Schoolies on the Cooloola Coast
SCHOOLIES Week began at the weekend with fewer less than 100 students choosing the quiet, relaxing Rainbow Beach to party on.
A different crowd swarmed the Cooloola Coast yesterday; fresh, graduated high school students partied on the white sand to celebrate the end of the year and the end of the school life.
The normally quiet haven for backpackers and families has become party central - albeit a well-behaved party central.
Rainbow Beach police said yesterday they had been monitoring the area and there had been no incidents so far regarding any Schoolies.
Unlike the usual Schoolies destinations - the Gold Coast and Airlie Beach - some students like to spend their week camping, swimming and enjoying quality time with friends.
Many students at Rainbow Beach yesterday had travelled near and far, some hiring out accommodation and some choosing to camp at Inskip Point.
Six students from Yeppoon's St Ursula's College travelled down to a holiday house in Tiaro and have been spending every day at Rainbow Beach since Saturday night.
They plan to stay in the region, visiting different beach locations until Friday. Like many other Schoolies, they are here to spend time with friends and enjoy the independence.
"The best thing about Schoolies is trying to survive without parents and being independent for a whole week," Maddy Lydeamore-Walker, from Yeppoon, said.
With so much to do on the beach, from four-wheel driving, skydiving, swimming and playing in the sand, Marnie Chapple, 17, said all she wanted to do was hang out with her friends.
"We come from an all-girls boarding school in Yeppoon but we live in all different areas of the college. It's the perfect way to spend time and create memories with all my friends," Marnie said.
Rainbow Beach businesswoman Ruth Modine, experiences the Schoolies rush every year.
"For the past few years, every group has been really well behaved, very well-mannered team," Mrs Modine said yesterday.
"They have an impact on the community's economy; usually 10% of the week's takings is created by the Schoolies."
Rainbow Beach life guard Sam Cartwright said there had been no incidents on the beach or in the surf.