Naturally gorgeous. Unaffectedly relaxed. Understatedly Cool.
Sounds like the profile description of some kind of Instagram influencer, right? Nope. Not even close. Those six words actually do a pretty good job of describing the magnetic village of Coolum on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
Blessed with take-your-breath-away natural beauty, and a super-cool vibe, this Sunny Coast holiday hot spot is still small enough to feel like an old-school beach town while offering everything you could want in a beach holiday… without the excess.
The Coolum township is the perfect blend of sought-after hillside holiday homes, low-rise apartments and indie cafes, all sitting directly across the road from one of the Sunshine Coast’s most popular and most photogenic beaches.
One of those holiday homes is Endeavour Foundation’s latest $1.3 million Prize Home, a former luxury holiday rental.
So, if you need more convincing, or you’re already planning a getaway, here are the coolest things to do and places to eat in Coolum:
he Coolum-based Sunshine Coast Collective Market is not your average market. A collective of local designers, artists, creators, musicians, foodies and vintage lovers, the market is where you’ll find the fruits of the Sunshine Coast’s thriving creative talent. You’ll also find live music, yummy street food, sensational coffee and even a mobile hairdresser in a vintage caravan! Haircut anyone?
The market is on every second and fourth Sunday of each month, from 8.30am till 12.30pm at Coolum State School.
The Coolum boardwalk winds its way up the cliff edge from the Coolum Surf Club up to Point Perry. The short walk is suitable for people of all abilities and has several rest points along the way where you can sit back and enjoy the spectacular view.
The panoramic views up and down the coast from Point Perry are well worth the walk. The point is also a wonderful vantage point for spotting whales in the whale-watching season.
Accessibility: The Coolum Boardwalk has no stairs and is wheelchair friendly. Disabled parking is available in the carpark next to the Surf Club and more parking is available at Point Perry at the top of the boardwalk.
Like moths to a flickering street light, skaters from near and far congregate day and night at the Coolum Skate Park in Tickle Park, next to the surf club. The skate park is almost a tourist attraction in itself, with an impressive line-up of equipment including a thoroughly decent skate bowl, ramps, half pipes and rails. If you have kids, pack the scooters or skateboard (and helmets) and let ’em loose. Even if it’s not your scene, watching the locals in action is an easy and entertaining way to spend half an hour.
Always wondered if you have what it takes to hang ten or carve up a point break? Whether you’re a complete beginner or a weekend warrior wanting to improve your skills, the board members of the Coolum Surf School can help you find your surfing nirvana – whatever that is for you. With Coolum Beach as their classroom, the Surf School offers beginner lessons, private lessons and even corporate or school packages.
If you’re in Coolum, look out for the Coolum Surf School truck parked next to the skate park at Tickle Park or google the Coolum Surf School.
A rocky, 208-metre-high bump in the landscape, Mount Coolum stands out like a sore thumb. However, if you decide to do the climb to the top, it won’t be your thumb that’ll be sore. More likely a few other body parts below the waist.
Like the nearby Glasshouse Mountains, Mount Coolum was formed by molten magma, that cooled and solidified in this place an incredible 26 million years ago. Originally an intrusion covered with a layer of sandstone, over time the sandstone has eroded away to reveal the dome-shaped rock we now know as Mount Coolum.
If you’re headed for the summit, make sure you wear your joggers – thongs don’t really cut it for the climb. Allow 1.5 to 2 hours (depending on how speedy and fit you are) for the return trip to give you some time at the summit to enjoy the panoramic 360-degree views.
If you’re doing the climb in summer, try to avoid walking in the middle of the day because once you’re on your way up, there is little to no shade until you get back down. The rocky steps and summit can get blistering hot in the heat of the day.
Dawn, however, is a spectacular time of day to do the climb. Time it right, and you will be rewarded with the most spectacular sunrise when you reach the top.
And remember, like all National Parks, leave nothing behind other than your footsteps.
Accessibility: The 1.6km track is not accessible by wheelchairs and is suitable for fit walkers only. For nearby wheelchair-friendly walks, try the Coolum boardwalk or the first section of the Noosa Coastal Walk in the Noosa National Park.
You can’t have a Coolum dining out list without mentioning this beachside institution. Celebrating its 100th birthday in 2019, the Coolum Surf Club is Coolum. Home to the surf carnivals of the 60s that helped to put the town on the map, the Coolum Surf Club is now making a name for itself with fab food and hospitality.
Recognised in several categories at the Clubs Queensland Awards for Excellence, Coolum gives you everything you want from a surf club and more. Coolum’s only dining option on the beach side of the road, the Club offers killer views from its aptly named Beachfront Restaurant and Open Air Beachfront Deck.
