The Carlo Sand Blow is the kind of place you visit and never forget.
As you emerge out of the bush and onto the wooden platform, the sheer size of the Carlo Sand Blow takes your breath away. Around 15 hectares of golden sand, sprawling up at the sides and hollowing in the middle to create what looks like a huge half-dome.
Situated in the sleepy coastal town of Rainbow Beach, it’s a destination you find yourself returning to over and over again, if only just to see the sunset or sunrise one more time.
If you turn to your left you’ll walk down toward the perfect blue water. As you get closer, more and more of the water and horizon come into focus. At the edge of the sand you’re met with absolutely unbeatable views of the coastline. The sky explodes a vibrant blue, colliding with the rich, deep colour of the ocean on the horizon. To the left and right, the sea and sky meet with the bright yellow sand, curving effortlessly around each other.
Standing there, seemingly on the edge of the world, it’s easy to forget where you are. This place, with views of the Coloured Sands, Fraser Island and Double Island Point, is easily one of the best places in Queensland to watch the sunrise. If you wake up before first light and head up there on a weekday, there’s a very good chance you’ll be the only person standing there. If you visit between August and November, you’ve got pretty good odds of spotting the migrating Humpback Whales so be sure to pack your binoculars.
Later in the day, head over to the other side of the Sand Blow to watch the sunset over Tin Can Bay and our expansive Australian bushland. It sets the sky ablaze with orange, red, pink and yellow light and is unlike any other sunset you’ve ever seen before. Sitting there on the sand, overlooking the dense bushland, you feel like you could be anywhere in the world. It’s a gentle reminder of how beautiful Queensland is and how lucky we are to live here.
Rainbow Beach is a small town popular among backpackers, holiday-makers and families. The area towards Inskip Point proves very popular with caravanners and campers as you can set your rig up a few metres away from the water, making it a beautiful place to wake up each day.
While the town tends to swell with visitors during the school-holiday season, it’s nice and quiet the rest of the year and offers an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. This laid-back little town is reminiscent of what coastal towns used to be like.
It takes around three hours to drive to the area from Brisbane and there are plenty of places to stop along the way to buy fresh produce or grab a bite to eat. There are a number of hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, holiday home rentals and camping sites to choose from, which makes it a great destination for every budget. Most places are self-contained, so it pays to bring an esky stocked with essentials so you can have a BBQ or make a cheese platter to enjoy as the sun goes down.
With so many great Queensland coastal towns to choose from, Rainbow Beach stands apart for its relaxing, laid-back atmosphere and the sheer beauty of the beaches, bushland, coastline and the Carlo Sand Blow. Just be warned, if you visit once, you’re going to want to go back time and time again.