The Ultimate Guide to Rainbow Beach Camping

  • Toddlers

If you're a family who loves camping, Rainbow Beach camping is likely high up on your family holiday bucket list. With kilometre upon kilometre of gorgeous sandy beaches, near-perfect weather and some of the best swimming spots in Australia, a camping holiday at this epic beach ticks all the right family holiday boxes. 

Before you embark on what's likely to go down in history as one of your best camping holidays, check out our ultimate guide to camping on Rainbow Beach.

Can you Camp on Rainbow Beach?

Teewah beach
Roll out of bed and into the surf when camping near Rainbow Beach. Image: supplied.

We hate to start things off on a negative note but sadly, no, you cannot camp on Rainbow Beach itself. Why? It's a common misconception that you're allowed to camp on the beach because many people assume that since you're four-wheel-driving along the beach why can't you just set up camp on the sand once you're done? Rainbow Beach is one of the most popular 4WD routes on Australia's east coast so it wouldn't be the smartest idea to whip out your camp chair in the middle of one of the busiest stretches of sand. But don't stress, beach camping is done at one of the many nearby camping beaches.

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Camping Near Rainbow Beach

Teewah Beach Camping
Camp near the beach at Teewah Beach Camp. Image: supplied.

Camping near the beach is the only option if you're looking to do a Rainbow Beach camping holiday, and there are plenty of camping options to choose from! Before we get to the beach camping part, let's look at the geography of Rainbow Beach. Rainbow Beach is a quaint beach town in the Cooloola Recreation Area which is part of the Great Sandy National Park. This stunning part of Queensland is located about 250 kilometres north of Brisbane and welcomes thousands of holidaymakers every year looking to experience one of the best 4WD holidays in Australia. 

Please note that most of these camping grounds are only accessible with 4WDs and all camp bookings must be done in advance via the Queensland National Parks Booking Service.

Teewah Beach Camping

Starting just south of Rainbow, Teewah Beach is also part of the Great Sandy National Park and the Cooloola Recreation Area roughly 40 minutes from Rainbow Beach. Be warned that Teewah Beach camping is for serious campers as there are no toilets, no running water and pretty much no facilities so come prepared. The Teewah Beach camping zone is split into seven zones across 15 kilometres and can usually fit around 2,000 campers. 

Freshwater Beach Camping

Nearby, the Freshwater Beach campsite offers a tented campsite and a trailer campsite and you'll be happy to know that both campsites have toilets and running water. The 60 marked campsites at Freshwater are surrounded by scribbly gums and are adjacent to the beach - heaven!

Poverty Point Camping

Poverty Point Campground
Check out Poverty Point for an idyllic camping holiday.

If you're after a smaller campground a little bit further inland, Poverty Point Campground is 30 minutes from Rainbow Beach in the Tin Can Bay Inlet and is the perfect spot to throw a line out for some fishing while the kids hunt for yabbies. There are no facilities at the Poverty Point campground so come prepared. 

Inskip Point Camping

For camping further north of Rainbow Beach, Inskip Point camping is very popular with families and offers seven camping sites to set up house at. The Inskip Point camping grounds are part of the Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area and you've got seven options to choose from:

Like much of the other campsites near Rainbow Beach, the Inskip Point camping grounds offer limited facilities and are best toured with a 4WD although some can be accessed with a 2WD but it's best to check ahead. 

Tin Can Bay Camping

Tin Can Bay Tourist Park
Book in at Tin Can Bay Tourist Park for a fun caravan holiday.

If you don't own a 4WD but are still keen to soak up the beach camping vibes, Tin Can Bay Tourist Park and Kingfisher Caravan Park are in nearby Tin Can Bay and are geared up for family holidaymakers, plus, they're only a 10-minute drive from Rainbow Beach.

Beach Camping Permits

Along with packing sleeping bags, insect repellent and plenty of water, it's essential to check which permits you will need for camping at the beach. The Queensland Government requires all families wishing to camp in a National Park to apply for a camping permit before embarking on their holiday. A Vehicle Access Permit is also required to drive on beaches in the Cooloola Recreation Area.

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