Coolum Beach: Best Visitors Guide 2024 (UPDATED)

Brilliant Sunshine Coast Holiday Destination for couples and families


Coolum Beach Visitors Guide


Table of Contents

Interested in Coolum Beach? Then please check out my post about this fabulous Sunshine Coast holiday destination in Queensland. To make it easier for you to follow, below is how the post has been structured.

1. Introduction
2. Where is Coolum Beach?
3. Beach facilities at Coolum Beach
4. Things To Do At Coolum Beach
5. Shops at Coolum
6. Best time to visit Coolum Beach
7. How to Get to Coolum Beach
8. Hotels at Coolum Beach
9. Where To Eat at Coolum Beach
10. Coffee
11. FAQs

After reading the article I hope you will plan to visit this spectacular Australia beach destination!

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

Read Time: 9 Minutes



Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast is a terrific destination for your next Queensland family holiday.

With its spotless beach, spectacular coastal views and wide range of outdoor activities, Coolum Beach has developed a reputation in recent years for being one of the best Sunshine Coast beaches to visit.

Offering something that will appeal to every tourist, the picturesque destination facilitates a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Whether that be sunbathing, surfing, exploring the surroundings, walking along its boardwalk or simply unwinding and enjoying the laid-back beach lifestyle.

In this guide, I’ll showcase the best things to see and do in Coolum, as well as highlight the top accommodation, dining and shopping options.

So get ready to experience the beauty and charm of this fabulous Queensland beach town!


Coolum Beach offers a range of beach facilities to enhance any visitor’s beach day experience.


Where is Coolum Beach?

Coolum Beach is situated on the Sunshine Coast, about an hour and 15 minutes drive north of Brisbane on the Bruce Highway.

It makes a nice alternative destination to visit from the likes of Noosa Main Beach, Alexandra Headlands, Mooloolaba Beach and Maroochydore Beach, which are all between a 20 and 30 minute drive away.


Distance from Coolum Beach to Other Destinations

  • Brisbane 130km
  • Mooloolaba 25km
  • Noosa 31km
  • Surfer's Paradise 1841km
  • Cairns 1605km
  • Mackay 877km
  • Sydney 1030km
  • Melbourne 1897km
  • Adelaide 2121km
  • Perth 4403km
  • Beach Facilities at Coolum Beach

    Coolum Beach offers a range of beach facilities to enhance any visitor’s beach day experience.

    The sand is patrolled by professional lifeguards, ensuring visitors can swim safely in the ocean. There are also plenty of picnic tables, barbecues and toilet facilities located on the foreshore. Thus, making it an ideal spot for families and friends to gather for a beachside meal.

    For those looking for a bit of adventure, there are several water sports activities available, including surfing, stand-up paddleboarding and kiteboarding. Additionally, several nearby cafes and restaurants provide an opportunity to enjoy a meal or a refreshing drink while taking in the stunning ocean views.

    Overall, the beach facilities at Coolum cater to visitors of all ages and interests. For this reason, it is a splendid destination for anyone looking to enjoy a fun-filled day at the beach.


    Coolum Beach Coastline on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia


    Things To Do At Coolum Beach

    There are plenty of things to see and do during your time at Coolum Beach. One of the most popular activities is, of course, spending time on the beach, swimming in the ocean, surfing the waves, or simply lounging in the sun.

    However, if you are looking to do a bit of exploring, Coolum has a number of operators who will rent out equipment like stand-up paddleboards, surfboards and kiteboards that will enable you to explore the coastline.

    If you would prefer to do this on dry land there is also a scenic coastal walking trail you can traverse that offers breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding hinterland. Be sure to have your Android or Smartphone at the ready, as there are plenty of Insta-worthy photo opportunities waiting to be taken.

    A little bit away from the beach at Coolum, another popular attraction is the nearby Mount Coolum National Park, which offers hiking trails that lead to the summit, providing more panoramic views of the area.


    The best time to visit Coolum Beach depends on the type of experience you’re looking for.


