Rainbow Beach, Queensland

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Rainbow Beach
Rainbow Beach, Queensland.jpg
Rainbow Beach, Queensland, 2013
Rainbow Beach is located in Queensland
Rainbow Beach
Rainbow Beach
Coordinates25°54′S 153°5′E / 25.900°S 153.083°E / -25.900; 153.083Coordinates: 25°54′S 153°5′E / 25.900°S 153.083°E / -25.900; 153.083
Population1,103 (2011 census)[1]
Elevation14 m (46 ft)
LGA(s)Gympie Region
State electorate(s)Gympie
Federal Division(s)Wide Bay
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
25.4 °C
78 °F
16.6 °C
62 °F
1,218.2 mm
48 in
Localities around Rainbow Beach:
Inskip Inskip Pacific Ocean
Cooloola Rainbow Beach Pacific Ocean
Cooloola Cooloola Cooloola

Rainbow Beach is a coastal town in the Wide Bay–Burnett region of Queensland, Australia, east of Gympie. At the 2011 census, Rainbow Beach had a population of 1,103.[1] It is a popular tourist destination, both in its own right and as a gateway to Fraser Island.


The town's name derives from the rainbow-coloured sand dunes surrounding the settlement. According to the legends of the Kabi people, the dunes were coloured when Yiningie, a spirit represented by a rainbow, plunged into the cliffs after doing battle with an evil tribesman.[2] Much of the sand colours stem from the rich content of minerals in the sand, such as rutile, ilmenite, zircon, and monazite. A black dune of ilmenite sands, overgrown by dune vegetation, can be found north west of the main town. This is currently being removed for sale in China with complete removal expected to take two years.

The Cooloola Section of the Great Sandy National Park borders the town to the south. A number of walking tracks through the national park depart from the southern outskirts of Rainbow Beach.[3] This includes the northern end point of the Cooloola Great Walk.[4]

By road, Rainbow Beach is located 75 kilometres (47 mi) from the Bruce Highway town of Gympie, and 239 kilometres (149 mi) from the Queensland state capital, Brisbane.


Propeller from the wrecked ship Cherry Venture, saved and displayed at Rainbow Beach, 2016
War memorial, "In memory of those who gave their lives from the Great War onwards", 2016

The town's war memorial commemorating those who died in the World War I and subsequent conflicts was refurbished in 1993 and is also located in Laurie Hanson Park.[5]

Rainbow Beach Library was opened in 2012.[6]


The town's economy is now dominated by tourism, featuring quiet and idyllic holidays, fishing and retirement getaway. The town caters to beach-orientated holiday-makers with hotels, motels, and caravan parks. The town promotes itself as the "Gateway to Fraser Island" as vehicular ferries for Fraser Island depart from Inskip Point, north of town. Double Island Point, a popular destination amongst 4WD enthusiasts, is located east of town. It is also promoted as an eco-tourism destination.

Although it has a permanent population of about 900, about 70,000 visitors come to the town each year.[7]

Community Facilities[edit]

Gympie Regional Council operates Rainbow Beach Library at Rainbow Beach Community Hall, 32 Rainbow Beach Road, Rainbow Beach.[8]


In 2011, a large sinkhole consumed much of the beach at Inskip Point, with the hole size estimated at 100 m+ long and 50 m+ deep.[9]

A large sinkhole opened up near Queensland's Rainbow Beach, affecting campers along Inskip Point in September 2015.[10] Fishermen were the first to notice the shoreline quickly receding into the ocean around 10:30 pm, the Brisbane Times reports. Casey Hughes told ABC news it sounded like thunder as the sinkhole was opening. The sinkhole was 150 metres long, 50 metres wide and three metres deep. The sinkhole swallowed up one car, a caravan, a camper trailer and several tents. 140 people were evacuated from the campground, but no injuries were reported.[10] Most of the campers were able to move their vehicles out of harm's way before their campsites were submerged in water.


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Rainbow Beach (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 21 October 2014. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Hues of a rainbow Archived 15 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine, Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 August 2006.
  3. ^ Travel: Rainbow Beach Archived 15 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine, Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 August 2006.
  4. ^ Jo Skinner (29 March 2010). "$1.3m Cooloola Great Walk opens". ABC News. Archived from the original on 17 November 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  5. ^ "Rainbow Beach War Memorial". Queensland War Memorial Register. Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Public Libraries Statistical Bulletin 2016-17" (PDF). Public Libraries Connect. State Library of Queensland. November 2017. p. 13. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Rainbow Beach Foreshore: Park Development Plan" (PDF). Gympie Regional Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Rainbow Beach Library". Public Libraries Connect. State Library of Queensland. 27 April 2017. Archived from the original on 31 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  9. ^ (27 June 2011) Georgia Waters.Sinkhole swallows south-east Queensland beach.
  10. ^ a b "Sinkhole swallows car, caravan at campsite near Queensland's Rainbow Beach". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 27 September 2015. Archived from the original on 11 March 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2016.

External links[edit]