Shady Rest Motel

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Visit Carlo Sand Blow – a unique moonscape experience

Visiting Rainbow Beach? Don’t leave without a little bit of Moonwalking


Carlo Sand Blow is a unique “moonscape” sand mass covering over 15 hectares and is part of the Cooloola sandmass—one of the largest accumulations of wind-blown sand found along the Queensland coast.


What is it?

Named after one of Captain Cook’s crew (Carlo), Carlo Sandblow provides magnificent 360° views of the Rainbow Beach, Double Island Point and Tin Can Bay.

And, if you are visiting between June and November, you might even spot some migrating whales.

The Coloured Sands cliffs towering 80m above Rainbow Beach offer a spectacular array of tones and hues of the sands exposed by erosion, containing as many as 72 different colours. It is thought that the sands have been forming since the last ice age, as a result of iron oxide and leached vegetable dyes.


Where is it?

The Carlo Sandblow is roughly 1.5 km from Rainbow Beach. The bushwalk track to the Sandblow is the northern entrance to the Great Cooloola Walk, a 102km trek through rainforests, sand dunes and plains.

There is a gentle 600m trek through the eucalypts to the Sandblow via a well-maintained path. It’s an easy walk for the whole family but keep in mind this path is not wheelchair accessible and there are a few stairs.

The enormity of the expanse of sands and views once there are truly breathtaking, providing a unique setting for photos that will make your friends and family envious that there were not there with you too.


What to do and bring with you

You won’t need to bring your swimmers because you can’t access the beach below but it is a great spot sandboarding. As you head down toward the coast side of the Sand Blow, you will find a steep incline, usually with track marks from previous sand boarding attempts. If you don’t have an actual sandboard, just bring a boogie board or a good size piece of cardboard.

It’s a great idea to bring a picnic with a blanket so you can relax, take in the views, watch your kids play and view the hang gliders as it is a popular spot for them to take off and land.

Make sure you bring lots of water and slap on the sunscreen though, especially if you are a visitor and not used to the Queensland climate.



Travel straight into town on Rainbow Beach Road and then turn right at the bottom by the Surf Club into Wide Bay Esplanade. At the end of the campsite, where the road doubles back and becomes Ocean View Parade are the steps for the start of the walk.


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Published in Thursday, January 10th, 2019, at 1:41 am, and filed under Gympie Region, Places to Visit.

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