    Shops at Coolum

    Away from the sand, Coolum offers a range of boutique shops, fashion stores and speciality shops to cater to visitors’ shopping needs.

    For fashionistas, there are several chic clothing boutiques that offer trendy beachwear, resort wear and casual clothing for both men and women. Visitors can also find unique handmade jewellery, homeware, artworks and gifts. Additionally, there are several surf shops that offer a range of surf gear and accessories, including boards, wetsuits and beach essentials.

    For those looking to stock up on supplies, there are also several supermarkets and convenience stores located in the town. Coolum Beach also has a vibrant street market scene, with a weekly twilight market that features local artisanal products, street food and live entertainment.


    Things to do in Coolum Beach

  • Swimming
  • Surfing in Coolum Beach
  • Beach Walking
  • Fishing
  • Paddleboarding
  • Explore nearby bays
  • Photography
  • Sunbathing
  • Build Sandcastles
  • Check out Mount Coolum
  • Best Time to Visit Coolum Beach

    The best time to visit Coolum Beach depends on the type of experience you’re looking for.

    Coolum has a subtropical climate, which means that it’s warm and sunny for most of the year, making it an ideal destination for those wanting a Queensland Beach Holiday.

    The summer months, from December to February, are the busiest time of the year, with warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine. However, this is also the peak tourist season, so the beaches and attractions can get quite crowded.

    The shoulder seasons of spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) offer a more relaxed experience with fewer crowds, mild temperatures and pleasant Coolum Beach weather. While the winter months of June to August are the coolest months, though temperatures rarely drop below 10°C, making it a great time to explore the area’s many attractions without the crowds.


    Coral Sea at Coolum Beach Sunshine Coast


    How to Get to Coolum Beach

    Should you fancy a day at this fabulous Sunshine Coast beach, there are several ways to get to there depending on your starting point.

    If you’re arriving by air, the nearest airport is the Sunshine Coast Airport, which is located approximately 10 kilometres south of Coolum Beach in the suburb of Marcoola. From the airport, you can take a taxi, shuttle bus or hire a car to reach Coolum Beach.

    Those driving from Brisbane should take the Bruce Highway north and exit at the Sunshine Motorway. Follow the signs to Coolum Beach, which is approximately a 1-hour and 15-minute drive from Queensland’s state capital.

    For those intending to travel by bus, several services run from Brisbane. Additionally, local buses from various parts of the Sunshine Coast operate regularly as well.

    The closest train station to Coolum is Nambour. From there, you can take a bus or taxi.

    Once you arrive at Coolum, you’ll find the main strip of shops and restaurants located just off the main beach.


    Coolum Beach is highly regarded for its burgeoning dining scene, comprising various options to suit all tastes and budgets.


    Hotels at Coolum Beach

    Coolum has a variety of hotels and resorts to choose from, catering to different budgets and preferences.

    If you are looking for Coolum Beach accommodation for your next Queensland beach holiday, here are some of the best places to stay there. You can click here to or make a reservation at any of them.

    The Point Coolum: This luxury resort offers spacious apartments with stunning ocean views. It is situated on a hilltop and counts a heated swimming pool, spa and fitness centre among its amenities.

    Pandanus Coolum Beach: This family-friendly resort offers a range of accommodation options, including self-contained apartments and villas. The resort features a swimming pool, terrace and a barbecue area, making it an ideal destination for families and groups.

    Element on Coolum Beach: This boutique hotel offers spacious, modern apartments with private balconies and is located on prime Coolum Beach real estate just a few steps away from the beach. The hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the coastline.

    Coolum Beach Getaway Resort: This budget-friendly resort offers self-contained apartments with kitchenettes and is located just a short walk from the beach. The resort features two swimming pools, a barbecue area and a games room, making it an ideal option for families and budget-conscious travellers.

    Coolum Beach Holiday Park: The best Coolum Beach camping option can be found right near the beach at the holiday park. It is very well equipped with hot showers, bathroom facilities and a range of other amenities. It also has big spaces to park your RVs and very good BBQ facilities.


