When people talk about Rainbow Beach, they’re not focused on Rainbow Beach. That’s because Rainbow primarily serves as a gateway to Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world at almost 110 KM long and an average of 14 kilometers wide. Declared a World Heritage Site in 1992, Fraser is a gem, with beautiful freshwater lakes and dramatic scenery.
Rainbow Beach and Fraser are approximately 250 kilometers north of Brisbane. The most popular way to tour Fraser Island is by renting a 4WD truck, either by yourself or as part of a larger group. These tours generally go out for two nights. One of the best parts of your trip will be driving the truck. I actually learned to drive a manual transmission on Fraser Island!
Fraser has over 100 dune lakes, beautiful desert oasis’ that are some of the cleanest in the world. The most famous is Lake McKenzie, blessed with sand that is nearly pure silica. Don’t be surprised to see people rubbing the sand over watch faces and jewelry; the non abrasive silica works well as a cleaner. The sand also exfoliates the skin.
The 75 mile beach on the east coast of Fraser Island isn’t as popular for swimming, due to dangerous currents and plentiful tiger sharks. Other highlights include Champagne Pools, a rock outcropping constantly hit with bubbly ocean overflow, and Indian Head, a vantage point from which you can usually spot schools of sharks knifing through the waves.
Another popular spot is the Maheno shipwreck, right on the beach. You can walk through the wreck, but keep an eye out for sharp and rusty edges.
If you have some extra time in Australia, Fraser Island is a great getaway for a few days. It’s sure to provide some of your favorite memories.