What to do in Coolum

Australia is a massive country to explore and it goes without saying that a Queensland beach experience is high on many holidayer’s To Do List.

Mine reads something like this.

Cool blue water. hot summer days. crashing white foam. sandy toes. salty lips. fish & chip sundowners. drinks on the deck. repeat.

Hello Coolum!


What to do at Coolum Beach

Mid-way on the Sunshine Coast, Coolum is a friendly beach community where life naturally revolves around the beach lifestyle. Every back yard harbours a surfboard or two and every laundry a mish-mash of body boards, with beach-combing and bicycles as common as tans and sun-bleached hair.

Coolum is easily accessible by road from Brisbane, (1.5 hours to the south) or fly direct into Sunshine Coast Airport at Marcoola, a mere 10 minutes from Coolum. After many happy family holidays spent on the Sunshine Coast, we’ve now migrated and live permanently at Coolum.

Main Beach, Coolum.

Coolum Beachgoers

We have a history of finding holiday accommodation, so let’s find you somewhere to stay.

Coolum Beach Accommodation

Budget Accommodation

Our budget suggestions are:


A quick local search found a room in the backstreets with great reviews here. Remember if you are new to Airbnb to take advantage of  the link in our sidebar for a sign up discount (currently valued at $50 AUD). Staying with a local is a great way to get up to speed on a destination.

As well as an ensuite bathroom and private access the above room includes free wifi, use of BBQ and bicycles. This is why we love Airbnb.


Join a housesitting site. We use trustedhousesitters.com both as a housesitter and a homeowner. It’s an excellent way of staying for free while looking after the homeowner’s pets. The community here is very pet friendly. You and your housesitting pet will be welcomed with open arms, no more so than at Stumers Creek off-leash area. Join the housesitting site well before you need accommodation as it takes time to get your profile and references organised and find a housesit.

Coolum Beach Caravan Park – Exclusive beachfront access – Pet Friendly.

Coolum Holiday Park Collage

We’ve holidayed in our van here right on the beach many times. Wedged between the waves, Tickle and Norrie Job Memorial parks, the main tourist strip and opposite the Coolum Beach Hotel, this is prime position. With direct access to the patrolled surf beach you can literally be in the water within a couple of minutes of leaving your campsite.

The amenities blocks are security coded, clean and spacious with loads of toilets and showers. No matter how busy the park is you won’t have to wait. The undercover camping kitchen has a ton of space and cooking appliances, a fridge and the capacity to charge multiple electronic devices at the same time. There are also self-contained units within the park, but they always seemed a tad expensive for us.

A popular holiday activity for us, wherever we are, is looking in real estate windows and it just so happens that across from the caravan park is a shopping strip where every second shop is a real estate agent.  During an unusually rain filled holiday we stepped up our viewing and put in an offer on a house – I’m sure there’s a moral there somewhere.

Coolumholidays.com has a comprehensive range of apartments and houses for rent in the Coolum area. Last year we rented a family apartment through them. It was in a three storey block with ocean views and only 100 metres from the beach. We had to book last minute and even so everything worked out well.

Morning Tea at Caf.

I’ve written about the Top Five Sunshine Coast Coffee Spots before. Caf, our favourite, is situated right here in Coolum, away from the main strip with a good mix of locals and visitors. Most if not all of their cakes are gluten free. They brew their Merlo coffee just right, the menu is interesting and it’s licensed too. Dog Friendly with water bowls provided.

Coolum Cafes Caf Cakes

2 Coffees and 2 Cakes approx. $20.

Budget tip. Use the Caf buy one get one free (with cookies) voucher in the Coolum Little book of Brochures – available from Tourist Information in Tickle Park, the foyer of the Surf Club, or in your holiday apartment. It’s worth checking before you start spending.

Information Hut in Tickle Park.

Coolum Tickle Park and Tourist Info

The Strip of Shops on David Low Way has a friendly village feel to it. The other morning we found a sunny spot at one of the Cafe’s (it’s cool in the morning now), ordered our coffee’s and hummed along with the nearby busking duo. I couldn’t help thinking how awesome life is here.

