6 Caloundra Beaches you simply have to visit in 2024!

Best coastal holiday hot spots in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland


6 main Caloundra Beaches to visit on holiday this year


Table of Contents

Welcome to my Tourist Visitor Guide to the best Caloundra Beaches on the Sunshine Coast. To ensure this post is easy for you to read I have arranged it into the sections below:

1. Introduction
2. Where is Caloundra?
3. How to get to Caloundra Beaches
4. Best Time To Visit Caloundra Beaches
5. Best Caloundra Beaches?
6. Things to do at Caloundra Beaches
7. Caloundra Accommodation
8. Where to Eat at Caloundra
9. Final Thought
10. FAQs

This guide to the best Caloundra beaches is quite extensive, so I hope you keep on reading until the end! If you do, I hope you will be sufficiently inspired to check out this fantastic part of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland in the not too distant future.

(My post about Caloundra beaches may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you).

Read Time: 10 Minutes



If you are considering a Queensland holiday on the Sunshine Coast, then make sure you include Caloundra Beaches on your short list.

Situated just over 100km from Brisbane, Caloundra was recently named Queensland’s top tourist town.

Attracting families, couples and groups of mates from all over Australia, it is a laid-back coastal town that comprises gorgeous sandy beaches, plenty of top surfing spots and lots of green space to relax and take in superb views of the Coral Sea.

In this post, I’ll provide an overview of the six main Caloundra Beaches you can visit. If you are looking for somewhere to enjoy a mental recharge and soak in some rejuvenating vitamin D, these are the places to head to.


All Caloundra beaches are easy to get to via several different forms of transportation.


Where is Caloundra?

Caloundra is situated at the southern end of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, about an hour and 20 minute drive north of Brisbane and around a 30 minute drive south from Maroochydore, which is the main CBD of the Sunshine Coast.

The coastal suburb has a population of just under 4000 permanent residents and is named after the headland, Caloundra Head, which is situated in Kings Beach. It sits on land traditionally owned by the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara peoples and derives its name from the words ‘kal/owen’ which means beech tree and ‘dha’, which means place in the Kabi language.


Caloundra distance to other Sunshine Coast Beaches

  • Kawana Beach (13km)
  • Mooloolaba Beach (17km)
  • Alexandra Headland (19km)
  • Maroochydore Beach (20km)
  • Mudjimba Beach (29km)
  • Coolum Beach (38km)
  • Peregian Beach (44km)
  • Sunshine Beach (53km)
  • Alexandria Bay (55km)
  • Noosa Main Beach (59km)
  • Tea Tree Bay (60km)
  • Little Cove Noosa Heads (60km)
  • Noosa North Shore (62km)
  • How to get to Caloundra Beaches

    All Caloundra beaches are easy to get to via several different forms of transportation. The easiest way is by driving and you will find plenty of free parking spots at most of them, typically offering anywhere from 2-hour paid parking to free all-day parking.

    Depending on where you are coming from, you may need to take the M1, Sunshine Motorway, Nicklin Way or any one of several other roads. Your best bet to get to the particular beach of your choice is to use a Sat Nav app like Waze or Google Maps. That said, all of the Caloundra Beaches are well sign posted, so you should not have too much trouble getting there.

    If you don’t have access to a car, Translink runs several buses a day to all of the beaches in Caloundra from various other parts of the Sunshine Coast. Some of their routes will drop you at stops that give you direct beach access. You can use their bus journey planner to find out the most convenient option for you.

    For those who would rather cycle, you will find bike racks at most of the beaches, while taxis and Ubers are plentiful in the area.


    View of Kings Beach Caloundra Sunshine Coast in Queensland
    Kings Beach in Caloundra


    Best Time To Visit Caloundra Beaches

    As the Sunshine Coast is an area you can visit all year round, you can head to any of the Caloundra Beaches whenever you want!

    During the summer months of December and February, they will naturally be at their busiest. The weather will also be at its hottest, with temperatures regularly exceeding 30+ degrees Celsius and humidity often being above 60%. So, at these times make sure you slip, slop, slap, seek and slide.

