Rainbow Beach

Rainbow Beach

I find it difficult to resist the call of the stunning ochre cliffs of Rainbow Beach.  When Jason invited us to join him for a ride there, how could we refuse?

Rainbow Beach

We’ve done “The Rainbow Loop” several times.  Today, Jason wanted to show us a couple of his favourite tracks.  Darb and I relished the chance to discover more new trails in this beautiful part of the world.

Rainbow Beach

Instead of heading straight onto the beach, we followed a quiet bush track inland for a few kilometres.

Rainbow Beach

(Photo: Tony Ryan)

Jason sat at the top of Carlo Sandblow while Darb and I rolled around on the vast sandy expanse like kids on BMX bikes.

Rainbow Beach
(Photo: Tony Ryan)

Recent rain had formed a hard crust of sand which made it easy for us to ride over.

We rolled around the huge patch of sand, 130 metres above the ocean, enjoying views to the horizon in every direction.

Rainbow Beach

As we climbed back towards Jason at the top of the dunes, the slope grew too steep and we had to push the bikes the last few metres.

Rainbow Beach

Our track followed the cliff tops, slowly gaining elevation.  Although they’re made of sand, these cliffs are high, towering up to 150 metres over the beach below.

Rainbow Beach

A few minutes later we took a short detour to the precipice.  Below us, the turquoise ocean stretched to the horizon and a thin rind of sand arced away northwards to Fraser Island.

I’m convinced gazing off to infinity is good for the soul.

Rainbow Beach

Jason pointed out Double Island Point where he planned to take us later in the day.

Rainbow Beach
(Photo: Tony Ryan)

From here it would have been easy to just follow the clifftop track to Double Island Point, but Jason wanted to take a short detour…

Rainbow Beach
(Photo: Tony Ryan)

The landscape abruptly changed from open bushland to shady rainforest.

Rainbow Beach

We followed the twisting track gently downhill…

Rainbow Beach

…dodging vines, roots and fallen trees as we went.

Rainbow Beach

Eventually, we emerged on the shore of Poona Lake.

Darb wandered around by the water’s edge.

Rainbow Beach

Jason had a swim.

Rainbow Beach
(Photo: Tony Ryan)

I just paddled around in the water up to my knees – deciding I’d rather not do the rest of the ride in wet knicks.

 

Rainbow Beach

After a brief rest, we rejoined the narrow track and followed it back towards Freshwater Road.

Rainbow Beach

Freshwater Road is a busy trail used by 4WD’s to access the beach.  It was like riding through a strange city where skyscrapers were replaced with tall green trees, and the street was replaced with a sandy track.  It was pretty, but we had to often move out of the way to let vehicles pass.

Rainbow Beach

We soon left Freshwater Road, rejoining the clifftop track we followed earlier in the day.

Rainbow Beach

It undulated for several kilometres before eventually spitting us out on the beach at Double Island Point.

Rainbow Beach

My friend, Bob W, had visited this spot the day after us and said it resembled a “Second-hand 4WD car sale yard”.

Hundreds of cars lined the beach.

Every spot of shade in dunes was taken by holiday-makers trying to escape the scorching sun.

Jet skis and paddleboards swirled around the lagoon like strange swans.
Rainbow Beach

We followed Jason up the beach towards the headland.

Rainbow Beach

The beach narrowed at one point.  The rising tide and hundreds of vehicles had hollowed out a deep ditch which made it impossible to get any further without wading through the water.

I had fun watching the cars splash through.

Rainbow Beach

Darb and I decided we didn’t feel like dragging the bikes through salty water.

Rainbow Beach

We thanked Jason for being such a hospitable host, and decided to leave him here and make our way back to town.

Rainbow Beach

The imposing orange cliffs stretched to the horizon

 

Rainbow Beach

Dozens of cars decided they’d also try to get back to town before the rising tide blocked the beach.

Rainbow Beach

Rainbow Beach
(Photo: Tony Ryan)

After the hills, twists and turns of the forest trails, it was a pleasant relief to ease along the flat beach with the wind at our backs.

Rainbow Beach

Fresh streams gurgled out of the base of the cliffs, forming wash-outs in the sand.  We bumped and splashed through dozens of small streams.

Rainbow Beach

We timed it perfectly, arriving in Rainbow Beach with the incoming tide just starting to splash the bikes and the midday sun now beating directly overhead.

 

Total distance: 36.58 km
Max elevation: 203 m
Min elevation: 12 m
Total climbing: 897 m
Total descent: -893 m
Average speed: 12.58 km/h
Total Time: 04:22:42
Download
More data

We rode 36 kilometres in about four and a half hours. During that time we climbed about 630 metres in elevation and I burned about 2,050 kcal. This is a challenging summer ride. We had initially intended to cover fifty kilometres today. I’m glad we didn’t. Riding here is all about soaking up the views and enjoying the magic of those imposing cliffs. To do that properly you need plenty of time.

I’ll rate today’s ride 8 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

Thanks Jason and Darb for another fun day on the bikes in spectacular surroundings!

Rainbow Beach

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.