Rainbows & the Coast

Rainbows on the Rainbow Coast: Albany, Denmark and Walpole
Rainbows on the Rainbow Coast of Western Australia

Why is it called the Rainbow Coast?

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!

It takes Sun to make Rainbows!

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.


Current Weather in Albany Australia Current Weather in Albany Australia
Rainbows over Shelley Beach, West Cape Howe, Western Australia

Why so many Rainbows?

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 Albany Wind Farm, Western Australia

Rainbow over the Albany Wind Farm

Wilson Inlet, Rainbow

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

Wilson Inlet Rainbow

"The true harvest of my life is intangible - a little stardust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched."

~ Henry David Thoreau

Wilson Inlet Rainbow

"My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky."

~ William Wordsworth

Wilson Inlet Rainbow

"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)

Videos of Rainbows

See rainbows over the Walpole Inlet, Walpole; Ocean Beach, Denmark; Mandalay Beach, D'entrecasteaux National Park; and the Wilson Inlet, Denmark.

Rainbow Coast Map

Additional resources for visiting the Rainbow Coast:

Rainbows Rainbows
The coast is perfectly placed to see Rainbows! And perfectly named. Green trees, mountains, forests beaches, and winter rainbows. Visit Rainbows
Seasons of the Coast Seasons of the Coast
You will find a Seasons Calendar with Wildflower and a Whales to help you plan your visit to the South Coast - The Rainbow Coast! Visit Seasons of the Coast
South Coast Beaches Map South Coast Beaches Map
South Coast Beaches from west of Walpole to East of Albany all on one map! Visit South Coast Beaches Map
South Coast Weather South Coast Weather
The climate of the Rainbow Coast is considered to be "the best in the world," according to those who live here. Visit South Coast Weather

Rainbow Coast Regions:

Albany Region Albany Region
The Albany Region of Western Australia is a land of mountains and waterways. An amazing region to explore. Visit Albany Region
Denmark Region Denmark Region
The Denmark Region is gorgeous. Trees, hills, beaches, rocks, wildlife around the river and the inlet. Visit Denmark Region
Walpole Region Walpole Region
Walpole is the western end of the Rainbow Coast and is surrounded by National Park and forested wilderness. Visit Walpole Region

Main Attractions on the Coast:

Ocean Beach Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach is set between the Wilson Inlet and the Great Southern Ocean, and is the closest beach to Denmark Town. A popular surfing spot and lookout.. Visit Ocean Beach
Greens Pool Greens Pool
Almost completely sheltered from the waves of the Great Southern Ocean, Greens Pool is a paradise. Visit Greens Pool
Elephant Rocks Elephant Rocks
Giant rocks shaped like elephants stand together facing into the waves of the Great Southern Ocean Visit Elephant Rocks
Mount Frankland Mount Frankland
Starting in the karri trees you wind up and through towards the summit of Mt Frankland way above the tree top canopy. Visit Mount Frankland
Two Peoples Bay NP Two Peoples Bay NP
Located approximately 25 kilometres north-east of Albany. Rediscovery of the presumed extinct noisy scrub-bird. Visit Two Peoples Bay NP
West Cape Howe National Park West Cape Howe National Park
Containing the southernmost point of Western Australia this national park is astounding. Visit West Cape Howe National Park
Shelley Beach Shelley Beach
Turquoise waters, verdant surrounds and ocean breeze make this beach a popular yet remote destination. Visit Shelley Beach
The Gap The Gap
An impressive rugged granite channel carved by the Great Southern Ocean waves crashing against the granite coastline forming a spectacular sheer drop of almost 25 metres. Visit The Gap
Natural Bridge Natural Bridge
The Natural Bridge is a granite formation caused by the gradual wearing away of the rock by the Great Southern Ocean. Visit Natural Bridge
Brig Amity Replica Brig Amity Replica
Experience the first settlers arrival in Albany, the first settlement in Western Australia, from onboard a replica of the Amity. Visit Brig Amity Replica
Middleton Beach Middleton Beach
The most popular beach in Albany. Swim or relax under the trees. Cafes and amenities. Visit Middleton Beach
Little Beach Little Beach
This gorgeous beach is approximately 25 kilometres north east of Albany in Two Peoples Bay National Park. Visit Little Beach
Albany Wind Farm Albany Wind Farm
Beautiful and productive green energy from the wind of the Torndirrup, just outside Albany City towards Frenchman Bay. Visit Albany Wind Farm
Ancient Empires Walk Ancient Empires Walk
The Ancient Empires Walk takes you through the forest at the base of the Giant Tingle Trees at the Treetop Walk. Visit Ancient Empires Walk
Bibbulmun Track Bibbulmun Track
The Bibbulmun Track stretches from Kalamunda in the Perth hills to Albany, through many locations in the heart of the Rainbow Coast. Visit Bibbulmun Track
Denmark Wineries Denmark Wineries
Denmark Wineries and Vineyards to visit while on holiday along the Rainbow Coast. Wineries with restaurants, music, cellar doors and more! Visit Denmark Wineries
Frenchman Bay Frenchman Bay
Located on the southern side of King George Sound this beautiful setting has a grassy picnic area, BBQs and boat launch. Ideal beachfront location for a great day out! Visit Frenchman Bay
Giant Tingle Tree Giant Tingle Tree
This Giant Tingle Tree is special because it the oldest living eucalypt in the world. It is an 800 metre walk from the car park to the Giant Tingle and back. Visit Giant Tingle Tree
Lights Beach Lights Beach
Inspiring lookout and beach offering spectacular views of William Bay from the east. A favourite local beach. Visit Lights Beach
Mandalay Beach Mandalay Beach
Spectacular views to Chatham Island, gorgeous white sandy beach it is a must-see... sometimes the shipwreck is visible too. Visit Mandalay Beach
Misery Beach Albany Misery Beach Albany
Misery Beach is a hidden gem on the southern coast of Western Australia known for stunning natural beauty and a tranquil atmosphere. Visit Misery Beach Albany
Monkey Rock Monkey Rock
Spectacular elevated views over William Bay Nat. Park, Ratcliffe Bay, Ocean Beach and the Nullaki Peninsula. Visit Monkey Rock
Princess Royal Fortress Princess Royal Fortress
One of the best outdoor military museums in Australia. The Fortress is within the Albany Heritage Park, atop Mount Adelaide. Visit Princess Royal Fortress
Rainbows Rainbows
The coast is perfectly placed to see Rainbows! And perfectly named. Green trees, mountains, forests beaches, and winter rainbows. Visit Rainbows
South Coast Beaches Map South Coast Beaches Map
South Coast Beaches from west of Walpole to East of Albany all on one map! Visit South Coast Beaches Map
Valley of the Giants Valley of the Giants
The Valley of the Giants Wilderness Discovery Centre at the Treetop Walk is the most visited place on the Rainbow Coast. Visit Valley of the Giants