Rainbow Bay Overview

Gold Coast’s magnificent Rainbow Beach is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations for a day of family entertainment and adventure. Famous for its landmark attractions like Snapper Rocks, Greenmount, and Point Danger, Rainbow Bay offers numerous adventurous activities like surfing and scuba diving. Witness dolphins, whales, and rock pools as you swim around and fish in the ocean waters at Rainbow Bay.

Rainbow Bay, as the name suggests, is a bay and a beach area that is a part of the southernmost beachfront in Queensland. Established in the 1920s, it was initially known as the Shark Bay. Considered to be amongst the most magnificent beaches in Gold Coast, it is loved for its turquoise blue waters and miles of powdery white sands.

Two rocky outcrops flank the bay on either side- Snapper Rocks and Greenmount. The bay at points like Snapper Rocks creates some of the longest waves in the world and is included in the Superbank area. Due to the weather conditions, it is an all year round destination and offers plenty of activities for everybody.

The calm and warm waters are perfect for swimming, surfing, and scuba diving. The marine life of the bay is a great attraction and a lot of people visit for dolphin tours and whale watching.The bay is safe and has sheltered swimming areas that are constantly manned. It has a fascinating natural attraction of rock pools that get exposed at the time of low tides.

The waters contain fish like Snapper, Tailor, and Bream, and one can enjoy fishing these while at the bay. Rainbow Bay is dotted with attractions like Point Danger (that marks the borderline between Queensland and New South Wales) and Captain Cook Memorial Lighthouse.

There are plenty of amazing dining options offering cuisines from around the world. The beach is accessible for specially-abled people and has great facilities to make your visit comfortable.

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• Explore one of Gold Coast’s most magnificent and popular beaches as you head to Rainbow Bay, renowned for its white sands and calming turquoise waters.
• Witness the world-renowned Snapper Rocks and Greenmount areas of Superbank as you indulge in family fun at the beach.
• Surf on the perfectly-shaped waves of Superbank and scuba-dive among the marine creatures at Rainbow Bay.
• Embark on dolphin tours and whale-watching adventures with your loved ones and groups of enthusiasts off the shores of Rainbow Bay.
• Low tides at Rainbow Bay reveal natural rock pools, so spot and enjoy the popular phenomenon during your tour of Rainbow Bay.
• Visit the landmark historical and geographical attractions of Point Danger and Captain Cook Memorial Lighthouse that dot Rainbow Bay.
• Relish delicacies of various cuisines and spend relaxing time with your loved ones at Rainbow Bay.

How To Reach

Rainbow Bay is located around 4.2 kilometres from the Gold Coast Airport (Eastern Avenue, Bilinga QLD 4225). To reach, you need to take Eastern Avenue to get onto Gold Coast Highway and take Musgrave Street to Marine Parade in Coolangatta to reach the Bay. This route takes approximately 11 minutes, depending on the road and traffic conditions.

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Best Time To Visit

Being a coastal area, the temperatures and weather conditions at Rainbow Bay don’t fluctuate much. The area receives a good amount of sun almost throughout the year. May to October is considered to be the best time to visit Rainbow, as the humidity is the lowest during these months and the weather is warm, perfect for enjoying long hours on the beach.

You can avoid the months of January and February, as they see the maximum amount of rain and therefore are extremely humid. June to August is winters in Australia and the drop in the temperatures makes getting into the waters a little uncomfortable. However, if you are keen on whale watching, these are the best months.

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Other Essential Information

Facilities for visitors:

1. Watersports: Visitors can enjoy watersports like swimming, surfing, scuba diving, etc. at Rainbow Bay.

2. Washrooms: Rainbow Bay has washrooms for public use. There are a number of units created especially for use by specially-abled people.

3. There are a number of public barbecues along the beach, which are cleaned and maintained by the city’s maintenance team regularly.

4. Opposite Ward Street, there are ample beach access points and viewing platforms including those for the specially-abled.

5. Parking space is available at the surf club or visitors can make use of on street parking in the side streets along the bay. However, these get used up fast on the weekends.Lifeguards are always available on the beach.

