During Easter, Christmas and school holidays, many Australian families flock to their favourite spot on the coast. If you love going to Queensland and fancy trying somewhere different, why not do what Jason Dundas did and head for Rainbow Beach.
Just two hours from Maroochydore, Rainbow Beach is the closest access point to Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island. It's only five minutes by ferry from the mainland and it's where people go for some four-wheel driving fun on the sand.
Paragliding Rainbow operates from the Carlo Sandblow, a 15 hectare "moonscape" overlooking the coloured sands.
Thanks to many sunny days with moderate winds, it's the perfect place to paraglide. Owner and very experienced paraglider John Luc Lejaille will take you soaring along the coloured sands for a distance of 12km and he tries to get you close to the many eagles flying with you.
Jason had a chat with a brave soul who had just jumped from a plane owned by Paragliding Rainbow. We are expecting any minute for him to ask if he can do that next time Getaway heads to the area!
The Plantation at Rainbow
The newest luxury resort in Rainbow Beach, The Plantation at Rainbow, has one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and Roof Top Terrace apartments. The fully self-contained apartments have spa baths, balconies, air-conditioning, barbecues and flat-screen televisions.
It was built on the site of the old Rainbow Beach Hotel, a favourite with locals since 1958. So popular was it, they've kept it, right next door.
The resort has two parts: a three-storey boutique hotel section and a two-storey complex designed as a colonial Queenslander pub. It has dark wooden floorboards, large verandahs on both levels, pressed metal ceilings, wood bladed fans, imposing staircase and period touches.
Its beachfront location is on the northern side of Double Island Point. A 50m walk across a park and you are ready to set up for a day on Rainbow Beach. If you prefer, there is a large pool and heated spa and a games room to keep the children entertained.
The bistro restaurant serves modern Australian meals and is well-known for the quality of their steaks. The Piazza has a great ice-cream shop, surf store, day spa and French-style cafe and delicatessen.
The resort can arrange day trips to Fraser Island, nature tours, fishing and four-wheel driving trips.
Rainbow Beach, two hours from Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
Rainbow Paragliding costs $150 for a 30-minute flight. They operate between 9am and 5pm.
Plantation Resort one-bedroom apartments start at $260 a night. Two-bedroom apartments start at $290 and three-bedroom apartments start at $350. Mention Getaway when you book and you will receive a special deal for May, June and July: stay three nights and pay for two, stay five nights and pay for three, or seven nights and pay for five.
Virgin Blue has one-way flights to the Sunshine Coast from:
- Sydney $99
- Melbourne $129
- Adelaide and Canberra $169
- Hobart $199
- Perth $299
For further information
Ph: 136 789
76 Cooloola Drive
Rainbow Beach 548
Ph: (07) 5486 3048
The Plantation Resort
1 Rainbow Beach Road
Rainbow Beach 458
Ph: (07) 5486 9000
Fax: (07) 5486 9055