Rainbow Beach, Australia (6th Feb 2008)
We arrived in Rainbow Beach mid afternoon and after the shortest tour of a town we have ever had the Oz bus dropped us off at our hostel, Pippie's. Everyone had said to us how small Rainbow Beach was and they weren't kidding, there are three hostels all lined up next to each other and then one small street packed with cafe's and shops leading up to the beach. We checked into our room and really felt we had made the right choice accommodation wise as the place seemed quite unique, especially next to the other two which are both part of a chain. Pippie's consists of a large garden area, a veranda for chilling out at night on and a space saving swimming pool and above all else, the place seemed clean!
As the weather really wasn't up to much we decided to just go for a bit of a wonder. In no time at all we were on the beach and so we decided to go and see the reason Rainbow Beach is called so, a spectacular set of multicoloured sand cliffs, 72 shades in total. We climbed down the steps to the beach and were greeted with a beautiful serene view, golden sand and sparkling aqua water. We began the mile of so walk to the cliffs, fascinated with the black and gold marble like pattern some parts of the beach had. We soon realised we might have a bit of a problem getting to the cliffs as the tide already seemed pretty high and as we didn't want to risk getting stranded we headed back and pencilled in a trip to the cliffs for another day. As soon as we arrived back at the hostel we bumped into Stacey, a girl we were at surf camp with and after an afternoon nap we joined her and her two friends Michael and Anna for a few drinks before the FREE BBQ! Not been quite sure what to expect, we turned up and waited and waited. To our delight the food was brilliant and actually went down really well, meat, bread and gravy for Mark and veggie burger, salad and potatoes for Kara, only let down was that there was no ketchup! The night progressed with the consumption of more alcohol, this time we had splashed out on a crate of beer rather than the obvious backpacker favourite, Goon. Feeling the effects of the alcohol we headed off to bed ashamedly early, only to find our Brummie and German roommates had beaten us to it.
After a leisurely lie in and a free breakfast (yes more free stuff, we like this place more and more!) we decided it was too hot to do anything productive...not that there was much to do in Rainbow Beach anyway, so we made for the pool and spent a good few hours alternating between sweltering under the midday sun and freezing in the icy but oh so refreshing water. We were joined by Stacey Michael and Anna who had just come back from a sky dive and said it was absolutely amazing and the views were just spectacular. Apparently the Rainbow Beach skydive is the highest in Australia, around the 14000ft mark. Hearing them praising it so much has tempted us a little...maybe we will succumb to one while we are in New Zealand?? While the guys went to their three hour long meeting about their Fraser Island tour we relaxed in our room listening to the rain pelt it down and watching the lightning crack along the night sky. As a treat we all went out for tea to a local cafe and then on for drinks in the backpacker bar next door, a bit of a goodbye dinner for our new found and short lived travelling companions.
Early morning we watched Stacey, Michael and Anna painfully prepare for their trip, carefully checking and loading their vehicle before waving them off on their adventure. As it was our departure day too we had to check out at 10 but weren't due to get the Oz bus till 3. We checked out and put our luggage into storage before doing the one thing we had come to Rainbow for, checking out these Rainbow cliffs.Feeling the sun already beating down we dragged ourselves to the beach and down the steps only to be faced with an even higher tide than our last trip, so much so the water was lapping up to the bottom few steps...no chance of getting through that alive! So we bought ourselves an ice cream each and walked along a road that ran parallel to the beach in the hope it would bring us to another route to the cliffs, no such luck. We saw a boardwalk in the distance and a sign that said the area was host to some of the best views of the cliffs on offer, we couldn't fault the views but we still wanted to get closer to the cliffs themselves. Off we went along the boardwalk but were soon halted by stairs leading into a very ferocious looking sea, pummelling against the rocks beneath us. We had two options, admit defeat and go back to the hostel or be adventurous and attempt to climb the side of the sand dunes that lined the beach; of course we did the latter but didn't make it all that far as it was a track not meant for the average human to tackle under such extreme heat. We caught a last few glances of the cliffs in the distance and sulked all the way home, really disappointed at not being able to see what makes the town what it is. With most of the day gone by then we had just enough time for a quick shower and change before the Oz bus pulled up to take us the short ride down the road to our next stop, Hervey Bay.