Rainbow Beach is a coastal town in south-eastern Queensland. The town's name derives from the rainbow-coloured sand dunes surrounding the settlement; according to the legends of the Kabi people, the dunes were coloured when Yiningie, a spirit represented by a rainbow, plunged into the cliffs after doing battle with an evil tribesman. Much of the sand colours stem from the rich content of minerals in the sand, such as rutile, ilmenite, zircon, and monazite.
Originally a sand-mining community and gazetted in 1969, the town's economy is now heavily influenced by tourism. Double Island Point, a popular destination amongst 4WD enthusiasts, is located east of town. Vehicular ferries for Fraser Island depart from Inskip Point, north of town.
The Cooloola Section of the Great Sandy National Park borders the town to the south. A number of walking tracks through the national park depart from the southern outskirts of Rainbow Beach. This includes the northern end point of the Cooloola Great Walk.
By road, Rainbow Beach is located 75km from the Bruce Highway town of Gympie, and239 km from the Queensland state capital, Brisbane.