GRAZING: A dugong family graze the Great Sandy Strait seagrass beds just out from the north side of Snapper Creek.
GRAZING: A dugong family graze the Great Sandy Strait seagrass beds just out from the north side of Snapper Creek. Arthur Gorrie

Share the magic: Cooloola as you may never have seen it

"HOW awesome was that?” said one of four young Melbourne visitors as he came back to earth at Rainbow Beach yesterday.

He and three mates had just experienced the thrill of a seriously different way of seeing the sights of the Cooloola Coast.

SURFSIDE: Inskip Point and the beach heading towards Fraser Island (top).
SURFSIDE: Inskip Point and the beach heading towards Fraser Island (top). Arthur Gorrie

Glen Cruickshank of Rainbow Beach Helicopters had just taken them up and around the sights from Fraser Island to the Carlo Sandblow and out around Tin Can Bay and the seriously undisturbed areas where crabs breed and dugongs still graze on seagrass beds right under our noses.

As the school brreak heads rapidly towards its end, the thousands who visited The Cooloola Coast over the Christmas-New Year break will take home some of the best holiday memories imaginable.

BUSY DAY: A busy day at Rainbow Beach.
BUSY DAY: A busy day at Rainbow Beach. Arthur Gorrie

That is what they said anyway.

Tin Can Bay and Snapper Creek from the air.
Tin Can Bay and Snapper Creek from the air. Arthur Gorrie

HIGH TIDE: Surf laps at the base of the coloured sand dunes between Rainbow  Beach and Double Island Point.
HIGH TIDE: Surf laps at the base of the coloured sand dunes between Rainbow Beach and Double Island Point. Arthur Gorrie

CRAB COUNTRY: Where the crabs come from near where the coastal waterways meet the sea.
CRAB COUNTRY: Where the crabs come from near where the coastal waterways meet the sea. Arthur Gorrie

ACROSS THE STRAIT: Aerial view over Inskip Point and Fraser Island.
ACROSS THE STRAIT: Aerial view over Inskip Point and Fraser Island. Arthur Gorrie

Mr Cruickshank's aerial tour was hard to beat, even on a day when prevailing ocean conditions made boating a challenge, though not one daunting enough to keep the people at Wolf Rock Dive on the terra firma.

WASHING MACHINE: Treacherous and choppy, the Wide Bay Bar was not the best place to be on any boat.
WASHING MACHINE: Treacherous and choppy, the Wide Bay Bar was not the best place to be on any boat. Arthur Gorrie

There should be a few about,” the dive company's co-owner Alex Heathcote said as he and trainee dive masster Sam Parker backed their dive boat, Evolution, into the Tin Can Inlet at Bullock Point.

And when he says "a few about” he is talking about sharks.

SHARK DIVE: Scuba diving clients prepare to board the boat for Wolf Rock, where sharks and rays welcome thousands of tourists a year.
SHARK DIVE: Scuba diving clients prepare to board the boat for Wolf Rock, where sharks and rays welcome thousands of tourists a year. Arthur Gorrie

His clients come from all over the world to dive with grey nurse sharks and the site's other specialty, eagle rays.

HEADING OUT: Wolf Rock Dive do-owner Alex Heathcote and trainee dive master Sam Parker back the dive boat Evolution into the water, with skipper and co-owner James Nelson at the helm.
HEADING OUT: Wolf Rock Dive do-owner Alex Heathcote and trainee dive master Sam Parker back the dive boat Evolution into the water, with skipper and co-owner James Nelson at the helm. Arthur Gorrie

Closer to town, Rainbow Beach Horse Rides was letting the horses help weave the magic as visitors made the most of a beautiful day for a ride.

IN STYLE: Going to the beach in style for these horse riders
IN STYLE: Going to the beach in style for these horse riders Arthur Gorrie
OLYMPIA KWITOWSKI: I'm from Brisbane. It was really great and definitely a unique experience to ride on the beach..
OLYMPIA KWITOWSKI: I'm from Brisbane. It was really great and definitely a unique experience to ride on the beach.. Arthur Gorrie

The horses made a great spectacle along the beach.
The horses made a great spectacle along the beach. Arthur Gorrie
GLENYS BADCOCK: I'm from Rainbow Beach but this is my first ride. It was wonderful and it had been on my list of things tod o for a long time.
GLENYS BADCOCK: I'm from Rainbow Beach but this is my first ride. It was wonderful and it had been on my list of things tod o for a long time. Arthur Gorrie

MARTINA DEIGENTASCH: It was wonderful. I'm a horsewoman at home in Germany too. It was a pleasure to ride such a lovely horse on this beautiful beach.
MARTINA DEIGENTASCH: It was wonderful. I'm a horsewoman at home in Germany too. It was a pleasure to ride such a lovely horse on this beautiful beach. Arthur Gorrie

More sedate pleasures were enjoyed by campers at Inskip Point, including the Purvis family, reunited as grandparents from Gippsland, Victoria caught up with Gympie family members.

Max Clarke
Max Clarke Arthur Gorrie
PURVIS CLAN: Grandparents up from Gippsland, Victoria, Alida (left) and husband Reg, with their Gympie family Kyiah, Flynn and Mick Purvis.
PURVIS CLAN: Grandparents up from Gippsland, Victoria, Alida (left) and husband Reg, with their Gympie family Kyiah, Flynn and Mick Purvis. Arthur Gorrie

MADE IN THE SHADE: Emily Hagan and Luke Drummond from Hervey Bay made themselves comfortable at Rainbow Beach..
MADE IN THE SHADE: Emily Hagan and Luke Drummond from Hervey Bay made themselves comfortable at Rainbow Beach.. Arthur Gorrie