Beautiful Rainbow Bay is found at the southern end of the Gold Coast. This pristine wide white sand beach arches around from Snapper Rocks and Little Mali to the south and Greenmount Point to the north. Sheltered from the southerly breezes, and patrolled year-round, laid-back Rainbow Bay is popular with families and swimmers. The picturesque arc of Rainbow Bay often provides a shallow sand-banked pool perfect for splashing toddlers.
The rocky outcrop of Snapper Rocks at the south end of the bay is a popular surfing break and each year in April, Snapper and Little Mali play host to the annual Corona Open Gold Coast competition (formerly the Quiksilver Pro). This World Surf League competition attracts the world’s most talented surfers who come to try their hand at the famous ‘Superbank’—a three point break, which in favourable conditions provides a rare two kilometre ride from Snapper to Coolangatta and one of the longest right-handers in the world.
World-class surfers are not the only visitors to this famous bay. From May to September, over 27,000 humpback whales make their migration past the Gold Coast. The southern end of the beach - Snapper Rocks or just up the boardwalk through Apex Park to the Point Danger viewing platform - is the perfect place to catch the whales beautiful and breathtaking displays as they pass about 50 metres from the shore.
The Gold Coast’s famous Oceanway - a 37 kilometre pathway for walkers and cyclists - kicks off at Point Danger and runs north through the park bordering Rainbow Beach. The parklands are dotted with all the amenities you might need including toilets, showers, barbeques, shaded tables and a children’s playground. To top off the magic, the beach’s north-facing aspect means you can bask in the last rays of the day before enjoying the spectacular sunset. The Rainbow Bay Surf Club is the best place to view the break, the whales or the sunset, while enjoying a relaxed meal and a chilled beverage.
Park your car (or bike) at the Surf Club or park along the beachfront and surrounding neighbourhood. There is easy ramp access to the beach if needed and behind the beach you’ll discover a variety of cafes or shops. Fresh and Fried on Rainbow is your go-to place for a good old-fashioned burger or fish and chips. If you’re looking for a beachy venue with a killer coastal view, art exhibits and live music, check out Café Dbar. Also on Boundary Street, Little Mali is known for it’s excellent coffee, healthy bites and vegan options. While neighbouring SouthEast Café & Bar is a great all-day dining spot offering classic options.
By Michaela Lyons