Places to Visit near Rainbow Bay

1. Point Danger: This 17th-century landmark is a headland that stands as a memorial to Captain Cook and also houses a functional lighthouse . The most intriguing aspect of the place is you can cross the states of New South Wales and Queensland in a single step!

The reason is that the Point Danger denotes the borderline between the two states. This vantage point lets onto magnificent views of the surrounding vistas. This is the starting point of ‘Walk of Remembrance’ to commemorate the ships lost during World War II.

2. Snapper Rocks: Snapper Rocks is a tiny rocky stretch in the southern end of Rainbow Bay located near Point Danger. It is a point break in the man-made Superbank near the bay. The region is famous for creating some of the longest and the best waves in the world.

This is where some of the best surfing leagues are conducted each year like Roxy Pros, Quiksilver, and World Surf Leagues.

3. Pat Fagan Park: This park might be small in size, but this stunning green oasis-like place offers some magnificent views of the stark blue waters edging on the snowy –white sands of the Rainbow Bay. It has public barbecue pits for you to enjoy a cookout with your friends and family.

The walkway is beautifully canopied by lush green trees and gives glimpses of the blue waters of the bay in the distance.

4. Chris Cunningham Park: This is a fantastic place to have a picnic under the sun or to enjoy a relaxing swim. The park has a harbour front edge that is great for swimming for adults and paddling for children. There are a number of barbecue pits that let you enjoy cooking together.

5. Timezone: One of the best-known entertainment zones in the area, Timezone is loved by adults and children alike. It has bowling alleys, Dodgen cars, and over 200 games. These include games like Jurassic Park, Transformers, Game of Thrones, Kung Fu Panda, etc. Adults can keep busy with the pinball machines, pool tables, indoor basketball, and super-bike games.

6. The Strand: One of the best destinations for dining and high-street shopping, The Strand is one of the best places to visit near Rainbow Bay. Shop for surfwear, jewellery, shoes, and homeware here and round off the day with delicious food at any of the eateries like Beach Burrito, 4 Pines, Crema Espresso, and Griffith St Larder.

7. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary: This is one of the most popular attractions in the area for the whole family. It houses hundreds of species of birds, mammals, and reptiles like Wombat, Lorikeet, Crocodiles, Dingo, Bilby, Tassie Devil, Red Panda, etc. The sanctuary arranges for encounters and experiences that let you get up close with these fascinating creatures. There is even a wildlife hospital and Wild Island Adventure Splash Zone inside. After a day of fun, you can enjoy a variety of snacks and coffees at the in house Sanctuary Café.

8. Fingal Head Lighthouse: Lighthouses never fail to attract people, especially the active ones. One of the few functional lighthouses in the area, this was established in the late 18th-century. Interestingly, in those days, a kerosene wick burner was used to shine the light around. It now runs completely on electricity. The stark-white architecture of the lighthouse is quite beautiful and sits on a bluestone platform covered by corbels.

9. Twin Towns Uniting Church: This beautiful church is a must-visit while in the area. The church not only welcomes people of all faiths but also is famous for its beautiful architecture. It is made of wood that lends it a very charming appearance and atmosphere. It is the perfect place to steal some moments of quietude after a day at the beach.

Restaurants at Rainbow Bay

Rainbow Bay is dotted with a number of eating places that offer a huge range of cuisines. Some of the best eateries in the area are:

1. Rangmahal Indian Restaurant: One of the most popular places in the area serving delicious Indian & Mughlai cuisine, Rangmahal is quite popular with locals as well as travellers. Some of the best things to try here include a tandoori duet of white & green asparagus, tandoori fondue, and avocado kebabs. It is located at 17 Griffith Street, Coolangatta.

2. Fisherman’s Cove: Fisherman’s Cove is famous for its steaks, seafood, European, and Italian cuisines. Its wood-fired oven pizzas and tapas platters are a must-try. It is located at 99 Griffith Street, Coolangatta.

