Fraser’s on Rainbow – Fraser’s on Rainbow is just one of the five or so hostels located on the main road, just minutes walk to beach, local shops and supermarkets. Offering 6-10 person dorms with ensuite for $25AUD per person, per night. The accommodation it’s self was what you’d expect from any decent hostel but it was the location and added amenities that really made Fraser’s for me. In October, the outdoor pool was ice cold but still looked inviting and served as a good central location to relax in a hammock and chat to other travellers. Off the pool area is a large kitchen for self-catering equipped with minimal cooking implements and a wall of large fridges to keep your supplies cold. It was nice to have the facilities to cook but the kitchen got very over crowded at meal times so it would definitely pay to get in there early. In addition, Fraser’s offers a limited $10 dinner menu of steaks, burgers, sandwiches, all supposedly served with chips or veggies. I used the word supposedly as more often than not it didn’t really matter what you ordered, you seem to get what ever they feel like giving you. The wait was long and the quality of presentation, cooking, and actual food seemed to vary plate by plate. Just to top things off, each plate was served with unnecessary force and an abundance of swear words from an over zealous German guy who didn’t seem to know what he was doing there. All in all, dining at Fraser’s was a pretty comical experience.
Carlo’s Sand Blow – Every evening (about 4pm) Fraser’s offers free guided bush walks, up the hill to Carlo’s Sand Blow. Just a 15 minute walk from Fraser’s, this natural sand blow offers stunning views of Rainbow Beach and Double Island Point by dawn and surreal, unbeatable sunsets by dusk. Our guide, (who’s name I have unfortunately forgotten) took us sand boarding down the dunes, taught us how to throw a boomerang and was more than willing, and capable to take some amazing sunset jump shots of anybody who fancied it. Overall, a very enjoyable trip that I could do again and again. No decent human being could ever tire of that view! It would make the perfect location for a wedding or party too. A very inspiring location.
Dolphin View Sea Kayaking – Run by Rainbow Beach Surf School, Dolphin View Sea Kayaking offers twice daily guided excursions of Double Island Point. While I am absolutely terrified of the open water, as well as the things that live in it, I decided to face my fear and give it a go. Dolphins are supposed to be beautiful and protect you right? Although we were a large group (about 16 people) the centre were very accommodating and ran us a private excursion that afternoon. We paid $44 each including all transport, all equipment rental (kayaks, life jackets, paddels etc.) for about three hours on the water and another hour or so driving to and from the launch site. Departing from outside Fraser’s we piled, well, crammed sardine style, into the back of the van and tore off down the beach. The ride it’s self was pretty terrifying for someone who’s … well, anybody really. Sandwiched between the towering sandstone cliffs on one side and the incoming tide on the other I couldn’t help but notice the lack of windows or means of escape in the van if we were to tip into the sea. The ‘road’ was littered with driftwood, pools and we even passed the occasional car coming the other way. Did our driver slow down? Of course not! If anything, he sped up!
While gripping on to the bench seat for dear life I tried to look on the funny side but I couldn’t help but notice that everyone else was shitting themselves too so I wasn’t the only one. Once we arrived at the launch site we got going pretty quickly.Two people to a kayak, a thirty second lesson in paddling and off we went… into the open ocean. Before I knew it we were out of the bay and the waves were huge! We were instructed to hit them straight on but this was often easier said then done. A couple of guys capsized themselves into a wave and were left bobbing around in the shark infested blue before managing to scramble back in. By this point I was pretty sceptical of the idea that I would overcome my fear of the sea and seeing them panic really set me off. For me, it all went downhill from here. I entered panic attack number one and in doing so I wondered why in the world I’d chosen to go out into open water on a kayak to see dolphins and sharks when the last thing I now wanted to do was see anything large or man eating swimming underneath or around me. I made some serious attempts to calm down but after three panic attacks I called it a day and headed (fast) back to dry land. On the way back in, we often caught the waves, which, under any other circumstances would have been awesome but not in my state. Everyone else enjoyed the experience though (they even saw a manteray) and the idea of it is awesome… just not for me. At least I can say I tried. On the plus side, it made the drive home seem pretty relaxed and enjoyable, by contrast. 🙂
Rainbow Beach Surf School – The idea of having a surf lesson was thrown into the mix and I jumped at the chance. Once again, I completely ignored my fear of the sea and poor swimming skills and decided to give it a go. I love the idea of surfing and I hoped that I would love the real thing just as much, unfortunately, there was only one way to find out. Ok, I admit it, I was really nervous but our teacher was awesome. He began with the sentence “I should start with the safety talk but we don’ have time so I’ll skip all that and just get you in the water”… This didn’t fill me with confidence, but I’m glad we did get straight to it because let’s face it, safety talks are usually boring and mostly common sense anyway. We began lying on our boards practising paddling and kicking before moving swiftly on to popping up. Once we’d worked out which way we all stood (goofy or regular) this was pretty easy. The we got in the sea and all the easy melted away. Most of my time was spend paddling out deep enough to find suitable waves. After 45 mins or so of not much success, the instructor pushed me into a wave which gave me just enough extra speed to get up. It was the best feeling. Once I’d done it once, I kind of got the hang of it and managed another 4 or 5 good surfs before our time was up. If you squinted a lot I even looked a bit cool by the end. I think we paid $17 each for an hour and a half including transport and all equipment hire which I thought was a bargain. Although I was pretty nervous it was an awesome experience and I would definitely recommend it. I spent a lot less time under the water than I was expecting too. In fact, I only got pulled under one wave the whole lesson! That night everyone was exhausted but it wasn’t until the next day that we really felt the extent of the muscle ache and bruised ribs. : D Enjoy!