We’re going to give away a few “local secrets” here – Shh! don’t tell.

If you are after cheap, easy, super fun birthday parties – Rainbow Beach is the destination. Here’s our favourites:

1. “Party Park”  – the playground north of the lookout has been labelled this since we arrived here 8 years ago. With 2 slides, swings, flying fox, a pirate ship, plenty of shade, BBQ, tables and a view it is the original favourite – especially for younger children. Just bring your party food, maybe a pass the parcel and you’re set. Also check out the playground north of the Surf Club. With it’s new climbing frame and 6 person swing and even better views it may the preferred option.

2. Sandblow – We just bring some water and cut the cake elsewhere! Something for all ages, although there is a 15 minute walk with steps from the carpark. We’ve brought cricket or soccer up – plus plenty of water. Just the walk there and back with their friends will delight the kids, let alone the massive sand expanse – awaiting their hollering, exploring and fun. (Also a favourite birthday destination for adults, especially as the sun sinks into the Sandy Straits.)

3. Beach – you can set up shade, or find some trees – even just drive the 4WD onto the beach. Your party may have a theme – like fishing or beach cricket – but you’ll soon find kids just enjoying the waves, building sandcastles, collecting shells and general expeditions. Better still you can choose – Mudlo Rocks, Inskip Point, Double Island Point or the patrolled area. If you have littlies – keep a close eye on the traffic or time your party to the tides.

4. Carlo Point – Pirates – ahoy! Go yabbying, fishing, boating or just exploring. A child’s paradise. Picnic tables are provided and this is another beautiful spot to watch the sun set.

5. Seary’s Creek – As our children have grown older – Seary’s has become the No. 1 party request. Bring as many boogie boards as you can. Some drinks, food, cake… they may stop to have some. You will lose count of the times they start at one deck at the end of the creek and paddle or wade downstream to the other. They have the old bridge to negotiate – over or under and the fun of the board walks. The yabbies, catfish and eels are hard to spot when there is a noisy crowd. Facilities are located here – so you can easily spend a few hours. Bring a picnic rug and your togs too.

All of these options are free and active! Cooloola offers lots of other birthday party ideas – the whole group can learn to surf, go dolphin kayaking, feed the dolphins (donation), visit skate parks, scooter the Tin Can Bay Esplanade and hit the playground on the foreshore, hire a boat and explore the inlet, take a charter, horseride, done-for-you pool party in the heated Aquatic Centre, or take the whole group on a 4WD or lake walk.

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