4WD Beach Driving on Rainbow Beach, Fraser Coast
If you’re visiting Rainbow Beach and have a 4WD there are some excellent places where you can drive along the sand. Aside from the remarkable coloured sands that the area is famous for, driving along Rainbow Beach will give you access to kilometres of pristine coastline with barely another person in sight, excellent inshore fishing, Double Island Point and Lighthouse and some of the best beachside campsites in Australia.
Permits and Vehicle Allowance
Rainbow Beach vehicle access is strictly limited to 4WDs and if you wish to drive past the coloured sands to Double Island Point or Teewah Beach you will need to purchase a $30 Vehicle Access Permit. Be aware that there also are a few clearly signed areas along Rainbow Beach where vehicles are not permitted at all, such as the patrolled beach area near the Surf Lifesaving Club. Free Rainbow Beach maps showing beach driving, camping and permit zones can be obtained from the Tourist Centre or the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) office in town.
Rainbow Beach access points
Rainbow Beach has a number of access points that are easily accessible and only minutes from the centre of town. The first is the Beach Access Road off of Clarkson Drive in Rainbow Beach. The remaining entrances can be found along Inskip Avenue on Inskip Point and within the five campsites in the area. Keep in mind that all access points have fairly deep soft sand entrances so it is recommended that you drop your tyre pressure before entering the beach.
Sand driving tips
- Research daily tide times and only attempt beach driving at low tide. Free 2020 Tide Times pamphlets are available from the Rainbow Beach Tourist Centre or click here for 2020 tide times.
- Engage 4WD on your vehicle before entering the sand
- Always wear your seatbelt and stick to the speed limit - police regularly patrol the beach and enforce all road rules
- Drive on the harder sand between the waterline and the high tide mark for the most traction
- If you cannot avoid the soft sand, drop your tyre pressure to 18-20psi before attempting to drive through it
- Watch for pedestrians - many beachgoers and fishermen forget to check for traffic when crossing the sand
- Slow down for dips, humps and washouts in the sand which can be dangerous at speed
- Avoid sudden braking and sharp turns which could cause your vehicle to roll over
- Keep off the sand dunes except at designated access and crossing points
For more information on safe driving on sand, click here.
Where to re-inflate your tyres
Rainbow Beach has two service stations, Shell and Rainbow Beach Holiday Village, where you can re-inflate your tyres for free. There is one air compressor at the Holiday Village and two at the Shell Service Station which can be handy as there’s often a queue of 4WDs who have just returned From Fraser Island or camping and fishing around town. Remember to re-inflate your tyres to the correct pressure for your vehicle - a quick Google search will help if you are unsure.
Where to wash your car
Saltwater + sand = rust. After driving on Rainbow Beach it is very important to wash the sand and saltwater off your vehicle, particularly the underside, to avoid long term damage. The 4WD Underbody and Complete Car Wash on Goondi Street in Rainbow Beach has self-service wash bays and an automatic underbody wash bay that cleans the underside of your vehicle. This underbody wash is the longest in the world and removes over 20 cubic metres of sand from 4WD vehicles each year!
Driving on Rainbow Beach is a fun and unique experience enjoyed by tourists and locals alike. If you would like to experience beach driving for yourself, just make sure you are prepared and, most importantly, check the tides times before setting off on your adventure.
Visiting Fraser Island from Rainbow Beach? Chat live to our friendly Fraser experts online or click here for tours departing from Rainbow Beach!