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The seaside city of Caloundra on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast flies beneath the radar in comparison with a number of the extra widespread locations within the space.
The laidback city retains a traditional vacation vibe with many of the issues to do in Caloundra centered on the ocean. Browsing, swimming, kayaking, and boating are all widespread actions in Caloundra.
For the much less energetic, you possibly can loosen up on one of many many seashores, get pleasure from lovely coastal walks, eat scrumptious meals, and admire vibrant avenue artwork.
Caloundra can also be effectively positioned for exploring the beautiful Sunshine Coast Hinterland and the enduring Glasshouse Mountains, which you’ll see from city.
We cherished our seaside break right here, and on this submit, I share our picks for what to do in Caloundra together with the place to remain and eat, tips on how to get there, the very best day journeys, and a map with all our suggestions.
We acknowledge the Kabi Kabi folks because the Conventional Custodians of this land and sea.
The place is Caloundra?
Caloundra is the southernmost city on the Sunshine Coast, 95km (about 1.5 hours drive) north of Brisbane in Southeast Queensland, Australia.
It’s 15km (25 minutes) south of Mooloolaba and 58km (1 hour) south of Noosa, that are each widespread seaside cities on the Sunshine Coast.
Under you’ll discover particulars on tips on how to get to Caloundra and a Caloundra map.
Finest Issues to Do in Caloundra
1) Benefit from the Calm Waters at Bulcock Seaside
We cherished Bulcock Seaside the place our condominium lodge La Promenade was positioned proper on the water.
It’s on the Pumicestone Passage, the channel of water between Caloundra mainland and Bribie Island.
The ever-changing sandbanks and turquoise water of the lagoon are very scenic and the Glasshouse Mountains are seen within the distance.
The calm, clear water is ideal for teenagers.
The seaside has widened in recent times and at low tide, you possibly can even stroll throughout the sand to Bribie Island.
Bulcock Seaside is likely one of the finest seashores in Caloundra for swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking. When you want to play within the waves, head across the nook to the place the seaside meets the open ocean.
There are many services together with bathrooms, showers, picnic tables, BBQs, a playground, and cafes. The boardwalk is a superb place for a stroll (see under) and the views are particularly beautiful at dawn and sundown.
The seaside is barely patrolled from September to Might, so in winter (when the solar nonetheless shines), you would possibly want Kings Seaside.
2) Stroll the Caloundra Coastal Path
Among the best issues to do in Caloundra is the Caloundra Coastal Stroll, a wonderful solution to discover the city’s finest seashores.
The entire path is 25km from Golden Seaside within the south to Mooloolaba within the north, however you possibly can select to stroll as a lot or as little as you’d like.
We walked from Bulcock Seaside north to Moffat Seaside and extremely advocate it. This stretch is 4.7km and took us one hour every manner.
The trail is paved and principally flat (we had 50 metres of elevation achieve, principally round Moffat Headland) with ocean views the entire manner.
The primary part on the boardwalk from Bulcock Seaside to Kings Seaside (about 20 minutes) is the busiest with a number of services and cafes.
After Kings, it was quieter as we handed the struggle memorials at Centaur Park and Anzac Park. Look out for the plaques on the trail that honour the lives of veterans misplaced.
Subsequent is the unpatrolled Shelly Seaside the place it’s straightforward to discover a quiet stretch of sand to your self (however swimming just isn’t beneficial).
You may also discover the rock swimming pools at low tide and look out for the massive ships passing by—Caloundra is near a transport lane.
There’s a small park reverse with picnic tables and bathrooms.
The trail will get a bit hillier as you stroll as much as Moffat Headland Lookout, the place you possibly can watch the surfers on the purpose break. That is residence to the legendary Pa and Ma Bendall Memorial Browsing Contest that has taken place on Easter weekends since 1974.
We completed our stroll at Moffat Seaside, a golden curve of sand that’s a favorite amongst locals. It’s unpatrolled so not beneficial for swimming, though it was pretty calm on our go to.
