Rainbow Beach in Queensland, Australia

Sand mining was once the major economic activity of Rainbow Beach. Thankfully, this scenic town on the Queensland coast of northeast Australia caters mainly to tourists now, not heavy industry. Folks enjoy the expansive stretch of coastline, multicolored cliffs, and small seaside village vibe. It’s also a particularly beautiful place to base further explorations of the region’s protected parks. Great Sandy National Park’s Cooloola section and Fraser Island offer rainforests with eucalyptus groves that invite wandering. And there’s yet more idyllic beachfront for doing absolutely nothing at all except soaking in all that Aussie sunshine.

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