If you’d like to get ready for when you could be living in Coolum (at least part time) in your new $1.3 million Coolum beach house, you can join the Surf Club and become a bona fide local for just $10 per year. Your membership will also give you discounts on food and drinks and a birthday voucher. #winning.
Accessibility: The upper floor of the club (where the main dining and gaming areas can be found) is accessible via a lift near the front entry.
With a simple mantra of ‘eat good, feel great’, Raw Energy is a favourite amongst Coolum locals and holiday-makers alike. Famous for their flavour and nutrient dense energy bowls, all day breakfasts and gourmet burgers, the café serves the hungry hoards seven days a week.
Accessibility: Raw Energy is wheelchair friendly with a spacious, dedicated dining area located centrally on Coolum’s main shopping strip.
Stepping it up a notch is Canteen Kitchen & Bar, at the southern end of the Coolum strip. On the ground floor of The Beach Retreat complex opposite the Coolum boardwalk, the twinkling fairly lights of Canteen attract diners for a special night out year-round. The restaurant is also well-known for serving up a mean brunch menu including specials like the Mooloolaba King Prawn omelette or millennial classics like smashed avo with feta.
Accessibility: Canteen is wheelchair friendly with easy access from the passing footpath and plenty of room to settle in for a leisurely meal.
Spice up your life with a trip to Mexico at Mexicola Cantina on Beach Road Coolum. Serving up authentic Mexican to a happy crowd this place has a real buzz on a Friday and Saturday night. Book ahead or prepare to wait for a table.
Accessibility: This cosy restaurant is at street level with no steps, just a few metres from the intersection of Beach Road and David Low Way.
This vegan and paleo friendly café focusses on creating delicious, organic ‘living foods’ to nourish healthy bodies and healthy lifestyles. The entire menu including nut milks, breads, wraps, crackers and sweet treats are all made fresh on site at the café.
Accessibility: You’ll find the wheelchair friendly New Earth Organic Café in the courtyard behind the florist on Birtwill Street Coolum.
At the northern end of the Coolum strip on David Low Way, the Coolum Beach Hotel is a local favourite. Arguably the most kid-friendly spot in town, the hotel has a dedicated, indoor kids play area with two big movie screens and an indoor playground. You can even keep an eye on your little cherubs playing while you enjoy a peaceful dinner thanks to the dedicated monitor in the bistro that’s especially hooked up to show the kids room.
Accessibility: With disabled parking available in an on-site carpark behind the hotel via Birtwill Street, wheelchair access to the hotel is convenient and easy.
Gelato? Did someone say gelato? This colourful, family-owned shop in the middle of Coolum’s shopping strip on David Low Way is filled with a rainbow of gelato flavours made fresh in store. In the summer months, there can be a line out the door as sticky beach goers come to cool off with a generous helping of their favourite flavour. With vegan and gluten-free sorbet options there is a flavour for everyone.
Accessibility: Gelato must indeed be enjoyed by all so thankfully Yum Gelato is easily accessible.
Coolum sits at the northern end of the Sunshine Coast, just 20 minutes north of Maroochydore and 20 minutes south of Noosa Heads.
From Brisbane, you can travel the 119 kilometres to Coolum up the M1 in about a 90-minute drive.
Coolum shares its 4573 postcode with the other beachside communities of Yaroomba to the south, and Peregian Beach and Marcus Beach to the north. Take a lazy drive along the coast road (David Low Way) and you can discover the best of these communities as well as the spectacular coastal scenery.
Aboriginal legend says that in the dreamtime, Coolum was a young warrior who was in love with a beautiful girl called Maroochy.
However, a fearsome warrior called Ninderry, had different ideas, and one day, when Coolum was out hunting, Ninderry stole Maroochy for himself. When Coolum came home and realised what had happened, he traced Ninderry’s tracks to where they were camped and, after Ninderry fell asleep, he crept in and rescued Maroochy.
Ninderry woke to discover that Maroochy was missing. He furiously tracked them down and threw a ‘nulla’ (a club) at Coolum, knocking off his head, which rolled into the sea and became Mudjimba Island.
Coolum’s headless body turned into stone where it lay, becoming Mount Coolum.
Our latest Prize Home on the Sunshine Coast is positioned right in the thick of the action at Coolum Beach. Just 450metres from the beach, the $1.3 million home is perfectly positioned to be your holiday home or your forever home, whatever you decide. But you’ve got to be in it to win it so grab a couple of tickets today.