3. The Aztec: This Mexican restaurant is famous for the huge range of tacos, salads, and nachos. You can also try some combination meals like Tollan, Tampico, and Yucuita. The Aztec is located at Level 1, Showcase Building, Marine Parade, Coolangatta.

4. Earth-N-Sea Pizza and Pasta: This eatery is popular for its whole wheat flour pizzas like Cruel Sea, Hot Lips, Troppo, and Beethoven. Equally famous are its burgers, pasta, and desserts. It is located at Showcase On The Beach, 70 Marine Parade, Coolangatta.

5. Little Malaya: Considered to be one of the hidden gems in the area, Little Malaya is famous for its bite-sized foods. You must try calamari dumplings, satay, lettuce cups, and Kari puffs. The restaurant is located at Corner McLean Street, Marine Parade, Coolangatta.

6. The Jungle Mexican Cantina: As the name suggests, the place offers a huge range of Mexican dishes like tacos, nachos, quesadillas, and enchiladas. It is located at Shop no-12, The Beach House Marine Parade, Coolangatta.

7. Montezuma’s: Try amazing Mexican dishes here like Tostada, Chilli Corn Carne, Mexican chicken, and Burritos. It is also popular for its combination meals like San Diego, Baja, La Jolla, and Cera Cruz. The eatery is located at 87 Griffith Street, Coolangatta.

Traveller's Tips before visiting Rainbow Bay

1. Coolangatta, where the bay is located, remains sunny almost all through the year. Please wear loose comfortable cotton clothes and walking shoes when you plan to visit the bay area.

2. The sun is quite intense here especially between 10 am- 3 pm. Make sure to carry a hat, sunglasses, and apply a good sunscreen.

3. May to October is considered to be the best month to visit the bay and enjoy the beautiful sunny weather. You can plan your travel accordingly.

4. Depending on the tidal conditions, access to the bay is restricted at times. You can make sure the area is open before you visit by calling the Department of Primary Industries Call Centre at 13 25 23 (residents) and +61 7 3404 6999 (interstate and international callers)

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Point of Interest for Rainbow Bay
Explore the hidden pools

Explore the hidden pools

There are a number of rocky pools towards the southern end of the beach. Serving as tiny private beaches, it is fun to not only find them but also swim in them.

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Take a scenic walk

Take a scenic walk

One of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of the place is to try the Coolangatta Walking Loop. This 10-kilometre stretch includes some of the most scenic spots in the area. You will start from Kirra Surf Club, and pass through the charming Saint Augustine’s Church, and Goodwin Park.

The summit from Razorback Road offers fantastic views of Cook Island shoreline and lush green gardens.

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Rainbow Bay’s calm waters let you enjoy a range of exciting watersports. There are many surf clubs here that will teach you stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and surfing. Activities like dolphin tours and whale watching let you get up close to the amazing marine life in the area.

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The bay, with its gorgeous vistas and warm calm waters, is a great place to go for long relaxing swims. There are specially designated ‘safe’ areas for swimming here patrolled by lifeguards. Children also have fun here as they paddle around in the shallow parts of the bay.

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 Enjoy lounging

Enjoy lounging

No beach holiday is complete without a bit of tan and soaking in the salty breeze. Rainbow Bay has gorgeous stretches perfect for relaxing on the cool sands, building sandcastles, and having a fun family picnic.

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Gorge on the amazing food

Gorge on the amazing food

Rainbow Beach is a great place to enjoy a huge range of foods. Right from fish and chips, ice creams to coffees, there are a number of options here to fuel up. Besides there, the area is dotted with eateries that serve delectable world cuisine and are famous for their Italian, Mexican, and Indian foods.

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Get a relaxing massage

Get a relaxing massage

What’s better than luxuriating amidst cool interiors as you get a relaxing spa and massage after a day under the sun. If you venture out a little towards Griffith Street, there are a number of great places that offer holistic massage therapies, organic facials, hydrating therapies, etc. You can choose from traditional Ayurvedic treatments and Thai massages here.

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