Rainbow Beach is a fantastic destination. But, if you don’t have a 4WD, you may feel limited and frustrated not to be able to enjoy the best views at Double Island Point. Sorry to break the news straight away: you cannot reach Double Island Point with a 2WD. But you can still go there without a 4WD.

Cooloola NP Hike Rainbow Beach Carlo Sandblow

If you love hiking, here’s the good news: there’s a hiking track that will take you from Rainbow Beach to Double Island Point.

Read more details below and download the hiking map here.

If you don’t feel like hiking, there are a couple of other great options to go to Double Island Point without a 4WD:

Responsible travel tip: Hiking is one of the most eco-friendly ways to explore a site. Although 4WD driving on the beach is fun, it has many negative impacts (damaging the area, putting wildlife at risk, using resources).

Hiking from Rainbow Beach to Double Island Point

We started the hike from Carlo Sandblow at sunrise. There’s a car park accessible for 2WD. Even if you’re not keen on a long overnight walk, the short walk to Carlo Sandblow is a must-do when visiting Rainbow Beach.

We went across the dunes in the forest all morning. It’s impressive how lush vegetation like this can grow on sand. Back on the beach for lunchtime, we then reached the beautiful Double Island Point in the afternoon (10.5km).

We took our time to enjoy the view from the lighthouse. You can see dolphins and turtles from up there and, during the right season (June to October), you can even spot whales.

We still had a long walk ahead of us before reaching the Freshwater campsite (9.4km on the beach + 3.5km inland). Luckily, a lovely woman offered us a ride so we could arrive just before sunset! That’s cheating, but we already spent a long time walking on the beach that day and this last part, on the other side of the lighthouse with Double Island Point behind us, wasn’t as enjoyable.

The campground had basic facilities, including a barbecue and showers. You’ll need to book it online before you start the hike; I had no phone reception there.

Cooloola NP Hike Rainbow Beach 02 Poona Lake

The next day, we hiked back to Carlo Sandblow via an inland track passing by Poona Lake (15km). For those with a car, Poona Lake can also be reached via a short stroll (2.2km) leaving from the Bymien picnic area.  You can get to Bymien with a 2WD via a dirt road from Rainbow Beach. The track is 4WD only after Bymien.

Is it difficult to hike from Rainbow Beach to Double Island Point?

Rainbow Beach – Double Island Point is not an easy hike. Although it is not technical at all, you will need to be fit to enjoy it.

Here are the main challenges we noted:

  • carrying enough water for 2 days, in addition to the camping equipment, was incredibly heavy (or you can choose to treat the water from the campground)
  • walking on the beach is exhausting and there’s no shade
  • the forest part was full of mosquitos who did not care about our insect repellent at all
  • there’s a long distance to cover each day so you don’t have much time for breaks (29km on Day 1 – but you can hitchhike for the last 10km if you’re lucky – and 15km on Day 2)

The beach before Double Island Point and Double Island Point itself were the highlights of the hike.

So if you’re not so much into hiking, save your effort and check back the other option to reach Double Island Point without a 4WD at the start of the post.

Overall, we were pleased by the hike. We were looking for something challenging to prepare our bodies for long-distance hiking for Kilimanjaro so it was a perfect choice. Going through different environments and types of landscape (forest, beach, lake…) was a great surprise.

Have you been to Double Island Point? How did you get there? Share your experience in the comments below!

Where to stay in Rainbow Beach?

We always camp on the beach when we go there, at Double Island if we have a 4WD or at Inskip Point if we don’t. If you don’t like camping, click here to check out some hotel options!*

Where is Double Island Point?

Double Island Point is in Queensland, Australia, approximately 250km north of Brisbane. It is where two beautiful beaches meet, between Rainbow Beach and Noosa. It takes approximately 3 hours to drive from Brisbane to Rainbow Beach.

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Eloise is the creator and writer of MyFavouriteEscapes.com. She writes about her experiences exploring exotic destinations and finding hidden gems closer to home. Her goal is to share tips and stories to inspire and encourage others to go on their own adventures. She loves outdoor and nature-based activities like scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, and sailing. She grew up in France and has lived in England and Turkey before calling Australia home for the past decade. So let's get ready for another adventure!

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    1. Eloise

      Hi, Stephanie. I agree. It’s a bit of a detour from the main roads between the major cities, but it’s worth it.

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