AT’s guide to the best cheap accommodation for summer and Christmas holidays

Rainbow Beach

Why do we rate it?
Rainbow Beach is the quiet seaside town that all kids should experience at least one summer in their lives.

Where is it?
On the Fraser Coast, 240km/4hr north of Brisbane.

Where to stay
Options vary from the upmarket Plantation Resort to family-friendly budget Rainbow Sands. Then there’s the cosy B&B-style Debbie’s Place, which has just nine self-catering, pet-friendly suites.

How much is it?

The Plantation’s best-value option is a three-bedroom apartment for $550 a night, but its has a five-night minimum over Christmas/New Year. Rainbow Sands Resort is incredible value with a two-bedroom apartment for just $1025 a week. Debbie’s Place will give you a one-bedroom suite for just $150 a night.


This tremendous-value accommodation could book out before the third week of October, so get your skates on. Rainbow Beach Holiday Park is already booked out till January 9.

What to do

Unique red and golden-coloured sand makes for a beautiful stretch of coast. The gentle surf at the beach will keep the littlies occupied for hours. Hop on a horse to explore the beach. Visit Fraser Island to explore the freshwater lakes and sand dunes. Fishing is tremendous throughout the area. Coolola National Park offers an easy walk in wilderness and rainforest. Budget-conscious food options include the Surf Life Saving Club and Sport & Rec Club, which serve bistro meals. The Plantation Hotel offers something a little more upmarket, or just drop in for a cheeky sunset G&T with great views over the beach.


The Plantation //
1 Rainbow Beach Rd.
(07) 5486 9000;

Rainbow Sands Resort //
42-46 Rainbow Beach Rd.
(07) 5486 3400;

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