True beauty at Rainbow Beach
GRANTED, I haven't travelled widely overseas, but I have had a fair look around Australia and still find it hard to discover any place that beats the Blow.
I have been visiting Rainbow Beach since I was a baby and spent most of my youth exploring the Blow and Coloured Sands with my brother.
I still remember fuelling up on about 12 Weetbix from my Nana's permanent caravan near the beach, heading down to nippers and then exploring the sand mass.
They were great days full of adventure, climbing sandhills and then rocketing down them on a piece of
But that's the amazing thing: after 40 years of visiting the Blow I still don't tire of the place.
For a start, the views are some of the best in Australia. I think the Great Ocean Road is the only place I've seen that surpasses it.
From the top of the dunes you have uninterrupted views south to the Coloured Sands all the way to Double Island Pt.
To the north the vista sweeps down to Inskip Point and Fraser Island, while east in the whale-watching season you can see humpbacks migrating.
Walk to the back of the 15ha sand mass, where the blow is gradually creeping over the forest like a gigantic sandy slug, you get views of the hinterland and the Tin Can Bay inlet.
It's a magic place at sunset, watching the sun dip over the horizon, gradually transforming the soft hues of the Bay and mountains.
That's the other thing I love about the Blow.
To capture its true beauty you need to explore it at different times of the day.
The afternoon sunsets are spectacular, but by far the most amazing sight is watching the sun come up over the ocean while nestled into the cool sand 120m above the ocean.
For a start, you will probably be the only person there. The night breeze will have swept away all the footprints of yesterday's crowd and, as your feet make the day's first imprints in the clean sand, it is easy to imagine being the first person to discover the magical place.
Find a position to sit and dig yourself a comfortable seat in the sand overlooking the sandcliffs to the south.
The rhythmic sound of the ocean below will relax you while you wait for the Earth's rotation to bring the dawn.
As the sun peeks over the horizon, it will silhouette Double Island Point, send a ray of gold across the water and gradually light up the amazing warmth of the Coloured Sands.
Then it slowly unveils the beauty of the Blow behind you.
Although the best time to visit the Blow is early morning or late afternoon, don't discount going there smack bang in the middle of the day.
On a 30-plus degree day with the sun beating straight down on the fine sand, the place takes on more of a Sahara Desert-like feel.
It gives you some idea of what it might be like to be lost in the world's largest desert.
The sand is hot enough to burn a city slicker's tender feet, so take the Japanese riding boots.
The reflection of the midday sun off the white sand, doubles the sunburn's impact so take sunscreen a hat and plenty of water.
Luckily, unlike the Sahara Desert, the forest is just 500m away so when the sweat has drenched your T-shirt and your cheeks start to turn a shade of pink, you can sneak back into the cool of the nearby eucalyptus forest.
How to get there:
After entering Rainbow Beach, turn right into Double Island Dr. When on Double Island Dr take a the second left turn into Cooloola Dr and up the hill. Park in the car park at the top of the hill beside the water tower and take the 600m nature walk to the sandblow.
Sunscreen, water, shoes, hat, camera.