I have a couple of days free so drive up to Rainbow Beach to hike the 43km Double Island Point loop hike.
Rainbow Beach to Freshwater Lake via inland route
I park opposite the caravan park on the Rainbow Beach storefront and walk up the steep road climb to Carlo Sandblow where the Cooloola Great Walk officially starts.
Carlo Sandblow is an iconic Rainbow Beach destination. It’s like a mini desert with epic ocean views. Crossing Carlo takes me into a fairly lush rainforest for such a sandy place. I will spend my day meandering past brightly coloured mushrooms and twisted vines.
After 8km I come to Poona Lake with its ti tree stained water and crisp white sands. The sand granules are sticky and cling to my sweaty body and clothes. I sit a while in the water. It’s refreshing on this disgustingly hot and humid day.
The humidity is stifling and reminds me why I hate March – that sneaky hot rainy month right when you think the long hot summer might be over. Freshwater Lake is pretty with trees reflecting on the black water. Unfortunately, the mosquitos like the lake too.
Freshwater camp is not far from the lake. I lay on my bivy bag squashing horse flies. A butcher bird flies over to catch and eat the flies that I throw away. It also spies a native cockroach and makes short work of that. I eat my own dinner and drink strong sweet tea Javanese style with lots of condensed milk. And that’s where the relaxation ends. A storm blows in and I end up sleeping in the camp toilet block because a bivy bag is not a suitable shelter in a sweaty tropical storm.
Freshwater Lake to Rainbow Beach via Double Island Point
The rain has stopped and the sky has turned blue as I set off down to Teewah Beach. The morning sun and blue sky is such a contrast to last night’s storm. I turn northwards and start walking towards Double Island Point, some 10km off in the distance. A few 4WDs pass me but the incoming tide and it being a weekday seems to have limited the vehicles to a trickle. Most have surf boards so much be heading up to ride the waves for a day. I stop to admire the sea slugs, shells and jelly fish. The incoming waves make patterns in the sand. The sound of the waves is the musical score to my hike.
At the southern beach of Double Island Point experienced surfers tackle the big rough waves that crash over the rocky point. I take off my shoes and sit in the crystal clear water for a short while.
I cross the point, passing the lighthouse on the way. The northern side of Double Island Point is a stark contrast to the southern side. It’s almost always protected from the prevailing south easterly winds. The water is so clear I cannot resist a swim. Less experienced surfers ride easy long waves over a sandy bottom. I swim a while then eat breakfast (well, at 10am I guess it’s more like brunch) in the shade. Before I know it, midday has come and gone and I still have 15km to hike on an increasingly hot day.
The walk along Double Island Point is hot but gorgeous. Tidal lagoons with glassy surfaces stretch in a long chain. Small fish swim in the shallows as wading birds time their attack for optimum success. The sun is beating down but the scenery is perfect. I can see the Carlo Sandblow and Rainbow Beach in the distance. It doesn’t look so far away but looks can be deceiving.
Despite the trail being pretty I struggle in the heat. Carlo Sandblow is a sight for sore eyes. It’s now late in the afternoon and the sun has started to lose it’s edge. It’s started to drizzle and I can hear thunder in the distance. Looking to the south east I can see Double Island Point stretching into the sea (photo above). I can’t believe I walked from there plus that distance again from camp.