Rainbow Beach has left Hervey Bay for dead in the race for backpacker dollars.
Rainbow Beach has left Hervey Bay for dead in the race for backpacker dollars. Craig Warhurst

Rainbows here, rain in Hervey Bay

THE success of Rainbow Beach as the real backpackers' "gateway to Fraser Island" has thrown its Fraser Coast competition into chaos.

News of the closure of Hervey Bay's Next Backpackers resort follows less than two months after the news that tour promoter Nomads Fraser Island Tours had quit the Fraser Coast.

Nomads announced that all its operations will now be coming out of Rainbow Beach.

It seems to have been the last straw for Next Backpackers, once regarded as one of the Fraser Coast's biggest backpacking operators.

Former Next Backpackers manager Mark Juppenlatz acknowledged the new tourism reality in March.

"Just about every major player in the backpacking market is now operating in Rainbow Beach," he said.

Receivers and managers, BDO this week confirmed that the 100-bed operation had closed on Saturday.

BDO partner Helen Newman said her company had been monitoring the hostel since May last year and would now rid itself of the asset.

Fraser Roving Backpackers owner John Hayes said the industry was haemorrhaging in Hervey Bay.

Rainbow Beach Commerce and Tourism Association president Scott Elms said he was only surprised "by the fact that it's taken so long". He said Rainbow Beach had many advantages over Hervey Bay.

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