    Generally speaking, weekends and school holidays are busier than week days and term time. For this reason, you might want to time your visit to coincide with the shoulder seasons either side of summer. In particular, the months of October and November and March and April (outside of Easter) are usually defined by pleasant weather and less in the way of crowds.

    While the water might be a bit chilly for some to swim in the winter months, on sunny days all of the Caloundra Beaches make lovely spots to soak up some much needed vitamin D.


    Kings Beach is a classic coastal holiday destination which is blessed with a relaxed and modern feel.


    Best Caloundra Beaches?

    Overall there are six excellent beaches in Caloundra you can visit for a Sunshine Coast day trip or Queensland beach holiday. They are as follows:

    Bulcock Beach

    Lying along the Sunshine Coast’s southern shoreline, Bulcock Beach is a family-friendly beach that presents superb views of Bribie Island.

    Boasting warm waters that flow southwards towards the Pumicestone Passage, this scenic area is a terrific spot for fishing and swimming and fishing. Visitors can also relax on shady benches and picnic tables which line the viewing platform opposite the esplanade.

    Overall, this beach paradise is perfect for those who want to spend plenty of time in the Coral Sea. The translucent water, comely stretch of bronzed sand and lively oceanfront boardwalk render it an excellent Queensland holiday destination.

    The river inlet, is a fabulous place to cool down on a hot, sunny day, while taking in wonderful views of the Glass House Mountains behind you and Bribie Island in front of you. Eating fish and chips here is also a must, which you can enjoy beneath the permanent umbrellas and picnic tables that reside on the esplanade.


    Dicky Beach

    One of the best of all Caloundra Beaches is undoubtedly Dicky Beach. Located on a pristine stretch of sun-kissed white sand, this beach is around 2km from downtown Caloundra.
    It was named after SS Dicky, an iron ship which ran aground back in 1892 during a cyclone. Subsequent attempts to relaunch the vessel were unsuccessful, so it became a makeshift dance hall. Unfortunately, when a kerosene lantern was knocked over during one event, it was completely gutted by fire.

    Today, Dicky Beach has plenty to offer beach lovers. Children love to splash around in the Coral Sea here and build sandcastles on the shoreline, while the beach is also a good one for walking.

    Nearby, you will also find a good selection of shops, restaurants and other services.


    Golden Beach

    Directly looking out to the scenic waterway of the Pumicestone Passage is Golden Beach. One of the more popular Caloundra Beaches to visit, it is a fabulous place to chill out and drink in the superb scenery of the Sunshine Coast region.

    If you are into boating, fishing and swimming, you should enjoy your time at Golden Beach, as the water is a lot more calmer than at other surfing beaches in Caloundra. Moreover, it has a huge greenspace with plenty of public amenities, while its shallow waterways and sandy flats attract plenty of migratory birds at low tide.

    For those into boating, there are top notch boat ramps where you can launch your vessel. You will also find a good amount of parking and a picturesque coastal walkway which will take you through a beautiful part of Caloundra, during which time you will pass plenty of shaded bbq areas.


    Click this image to see my YouTube video about all the beaches on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland
    (Click this image to see my YouTube video about all the beaches on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland!)


    Kings Beach

    Kings Beach is a classic coastal holiday destination which is blessed with a relaxed and modern feel. As a popular destination for both local residents and Sunshine Coast holidaymakers, it has been a notable local landmark since the 1960s.

    Of all the Caloundra Beaches to visit, Kings Beach offers the widest variety of activities. Most notable among them is a superb swimming pool that resides directly on the waterfront and a play water fountain that kids just love!

    There are plenty of rock pools at the beach, as well as a gentle beach break that provides a protected swim area. The area is also lined with plenty of shops and accommodates the Kings Beach Surf Life Saving Club, which had the honour in 2015 of being named the best in Queensland. Its buzzy ambience, great food and super location, always makes it a fabulous place to visit.


    Moffat Beach

    Moffat Beach is a little bit removed from other Caloundra Beaches, which is possibly why it seems to have a more distinctive vibe than the rest.

    While Moffat Beach has been a popular destination for day-trippers from Brisbane and Sunshine Coast locals for quite a while now, it remained largely off the radar of out-of-state or international tourists until recently.

