What to do in Coolum Beach

Australia is a massive country to explore and being surrounded by gorgeous blue ocean, it goes without saying that a beach holiday is high on many holidayer’s To Do List. Coolum Beach in Australia’s Sunshine State is a great place for a relaxing beach holiday.

Coolum Beach Holiday check list

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


Read on for our Coolum Beach Holiday insider tips.

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What to do at Coolum Beach


About Coolum Beach Queensland

Coolum Beach 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. Beach-combing and bicycles are as common as tans, sun-bleached hair and bare feet.

During School Holiday periods Coolum is bustling with families having fun and on Summer week-ends it is a favourite destination for the residents of Brisbane.

Where is Coolum Beach Australia?

Coolum Beach is located north of Brisbane in South East Queensland and mid-way on the Sunshine Coast.

Brisbane to Coolum Beach is an easy 1.5 hour drive and there are direct flights into Sunshine Coast Airport at Marcoola, a mere 10 minutes from Coolum Beach.

The 20 minute drive north from Coolum Beach to iconic Noosa Beach can be broken at the popular beach communities of Peregian and Sunshine Beaches with their markets, restaurants, cafes and bars. The most spectacular coastal views are to be found on the return Noosa to Coolum journey.

Main Beach Coolum (shown below) is the home of Coolum Beach SLSC. Immediately to the south of Main Beach are First, Second and Third Bays Coolum Beach. These bays are separated by rocky headlands, surf breaks and overlooked by Point Perry and Point Arkwright.

Main Beach.

Coolum Beachgoers

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

Coolum Beach Accommodation

Coolum Budget Accommodation choices:


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 at Coolum Beach Sunshine Coast – Pet Friendly.

Coolum Holiday Park Collage

We’ve holidayed in our Coromal Caravan at Coolum Beach Holiday Park many times. Wedged between the waves, Tickle and Norrie Job Memorial parks and David Low Way Coolum Beach and opposite the Coolum Beach Hotel, this caravan park holds 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.

Coolum Holiday Accommodation

Coolumholidays.com has a comprehensive range of holiday 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.

Check out Coolum Cafes – Yum Coffee and Cake time.

I’ve written about the Top Five Sunshine Coast Coffee Spots. 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. For those who have their coffee made with soy milk, Caf uses Bonsoy. Dog Friendly with water bowls provided.

Some Caf Treats.

Coolum Cafes Caf Cakes


Information Hut in Tickle Park.

Coolum Tickle Park and Tourist Info


Buy some beach gear at Coolum Beach Shops

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

Ghanda Clothing isn’t exclusive to Coolum, but it does embrace the beach scene with clothes for the whole family. It’s my 30 year old hippy daughter’s favourite place to shop and is affordable too. My favourite is a Pop Up Shop that popped up and never went away. It’s near The Shop Convenience Store 1778 David Low Way and stocks floaty beach wear and casual glitzy sandals.

For more upmarket shoppers there are Red Zoo and Rip Curl Surf Shops and Sea Elements Swimwear. All of these are on David Low Way in the main shopping area.


Climb Mt Coolum

The summit of Mt. Coolum is 208 m above sea level. One of the Sunshine Coasts volcanic domes (like the Glasshouse Mountains), Mt. Coolum is a Laccolith. This is fancy speak for a dome of magma that cooled beneath the surface 26 million years ago. The walk is 1.6km return and takes about two hours. There are lots of steps and the track starts off in forest and ends in low heathland. All of our family has climbed it except myself – I know my limitations.

Things to know before climbing Mt. Coolum

  • This climb should not be attempted in wet weather as the rock faces turn into waterfalls and the natural steps become slippery.
  • In summer climb during the cooler parts of the day.
  • Of course there are awesome views from the top. North to Noosa and South to the Glasshouse Mountains and East over the ocean.

Mt. Ninderry near the cute town of Yandina is easier to climb.

  • No toilets or drinking water at either walk.
  • Bring Drinking Water.
  • At times there is a coffee/drinks van at Mt. Coolum carpark.

Go Beach Walking.

When it comes to beach walks, the choices are 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

Enjoy Water-sports at Coolum.


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.

Coolum Beach Restaurants

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 and while away the afternoon after a morning on the beach.

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

Coolum Surf Club

More great places to eat at Coolum Beach.

Charcoal Chicken Coolum Beach is a favourite casual cafe with locals and tourists. This establishment has been around forever and flourished selling take away BBQ chickens (and more) even with Coles Supermarket doing the same close by. So much so that they have now moved to larger premises and are now eat-in also. They also have a lovely range of salads plus seafood, burgers and rolls.

Castro’s Coolum Beach is a special occasion place, but with a lovely relaxed atmosphere. They offer Australian/Mediterranean cuisine including pizza and local grass fed beef.

Bombay Bliss Coolum Beach is where our family of curry lovers congregate. They offer some unique seating options and the food is great. Although they don’t have a designated menu they do thankfully cater for Vegans.

My Place Coolum Beach is an open style bar and restaurant overlooking the boardwalk to Point Perry featuring Modern Mediterranean cuisine. My Place is popular for afternoon Tapas and Cocktails and you could see big water dragons sunning themselves on the deck.

Canteen Kitchen Bar Coolum Beach is beside My Place with an open courtyard at the front attracting an afternoon crowd. In winter they feature a courtyard brazier fireplace.

Coolum Beach Pub is super popular especially in school holidays. It is a favourite birthday venue and there is a fantastic open sided sports bar with tall ceilings, lazy fans, lounges and big screen televisions. They quite often feature live bands and have kids eat free days.


Tandem Skydive.

Hardly a beach day goes by without Tandem Skydivers floating down from on high. 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 discounts.



Sunset walks.

Anywhere along the beachfront is a good place for a sunset walk. Even though the sun sets over land, reflected colours fill the sky over the ocean.

A good spot to see the sun set over land is from Emu Mountain.

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.

The boardwalk Coolum Beach, is a gently sloping timber 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


See more Australian Sunsets here.

Sunshine Coast Markets.

Most markets on the Sunshine Coast are within 20 minutes of Coolum Beach. We suggest you try Yandina Market, Fishermans Road Market Maroochydore, Peregian Beach Markets and Eumundi Markets. Sunshine Coast Collective Markets are new and held in the grounds of Coolum Primary School. The markets are all different with their own brand of fun.

Eumundi Markets.

Read about the best 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 Celsius. The warmest Month is December with a minimum of 24 degrees and a maximum of 30+ degrees Celsius. During the Australian Summer School Holiday period Coolum is full with families having fun. In Winter the Coolum Beach Caravan Park is overflowing with Grey Nomads escaping the cold winters in the southern states.

For a more detailed overview of the weather in Brisbane (and the Sunshine Coast) click HERE.

I think you will agree that Coolum on the Sunshine Coast is a great beach holiday destination.

What do you like most about a Beach Holiday?

Thanks for reading and commenting – we really appreciate it. If you have a blog, please add a travel post to the link below for Nancie’s Travel Photo Thursday which we co-host with Ruth from Tanama Tales and Rachel from Rachel’s RuminationsAll links to blogs are DoFollow. That means I am sharing SEO link juice with you; a good thing!

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