Rainbow Beach Camping Guide

Located in the Cooloola Recreation Area in Queensland, Rainbow Beach is one of those hidden gems that you often hear about. A stunning coastal area that just calls to the adventurous and nature enthusiasts among us.

Packed full of beautiful beaches – it goes without saying really – great camping spots and some absolutely stunning scenery, Rainbow Beach is a must-visit for anyone looking for a weekend away in paradise.

Rainbow Beach is part of the Great Sandy National Park, which includes Teewah Beach, Fraser Island, Tin Can Bay and parts of Noosa North Shore. Rainbow Beach is well known for being one of the easiest ways to access Fraser Island. But it’s so much more than that.

Rainbow Beach is full of beautiful camping areas boasting gorgeous views of its own that should absolutely be at the top of your must-visit list. One of the best ways to explore Rainbow Beach is by visiting some of its exquisite camping sites and really getting a feel for the area.

So, if you’re thinking of heading off for a bit of a camping trip anytime soon, Rainbow Beach should be your top choice of getaway.

Best Time To Visit Rainbow Beach

Rainbow Beach is one of those rare locations that you can visit all year round. Every season has its perks and draws for different folk.

If you’re looking for your typical hot beach weekend away then by all means head over for a visit in summer. Just expect it to be busy. If, however, a cooler and quieter visit is more your thing then winter is a fab time to visit as well.

And, as a huge bonus, Humpback Whales will be undertaking their annual migration and you may get lucky enough to see them playing offshore if you do decide to go camping in winter.

Getting There

Getting to Rainbow Beach is easy. You can either approach it from the direction of Pomona and head into the local town before heading to Rainbow Beach that way.

You can also approach it from Teewah Beach via Noosa Heads. Just keep in mind that if you do decide to approach from the Noosa direction it’s a sand-only drive, so we highly recommend having a 4WD vehicle that is cut out for driving on sand.


Whether adventures on land or the water are your thing, Rainbow Beach has something to offer for everyone.

Packed full of water activities, you can choose to go kayaking with dolphins or spend a day surfing or paddleboarding. If on land adventures are more your style, how about a day spent hiking or four-wheel driving?

The adrenaline junkies among us can even go skydiving or horseback riding if they’re game.

What kind of camping is allowed?

While there is no camping directly on the beach, there are a variety of beautiful camping options available for you to choose from.

With camping options right next to the water or campsites further into the bush, there’s bound to be something to fit everyone’s favourite camping style.

Freshwater camping area

Just a stone’s throw from the beach, the Freshwater camping area is surrounded by Scribbly gum woodland, with plenty of native birds to wake you from a good night’s sleep. This is a beautiful campsite where you’ll really be able to feel surrounded by nature with plenty of little bush walks and hiking spots nearby.

With 60 defined sites to choose from at the Freshwater Camping area, it’s a first-come, first-serve basis.

This popular bush camping area is far enough back from the beach that it’s shaded, secluded and avoids most of the fresh winds off the water. This is great for people who want a cosy sheltered spot to relax in.

Take advantage of the facilities included at the campground with hot (for a fee) showers and toilets being just some of the perks available to those who camp here.

Vehicle access permits are required to camp here so don’t forget to book ahead of time.

Inskip Point, Rainbow Beach

Ringed by ocean beaches and estuary shores, the Inskip Point Peninsula camping areas are about a 15-minute drive from Rainbow Beach. This makes it a fantastic location for those who don’t like being right in the middle of the limelight.

Situated at the northern point of Rainbow Beach, Inskip Point camping grounds consists of 4 different beach campgrounds for you to choose from.

These are unpowered campsites so be sure to bring along plenty of suitable lighting and a gas-powered BBQ so you don’t get caught out with no way to cook up your snags.

Just remember that these campgrounds are on a first-come, first-served basis and you will require a permit to stay here. Camping at Inskip Point is fairly basic as there are no shower or water facilities available at the campgrounds. You will, however, have access to self-composting toilet facilities.

