Mooloolaba Beach: Best Visitors Guide 2024 (UPDATED)
Table of Contents
This article about visiting Mooloolaba Beach on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland is quite long. So to make it easier for you to follow I have added a table of contents. If you want to navigate immediately to a specific section simply click below on the relevant link:
2. About Mooloolaba Beach
3. Where is Mooloolaba?
4. Facilities at Mooloolaba Beach
5. Mooloolaba Beach Holiday Attractions
6. Mooloolaba Tours
7. Shops at Mooloolaba Esplanade
8. Events at Mooloolaba Beach
9. Best Time To Visit Mooloolaba Beach
10. Getting There
11. Mooloolaba Beach Accommodation
12. Where to Eat in Mooloolaba Beach
14. Sunrise and Sunsets
Once you’ve read this post, I hope it will have motivated you to book a coastal vacation in this beautiful Sunshine Coast beach town.
How does a Mooloolaba Beach Sunshine Coast Holiday sound to you?
Well, if you haven’t previously considered it, then perhaps it’s time to give it some thought because there are several compelling reasons to visit Mooloolaba Beach.
Recently voted the sixth best beach in Australia by Tripadvisor, Mooloolaba Beach is known as one of the best places for a family beach holiday in Queensland.
Its gorgeous stretch of white sugar sand is also one of the safest and most beautiful of Australia’s beaches on the Sunshine Coast and you can access it within a two-minute walk from most of the waterfront accommodation providers that line its Esplanade.
An easy destination to get to, either by car or flight to the Sunshine Coast airport, Mooloolaba is home to some of the best Australia Beach Resorts you could possibly hope to stay at. It is also situated very close to several other fantastic beaches on the Sunshine Coast, including Alexandra Headlands, Maroochydore and Kawana.
It also has excellent cafes and restaurants, fabulous coffee culture and funky boutique shops and is a popular honeymoon spot.
When not sunbathing, you can enjoy a number of tours on your Mooloolaba Holiday. This includes swimming with whales, a scuba diving expedition to the sunken ruins of the ex-HMAS Brisbane, or a romantic sunset canal cruise.
You can even check out world-class attractions like SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast, while the internationally renowned Australia Zoo and Eumundi Markets are within easy driving distance.
Overall, this fabulous tourist destination vibe is relaxed and very family-friendly, which is a major part of its charm.
So, with Covid-19 restrictions well and truly over, there is no better time to start planning your holiday in Mooloolaba.
Stretching for about 1.7 km, Mooloolaba Beach is a truly spectacular Australian beach to look at. It is also very well maintained by the Sunshine Coast Council, so its sand is always pristine.
As anyone on a Mooloolaba Beach Queensland holiday will tell you, its idyllic white sands make it one of the most popular Sunshine Coast beaches.
Patrolled every day of the year in two main spots, the beach features a gentle sweep of pristine white sand, aquamarine waters and lush grassy knolls.
Lying in the sheltered side of Point Cartwright, it is a terrific holiday beach in Queensland for swimming, surfing, body or surfboarding and many other beach and ocean activities.
As there is plenty of protection from the prevailing southerly and southeasterly winds, it offers near-perfect conditions all year round for tourists who love the ocean.
Stretching for about 1.7 km, Mooloolaba Beach on the Sunshine Coast is a truly spectacular Australian beach to look at. It is also very well maintained by the local council, so its sand is always pristine.
While plenty of swells keep surfers entertained, one of the best features of this stunning QLD beach is the fascinating rock pools at its northern end. They will hold any holidaymaker’s attention for hours, while good fishing can be found by the rock wall near the Mooloolaba Spit area.
There is also an excellent boardwalk to stroll on, which will take you directly from the Surf Club to the rock wall and Mooloolaba Spit. In addition, a coastal pathway will lead you from Mooloolaba Beach to Alexandra Headland and up to Maroochydore Beach – a combined round trip distance of about 10 km, during which you will be able to take in spectacular views of the coastline.
