This is heavenly, sub-tropical, coastal country, about 107 km north of Noosa, where the fishing, boating, surfing, prawning and crabbing are all sublime.
Rainbow Beach, on Wide Bay, is a major entry point to the 41,000 hectare Cooloola National Park, which offers one of the great four-wheel drive excursions in Queensland. The park itself is wild and beautiful and you can even sometimes see brumbies galloping along the vast sandy expanses of Cooloola Beach.
A short drive north from Rainbow is Inskip Point, where there’s a ferry to take you and your car across to Fraser Island.
Rainbow was originally called Black Beach by the miners who extracted valuable mineral sands from the beach. Under environmental pressure, the mining operation closed in 1976 when the name reverted to Rainbow in deference to local Aboriginal lore.
According to the Kaby Dreaming, Yiningie, the spirit of the gods, often took the form of a rainbow. Yiningie was killed in a fight when he crashed into the cliffs and his spirit coloured the sands.