritage area - it deserves absolute transparency and a decision for the better good of the environment and community.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Spectacular views from Carlo Sand Blow

There is no need to go to Fraser Island to see a spectacular sand blow. The expansive Carlo Sand Blow can be found near Rainbow Beach, three hours drive north of Brisbane.

Covering around 15 hectares, Carlo Sand Blow offers beautiful 360 degree views from Double Island Point around to Tin Can Bay. You can walk down to the steep cliff face of the coloured sands from where the sands are blown up, and you can trek to the back where you see the sand slowly engulfing trees and bush as the blow inches inland.

The National Park walking track to the Carlo Sand Blow, which starts about 300 metres up the road from Scribbly Gums beach house, meanders through woodlands with massive scribbly gums and banksia. We love an early morning walk to watch the sunrise over Double Island Point or to go at sunset and watch the sun go down over the waters of Tin Can Bay inlet.

This view shows Inskip Point and the hills of Fraser Island in the background.  Near the middle of this photo there is a tall pine tree with a wind sock flying from the top that is used by the paragliders.  Scribbly Gums beach house is located just over the road from this tree.

You will often see paragliders taking off from the Sand Blow, joining the sea eagles making the most of the thermals along the cliffs. The sand blow was named by Captain Cook after one of his crew named Carlo.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Natural Beauty of Rainbow Beach

Fresh underground water trickles from coffee rocks below a beautiful Pandanas Palm. This photo is taken on the beach just in front of the Surf Club, an area where children love to play.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Snow on the beach

Walking along the beach to the coloured sands, we came across this amazing sight. Looks like snow on the beach!
Or is it a sand waterfall...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tricky beach driving

Given the privilege of driving a car along a beach that is part of a National Park, please drive with respect for the precious environment you are passing through. We also wish that people would drive SLOWLY, particularly in areas where there are people walking and children playing.

On a recent trip to Double Island Point lighthouse, we had to undertake some tricky driving. Near the Leisha Track, the sand cliffs have collapsed, sprawling trees onto the beach. This makes the beach almost impassable, except for a brief time at the lowest tide. The sand all around Rainbow Beach is constantly moving, exposing rocks one day and covering them the next. This is why so many cars get swamped taking risks. We made it out of this one!

Another one for the Rock Toll

Since 2000, a surprising 258 cars have met their demise on Rainbow Beach - joining the "Rock Toll" honour roll on the wall of the Rainbow Beach Hotel. Over several days we watched this Subaru move around the beach as the tide came in and out. It was looking pretty pristine on the first day.

The next morning it's roof had been torn back and a door was missing.

A few days later it was buried up to its roof - on its way to the car graveyard deep under the sand of Rainbow Beach...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rainbow Beach holiday house photos

Catch the sun rising over Double Island Point and glinting across the pool, then breakfast in the morning sun at the outdoor table before heading to the beach!
Three of the bedrooms open directly onto the pool area (photo shows view from the Master bedroom).

 Enjoy views of the ocean from just about every room in the house.

A new modern kitchen has been recently installed. The large open plan kitchen and dining area is a great gathering point with plenty of room to prepare and eat meals together.

Everyone's favourite spot on the deck overlooking the ocean with views to Fraser Island, shaded by beautiful native trees. Paragliders and sea eagles often fly right by as you eat lunch!
Watching the paragliders pass by.
Beautiful coastal woodland neighbouring the house.
The twin single bed room.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Details & bookings

About the Rainbow Beach house

With ocean-front panoramic views and a spectacular pool beside national park, this family beach house is a relaxing, close to nature retreat.

Scribbly Gums is located on Rainbow Beach's best positioned street, Cooloola Drive, which runs along the sand dunes up to Carlo Sand Blow.  Enjoy sweeping views from Fraser Island to Double Island Point, sea breezes, and the sound of waves crashing.

It is a 10 minute walk down to the beach, shops and restaurants, while the popular Carlo Sand Blow is a short walk up the hill.

From the tranquil large deck area you can listen to native birds, watch the paragliders float past at eye level, and spot migrating whales (June - Oct).  Take in sunrise over Double Island Point, breakfast in the morning sun, and chill out at the end of the day watching the sunset over Tin Can Bay before a BBQ dinner.

The new modern kitchen and spacious dining area is a gathering point in the house with plenty of room to prepare and eat meals together.

Sleeps eight people in four bedrooms, with two bathrooms.  (Bedrooms have: 1 x King ; 1 x Queen ; 2 x Single ; 1 x double.)  Perfect for a large family, two families or a group of nature lovers/bush walkers.