    However, now that it has some decent holiday accommodation options, the secret is out about one of the best beaches in Queensland.

    Currently, Moffat Beach has a reputation for being a top get-away-from-it-all spot. It’s laid back ambience and tranquil, tree-lined, sandy landscape, appeals to visitors who want to enjoy some R&R away from dense tourist crowds.


    Shelly Beach

    Of all the Caloundra Beaches to visit on the Sunshine Coast, Shelly Beach is probably the one that gets mentioned the least.

    The fact that it is unpatrolled and therefore not suitable for swimming, and has no shops in the immediate vicinity (though there are toilets) might put families off. However, it is a beautiful and peaceful spot to relax, often with only the odd seagull for company.

    The view of the Coral Sea and beautiful stretch of white sand here is very idyllic. Its also a good beach for dog walking between May and October as your four-legged friend can run off-lease between 4 pm and 8 am.

    One of the best reasons to visit Shelly Beach is because of its rock pools, which are ankle-deep and teem with all sorts of marine life. Make sure you take the time to explore them to see the rose barnacles, blue periwinkles and black sea cucumbers that live in the rock pool waters.


    Caloundra distance to other Queensland Destinations

  • Redcliffe (70km)
  • Gympie (95km)
  • Brisbane (103km)
  • Ipswich (131km)
  • Surfer's Paradise (170km)
  • Maryborough (180km)
  • Toowoomba (204km)
  • Childers (237km)
  • Warwick (245km)
  • Miriam Vale (390km)
  • Gladstone (459km)
  • Rockhampton (560km)
  • Yeppoon (600km)
  • Things to do at Caloundra Beaches

    Between them, all of the Caloundra Beaches offer good opportunities for swimming, fishing, sunbathing, beachcombing, picnics and a range of water sports activities, including kayaking, canoeing, jet-skiing and stand-up paddleboarding.

    However, if you want some time away from the beach there are plenty of other things you can do. Both Viator and Get Your Guide offer a range of tours and excursions you might be interested in.

    Here is a selection of some of their most notable ones.

    Private Group Wine Tour with Lunch: Love wine or cider? This tour allows you to enjoy an excellent selection of both as it takes you to some of the most scenic places in and around the main Caloundra beaches.

    Caloundra Twister: Take a thrilling 90-minute jet ski tour from Caloundra to Moreton Bay Marine Park.

    Sunshine Coast: Camels, Gin, and Beer Guided Tour: Explore the wonders of the Sunshine Coast by visiting an organically certified camel dairy. You’ll get to cuddle camels, check out a sustainable brewery, discover how vodka and gin are made and enjoy a delicious lunch.

    Sunshine Coast Scavenger Hunt: Embark on a fascinating self-guided tour of discovery around the main Caloundra beaches. You’ll uncover hidden gems and visit notable landmarks including lighthouses. You’ll also be able to take plenty of photos of the coastline.

    Australia Zoo Entry Ticket and Transfer: Visit the world famous Australia Zoo to see a huge range of animals including crocodiles, kangaroos, cassowaries, echidnas and komodo dragons. Enjoy educational talks about, and interactive activities with, selected animals.


    Shelly Beach View at Caloundra on Sunshine Coast in Queensland
    Shelly Beach in Caloundra


    Caloundra Accommodation

    Whether it be overnight or for a longer period, you’ll find plenty of places to stay during your visit in Caloundra. This part of the Sunshine Coast comprises plenty of resorts, the odd hotel and lots of holiday units and rentals and outlined below is a small selection of some nice places you can stay at.

    That said, you can search through all of the Caloundra tourist accommodation providers here.


    Ocean Views Resort

    The Ramada Resort by Wyndham Golden Beach

    If you are planning to stay in Golden Beach the Ramada Resort by Wyndham is a very good choice.

    This laidback apartment hotel is just one block back from a good range of cafes and shops and also offers comfortable rooms with balconies and a terrific swimming pool.


    Nightcap at Golden Beach Tavern

    Not far from the Ramada is the Nightcap at Golden Beach Tavern.

    As well as providing an excellent food and drink venue, the tavern also offers impressive rooms with private bathrooms, free WI-FI, a balcony and an outdoor swimming pool.


