About 240 kms north of Brisbane lies the small coastal town of Rainbow Beach. We decided to check it out one weekend and made our way through winding pine forests which we stopped at to explore. The drive took us close to 3 hours before we finally arrived. We checked into ‘Debbie’s Place’, a small hotel that offered decent accommodation not far from town. In search of a credible latte parlour we headed for the main street and found a small cafe.
A near catastrophe almost unfolded as we waited for our order. We had sat at a table below a shelf with some artwork and other items on it. A gust of wind suddenly burst through the small room and a painting was dislodged from the wall, falling forward and knocking a large and heavy clay pot to the edge of the shelf about a metre above my head. A lone, middle aged English woman jumped up in horror and raced forward attempting to alert me of the danger. I stood up and then realised what could have almost happened if the wind had been slightly stronger. An uninterested staff member took the canvas away as I crossed another life off the list.
Instead of heading straight to the beach, we decided to check out a massive sand dune that turns from a hill into a steep cliff beside the ocean. Named ‘Carlo Sand Blow’, the large mass of sand was named by Captain Cook after one of the crew aboard his ship. It was about a 600 metre walk from the car park and offers amazing views east and west to watch the sunrise or sunset. 4WDs could be seen driving back and fourth to Double Island Point where a lighthouse and some great beaches can be found.
After enjoying the spectacular views from the dunes we made our way back into town. We had arranged to go horse riding with ‘Rainbow Beach Horse Rides’. Rainbow beach was easily one of the best places to beach ride on the east coast. 4WDs are not permitted on that section of beach and you are allowed to ride on weekends unlike other beaches that only allow weekday riding.
Dinner was at Rainbow Beach Surf Life Saving Club. It was then decided that the sand dunes offered such an amazing view that we would wake up early to watch the sun rise and psyched ourselves into the early start over a few lagers. The alarm clock went off and of course we had second thoughts, but we decoded to push on and get ready. We drove in darkness to the car park and then walked briskly along the narrow path through the bush. We tried to put the scenes from The Blair Witch Project out of our minds but the numerous sounds from birds and various ground animals scampering around didn’t help.
As we arrived at the dune and made our way to the vantage point we hoped to see a cloudless horizon. Having never woken up to watch the sunrise before I hadn’t even anticipated that the sun could perhaps be blocked by thick clouds… which it was. As light sprayed across the ocean it became clear the we weren’t going to see that beautiful orange glow over the water. However the soft lighting over the ocean contrasted by the yellow sandy cliffs still made for a breathtaking sight.
We searched for somewhere that would be open for breakfast that early and found a small bakery. The sun had finally risen above the clouds on our arrival at the main beach. Small boats were being launched from the sand and a lone fisherman stared off into the distance waiting for a catch. The sunlight bounced off the different coloured sands that made up the surface of the cliffs. Clusters of rocks and pandanus palms gave us somewhere to sit as the waves rolled in and we discussed past times and memories.