There’s something special about a beach drive; the sandy highway, the salty sea air and the ocean by your side.
Rainbow Beach, three hours north of Brisbane, is a glorious spot and a popular entry point for off-roaders who love to hit the sand.
It’s actually the northern end of the Great Beach Drive, a 70 kilometre stretch of sand from Rainbow Beach to Noosa.
If you’re camping, the Stoney Creek Extra Light is a great camper trailer for towing on sand, thanks to its mere 1170 kg weight. Not a problem for something like the Isuzu MU-X which has a towing capacity almost three times that.
Having gear like this allows you to give those ocean views more attention.
Ranger Erin Atkinson spends her days patrolling these beaches ensuring visitors stay safe and are travelling with their vehicle and camping permits.
She knows everything there is to know about beach driving.
“You’ll definitely need to plan ahead so check the tides, check the weather, and check the Queensland Parks website so you can check the park alerts, the condition reports, and make sure you’ve got the right vehicle,” Erin said. “Something like the Isuzu MU-X is great for beach driving, but just make sure you’ve got a 4WD that can handle the conditions of the beaches which is soft and boggy.”
Of course, there is more to beach driving than your vehicle’s capability.
“Always drive two hours either side of the low tide because at high tide the beach becomes impassable and there are rocks here at Rainbow Beach, Middle Rocks and Mudlow Rocks and at high tide they are impassable and people often get inundated with water and they lose their vehicles.”
The way you drive on the sand is vital too.
“Always drive safe and drive slow,” Erin said. “Remember that Queensland road rules apply on the beach.”
“Never speed, stick to the speed limit, don’t drink drive and also please don’t drive on the foredunes because the foredunes are a nesting area for wildlife such as turtles and birds.”
To get from the beach entry point at Rainbow Beach down to the first of Teewah’s campsites takes roughly an hour.
Here, Sally whips up a simple yet substantial meal – after all who wants to be slaving away over the kitchen after a campsite set up!
DIP FOR DINNER
A perfect and fun idea for the first night of a camping trip or any holiday.
Pour a cold drink…jazz up the dip platter…and you’re all sorted!
- Taramasalata (store-bought)
- Fresh seafood eg. Diced firm fish fillets or chunks of prawn meat
- Lemon flavoured olive oil
- Sliced garlic
- Fresh thyme
- Marinated olives
- Baby cucumbers, finely sliced
- Red radish, finely sliced
- Cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- Pita bread
Marinate seafood in oil, garlic and thyme. (You could do this before you leave home.)
Heat up the bbq or a pan.
Cut pita into wedges and wrap loosely in foil.
Place foil package onto the heat to gently warm pita bread.
Meanwhile, prepare all vegetables.
Generously dollop and smear taramasalata onto a serving platter.
Arrange vegetables, seafood and pita around taramasalata.
Guests can pile dip, seafood and salad vegetables onto wedges of pita. Enjoy!
This idea adapts to any of your favourite dips. Try hummus, Baba Ganoush or even good old French Onion. Add splashes of pesto or to make it even more substantial, add tinned dolmades.