Fully self-contained kitchen
Gas oven, Microwave
BBQ & outdoor dining table and chairs
Washing machine
Single car garage

Room for children to run around the garden and surrounding bush.

No parties or functions or noisy groups.  We invite people to stay in our beach house who will respect the home.

See photos of the house

What you need to bring
Guests supply all bed linen, towels and tea towels, and food.

You can check availability, rates & book right now by clicking here >

Read more about why we love Rainbow Beach, what to do & see, facilities in the town

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rainbow Beach, Queensland, Australia

Why we love Rainbow Beach

About three hours drive from Brisbane, Rainbow Beach is a laid-back, small beach-side settlement, with all the facilities, activities and treats needed for a wonderful holiday. Families have a great time on the beach, playgrounds and through the National Park. The beach is full of interest, from the patrolled surf area to fishing and exploring the coffee rocks, sand dunes and famous Coloured Sands. The town is very casual and easy to get around, while offering some pleasant luxuries.

Nature lovers have lots of interesting bush and beach walks with variety and spectacular scenery (see more details below on the walks). The Scribbly Gums house is a perfect setting for those seeking a relaxing break close to nature. Wake up to pretty native bird calls in the Banksia trees and finish your day watching the sun set over Tin Can Bay inlet.

The recently opened Rainbow Beach Hotel has brought a stylish new experience to the town.  There are many other dining out options including Waterview Bistro (just a few minutes walk from Scribbly Gums) and Arco woodfired pizza.

For those with a 4WD you can venture over to Fraser Island and to Double Island Point. Thrill seekers and eco-experience lovers, can scuba dive at Wolf Rock, one of the world's top dive spots, paraglide and sea kayak.

Facilities & our recommendations

Shopping & groceries
  • Two supermarkets (including an IGA), newsagent, bakery, butcher, hardware, fishing, camping/disposal, clothes & surf wear, bottle shop
  • Pharmacy - only open until midday on Saturday, closed Sunday
  • Post Office & Commonwealth Bank outlet
  • Westpac ATM
  • A new shopping centre with Woolworths supermarket recently opened in Cooloola Cove, 15 minutes drive from Rainbow Beach.
Eating out
  • Spectacular Waterview Bistro just a few minutes walk up the hill from Scribbly Gums - excellent value & delicious weekend breakfasts, lunch specials, evening dining and bar
  • Arco woodfired pizza and coffee in the peaceful courtyard at the back of the Rainbow Beach Hotel - our favourite new dining out & coffee spot, lovely staff and scrummy pizzas, tapas
  • New Rainbow Beach Hotel - stunning decor inside, open fire, excellent food at the bistro, plenty of dining room upstairs and down & don't miss the Rock Toll board at the back of the bar area.
  • Surf Life Saving Club restaurant & Bowls Club restaurant
  • Gelateria - absolutely delicious, made in Rainbow Beach with Cooloola milk
  • Two seafood shops - Frying Fish cafe at the IGA with dine in and takeaway, and nearby Seafood with takeaway and fresh local seafood.
Other services
  • Doctor at various times
  • Rainbow Hair & Beauty Studio - lovely people
  • Day Spa at the new Plantation resort
Patrolled surf beach

The beach is patrolled in front of the surf lifesaving hut during school holidays and weekends from September through March.

Things to do
  • Walk to Carlo Sand Blow - we do this regularly from the house, as there is always lots to explore
  • Dolphin feeding at Tin Cay Bay (drive or take the ferry across)
  • Scuba Dive at Wolf Rock (grey nurse sharks, manta rays)
  • Sea kayaking tours - see manta rays, dolphins, turtles
  • Golf at Rainbow Shores
  • Tennis
  • Lawn Bowls
  • Canoe and boat hire from Carlo Point (Rainbow Beach side of Tin Can Bay)
  • Freshwater swim at Searys Creak - quite shallow, good for wading and exploring
  • Sky diving, paragliding
  • Surf School & surf board hire
  • Whale watching from August to October
  • Wildflowers in Spring
4WD beach driving -- always talk to some locals about whether the beach is currently passable at low tide (it changes all the time as sand covers rocks and then uncovers)
  • Drive to Double Island Point and walk up to the lighthouse - quite achievable walk for children
  • Day trip to Fraser Island from Inskip Point
Further afield you can Ride the Mary Valley Rattler steam train (from Gympie)

The below exceprts from an article in the Sydney Morning Herald Travel section
Pleasant quiet holiday spot which also serves as a gateway to Fraser Island and Cooloola National Park
Originally known as Back Beach, Rainbow Beach was renamed after the coloured sands located near the town which lies to the south of Fraser Island. It was gazetted as late as 1969 when it was established to service the local sandmining industry. Until that time there was no road to Rainbow Beach, with the only access being via boat from Tin Can Bay.

