Put this on your bucket list, horse riding on the pristine, wide open sands of Rainbow Beach on Queensland’s Fraser Coast with Rainbow Beach Horse Rides.

It’s like that scene in the movie where the woman gallops across the beach on a beautiful white horse, her hair flowing behind her, and jumps off to swim in the ocean.

Except the horse is brown, the hair is short and I’m certainly not galloping anywhere. However, the feeling of total exhilaration is just the same.

I’m at Rainbow Beach which is about a three-hour drive from Brisbane, about to hop on the back of a horse after a long break.  Like many young girls, I was obsessed with horses as a child and my mother drove me to riding lessons for a while. I’m sure my mother was thankful when my attention moved on to pop groups and boys.

Rainbow Beach Horse Rides

Rainbow Beach Horse Rides is owned and created by Andrew and Kirsty McCarthy, along with their two children Courtney and Zac.

Their high quality, friendly and much-loved horses are as experienced mustering under helicopters as they are walking along the beach.

Visitors ride on the soft white sands of Rainbow Beach with an environmentally sensitive stretch of pristine World Heritage listed National Park on one side and open coastline on the other.

During the whale season, riders can often see whales breaching or dolphins playing in the beautiful turquoise waters.

In Queensland, some beaches are open to 4WD vehicles and are used as roads, but not this lovely stretch of sand.  Rainbow Beach Horse Rides have the only permit to operate horse rides in this spot.

Do you need to be an experienced rider?

They believe that just about anyone can ride on their horses because of their ‘Winning Edge’ saddles, whose performance and comfort for horse and rider are without comparison.

I am only a very occasional rider, and I felt entirely at home on my mount.  Maybe it is the rainbow coloured bridles, or most probably, it is the highly experienced guides, but everything runs very smoothly.

There was plenty of help, including a stool and a guiding hand in just the right place for that tricky mounting business.

Once we were all mounted, it was just a process of following the leader along with a track that the horses had walked many times before.

Pick your horse online

If you would like to check out the horses before you arrive, they all have their dating profiles online.

My horse, Rosie, is an extremely well-bred mare who is loved by everyone who meets her. A valued member of the trail riding team, she loves cuddles and will give you a big hug when you put on her bridle.

Rosie’s profile says both inexperienced and experienced riders enjoy riding her and I definitely agree. She is quiet and relaxed but also well trained and responsive.

Rosie likes long walks on the beach at sunset and is looking for the tall, dark, handsome horse of her dreams.  (I made the last bit up.)

Riding on the beach

Before the ride started, we all received some basic tuition in the yard.  Then it was onto horse mounting and out towards the beach.

The track meandered through some scrubby trees and rainforest to emerge onto a beautiful wide beach.  The golden sand and turquoise water looked so inviting I almost wanted to go for a swim instead!

Walking along the beach with my friends, all on horseback, was fabulous.

Getting there

You will find Rainbow Beach Horse Rides at 23 Clarkson Dr, Rainbow Beach.  Rainbow Beach is a small coastal town on Queensland’s Fraser Coast.

They run morning and afternoon beach rides, and also full moon rides which would be an exceptional experience.

For those who are up for it, there are swimming rides where you can enjoy a bareback ride, but you need to be experienced.

While you are in Rainbow Beach, don’t miss this spectacular sunset, and the chance to see World Heritage listed Fraser Island.

You can also go on a whale watching cruise

Disclaimer: Ed+bK rode as the guest of Tourism Queensland.