The most famous perched lake in the Rainbow Beach vicinity is Lake McKenzie, which is on Fraser Island. A more accessible, if slightly less spectacular version is Lake Poona. No permits, no 4WD required just a relatively easy 2.1km walk from a carpark that is 3km off the Rainbow Beach road.
The walk is easy. 600m flat, 800m up a gentle incline and 700m down a gentle incline and all in 25-35 minutes. The rainforest provides shade and apart from a couple of roughing sections in the middle, the path is sandy and leafy. There’s some pretty impressive hoop pines and strangler figs to look at, but it is all about the Lake.
The path ends at a sandy platform with a number of gums on the bank of the lake. Once you step into the water beyond the trees you appreciate the size of Poona. Surrounded by green, Poona is an oval with a beach on the eastern edge. The beach has been bigger, but apparently the water table has risen shortening it somewhat. The water is a striking red/brown colour. This is caused by the tea-trees that surround the lake. There’s also a far amount of wood debris on the lake floor which means that the water is quite dark and you can’t see your feet. Get over that and it is a really pleasant swim. My daughter and I swam straight across the lake (200m?) to the beach and walked back via the shore and the shallows.
I did sneak a couple of beers from Porters Balgowlah up with for a spot of Beerp0rn and the unlikely subject was a bottle of Schlappeseppel Dunkel. This roasted, dry dunkel is a blessed change from XXXX Gold and its ilk. Made by a brewer that has been around since 1631, it remains privately owned and makes 6 varieties. Read the back history for how the brewery was named, but apparently, Schlappeseppel means lame little Joseph. Anyway, I be the hasn’t been to Lake Poona before.