Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Rainbow Beach is a 23 km long, curving beach located in Wide Bay between sandy Inskip Point, opposite Fraser Island, and rocky Double Island Point. The open bay faces north-east and the beaches in the bay face variously north, east and north-east as they swing around between the two points. The growing town of Rainbow Beach is located in the centre of the beaches, with the northern end of the large Cooloola National Park extending south of the southern half of the bay.
Inskip Point beach (1528) is a 2 km long recurved spit that forms the southern shore of the 1 km wide Wide Harbour channel, with Hook Point of Fraser Island forming the northern shore. The beach is relatively narrow and steep and receives low waves, however strong tidal currents and the wide, deep channels run just off the beach. The beach is used as a landing site for the Fraser Island car ferry. A road from Rainbow Beach runs up behind the main beach to the westernmost tip of the point, where the ferry landing is located.
The central and northern beach is dominated by rips and is potentially hazardous. Be very careful if swimming here, particularly when waves are breaking. Watch out for the deep rip channels, as well as currents in the longshore troughs. Stay close inshore and on the attached parts of the bar. Definitely swim between the flags at Rainbow Beach. Beware of the strong tidal currents at Inskip Point and, while the southern beach is usually the safest with the lowest waves and few rips, be careful of the vehicle traffic on the beach.
There are beach breaks the length of this beach, with conditions depending on winds and swell size, as well as bar shape. The southern Double Island Point has the long spits of northward moving sand which produce long right-handers during large swell.
A very popular spot for beach fishing, with deep holes and gutters common along the beach, particularly north of the surf lifesaving club, and off Inskip Point into the deep tidal channel.
A long, attractive, natural beach framed by brilliant sand dunes along the southern half. Vehicles are permitted either side of the patrolled section and many people use this as a jumping off point to visit Fraser Island to the north and Cooloola National Park to the south.
- Formal parking area