    Rumba Beach Resort

    Offering superb views of the Glass House Mountains and Pumicestone Passage the Moffat Beach Motel Caloundra

    If you want to stay near the best of all the Caloundra Beaches, then the Moffat Beach Motel Caloundra is the place for you.

    It is only 450 metres from the sand, so you will easily be able to walk there in a couple of minutes. Additionally, the motel presents private, air-conditioned rooms that each have balconies. The property also offers free Wi-Fi and has a lovely outdoor swimming pool and a bbq area complete with outdoor seats.


    As it is located in the tropics, Wonga Beach is a destination you can visit all year round.


    Where to Eat at Caloundra

    When you are considering where to eat in Caloundra, you really are spoilt for choice. Most of the Caloundra Beaches, with the exception of Shelly Beach and to a lesser extend Dicky Beach are backed by a terrific selection of food and drink options.

    Whether you are looking for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, here are a selection of places you might want to check out.


    Amici Restaurant & Pizzeria

    Located on Bulcock Street, Amici Restaurant & Pizzeria do an excellent range of gourmet and classic pizzas and authentic pasta dishes that nona would approve of.


    Greedy Gringo

    Nestled on the main esplanade in Caloundra, Greedy Gringo serves up a superb range of dishes including vegan tacos, delicious burrito bowls, burritos and other Mexican sides.


    Kings Beach Bar

    If you are after absolute beachfront dining, then it is hard to beat the Kings Beach Bar. Directly overlooking the water, you can order everything here from an all day breakfast to spicy margaritas. The vibe is always good here and the views are amazing.


    Pocket Espresso Bar

    Over at Moffat Beach, Pocket Espresso Bar not only does amazing coffee but also some inventive mains that will blow you away.

    If you like the sound of a crispy eggplant burger and Turkish eggs with a herb and garlic butter then you’ll revel in the menu here.


    Kings Beach Surf Club

    For those wanting to eat at a surf club, the Kings Beach Surf Club is a brilliant option.

    Offering great views of the Coral Sea, they have a lovely dining space here where you can eat classic dishes like fish and chips, steaks, parmis and burgers. There is usually some entertainment on offer as well as TV screens showing sport and a TAB.

    Flight times to Sunshine Coast Airport (MCY) from other cities

  • Sydney, NSW (1 hour 35 minutes)
  • Melbourne, VIC (2 hours 15 minutes)
  • Adelaide, SA (2 hours 30 minutes)
  • Auckland, NZ (3 hours)
  • Albury, NSW (2 hours)
  • Avalon, VIC (2 hours 20 minutes)
  • Cairns, QLD (2 hours)
  • Darwin, NT (3 hours 50 minutes)
  • Launceston, TAS (2 hours 40 minutes)
  • Mackay, QLD (1 hour 25 minutes)
  • Mildura, VIC (2 hours 15 minutes)
  • Newcastle, NSW (1 hour 30 minutes)
  • Townsville, QLD (1 hour 45 minutes)
  • Final Thought

    If you are looking for a place to rest, relax and have some fun in the sun, any of the six Caloundra Beaches identified on this list are worth heading to.

    Each of them offers a different experience. So, whether you want to go swimming or surfing, enjoy a meal or a nice beach walk or even just sunbathe on your towel, there is a perfect place for your to go to in this paradisaical Sunshine Coast tourist region.


    Extended view of Dicky Beach Caloundra Sunshine Coast
    Dicky Beach in Caloundra



    Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Caloundra Beaches.


    How many Caloundra Beaches are there?

    Overall, there are six main Caloundra Beaches. They include Bulcock Beach, Dicky Beach, Golden Beach, Kings Beach, Moffat Beach and Shelly Beach.


    What is the best Caloundra beach to visit?

    It is hard to say what is the best Caloundra beach to visit because they each offer something different. For instance, Bulcock Beach and Kings Beach are terrific spots that have nice stretches of beaches and lots of food options. By contrast, Shelly Beach is a great place to completely switch off and relax, while Moffat Beach is a lovely place to take your dog for a walk. Ultimately, the best Caloundra beach is a matter of personal choice that relates to which one satisfies what you are looking for most.

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