Coloured Sands

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If visitors walk eastwards from the township of Rainbow Beach they will see enormous, impressive sandy cliffs, which can be up to 200 metres in height.

Erosion has exposed a palette of as many as 72 different coloured sands which have been produced by combinations of iron oxide and leached vegetable dyes. It is likely that the sands have been forming since the last ice age.

More poetically, an Aboriginal legend tells of a spirit which took the form of a rainbow. Entering into a fight over a young woman the spirit fell onto the cliffs infusing the sands with its polychromatic splendour.

Vehicle permits are not required to see the coloured sands from Rainbow Beach south to Middle Rock.

Never carve or dig holes into sand cliffs. Sand cliffs and pillars are not stable and can collapse without warning – resulting in serious injury. Do not climb dunes or park at their base. Your care will help protect these fragile formations and prevent tragedies.

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