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