Within the last year, the Mooloolaba Foreshore underwent a major multi-million pound upgrade, which has firmly entrenched its position as one of Australia’s best Queensland holiday destinations.
Driving Times: Mooloolaba from:
- Brisbane (1 hour 15 minutes)
- Maroochydore (5 minutes)
- Caloundra (20 minutes)
- Nambour (25 minutes)
- Noosa (40 minutes)
- Gympie (60 minnutes)
You’ll find Mooloolaba is located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, along the east coast of Australia.
It is about 100km north of Brisbane and is a 5-minute drive from the main town of Maroochydore, where the Sunshine Plaza shopping centre is based.
The Coral Sea bounds Mooloolaba on its east side and the Mooloolah River on its south side. Towards its north lies Alexandra Headland and to the west is Buderim.
Its stunning location, sitting on a spit of land between a marina on the Mooloolah River and the beautiful beaches of the Pacific Ocean, makes it brilliant choice for a Queensland Australia holiday.
As mentioned previously, the foreshore area recently underwent a multi-million-pound upgrade.
This means there are plenty of facilities and amenities for visitors to make use of during their Mooloolaba holiday.
This includes a number of toilet areas, such as the iconic ‘Loo With A View’, as well as plenty of BBQs, picnic tables and other seating areas to prepare and eat food in.
There are also five children’s playgrounds for the little ones to enjoy, which is more than most Sunshine Coast beaches have, as well as lots of grassy hillsides to spread out a blanket and chill out on.
Not far beyond either end of the Mooloolaba Esplanade can be found outdoor exercise equipment, while a well-defined walking track makes it easy for you to exercise your way to Cotton Tree, with spectacular coastal ocean views all the way.
Two other fairly recent developments at this Queensland coastal resort include the upgrading of a boardwalk that takes you all the way from the Esplanade, through the parklands, to the rock wall at the Spit and a brand new car park on Brisbane road that can accommodate 700 cars. Both of which should significantly enhance your Mooloolaba holiday.
Other major Sunshine Coast attractions you might want to visit include Aussie World, Eumundi Markets, the Big Kart Track, The Ginger Factory and the artistic hinterland area of Montville and Maleny.
Mooloolaba is a coastal paradise, but away from the beach, there are quite a few excellent attractions in, and within easy reach of the suburb to keep you entertained.
One of the best of them is SEA LIFE (formerly known as Underwater World), which you will find in the Wharf Mooloolaba. An award-winning tourist attraction, it showcases 8 unique zones that house thousands of weird and wonderful marine and freshwater animals.
The big thing to do here is dive with sharks. But if this is a bit too scary for you, then just seeing the daily shark feeding is an interesting experience. Other things to do include getting a kiss from a seal or watching the hilarious Seal and Otter show.
Other major Sunshine Coast attractions you might want to visit include Aussie World, Eumundi Markets, the Big Kart Track, the Ginger Factory and the artistic hinterland area of Montville and Maleny. All of which are easily reached with a 30 – 45 minute drive.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can also choose to climb Mount Ngungun, Tibrogargan or Mount Beerwah during your holiday in Mooloolaba. While tremendous views of the sunrise or sunset can be enjoyed from the hugely impressive Wild Horse Mountain lookout and Point Cartwright.
If you are into boats, then Mooloolaba Wharf should be a real drawcard, as there are loads of beautiful sailing vessels to check out here.
Whatever you choose to do during your Mooloolaba Holiday, you are sure to have a lovely time on your coastal vacation.
Top Mooloolaba Tours To Go On
2. Mooloolaba Whale Watching Tour
3. Turtle & Marine Life Tour
4. Mooloolaba Canal Cruise
5. Underwater World Sea Life
6. Kayaking Tours of the coastline
7. Fishing Charters on the Coral Sea
8. Stand-Up Paddleboarding guided tour around Mooloolaba Beach
9. Jet Ski Toursalong the Sunshine Coast's beautiful coastline.
10. Sunset Cruises on the Coral Sea
11. Eco Tours to explore the natural beauty of the Sunshine Coast
12. Bike Tours of the scenic coastal paths
13. Food and Wine Tours
14. Yacht or Sailing Tours
15. Scenic Flights above the Mooloolaba Beach coastline
There are several tours you can choose to do during your Mooloolaba beach Sunshine Coast holiday. Here is a selection of some of the best of them.
