The south coast of Western Australia is perfectly placed, and perfectly named "The Rainbow Coast". Why? Because the angle of the sun in relation to this southern coast of Western Australia is less than 42 degrees above the horizon (particularly in winter).
The sun shines out of the north onto the rain that comes off the southern ocean... and because of the angle of the sun... you get Rainbows throughout the day!
If ever you were to find a rainbow's end it would be here along the Rainbow Coast of Western Australia.
Rainbows are magical, mystical, and marvelous. Though the bottom of a rainbow has yet be found, there may still be a buried pot of gold.
Rainbows are caused by refraction and reflection of the full spectrum light given out by the sun. The light is altered by the presence of raindrops.
The raindrops break up the light into its component colours... showing us what is hidden in every ray of light.
Rainbows appear in sunsets, sunrises, morning mist, ocean spray. Have a look, you'll find rainbows all over the coast.
The Rainbow Coast is in one of only six regions in the world that have a wet winter / dry summer climate. (They call this Mediterranean-style, but we call it home!) Therefore, it rains. In winter.
Being at this distance 'downunder' - the Rainbow Coast is perfectly placed to enjoy the spectacle of Rainbows.
During the winter months (which is the rainiest time of the year for all of WA) the sun is closer to the northern horizon as we are tilted away from the sun.
In order to see rainbows, the sun must be within 42 degrees of the horizon, as well as behind you.
As the rain usually comes off the ocean from the south west which geometrically means "rainbows, rainbows everywhere!"
Essentially: If you visit in the winter time, face south and look for rainbows.
Don't be fooled by the name! The yearly average rainfall along the coast is the same as Perth and Broome. (Australian Bureau of Meterology) For instance, in July 2008 Albany had only 2mm more rain than Perth, and 5mm less than Rottnest Island.
Because rainbows change with the location of the observer, everyone's rainbow is slightly unique. However, at the top we will all see RED (the longest wavelength that we can see), then orange, yellow, green, blue and violet at the bottom/inner side.
Rainbow over the Albany Wind Farm
Rainbow over the Wilson Inlet reflecting off the morning mist. Denmark.
Wikipedia has an article with more details about rainbows across disciplines: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow
"The true harvest of my life is intangible - a little stardust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched."
~ Henry David Thoreau
"My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky."
~ William Wordsworth
"Someday we'll find it. The Rainbow connection. The lovers, the dreamers and me. All of us under it's spell, we know that it's probably magic."
~ Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson)
See rainbows over the Walpole Inlet, Walpole; Ocean Beach, Denmark; Mandalay Beach, D'entrecasteaux National Park; and the Wilson Inlet, Denmark.
More information on the south-west coast in our other Western Australian travellers guides:
The Albany is the oldest settlement in Western Australia. Filled with history, surrounded by beaches and waterways, and a great place to visit while on holiday on the south coast of WA. Visit Albany today.
Fremantle, the Port City, is located south-west of Perth at the mouth of the Swan River. Fremantle's vibrant nightlife, music scene and cafe' culture make Fremantle a perfect getaway from the bustle of Perth. Beaches, history, shopping, dining out, and more. VISIT FREMANTLE
The Margaret River Region is an area of magnificent beauty on the western coast of the south west of WA. From the expansive shores of Busselton on Geographe Bay, through Dunsborough & Margaret River to Augusta, the Margaret River Region is fantastic. VISIT MARGARET RIVER
Denmark WA is one of the most beautiful places along the south coast as it has forests, beaches, rivers and waves. Everything you need for the perfect south coast holiday. Denmark Wineries are popular too! Info on Denmark Town including shopping, dining & history, VISIT DENMARK WA