Caloundra has been a favourite family holiday destination for decades. And for good reason. The coastline that wraps around the Caloundra’s rocky headland is dotted with gorgeous bays and beaches, each with its own distinctive personality and attractions. From Golden Beach on Pumicestone Passage around to Moffatt Beach then up to the pristine sands of Currimundi, Caloundra’s beach offering is as diverse as it is spectacular.
The other really handy thing about Caloundra is that no matter which way the wind is blowing, you can usually find a protected patch of sand, on one side of the headland or the other, to lay down your towel and relax.
If you’re keen for a challenge, why not take on the epic Caloundra Coastal Walk and visit all of Caloundra’s beautiful beaches in one day. The 25-kilometre trail begins at the southern end of the coast at Golden Beach and traces the coastline around the Caloundra Headland and then all the way up the coast to Mooloolaba.
Or, if your preferred pace is a little slower, take your time and check out each of these gorgeous spots one by one, ticking them off the list at your leisure.
Here’s our wrap up of the best beaches in Caloundra:
Golden beach (to the right) is protected by the northern tail of Bribie Island
Protected by the northern tail of Bribie Island, Golden Beach is lovely family-friendly strip of beach that extends along the shores of Pumicestone Passage.
With shady little nooks along the beach to tuck into, Golden Beach is very different to the vast stretches of open surf beach along much of the Sunshine Coast. But therein lies the charm.
This spot is also a wonderful launch point for stand-up paddleboarders and kayakers wanting to paddle across the passage to explore the crystal-clear waters around the tip of Bribie Island. Pack a towel and a picnic and enjoy lunch on the island before paddling back to the mainland.
Bulcock Beach is an easy choice for families
You’ll find the calm waters of Bulcock Beach where Pumicestone Passage turns the corner around Bribie Island to head out to sea.
It’s one of those spots that has something for everyone, and it’s all right there at your fingertips, which just makes things… easy. (If you have a young family in tow, that’s sure to be music to your ears.)
Whether you’re dropping by for lunch, a stroll along the boardwalk, to throw your line in, or a splash in the water, Bulcock Beach never disappoints. Opposite the beach a strip of cafés, restaurants and the obligatory fish’n’chip shop have something for everyone when the hunger strikes.
In fact, Local gelateria, Gelato Rumba, is all the reason you need to pay a visit to Bulcock Beach. With inventive flavours like Apple Pie, Caramelised Fig, Snickers, and even Red Skin, as well as the ‘classics’, all made fresh on site, this fun gelato shop is an essential stop.
As Caloundra’s most well-known beach destination, Kings Beach is also Caloundra’s busiest. But with a fun, almost carnival vibe, the extra people just add to the atmosphere.
It’s no wonder Kings Beach draws a crowd year-round, with a wide stretch of patrolled, white-sand beach, a fun water playground for the kids, and a 25-metre sea-water lap pool – the only one of its kind on the Sunshine Coast.
Less protected than most of its neighbours, Kings is known for cranking up some decent surf at times so it’s essential to swim between the flags.
For little explorers, the rockpools in front of the ocean pool make a wonderful escape from the waves and provide hours of fascinating fun.
Shelly Beach at dawn
Nestled on the eastern side of the Caloundra headland, this picturesque, unpatrolled beach is one of Caloundra’s best kept secrets.
It’s the perfect spot to watch the sun rise over the Pacific Ocean or go rock-hopping between the many rockpools to see if you can spot a sneaky crab or two.
And with a little luck, you’ll have it all to yourself.
In the winter months between May and October, Shelly Beach welcomes our four-legged friends before 8am and after 4pm each day. The off-leash zone extends from Russell Street to Victoria Terrace (Beach Access 276 to 281).
Picturesque Moffat Beach, fringed by Norfolk Pines and Pandanus palms.
A popular weekend hangout, Moffat is loved by locals and visitors alike. Crowds gather along Seaview Terrace at favourite spots like Pocket Espresso and Moffat Beach Brewing Co to catch up with friends and sample the local fare.
This small strip of homewares stores and trendy cafés leads to a beautiful, crescent-shaped beach, lined with pandanus palms and Norfolk pines.
Eleanor Shipley Park runs the length of the beach and is a wonderful spot to bring your picnic basket or fire up a BBQ. If you have some little people in your crew, set up near the beach-themed playground, complete with surfboard climbing walls and wooden fishing boat play fort, and you have happy campers all round.
Moffat Beach also offers off-leash playtime for your pooches before 8am and after 4pm each day between Russell Street (where Moffat Beach adjoins Shelly Beach) north to Lower Neil Street at Dicky Beach (beach access 269).
The pristine sands of Dicky Beach
About two kilometres north of Caloundra, Dicky Beach was named after the SS Dicky steamship that ran aground on the beach during a cyclone in 1893. The wreck was removed in 2015 but the white sands and surf remain.
The big attraction in Dicky Beach, other than the pristine beach, of course, is the epic skate park that’s tucked in behind the dunes.
Spend some time in this small beach community and it’s impossible not to slow down, unwind and enjoy the simple things in life.
The creek mouth at Currimundi Beach leading to a spectacular tidal lake, perfect for paddling.
At the northernmost end of the Caloundra region, the mouth of Currimundi Creek meets a vast stretch of unspoilt surf beach to create a spectacular natural playground loved by people of all ages, not to mention our four-legged friends.
The calm, turquoise waters of Currimundi Lake that swirl with the tides and moving sands, are perfect for family paddling and exploration. And if you’re a kayaker or SUPer, you need to put this spot on your list (if you haven’t been here already).
For dogs, Currimundi Beach can be summed up with two words: ‘unrestricted access.’ This huge off-leash area is an amazing place to bring your ‘fur kids’ – you’ll all have so much fun that you won’t want to get back in the car for the ride home.