Formed 50,000 years ago by a bolt of lightning, a Carlo Sandblow sunset is a breathtaking way to end the day at Rainbow Beach. Located directly behind the coastal town of Rainbow Beach on the northern most tip of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, the Carlo Sandblow dune was seen by Captain Cook.  He named it for a crew member, Carlo, as he sailed past Double Island Point.

Carlo Sandblow at Rainbow Beach

Carlo Sandblow, Where to holiday in Queensland.
The 15 hectares of sand is a moonscape-like environment that overlooks the coloured sands and the coastline from Double Island Point to Inskip Peninsula and the southern tip of Fraser Island. Getting there is an easy 600-metre walk along a shady, wooded path from Cooloola Drive to reach the sea of sand and the best viewing spot for a Carlo Sandblow sunset.  This track is also the entrance to the Cooloola Great Walk.

Best time to visit Carlo Sandblow?

The best time to visit is at sunset to enjoy the sun setting over Tin Can Bay and the Great Sandy Strait or sunrise, but the expansive space is fun at any time if the day is not too hot. Check the sunrise and sunset times, and be sure to arrive a little early for a Carlo Sandblow sunset so you can also see the sandblow in its daytime glory as well. Children will enjoy running around the dune, digging holes, sliding, and playing cricket and soccer. It is best to bring water and wear sandals or thongs (flip-flops) to protect your feet when it is hot. You can easily take them off in the sand.

Nature at work

Carlo Sandblow shows how the geological forces of nature have worked over the past two million years. Ocean currents and waves have swept sand north from the continental shelf of New South Wales and southern Queensland. Strong winds on the shoreline have blown the sand to break through coastline vegetation, with the steep edge of the sand blow burying trees in its path. Over thousands of years, plants have eventually recolonised some exposed sands and stabilised them. At Cooloola, new sandblows have overlapped older ones to build some of the tallest dunes in the world,

Walks around Carlo Sandblow

There are long walks from Carlo Sandblow that will take you to Double Island Point, Poona and Freshwater lakes, and beautiful tea-coloured freshwater lakes surrounded by a white sandy beach.  These are not easy walks, and you need to be physically fit to undertake them. If you prefer, just drive to the Bymien picnic area and take the 2.2km walking track for a cool refreshing swim in Poona Lake.

Staying at Rainbow Beach

The sandblow is just a short uphill walk from Rainbow Ocean Palms where you’ll find one, two and three-bedroom apartments plus penthouses. Rainbow Beach is an idyllic coastal town that was gazetted as a town in 1969. Although first settled by sand miners who were rutile (black sand) for titanium oxide, the town is now known for its laid-back beach vibe and easy access to Rainbow Beach and Inskip Point.  There’s also a car ferry that departs from here to the southern end of Fraser Island.

Where is Carlo Sandblow?

Find it from the walk that starts at 85 Cooloola Drive, Rainbow Beach near Gympie.