The cafes reverse the seaside are perfect for a break earlier than strolling again to Bulcock Seaside (or you possibly can at all times order an Uber).
We had lunch at Moffat Seaside Brewing Co (see under), however The Pocket Espresso Bar is widespread too.
3) Attempt a Native Brew at Moffat Seaside Brewing Co
Moffat Seaside Brewing Co is a well-liked native brewery with a brewpub in a first-rate location reverse Moffat Seaside.
Drink amongst the tanks of beer brewing inside or on the patio with views of the seaside throughout the street. On weekend evenings there’s stay music.
They’ve a altering menu of beer to attempt—Simon favored the tropical flavours of the Trilogy Finest Coast IPA.
The menu is fairly customary pub grub, however we did get pleasure from our lentil and chickpea burger.
4) Spend the Day at Kings Seaside
Visiting Kings Seaside is a Caloundra should do.
This widespread seaside is patrolled year-round by the surf membership which additionally runs a restaurant and bar with unbelievable views overlooking the seaside.
You’ll discover all of the services you want together with bathrooms, altering rooms, showers, picnic tables, BBQs, a playground, kid-friendly water fountain, and even a free oceanfront pool.
The light waves at Kings Seaside are perfect for boogie boarding or extra assured swimmers.
5) Swim within the Oceanfront Pool
You’ll be able to’t beat the situation of the Kings Seaside saltwater pool proper on the oceanfront.
Better of all, it’s free for all to make use of with 25-metre lanes for critical swimmers and a wading space for teenagers.
6) Eat a Scrumptious Brunch at Lamkin Lane Espresso
Lamkin Lane Espresso is our high choose for the place to eat in Caloundra.
It’s positioned in one of many laneways in Caloundra’s downtown space (lower than a 10-minute stroll from Bulcock Seaside) with a classy inside and plant-filled patio.
The inventive menu is Asian-inspired and goes past the standard brunch dishes. It’s particularly good for vegans with extra choices than most cafes.
Simon had the crispy tofu tacos with slaw, pineapple, and a few significantly tasty sauces. They had been so good I stored sneaking bites. The crispy tofu is a winner so contemplate including it as a aspect to different dishes.
My lovely avocado toast had some attention-grabbing additions—roasted capsicum hummus, edamame, potato gems, and flowers.
Don’t miss Lamkin Lane!
7) Kayak to Bribie Island
Among the best Caloundra actions is to get out on the water to discover the Pumicestone Passage and Bribie Island.
We rented a double kayak from Invoice’s Boat Rent at Golden Seaside. Additionally they lease boats (no licence vital) in the event you’re not feeling energetic, in addition to stand-up paddleboards.
Whereas kayaking to an island sounds spectacular, the northern tip of Bribie Island is just a few minutes’ paddle away, so it’s an accessible journey, particularly on a relaxed day.
Bribie Island is the fourth largest sand island on this planet (like close by North Stradbroke Island which we love) and the top close to Caloundra is unspoilt Nationwide Park.
On our two-hour paddle, we noticed stingrays, leaping fish, and many birds. You’ll be able to even see dolphins and turtles typically.
We kayaked previous the Bribie Island Breakthrough, the break up that opened up in 2022 when the ocean carved a brand new pathway by means of the island.
We stopped on a white sand seaside for a break and swim—calm water on one aspect and the tough ocean on the opposite.
Invoice’s Boat Rent isn’t open every single day (besides throughout faculty holidays), but it surely’s value asking as they opened only for us.
You may also rent single or double kayaks from Golden Seaside Rent.
8) Pattern Native Gin at Seaside Tree Distillery
Seaside Tree Distillery make handcrafted, small-batch gin and vodka (with rum and whisky coming quickly) utilizing natural Australian botanicals.
At their distillery, you are able to do a guided gin tasting ($15 in your alternative of three) to see which of their drinks you want finest. We favored the peppery Skippy gin and berry-forward Quokka gin.