During your visit to Mooloolaba Beach, if you are tossing up whether to explore the region by bus or boat then the amphibious Aquaduck is definitely for you!
Lasting for just one hour, it is the perfect way to get your bearings around Mooloolaba’s various streets, waterways, canals and of course its fantastic beach!
During the tour, your friendly guide will relate the fascinating culture and history of the Sunshine Coast while you revel in the fun of journeying in this very cool vehicle. Fun, relaxed and affordable, this tour also rewards children with a captain’s certificate by which to remember it.
Mooloolaba Whale Watching Tour
If you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime Australia holiday experience you will remember forever then consider going on a Mooloolaba Whale Watching Tour.
The sight of the magnificent humpback whales off the beautiful waters of the Sunshine Coast will break you into goosebumps. Taking place during their annual migration, this Queensland tour is only open to 20 people at a time. So you are guaranteed to get an excellent view of it.
You should be able to see the whales both above the water when they burst beyond the surface and also below it when through cutting-edge HD cameras that live stream their aquatic ocean activities.
Best of all you can even hear them singing through a special hydrophone! If you are looking for things to do in Mooloolaba, you should definitely put this excursion on your travel bucketlist!
Turtle & Marine Life Tour
If you love marine life in general, then this Turtle & Marine Life Tour is the Queensland holiday experience for you!
Lasting 90-minutes, this fantastic marine safari gives you the opportunity to spot dolphins, turtles and other creatures around Mudjimba Island
Once a favourite haunt of Sean Connery, this beautiful island is home to a diverse range of species. As well as spotting these animals above the water, you will also be able to check them out below the surface too via state-of-the-art underwater cameras.
This fascinating tour will break you out into goose pimples when you spot the animals on or around the island. You will also be able to take in fantastic views of the coastline and the coral reefs that reside not far off-shore.
If you plan to do a bit of shopping on your Mooloolaba Beach trip then you will love the opportunities available to you on its Esplanade.
Offering a nice mix for the visitor, you will find a good selection of clothing boutiques, which showcase locally made fashion, as well as that from Australia and around the world.
You will also find speciality jewellery stores, art galleries and a sprinkling of speciality stores that sell beautiful gifts and homewares.
Other shops in the surrounding area can be found on First Avenue, Brisbane Road and the Mooloolaba Wharf.
In December the Mooloolaba Christmas Boat Parade is a spectacular event, whilst the New Year’s Eve in Mooloolaba end-of-year finale is quite the party!
Mooloolaba houses some pretty big events throughout the year.
These include the Mooloolaba Triathlon and the Iron Man 70.3 Sunshine Coast event.
It is also home to the 7 Sunshine Coast Marathon, the Mooloolaba SUP Fest 2021 and the Mooloolaba to Auckland and Sydney to Mooloolaba Yacht Races.
In December the Mooloolaba Christmas Boat Parade is a spectacular event, whilst the New Year’s Eve in Mooloolaba end-of-year finale is quite the party!
If you are planning a Mooloolaba Beach vacation you should bear these events in mind as hotel availability and prices are impacted by them.
With over 300 sunny days a year on average the best time for a Queensland holiday to Mooloolaba is now!
It can get quite hot in the summer months of December to February when the humidity can be high, and it can storm on occasion during this time too. Temperatures regularly exceed 30 degrees Celsius and humidity can sometimes top 70%.
During the winter, it can also get a little chilly at night, especially during June and August when the mercury can dip below 10 degrees Celsius.
But even in these times, you can look forward to plenty of sunshine on your Queensland beach holiday during the day. You would, after all, be in the Sunshine State!
Mooloolaba Beach on the Sunshine Coast is a pretty easy tourist destination to get to both for Aussies and international visitors who want a Queensland, Australia holiday.
