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
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.
Of course Kerry, we like to claim Carlo Sandblow as the ‘northern end’ of the Sunshine Coast region, but either way, it is indeed a force of nature.
Lovely photography and story Kerry, and what fascinated me was the story that Carlo Sandblow was created out of a lightning strike. It must have been one hell of a bolt of lightning to blast that huge crater out of the rock face…you wouldn’t want to be standing around when it happens again!
Too true Peter. The forces of nature are so dramatic, but watching the sunset there is such a calm and enriching experience.