Every spirit is known as after an endangered Australian animal, they usually plant a tree for each bottle bought.
In addition to tastings, you should buy G&Ts and cocktails to get pleasure from onsite amongst the barrels of ageing spirits.
Seaside Tree Distillery is a 5-minute drive from Bulcock Seaside. We received an Uber so we may pattern their merchandise freely.
9) Lunch at White Picket Fence
White Picket Fence is one other of Caloundra’s glorious cafes, only a three-minute stroll inland from Bulcock Seaside. Eat within the plant-filled inside or the stunning pink-walled backyard out again.
We appreciated the vegan and gluten-free choices on the inventive menu. I actually loved my Pakora + Buddies—Indian spiced pakora on a kale salad—and it was good to have a break from bread.
The breakfast cocktails additionally sounded tempting.
10) Attempt a Cupcake from Cocoa Spice Cakery
In case you have area after lunch, head down the street to Cocoa Spice Cakery to attempt one in all their vibrant array of cupcakes. Mini choices can be found in the event you simply need a chew of sweetness.
11) Take pleasure in an Ice Cream at Gelateria Milano
Or if ice cream is your candy deal with of alternative, a bit additional down Bulcock Road is Gelateria Milano.
Right here you’ll discover genuine Italian-style gelato, a lot nicer than the puffy stuff you’ll see elsewhere.
You’ll be able to select two flavours even for a small dimension. The strawberry cream was superb!
12) Comply with the Caloundra Road Artwork Path
Caloundra’s avenue artwork isn’t apparent at first, however when you begin heading down laneways and aspect streets you possibly can uncover some beautiful items.
The Dingle Wall is essentially the most well-known (discover it on Google Maps as Caloundra Mural). The massive, vibrant mural options scenes from Caloundra life together with the lighthouses, browsing pioneers Pa & Ma Bendall, native fishermen, and extra.
Different good locations to search for avenue artwork are Lamkin Lane and Williamson Lane. You’ll be able to obtain a Caloundra Artwork Path map right here.
13) Eat Mexican at Holy Taco
Our favorite dinner spot in Caloundra was Holy Taco, a kiosk that serves scrumptious plant-based Mexican meals.
It’s run by a Mexican couple so the flavours are genuine albeit with a vegan twist.
The small menu consists of tacos (with tender flour tortillas), golden tacos (fried, rolled-up corn tortillas), nachos, and some sides.
Our favorite was the Caloundra taco made with crumbed mushrooms, smoky chipotle mayo, guacamole, and pico de gallo. We appreciated that they allow us to high all the pieces with jalapeños too.
Holy Taco is positioned a five-minute stroll from Bulcock Seaside in a small buying arcade with lined outside seating.
14) Go to the Caloundra Regional Gallery
Caloundra’s artwork gallery is simply two rooms, but it surely’s free entry and effectively value popping by.
Exhibitions change repeatedly and have native and nationwide artists. We visited throughout a wearable artwork exhibition and noticed some very cool creations.
There’s additionally a present store that includes domestically made ceramics, textiles, jewelry, and toys.
A visit to the gallery is likely one of the finest issues to do in Caloundra when it’s raining or if you need a break from the solar.
15) Play Big Chess
The gallery is positioned in central Caloundra in Felicity Park, a tiny however beautiful park shaded with enormous timber.
Exterior the gallery, there’s an outsized chess board in the event you fancy a sport—one other of the numerous free issues to do in Caloundra.
16) Pattern the Croissants at The Pastry Lab
The Pastry Lab is an artisanal patisserie and espresso bar that makes scrumptious flaky croissants and different pastries (all the pieces we tried was unbelievable).
It’s just a few minutes’ stroll from Pleased Valley (the seaside park across the nook from Bulcock Seaside) so take your breakfast there to get pleasure from with a view.
17) Stroll or Paddle at Currimundi Lake
Currimundi is a 10-minute drive from Bulcock Seaside on Caloundra’s northern boundary.