Sandmining ceased in 1976 and it has since become a quiet and idyllic holiday, fishing and retirement getaway... It caters well to beach-orientated holiday-makers. Although it has a permanent population of only around 900, about 70,000 visitors blow through town each year.
Cooloola National Park
Cooloola National Park forms the southern portion of Great Sandy National. Stretching south from Rainbow Beach to the Noosa River at Tewantin, it provides a haven for indigenous flora and fauna threatened by urban development and is characterised by open heathland, banksia woodlands, dry sclerophyll forest of scribbly gum and blackbutt, rainforest, coloured sand cliffs, attractive and extensive beaches, a plenitude of birdlife, including sea eagles, and the freshwater lakes, mangrove wetlands and tributaries associated with the Noosa River.
Great Sandy National Park incorporates and preserves the largest tract of natural land on Queensland¹s southern coast and the largest intact sand dune system in the world (around Teewah Beach). Visitors can enjoy bushwalking, picnicking, scenic drives, boating, fishing, lake and surf swimming, although the beaches are unpatrolled, sharks are common and bluebottles are present during northerly winds. Whales can be seen offshore between August and October, while dolphins and manta rays are more regular visitors.
Cooloola offers many bushwalking opportunities which are best enjoyed when the wildflowers bloom on the heathlands in Spring.
Cooloola National Park (Hang-Gliding/Carlo Sand Blow)
Rainbow Beach is popular with hang-gliders who use Carlo Sand Blow to launch out over Wide Bay. The 15-ha Blow was named by Captain Cook after one of his deck crew, named Carlo. It offers excellent views south-east to Double Island Point and the coloured sands, west to Tin Can Bay and the Great Sandy Straits, and north to Inskip Point and Fraser Island. Whales can sometimes be seen offshore between August and October.
A 600-metre walking track (one way) departs from Rainbow Beach water tower, at the top of Cooloola Drive, and passes through woodland to the Blow.
Cooloola National Park (Coloured Sands)
If visitors walk eastwards along the beach from the township of Rainbow Beach they will see enormous, impressive sandy cliffs, which can be up to 200 metres in height. Erosion has exposed a palette of as many as 72 different coloured sands which have been produced by combinations of iron oxide and leached vegetable dyes. It is likely that the sands have been forming since the last ice age.

Cooloola National Park (Telegraph Track and Murrawar Lookout)
From the end of Double Island Drive (which runs off Rainbow Beach Rd) walkers can commence along the Telegraph Track which follows the old telegraph line for 7 km to Bymien Picnic Area in Cooloola National Park. A 2-km detour leads to Murrawar Lookout which affords excellent views over Wide Bay, Double Island Point (which forms the eastern edge of Wide Bay) and Fraser Island.
Cooloola National Park (Double Island Point)
8 km north of Freshwater is Double Island Point which extends out to form the eastern arm of Wide Bay. It can be accessed via 4WD along the beach from either Freshwater or, at low tide, from Rainbow Beach (if coming from the latter check with a ranger regarding access past Mudlo Rocks). There is 1.1-km walking track from the very end of the Teewah Beach to the lighthouse.
Cooloola National Park (Searys Creek Walk) 7.5 km south of Rainbow Beach, along Rainbow Beach Road, there is a roadside carpark which is the start of a 100-metre walk to Searys Creek, amid heath and woodland environs.
Cooloola National Park (Bymien Picnic Area and Associated Walks)
4 km south of Rainbow Beach, along Rainbow Beach Rd, there is a turnoff on the left into Freshwater Road (unsealed but navigable in a 2WD) which passes through woodlands, climbing a steep hill to lead, after 3 km, to the rainforest environs of Bymien Picnic Area, which has small free gas barbecues, picnic tables, toilets, fireplaces and disabled access. The Dandathu Circuit (250 metres) is a pleasant rainforest amble witha 2-km return sidetrack which climbs a high, rainforest-clad dune, before descending through scrub to Poona Lake. The more ambitious can continue on through scribbly gum, blackbutt and rainforest to Freshwater Camping Area - a walk of 7.3 km.
Cooloola National Park (Freshwater Camping and Day Use Area)
From Bymien it is only possible to continue along Freshwater Road in a 4WD. It is13 km to Freshwater Camping Area, which is located adjacent Teewah Beach. Free gas barbecues are available. There is a 1.3-km walk from the campground to Freshwater Lake (one way), a 2.7-km circuit walk around the lake, and the 7.3-km walk back to Bymien.