Towering sand dunes, beach drives, horse-riding and forest walks create a natural getaway for campers.
Rainbow Beach is a small coastal village on an unspoiled stretch of Pacific Ocean coastline, between Noosa and the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, a two-hour drive from Sunshine Coast Airport. Often ranked as one of Australia’s best beaches, Rainbow is one of those idyllic spots that appeals to everyone: beach-goers, fishermen, campers, hikers, families, and anyone who loves to hit the water. Stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking with the dolphins and horse-riding on the beach are all options, but most come for the amazing coloured sands that are a highlight of the 4WD-only Great Beach Drive.
If you have a 4WD vehicle, you can take the Great Beach Drive, all the way to Rainbow Beach from Noosa North Shore, by taking the ferry across the Noosa River at Tewantin. Good camping at Teewah Beach puts you in the Cooloola Recreation Area of Great Sandy National Park but is only reached by sandy tracks (4WD essential). Fishing and birdwatching are popular here. Bathroom facilities are at the nearby Freshwater day-use area, just north of the camping zone.
Just 10 minutes north of Rainbow Beach, Inskip Peninsula’s beachfront and estuary camping areas have plenty of shady trees and some are named for the shipwrecks offshore. The largest and most accessible is the MV Sarawak camping area, but all are great for fishing and relaxing. This is also the southern access point (10 minutes by barge) to Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island.
A 30-minute drive from Rainbow Beach, Tin Can Bay sits on the other side of the inlet from the Great Sandy Strait. Several commercial camping and caravanning parks operate near the township, which is famed for its daily wild dolphin feeding (near the boat ramp at Norman Point).
Fraser Island’s wilderness is popular with campers, fishermen and hikers; but ocean swimming is dangerous. Only 4WD vehicles have access to the island, which is criss-crossed with sand tracks. As well as beach camping, there are protected camping areas behind fences to keep out wild dingos, highly recommended for families with children under 14. Popular places to visit include the crystal-clear Lake McKenzie and Central Station, with its lush rainforest.
The busiest seasons on the Sunshine Coast are during the summer school holidays (December and January) and around Easter. At those times, you’ll need to book as far ahead as you can. The weather is great year-round, with temperatures averaging 28C (82F) in summer and 20C (68F) in winter.
Visit Double Island Point for excellent ocean views from the iconic lighthouse
To camp at Rainbow Beach on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, you have a few options: 1. Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area: This area offers several beach camping sites, such as M.V. Beagle, M.V. Natone, M.V. Sarawak, and M.V. Natone. You need to obtain a camping permit and pay the camping fees. You can book your campsite online through the Queensland National Parks Booking Service. 2. Carlo Sand Blow: Camping is not permitted on Carlo Sand Blow itself, but you can camp at Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area, which is nearby. You can access the sand blow via a short walk from the Cooloola Recreation Area. 3. Private campgrounds: There are a few private campgrounds and holiday parks in Rainbow Beach that offer camping facilities, such as the Rainbow Beach Holiday Village and the Rainbow Beach Holiday Park. Remember to follow all camping guidelines and regulations, including respecting the environment, being aware of local wildlife, and practicing responsible waste disposal.
No, you cannot camp anywhere on Rainbow Beach in Australia. However, there are designated camping areas nearby where you can camp legally. Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area, located just north of Rainbow Beach, offers several beachfront camping areas, such as Inskip Point, M.V. Beagle, M.V. Sarawak, and M.V. Natone. These areas require a permit, which can be obtained online or at a local visitor information center. Additionally, you can find campgrounds and holiday parks in the Rainbow Beach township. You can view these options on Hipcamp.
Camping at Rainbow Beach in Queensland, Australia, typically costs between AUD 6.75 to AUD 33.50 per night, depending on the campsite and amenities provided. The Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area, for example, offers camping fees starting at AUD 6.75 per person per night or AUD 27 per family per night. Other campgrounds in the area may have different rates, so it's essential to check specific campground prices before planning your trip. Keep in mind that you may also need to obtain a camping permit for some locations, which will have an additional cost.
Yes, you need a permit to camp on Rainbow Beach in Queensland, Australia. Camping permits are required for all campgrounds within the Great Sandy National Park, which includes the Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area and the Cooloola Recreation Area. You can obtain a camping permit and make a reservation online through the Queensland Government's Department of Environment and Science website.
Camping fees at Inskip Point in Queensland, Australia, vary depending on the type of site and the season. The general cost for a camping permit is around AUD 6.85 per person per night or AUD 27.40 per family per night (2 adults and up to 6 children). Prices are subject to change, so it's best to check the Queensland Parks booking website for the most up-to-date information on camping fees and availability at Inskip Point.