Rainbow Beach History
Rainbow Beach is pleasant quiet holiday spot which also serves as a gateway to Fraser Island and Cooloola National Park. Originally known as Back Beach, Rainbow Beach was renamed after the coloured sands located near the town which lies to the south of Fraser Island. It was gazetted as late as 1969 when it was established to service the local sandmining industry. Until that time there was no road to Rainbow Beach, with the only access being via boat from Tin Can Bay.
Sandmining ceased in 1976 and it has since become a rather quiet and idyllic holiday, fishing and retirement getaway which promotes itself not only as the 'Gateway to Fraser Island', but as an 'eco-tourism' destination. This is not the place to be if you are after cosmopolitan-style pleasures but it does cater well to beach-orientated holiday-makers with hotels, motels, caravan parks. Although it has a permanent population of only around 900, about 70,000 visitors blow through town each year.
The Singaporean owned Cherry Venture a 1600 ton cargo vessel was empty when it grounded on the 8th July 1973 during gale force conditions. The freighter was bound for Brisbane from New Zealand and floundered in the heavy seas and gale force winds. The anchor cable had parted in the 12 metre seas as the Captain had attempted to hold the ship into the wind. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to refloat her, she was then stripped of her fittings and left to the elements.
Up until 2007 her rusted hulk was a major tourist drawcard and even boasted its own ice-cream vendor. The huge stainless steel propeller was taken off the vessel and is now on display in the Laurie Hanson Park, which overlooks our beach at Rainbow Beach.