Riding a horse on the beach in Rainbow Beach had been on our radar for a long time. We’re not good at sitting on the beach and are always keen to try new activities to see it from a different angle. But horse riding is an expensive activity in Rainbow Beach ($250/person), so we waited for a discount from the Queensland Government to finally book our 1.5hrs beach ride experience in Rainbow Beach. Was it worth it?
Our Rainbow Beach horse riding experience was excellent for beginners.
For those who’ve never been on a horse before, horse riding for the first time in Rainbow Beach is a fantastic experience.
The horses could not have behaved better. They were calm and responded well to instructions. We were a small group of seven people with four staff looking after us, so it felt really safe. They were really good at giving us advice to find a comfortable position.
It was the first horse riding experience for a few people in our group and they really enjoyed it. It was lovely to share their excitement.
For safety reasons, you are not allowed to take photos during the ride. Staff take many photos for you, including a series where you can pose on your horse with the coloured sands in the background. They give you the photos for free after the ride (bring a USB stick or have space on your iPhone!). It’s again fantastic for beginners to get a souvenir as I know from experience it can be stressful to take photos when you’re not at ease on a horse and the results are often disappointing.
However, if you’re an experienced rider, you may find the 1.5hrs beach ride tour is not for you.
Horses can only walk on this tour and mostly follow each other, so you’re just sitting and enjoying the views. I have only done horse riding a dozen times in my adult life (including in Tekapo, New Zealand and in Port Orly, Vanuatu) and already found the Rainbow Beach ride a bit too simple. I had a good time, but I prefer when there are a bit more surprises or efforts. The ride was easy and comfortable, which is what most people look for I guess. But I like when it feels a bit more adventurous.
The company offers other tours that experienced riders may prefer. However, they are often longer tours so it’s more expensive.
What we saw during the horse riding tour
The views are lovely, but you’re not on the side with the colour sands. It’s not surprising as the part of the beach with the coloured sands is accessible by 4WD, so it wouldn’t be safe to go horse riding there. You can see the colour sands far away on the way back.
If you’re in Rainbow Beach looking for something to do, horse riding is a great experience especially if you’ve never tried it or if you haven’t done it in a long time. But if you’re looking for a place to go horse riding, then maybe take more time to think about it. It’s more expensive than horse riding in Noosa, for example.
You won’t get to swim with the horses, but they’ll still get their legs wet.
No one can swim with the horses on the 1.5hrs beach ride. It’s actually very hard to swim with horses in Rainbow Beach as the water is not calm at all. Rainbow Beach is a reputed destination for surfing so you’ll often find waves!
Plus, you have to be comfortable riding a horse bareback. We did it once when horse riding on Magnetic Island (in calm waters), and it wasn’t easy! Only very experienced horse riders will be taken for a swimming ride in Rainbow Beach.
During the 1.5hr tour, the horses will still go a little bit in the water, which we found pretty fun.
You must wear enclosed shoes for the ride, and I recommend wearing shoes (and pants) that you don’t mind getting wet. A few waves splashed on us!
Where’s Rainbow Beach horse riding?
Rainbow Beach horse riding is near the town centre, in direction of Inskip Point. It takes about three hours to drive from Brisbane to Rainbow Beach.