Inskip Point is a great location for 4WD enthusiasts as the camping grounds are mostly only accessible with a 4WD vehicle. These campgrounds are in the perfect position for those who also want to spend a day exploring nearby Fraser Island (K’gari) via the islands barge services that run multiple times a day.

Harry’s Hut Camping Area

If you’re after more of a bush or woodsy setting, then Harry’s Hut campgrounds could be right up your alley.

Situated among bushland on the banks of the Upper Noosa River, you can reach Harry’s Hut either by walking or driving in with your 4WD vehicle. Or if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not try kayaking or canoeing in?

A great way to escape the crowds, Harry’s Hut boasts a quiet retreat fringed with Eucalypt, paperbark and she-oak trees. This a great campsite to just kick back and relax once you’ve arrived and really just enjoy being surrounded by nature.

Harry’s Hut offers a number of facilities including toilets, untreated water, picnic tables and canoe landing access points, making it a great campsite for those adventurous souls among us.

Vehicle permits are not required but we highly advise booking ahead of time as the campgrounds can become quite busy, especially during the holiday season.

Poverty Point Camping Area

Poverty Point is the perfect beach escape located on the banks of Tin Can Bay. This is a great camp area for the nature enthusiasts among us with areas to go boating, fishing, bird watching and even yabby pumping, all within easy distance of your campgrounds.

Poverty Point campgrounds are fairly remote and secluded and you will likely need a 4WD vehicle to reach the campgrounds. The remote nature of the campgrounds make it the perfect place for fishing, canoeing and kayaking though. So if you’re after a base where you can really explore all that Rainbow Beach has to offer, this is a great choice.

Whether you choose to spend your evenings watching pelicans feeding on the shorelines or go exploring the old jetty at low tide, Poverty Point has so much to offer. At high tide, you can even go fishing from the edge of the camping area.

The camping area is set up for about 24 people and is fairly non-existent when it comes to facilities available. There is no toilet available at the camping area so be sure to account for this when packing.

Don’t worry if you forget something though as you’re only about 20km from the town of Rainbow Beach so you can go and grab anything you may have forgotten.

You do not require a vehicle access permit for the Poverty Point camping area.

Related Reading: Best free camping spots in Queensland

Rainbow Beach Holiday Park

Located in the middle of Rainbow Beach, with beautiful white sand beaches right next to you, these camping grounds are fantastic for anyone who is thinking of a family weekend away.

Campers who are after a relaxing weekend away are spoilt for choice here. The campgrounds boast full facilities, a recreation area, powered and unpowered camping, RV and caravan parking and even has some on-site cabins if that’s more your thing.

The boat ramp right on your doorstep makes this a great place to go and spend a day or two out on the water, all without having to leave the area. For families with young children, having everything within walking distance can make the long weekend away that much easier and enjoyable. You will be spoilt for choice with so many nearby options.

Just remember to book in advance as it can get quite busy here, especially in the peak holiday season.

If you’re planning a family camping trip, take a look at our article on Camping Tips for families.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re heading up from the Sunshine Coast for a bit of a relaxing weekend getaway or you were planning on getting some serious adventure activities in, Rainbow Beach has something for everyone.

With various campgrounds that range from bush hideaways to envious beach locales, Rainbow Beach boasts a huge variety of beautiful natural environments that everyone should experience at least once.

Regardless of which campsite you end up choosing, you can be sure that you’ll have an amazing time and will never want to leave. And we wouldn’t blame you. Pristine beaches, bush walks, hiking trails, fishing, kayaking, 4WD adventures, skydiving and whale watching are all waiting for you among the many campgrounds on Rainbow Beach.

If you’re planning to extend your camping trip over to Fraser Island, check out our Fraser Island camping guide as well.

If you’re looking to upgrade your caravan, camper, boat or 4WD, get a 30 second quick quote on finance with CreditOne – Australia’s best rated finance broker.


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