Motorama Brisbane Moorooka Browns Plains Hillcrest Springwood 4X4XMORE 4WD 4X4 SUV Beach Offroad Drive New Used Demonstrator Demo Car Sales Service Specials

Motorama Adventures' Best Drives: Rainbow Beach

The Motorama 4X4XMORE Team are always looking for places to take an adventure.

Double Island Point is a quick getaway for anyone looking to get out of the city, and one of our favourite destinations for a day trip out of the city.

Just north of Noosa, on the other side of a small bend in the Noosa River, you can get your 4WD onto sand and head all the way up to Rainbow Beach and Inskip Point, which is just a ferry ride away from the off-roading paradise of Fraser Island.

Getting there

Leaving Brisbane, head north out along Gympie Rd or via the Gateway Motorway, and head up past the Sunshine Coast.   There are two main ways to get to Double Island Point – via the ferry at North Shore Noosa, or via Gympie.

You can be at the turnoff at Eumundi in under ninety minutes and take the road into Tewantin / Noosaville.   The ferry route is possibly the quickest and more scenic – as it gives you plenty of time on the sand (tide times permitting).  The ferry operates all day (and into the night) and currently it costs $7 (one way).   

The other option is to drive via Gympie, and take the turn off to Rainbow Beach & Fraser Island.  A couple of kilometres before Rainbow Beach is Freshwater Track, which takes you through some scenic rainforest and dirt / sand / gravel tracks.  It is certainly a different off-roading experience and it brings you out about 10 kilometres south of Double Island Point.    This option can be handy when the tide is unfavourable to get on the beach early in the morning – you’d be better to drive via Freshwater so the beach is easier and more comfortable driving.

Motorama Brisbane Moorooka Browns Plains Hillcrest Springwood 4X4XMORE 4WD 4X4 SUV Beach Offroad Drive New Used Demonstrator Demo Car Sales Service Specials

Hitting the beach

If you do decide to take the ferry across at Tewantin, there is a short drive through the North Shore of Noosa to get to the beach cuttings that will put you straight out onto the beach at Teewah.

From here, you can head north towards Double Island Point and the coloured sands of Rainbow Beach. 
Note, if you take the southern cutting towards the river, this allows you views  back to Noosa from the north shore of the river mouth.

Heading north, the drive up the beach to Double Island Point is approximately an hour.   Note, the usual road rules apply (and enforced) as this is a popular, family friendly destination, so keep your eyes firmly on the road ahead to watch out for kids and off leash dogs. 

Up the beach (or the scenic route if you come in from Gympie), is the Freshwater Track that leads to a day use area (with toilet) and a campground if you want to make it a weekend trip and stay overnight.

The beauty of Double Island Point is that you can set up for the day on either the northern or southern side, depending on the prevailing wind.   The lighthouse views are spectacular as it overlooks Rainbow Beach to the north and provides stunning views south toward Noosa.  This is also a great spot to spy passing whales, dolphins and schools of fish when the weather is calm (usually in a westerly wind).

To get to the northern side, you can cross the Leisha Track where you’re rewarded with open views to the ocean and towards rainbow beach.  Due to the wind generally prevailing from the south east, this is usually a very protected spot, with calm swell, tidal lagoons (great for the kids), wide open beaches and plenty of options to spend a few hours away from it all.

Motorama Brisbane Moorooka Browns Plains Hillcrest Springwood 4X4XMORE 4WD 4X4 SUV Beach Offroad Drive New Used Demonstrator Demo Car Sales Service Specials

Rainbow Beach

From the northern side of Double Island Point, you can take the drive up along the stunning coloured sands towards Rainbow Beach.   The journey will see huge coloured sand dunes and blows on one side, with idyllic blue/green water lapping the sand on the other. 

You can drive through to Rainbow Beach from here but it very much depends on the tide and the rocks at Rainbow Beach.   In front of Rainbow Beach, there is a skinny patch of beach, with exposed rocks, coffee rocks and very soft sand that has been the undoing of many, many four wheel drives over the year (check out the photo wall at the local pub).    
Tackling this section really does rely on the prevailing conditions on the day, the state of the tide and swell.   Our suggestion here is to assess the risk carefully, and if in any doubt, forget it and head back to the south.
Remember, to get back to Double Island Point, you’ll need to be able to cross back on this section of the beach also.

Motorama Brisbane Moorooka Browns Plains Hillcrest Springwood 4X4XMORE 4WD 4X4 SUV Beach Offroad Drive New Used Demonstrator Demo Car Sales Service Specials

The return home

Again, tide is the biggest factor here.  You ideally want to be driving the beach 2 hours either side of low tide, so you need to carefully plan your day around the tides and weather conditions.  
To return to Brisbane, you can either continue back down the beach via the ferry at North Shore Noosa.  This is probably the more direct route, however, it’s not much fun on a rising tide where you are high up the beach in the soft sand, using plenty of fuel.   The other option is to come back in via the Freshwater Track, and then via Gympie.  Alternatively, if the beach is good and you’ve made it to Rainbow Beach, you can take the road back via Gympie, then to Brisbane.  Remember to reinflate your tyres once you are on the bitumen, and give your 4WD a good clean underneath to rid it of the sand and salt water spray.  

Of course, Double Island Point also makes the perfect starting point to drive up to the ultimate 4X4 adventure on Fraser Island but for a beginner or even if you’re just showing someone the best that South East Queensland has to offer, it’s a stunning day out and the perfect chance to show off what your 4WD can do.

 Motorama Brisbane Moorooka Browns Plains Hillcrest Springwood 4X4XMORE 4WD 4X4 SUV Beach Offroad Drive New Used Demonstrator Demo Car Sales Service Specials

Things to take

Like any 4WD adventure, it always pays to be prepared for the unexpected.  Our suggested 4x4 packing list would include:

  • Recovery gear (snatch strap, rated d-shackles, gloves etc)
  • Tyre deflator
  • Maxtrax
  • Plenty of water & snacks
  • Tide times
  • Flat piece of timber or board (every tried changing a tyre on sand?)

As Double Island Point is within the Cooloola Recreational Area, a day use permit is required.  Day permits cost $12.15 (online price), or via the QPWS outlet near the barge point ($18.25).  Weekly, monthly and annual permits are available. 

Remember, the expert team at Motorama 4X4XMORE can help you find the perfect vehicle for your next off-road adventure, and give helpful tips and tricks on how to make the most of your four-wheel drive.

And before you set off, get your car checked so that you make it to and from your trip with no troubles. The expert technicians at Motorama see over 30,000 vehicles per year pass through our service departments, and our friendly service advisors can go for a drive with you to see if it’s more than just a bit of a rattle.