Beyond the beach at Rainbow Beach the other key attraction is the Carlo Sand Blow. While interesting enough in itself, it is the ideal place at Rainbow Beach to watch the sunset.
About Rainbow Beach
The Carlo Sandblow at Rainbow Beach
As one of the gateways to Fraser Island and the northern end of the Cooloola Great Walk, a lot of people pass through this little town. It is a pleasant place to visit, with a wonderful beach, and a number of nice places to eat or enjoy a drink or two. It is also a good spot to launch trailer boats, with access to both Tin Can Inlet and the Fraser Coast. There is plenty of camping spots out at Inskip Point as well.
Carlo Sand Blow
The eponymous beach at Rainbow Beach
One of the most interesting spots to visit at Rainbow Beach is the Carlo Sand Blow. Sand blows are fairly common, especially in places like the Great Sandy National Park. Generally, the sand is covered by plants, which holds the sand together and as plants die they leech nutrients into the sand that help hold it all together. But sometimes there will be a sand dune patch creating a desert among the green.
The Carlo Sand Blow at Rainbow Beach
First of all, we have to understand these are sand blows (2 words) rather than sandblows (1 word), with the latter basically being sand volcanoes that result from earthquakes. Sand blows on the other hand seem to be formed when constant wind keeps the sand moving and churning, stopping plants from forming. Once it starts forming, it keeps pushing the sand further along, consuming the forest under the ever-progressing sand.
Sunset & Magic Hour
Crossing the Carlo Sand Blow at Rainbow Beach
You can visit the Carlo Sand Blow whenever you want, but the most popular time to visit is at sunset. You can walk from town, which is about 1.5 kms away, or drive to the Cooloola Great Walk trailhead and walk the 300 metres into the blow.
The walk to the Carlo Sand Blow at Rainbow Beach
With westerly views, it is a great place to sit with your friends as the sun sets. While I wouldn't encourage that sort of thing, you can bring a few beers or a snack to enjoy the view.
Enjoying the sunset at the Carlo Sand Blow at Rainbow Beach
The view looks down over the Tin Cay Inlet behind Rainbow Beach. While the height and angle are not quite perfect, you do get some reflections off the waters of the inlet and plenty of birds flying across the sky.
Sunset seen from the Carlo Sand Blow at Rainbow Beach
Most people leave the moment the sun sets, but it is worth staying for magic hour. Often once the sun is below the horizon, the sky will turn beautiful colours from the last of the sun's rays streaming from below the edge of the world. Don't forget that you might need a light to walk back to your car or the town.
Worth staying for the magic light after the sun has set at the Carlo Sand Blow
You might also consider visiting for sunrise as well. The Carlo Sand Blow has an east-west orientation, so you should also get great sunrise views. But for sunrise, you could view it anywhere along the beach, so the blow is a less popular place to go early in the morning.
There are also easterly views for sunrise at the Carlo Sand Blow at Rainbow Beach
Should you be heading out to Rainbow Beach, then definitely schedule a quick trip out to the Carlo Sand Blow. It doesn't have to be at sunset, but if you do go at sunset then stay afterwards for magic hour.