    Coolum Beach Cafes and Restaurants

  • Raw Energy
  • Coolum Beach Hotel
  • Harvest
  • My Place
  • Coolum Thai Spice
  • Where To Eat at Coolum Beach

    This part of the Sunshine Coast is highly regarded for its burgeoning dining scene, comprising various Coolum Beach restaurants and cafes to suit all tastes and budgets.

    Here are some of the dining options for your Coolum Beach holiday you should check out whilst there:

    Raw Energy: Raw Energy is a great option for visitors looking for a clean eating option. The health-conscious cafe offers plenty of vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options. It is serves up a great range fresh juices and smoothies too.

    Coolum Beach Hotel: An institution in Coolum, this historic pub offers a range of classic pub meals, as well as a modern Australian menu featuring fresh local seafood and seasonal produce. The pub also has a range of craft beers on tap, making it a great spot for a casual meal or a drink with friends.

    Harvest: For those wanting a more upscale experience, this restaurant offers top-notch food. It is located in a beautiful heritage-listed building that offers splendid coastal views.

    My Place: This popular cafe offers a range of breakfast and lunch options, including eggs benedict, burgers and salads. It is a great spot for a casual meal or a coffee and is known for its friendly service and relaxed atmosphere.

    Coolum Thai Spice: An authentic Thai restaurant that offers a delicious range of traditional Thai dishes, including curries, stir-fries and noodles. The restaurant is known for its flavourful and aromatic dishes and is a great option for visitors looking for international cuisine.


    View of beach at Coral Sea Sunshine Coast



    Coolum has a thriving coffee culture, with many cafes and coffee shops serving up delicious brews. Here are some of the most notable places to get coffee in Coolum Beach:

    Compound Surf and Espresso: This trendy coffee shop is a popular spot among locals and visitors alike. They serve up delicious coffee using beans from local roasters, as well as a range of sweet and savoury treats.

    Canteen Coffee: A funky cafe is known for its excellent coffee, friendly service and cool vibes. They offer a range of espresso-based drinks, as well as filter coffee and cold brew.

    My Place: The popular cafe not only offers delicious meals but also has top-notch coffee. They use speciality coffee beans and have a range of brewing methods, including pour-over and cold drip.

    The Colombian Coffee Co: As its name suggests, this coffee shop specialises in Colombian coffee, sourcing its beans directly from Colombia. They serve up a range of espresso-based drinks, as well as filter coffee and cold brew.

    Raw Energy: This health-conscious cafe also serves up great coffee using organic beans, as well as a range of healthy snacks and meals.



    How Far Is Coolum Beach from Brisbane?

    Coolum Beach is located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, approximately 130 km from the CBD in Brisbane. It will take you about 90 minutes to drive there, mostly on the Bruce Highway.


    Can you swim at Coolum Beach?

    This Sunshine Coast beach is patrolled year round by Coolum Beach surf lifesavers so it is a popular spot for swimming. Like any beach though you'll need to exercise caution as there are rips in the ocean on occasion.


    Is Coolum better than Caloundra?

    While Coolum has the feel of a small, intimate coastal town, Caloundra is a lot more spread out. In terms of beaches, Coolum's stretches for miles, making it perfect for long beach walks. By contrast Caloundra comprises several beaches dotted around headlands. Coolum Beach is probably better if you fancy a relaxing beach day, although Caloundra offers various changes of scene, so you can visit their more regularly.


    Is Coolum Beach better than Noosa?

    The beach at Coolum is the perfect spot for sunbathing, beach walking and generally relaxing. The beaches of Noosa offer this too, although has the added benefit of boutique shopping, bushwalking and better nightlife. You are more likely to find a free parking space at Coolum as well.


    Is Coolum Beach family-friendly

    Coolum is a very family-friendly beach to visit on the Sunshine Coast as it offers safe swimming, a wide beach to relax on and several accommodation options. The area also has lots of shops, cafes and restaurants and there are decent parking options available too. As Coolum Beach is not known for its nightlife, much of the action happens during the day, which adds to the appeal for families.

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