You possibly can additionally stroll there on the coastal path (see above—it’s 3.1km further from Moffat Seaside to Currimundi).
Currimundi Lake is attention-grabbing as a result of it’s technically an ICOLL, a coastal lake or lagoon that alternates being open or closed to the ocean.
Once we visited it was open to the ocean (making it a lagoon), however typically the sand closes over the opening and it turns right into a lake once more. You’ll be able to inform when this occurs as a result of the water turns into brown from the tannins within the leaves of the encircling timber.
Both manner, it’s an important spot for a simple stroll or a swim, kayak or paddleboard within the calm waters. You may also surf on the oceanfront seaside.
The principle hub is on the southeastern nook (we parked outdoors the cafe Coco’s Currimundi) the place there are two cafes, a kayak/SUP rental place, and public bathrooms.
We simply did a brief stroll on the shady path by means of the bush subsequent to the lake, however you might do the total 4km loop across the lake by crossing over a bridge at one finish after which the sandy part on the opposite (be ready for moist toes).
I’d like to return for a paddle because the calm water appeared splendid.
18) Take pleasure in A Drink with an Ocean View
Caloundra has a number of spots on the water the place you possibly can get pleasure from a drink or meal.
Kings Seaside is the very best place in the event you don’t need the street between you and the water (see above for some strategies together with the Mets on Kings surf membership).
At Bulcock Seaside there are just a few locations with views of the Pumicestone Passage, though they’re on the opposite aspect of the street.
Simon had a day drink at Drift Bar, which is thought for its stay music.
We additionally loved nachos and margaritas at Mexican restaurant Grasping Gringo, which has outside seating to benefit from the views.
19) See the Caloundra Lighthouses
The unique Caloundra Lighthouse was in-built 1896 and is the oldest surviving constructing in Caloundra. It seems just like the quintessential lighthouse with its white timber body and pink high.
In 1968 a brand new lighthouse was constructed with up to date know-how—it seems very completely different, extra like an airport management tower.
The previous lighthouse has been moved just a few occasions, however locals at all times struggle to put it aside, and it was finally moved again to its unique place.
It’s somewhat unusual to see the 2 lighthouses aspect by aspect in a residential space subsequent to an condominium constructing. The high-rise improvement within the space is what finally stopped the second lighthouse from getting used.
You’ll be able to attain the lighthouses with a 10-minute stroll uphill from Kings Seaside or a brief drive (we stopped on our manner out of city).
On the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, the lighthouses are open to the general public from 9am – 3pm. See the Buddies of the Caloundra Lighthouses web site for particulars.
Look out for the enduring Caloundra Lighthouses in numerous murals round city.
20) Store on the Caloundra Markets
Sadly, we weren’t on the town on a market day, however Caloundra’s markets are imagined to be glorious.
Caloundra Road Truthful runs each Sunday morning on Bulcock Road with over 120 stalls promoting avenue meals, recent produce, and handcrafted artwork and homewares. There’s additionally stay music and actions for teenagers.
The Caloundra Twilight Market is smaller, however there’s nonetheless loads of scrumptious meals and enjoyable leisure. It takes place on the final Friday of every month (besides June and July) from 5-9pm on the Esplanade at Bulcock Seaside.
The Currumundi Lake Twilight Market is targeted on avenue meals and drinks (deliver a blanket to get pleasure from your meals on the lakeside seaside) and takes place on the third Friday of every month (besides June and July) from 4-8pm.
Issues to Do Close to Caloundra
There are such a lot of great issues to do round Caloundra—listed below are our high picks.
21) See the Glasshouse Mountains
You’ll be able to see the craggy peaks of the Glasshouse Mountains from Caloundra, and it’s effectively value taking a drive inland (maybe in your manner again to Brisbane) for a better look.
The uniquely formed mountains rise incongruously from the pretty flat panorama. These plugs are remnants of volcanic exercise from over 25 million years in the past.
