At the southern end of the Sunshine Coast can be found the perennial favourite, Caloundra. With pristine beaches, a stunning coastal walk, lake and waterways, nature reserves, heritage listed sites and a thriving dining and shopping precinct, Caloundra offers an ideal base for residents and holiday makers alike.
Add an enticing variety of festivals and events, markets and outdoor activities, and situated only 90km north of Brisbane, this is one spot you will want to return to again and again. Its long history as a family friendly holiday destination with a laid back vibe has fortunately been maintained as Caloundra has grown in size and sophistication.
Here are some treasures you simply must explore.
All images from visitsunshinecoast.com
Caloundra’s southern beaches, Golden Beach and Bulcock Beach, are separated the northern end of Bribie Island by the Pumicstone Passage. An abundance of beachfront parkland and picnic areas and the provision of a perfect setting for various water sports and protected swimming, ensure these still water beaches are well frequented year round.
From here, a scenic coastal walk heads north to Happy Valley and the surf beaches of Kings Beach, Shelley Beach, Moffat Beach, Dicky Beach and Currimundi. Aside from the gentle ocean break, Kings Beach offers an old rock pool as well as oceanfront sea water fed swimming pool, making swimmers spoilt for choice. The old Bathing Pavilion is heritage listed and adds to the charming mix of old and new. Kings Beach was voted Australia's number one beach by Surf Lifesaving Australia in 2015. Moffat and Dicky Beaches are popular surfing spots.
Festivals and Events
It’s hard to top a beachfront location for a music festival and the annual Caloundra Music Festival has just that. Running for 4 days every September/October, the festival attracts an impressive list of big name and local artists and thousands of music lovers.
The Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival showcases local and international designers each October. It’s Queensland's only internationally recognised fashion festival.
November sees the return of the culinary delights of the Ignite Caloundra Chilli Festival. Sample delicious, spicy cuisine, watch cooking demonstrations and soak up the atmosphere.
With a local racecourse, Corbould Park, special race days such as Ladies Oaks Day, Melbourne Cup and a variety of charity events provide plenty of occasions for the locals to don their finery and enjoys the festivities at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club.
Each Sunday morning, Caloundra’s Street Fair takes over its main street, Bulcock Street. Over 200 stalls selling handcrafted goods, quality clothes, arts and crafts, delicious food and fresh produce are set up under the canopy of trees. With a variety of the neighbouring cafés and specialty shops also on offer, the markets attract a crowd of locals and tourists year round.
During the holiday periods, the Caloundra Twilight Markets operate on Friday evenings along the Bulcock Beach esplanade boardwalk. Browse the market while taking in the seaside sunset and savouring the delicious street food options for dinner. Live music and street performers add to the atmosphere of these charming markets.
King's Beach - All images from visitsunshinecoast.com
With an abundance of walking tracks and mountain bike trials, not to mention the plethora of water sports available, Caloundra caters for all tastes and fitness levels if you want some time in the great outdoors. Surfing, swimming, fishing, stand up paddle boarding (SUP), kite surfing, jet skiing, fishing, paddling or kayaking, or even taking in the view from a jet boat, are all available and easily accessible options. For the more adventurous, Sunshine Coast Sky Divers are based in Caloundra and provide tandem beach landing skydives.
Dining and Café scene
Whatever your taste preferences or budget, Caloundra dishes up some of the best food on the Sunshine Coast. Fine dining options such as the hatted Tides Waterfront Dining or Alfie’s Moo Char & Bar through to great beach front Fish and Chip cafes/takeaways like Sandbar Café and Kiosk and a myriad of excellent cuisine options in between, cover all bases.
Great coffee, gelato, handmade fudge – it’s all here. And, with the fairly recent addition of Moffat Beach Brewing Company, locally brewed craft beer is also available.
While Caloundra’s close proximity to Brisbane makes it the perfect day-trip destination, a longer stay will allow you to take in more of what this beautiful area has to offer. Again, options are vast. Beach front resorts such as Rumba Beach Resort, Oaks Oasis and Ramada Resort Golden Beach to name but a few, are ideally located and regularly offer great deals. A range of mid-sized and boutique hotels and several waterfront holiday parks for caravans or camping ensure this slice of paradise is accessible for everyone.
This Winter make Caloundra your next ‘escape’, be it for a few hours, a day or a week or more if you’re lucky. Unwind and revive in this beachside haven with so much to discover and savour.
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