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  • Writer's pictureNarelle Donnellan

Noosa Northshore - Rainbow Beach - Fraser Island

This blog is dedicated to our trip last weekend to Noosa Northshore – Rainbow Beach and onto Fraser Island.

Yes, thankful to live close to these destinations and get to experience it in one, 12 hour long day. I have wanted to explore Fraser Island for a while now but until we got a 4WD it wasn’t high on the list of easily accessing it. If you don’t have a 4WD don’t fret you can easily take your family either by a tour group in the big trucks that go for day tours and show you all the highlights or can hire a 4WD, best to hire from Rainbow Beach.

Travelling from Noosa to Fraser Island, either via inland roads to Rainbow Beach or best way and quickest via Noosa Northshore to Rainbow Beach. We have tried both ways apart from being delayed with tides for the beach it’s just so much quicker and of course scenic on the beach then travelling on the Bruce Hwy most of the way.

Noosa Northshore

Enter via the Tewantin barge, rate has gone up now to $10 cash only and no silver coins allowed. Once crossed over head to the beach entrance and lower your tyres to drive on the beach. Now you can drive to Double Island Point on high tide but it will take longer and slower in the deep sand. If you are still on high tide you will have to take the Freshwater inland track to access Rainbow Beach. So best to travel at low tide so you can zoom up the beach. This means you can travel up to Rainbow Beach from Double Island point too. It’s the prettiest part of the trip with the coloured cliffs. Section from Double Island Point to Rainbow Beach stretch, you can travel 2 hours before and after low tide, it only takes 10 mins. You definitely don’t want to risk it and end up on the wall of shame at the info centre at Rainbow Beach, losing your car to the ocean. The track is narrow and no room to move inland due to the sheer cliffs.

Before you adventure up beach make sure you enjoy Double Island Point. Take a walk up to the lighthouse accessed via the Northshore side before you turn to get into Double Island Point. It doesn’t take that long but great break to the trip and stretch your legs and enjoy the views. Surfs good enjoy a surf this side or around at double island point. To access the great surf spot at Double Island point can only enter and cross the section of water at low tide. It is amazing if you get to experience it long easy beginner waves in crystal clear water. If the tides aren't working for you can enjoy beach time or float around at the lagoon.

Rainbow Beach

On the holidays just gone we came and stayed at Rainbow Beach for 2 nights. For us it is all we needed as the town is very small but perfect quiet place to escape away and not too far from home. It’s also the town to get to Fraser Island. If you stay at Rainbow Beach, enjoy the strip of shops on the main road and all the new rainbow coloured bench seats everywhere. Plenty of eateries, we enjoyed a drink at the Deck at Sea Salt right on the corner at the end of the main street, great big open place, beer garden and roof top to enjoy not just drinks but a meal too. We enjoyed dinner at Rainbow Beach Life Saving Club one of the best views up and down the coast. Of course, by the time we went for dinner it was dark and couldn’t enjoy our window seats. Playground options yes two options both are flooded lit at nights so awesome as my kids played right up to dinner time by that time it was pitch black. The bigger park is to the left when exiting the main street, plenty to do even has a zip line. From this playground you can adventure down the rainbow staircase also famous here with the moto printed on it “How Good is Living” the stairs apart from being a fun photoshoot also leads to the beach access. The other playground to the right when exiting main street is much smaller but has a lookout close by to enjoy the views of the ocean.

Must visit Carlo Sandblow it's a huge moonscape sand dune with 180-degree views of Rainbow Beach, Double Island Point, Fraser Island and Inskip. Enter by parking at the end of Cooloola Drive. Take the easy one way walk into the dunes. Make sure you bring your body board to enjoy sand dunning. Somehow every time we have forgotten ours and have envy of the other families. Not to worry running in this sand dune down the hills is pretty entertaining too. Make it to the very end to capture the amazing views I mentioned.

Fraser Island

Fun facts and why you should visit Fraser Island, name is K’gari or as mostly known as Fraser Island. It’s the world’s largest sand island stretching about 123km by 22 km. It has 100 freshwater lakes and streams. It is a world heritage site.

Before heading across to Fraser Island, you need to drop into the Manta Ray Barges Office to get your barge ticket, in Rainbow Beach. Barge is $130 return ticket. Also need to get your permit to drive on Fraser Island, through this office too or on the Qld Government website. Can only purchase monthly or annual permits. Once you get your ticket, head to the very end of Inskip, and onto the sand and wait for the barge to arrive. Peak times 2 barges will be running, it takes 10 mins on the water to cross to Fraser Island. When you exit the barge, all vehicles head right up the beach, it’s about 30-40 mins depending on tides and hardness of sand to get you to Eurong. Eurong has public toilets, bakery, restaurant and accommodation options. From Eurong you can head inland to famous Lake McKenzie but can take up to 1 hour each way. This trip we didn’t make it to the famous Lake but can’t wait to when we have more time and stay on the island for a night to really experience all it has to offer. From this point we travelled back out and up the beach to Maheno Wreck. Maheno Wreck is the famous ship that was once a hospital ship in WW1 and on its way to Japan as scrap in 1935 but the tow chain was snapped and ended up on Fraser Island. Make you read the write up of the history on the plaque behind where you pull up to park on the beach.

From this point we headed back down the beach a short while to Eli Creek, a freshwater creek. Park right in front of the creek and pull out your chairs and enjoy lunch. Make sure you pack your inflatable ring and walk up the boardwalk and enter into the creek down the steps and float on back to the car. The water was not that deep so enjoyed walking and pulling my son through on his body board. It’s just so crystal clear it’s stunning. Not to be a spoiler but it’s not that long and it’s not as remote as the tourist brochures make out.

Due to only enjoying a day here we only made it to these two points of interest. On the way back due to being high tide we had to enter back to the barge via the inland route to miss the corner of the island that is not accessible on high tide. It took longer, due to being corrugated with pot holes which some reason put my kids to sleep. Can’t wait for next trip to see the champagne Pools, Lake Wabby and Lake McKenzie, I have heard so much about.

Now dingoes we all hear so much about. Our trip we managed to see none. At the permit office they gave us a brochure on what to do. Make sure you are aware at all times especially if you have small kids.

Hopefully this has enlighten you how to travel and enjoy Fraser Island and surrounds. Now what are you waiting for, O that’s right for Queensland government to let everyone back in…

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