For a fast look, drive as much as the Glasshouse Mountains Lookout. There’s additionally a restaurant close by with extra superb views. We stayed right here at one of many literal glass homes at Glass on Glasshouse—extremely beneficial!
When you fancy a hike, the stroll up Mt Ngungun took us 25 minutes (a method) and was value it for the views.
22) Drive the Blackall Vary
One of the best ways to expertise the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is to drive the Blackall Vary Vacationer Drive (Route 23), which takes you up on the escarpment with beautiful views of the rolling hills and distant ocean.
Learn our detailed information to the finest issues to do in Sunshine Coast Hinterland for all our suggestions.
Maleny and Montville are charming small cities on the drive with loads of locations to eat and store.
One other high cease is the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, the place you are able to do a simple stroll by means of historical rainforest—we noticed a number of pademelons (small kangaroos).
The loop from Caloundra as much as Maleny and Montville and again is 85km and takes 1.5 hours (with out stops).
You possibly can simply mix this with a hike within the Glasshouse Mountains for a full time out from Caloundra.
If you wish to spend longer within the Hinterland, the lake-view treehouses at Secrets and techniques on the Lake outdoors Montville (full with spa baths and fireplaces) are one of the vital romantic and enjoyable locations we’ve ever stayed.
We cherished it a lot, we booked our second keep as quickly as we returned from the primary!
23) Go to Noosa
There are many Sunshine Coast cities to go to, however my choose is Noosa on the northern finish (one hour drive from Caloundra), the place we spent three months.
Sure, Noosa is far busier and dearer than Caloundra, but it surely has a beautiful vacation vibe set amongst rainforest with lovely seashores, the stunning Noosa River, and scrumptious meals.
A number of the should do issues to do in Noosa are loosen up on Major Seaside, stroll the coastal path in Noosa Nationwide Park, paddleboard (or rent a ship) on Noosa River, and go to the very good Farmers Market on Sunday mornings (go hungry).
See our information to the finest Noosa eating places from informal eats to advantageous eating.
The place to Keep in Caloundra
Most lodging in Caloundra is self-catering residences splendid for a household seaside vacation.
Bulcock Seaside and Kings Seaside are glorious areas and many of the Caloundra points of interest on this record are inside strolling distance of each.
We stayed at La Promenade, an condominium lodge with the right location proper on the water subsequent to Bulcock Seaside.
The residences aren’t fancy, however they’re spacious, good worth, and virtually all have spa baths, balconies, and essentially the most unbelievable ocean views. You’ll be able to even fish out of your patio on the ground-floor residences!
The highest-floor residences additionally look interesting with their personal roof terraces with BBQs, solar loungers, and extra superb views.
I’d request an condominium away from the reception and cafe for a quieter keep. There’s additionally some visitors noise, not less than in our 1st-floor nook condominium.
We’d undoubtedly keep right here once more for the prime location and views for an important worth.
How one can Get to Caloundra
The closest airport to Caloundra is Sunshine Coast Airport (MCY), half-hour north of Caloundra, with flights from inside Australia and from Auckland, New Zealand.
For worldwide flights, Brisbane Airport (BNE) has extra choices.
If you wish to discover the encircling areas, Caloundra is finest reached with your personal car, however you possibly can handle and not using a automobile within the city itself.
We walked virtually in every single place in Caloundra and received an Uber to Beachtree Distillery.
To get from Brisbane to Caloundra by public transport, take the practice to Landsborough and alter to a bus to Caloundra. Permit round two hours for the journey.
From both of the airports, it will be simpler to get to Caloundra by airport shuttle bus.
Map of Caloundra Queensland
Is Caloundra Value Visiting?
Caloundra is effectively value visiting if you’re searching for a low-key, family-friendly seaside city on the Sunshine Coast.
Whereas it’s not fairly as fairly and inexperienced as Noosa, it’s quieter and extra inexpensive, and there are lovely seashores, a beautiful coastal stroll, and different enjoyable actions. Plus Lamkin Lane is our favorite cafe on the coast!
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