Beach Walks.

When it comes to beach walks, the choice is endless. Try Sunshine Beach, Peregian, Yaroomba and Marcoola and our favourite Coolum. Stumers Creek at the northern end of Coolum is off-leash dog friendly, with parking, amenities, dog washing facilities and wave-free fun for kids and dogs.

The car park side of the creek has a wide sandy shore that reaches out to the beach. The mouth is normally blocked by sand which means you can walk both ways on the beach without getting your feet wet. North to Peregian is one of the prettiest beach walks around, while a relaxing walk south passes the Caravan Park to main beach.

South of Main are First and Second Bays separated by rocky headlands and connected by a paved walkway on the hills.

Stumers Dog Friendly Off Leash Area…       Rocks on the Coolum/Peregian walk…          View of Coolum Beach from Point Perry

Coolum Beach Walks


Stumers Creek is popular with kitesurfers except when the wind blows from the shore. The mouth of Stumers down toward the patrolled beaches of Coolum is popular as is down-winding from Sunshine Beach. I’m fascinated by these colourful kites both in the water and when training on the beach.

Coolum Kitesurf and Boardwalk


I’m happy relaxing on the beach, body boarding or beach-walking but if you want to try surfing, sign up for a group or private surf lesson with Coolum Surf School. They offer tuition for all levels directly off Main Beach.

First Bay and Surfer Coolum

Experienced surfers congregate at Points Perry and Arkwright immediately south of Coolum. Two lookouts on the ocean walking path are good vantage points for watching surf action in First Bay.

Lunch at Coolum Beach Surf Club.

It’s a no brainer. Recent winners of the Best Club Dining 2017, their kitchen is the only Australian Surf club with a genuine wood fired char-grill. The steaks cooked over iron bark coals have a yummy smokey flavour and their gourmet pizzas more often than not end up on our table. Coolum Surf Club prides itself on it’s fantastic food and a menu that changes with the seasons. The large shaded deck, unrivalled views, comfortable seats and relaxed vibe makes this an awesome place to meet up with friends.

Tuesday is Rump Steak Day. $15.90. These med/rare and medium steaks were cooked to sweet smokey perfection.

Coolum Surf Club

Tandem Skydive.

Hardly a beach day goes by without looking up to see Tandem Skydivers floating down. There are two Coolum venues:

– Coolum Main Beach (next to the Surf Club), or
– Stumers Creek Inlet (400m north of the Surf Club),

Prices from $239. Contact RACQ for member discount available for May 2017.


Sunset walk.

Emu Mountain.

A walk to the summit of Peregian (Emu) Mountain stretches the legs a little, but not too much. The walk starts from Havana Road opposite Coolum High School and only takes half an hour return. If you take a lot of photos, like we do and you want to linger at the summit for sunset, allow an hour. These photos are taken in late Autumn when the wattle flowers are about to burst into golden bloom. At the summit there are views to Coolum township, Peregian Springs and the hinterland. In October, peak whale watching season, this is a great spot to watch the whales breach off-shore.

Coolum Beach Emu Mountain

Point Perry.

Follow the gently sloping boardwalk from Coolum Surf Club to Point Perry. Ocean views from the boardwalk are captivating and from the top there are views down to First Bay and back to Coolum. Halfway along the boardwalk is the grassy knoll – an incredibly popular place for a sunset picnic. Wilkinson Park on Point perry has recently been re-vamped with new toilet amenities and picnic tables.

Coolum Beach Point Perry Sunset

Eumundi Markets.

A trip to the markets is always on our agenda.  I’ve written about my fool proof way to visit Eumundi Markets here.

Saturday Mornings 7 till 2 pm. (Arrive by 7.30 a.m. for the best market experience)

Wednesday 8 till 1.30 pm.

Eumundi Market

Coolum Beach Weather.

The weather is mild in this part of the world. Coldest Month is June with a minimum of 13 and a maximum of 22 degrees Celcius. The warmest Month is December with a minimum of 24 degrees and a maximum of 30+ degrees Celcius.

What do you like most about a Beach Holiday?

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