Located about 100km north of Brisbane Airport, it takes around 90 minutes to drive to Mooloolaba by car, taxi or bus via the Bruce Highway and Sunshine Motorway.
The nearby Sunshine Coast Airport receives direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Cairns, Newcastle and Canberra, as well as Auckland on a regular basis. Between them, Virgin, Jetstar and Bonza all run regular services throughout the week.
Those wishing to travel by train can do so up to Nambour and take a connecting bus or taxi from there.
Cruise ships regularly anchor outside the port here too, while Mooloolaba also has a marina for those who have their own sea vessels.
20 Places To Stay in Mooloolaba Beach in Queensland
1. Mantra Mooloolaba Beach
2. Oceans Mooloolaba
3. Landmark Resort
4. Seamark on First
5. The Sebel Maroochydore
6. Cilento Mooloolaba
7. Osprey Apartments
8. Nautilus Mooloolaba
9. Peninsular Beachfront Resort
10. Zanzibar Resort
11. Malibu Mooloolaba
12. Beach Club Resort
13. Mantra Sirocco Resort
14. Breeze Mooloolaba
15. Sailport Mooloolaba Apartments
16. Raffles Mooloolaba
17. Sandcastles Mooloolaba
18. Caribbean Resort
19. Buddina Beach Accommodation
20. Excellsior Apartments
If you are going to go on a Sunshine Coast Mooloolaba Beach holiday you are going to need a place to stay. While the Mooloolaba Beach holiday Park is an excellent choice, there are plenty of Mooloolaba hotels and other types of Queensland Holiday accommodation to choose from.
Catering to all budgets, tastes and styles, they include lots of family-friendly beachside resorts and 2-3 bedroom apartment complexes for those who want longer stays.
It also incorporates luxury boutique complexes, which make it a terrific honeymoon spot perfect for romantic getaways on the Sunshine Coast and a range of budget options too.
Many of these are conveniently situated on or within a few minute’s walk of both the Esplanade and the main beach.
I have written a more detailed post about 20 of the best resorts and hotels in Mooloolaba to stay at on your Qld holiday including waterfront accommodation. But for the purposes of this post below are three options.
One of the only Mooloolaba Hotels 5 Star resorts in the area, Oceans is an excellent place to stay.
Situated at the beginning of the Esplanade it offers upscale accommodation that seamlessly blends a minimalist decor design with all the state-of-the-art amenities you would expect from luxury holiday accommodation in Queensland.
All of its rooms have balconies, many of which provide fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean. Amenities at this fabulous Sunshine Coast beach holiday resort include a stunning pool area, steam room and hot tub.
If you are looking for the best beachfront accommodation Mooloolaba has to offer then you should consider the Peninsular Resort.
A favourite among those wanting a beach family holiday in Mooloolaba, it is located virtually opposite the beach, which provides plenty of conveniences when you have kids.
The resort features self-contained apartments that look out to the ocean and the golden sands of the beach. Perfect for families and couples, they come with a contemporary design with kitchens that are fully equipped, a huge lounge area that accommodates a big flat-screen TV and laundry.
There are also three different restaurants on site, which again is very convenient for families.
If you stay here during the Mooloolaba New Year’s Eve fireworks, you’ll have a prime spot on your balcony to witness the spectacle.
Sea Pearl Resort
The Sea Pearl Resort is one of the newer Mooloolaba hotel esplanade establishments to have been built in the last few years.
A very popular and romantic Mooloolaba Beach holiday destination for couples, this aparthotel offers stylish and comfortable rooms that boast either sea or pool views.
Units come with furnished kitchens and feature air conditioning, deluxe private bathrooms, a washing machine, and satellite TV. Other amenities include a hot tub, outdoor swimming pool, sauna, fitness centre and free Wi-Fi.
Sea Pearl Resort offers an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and air-conditioned accommodation with a balcony and free WiFi. The accommodation has a spa bath and a sauna.
Those looking to eat some of the Sunshine Coast’s best seafood restaurants should head to Fisheries on the Mooloolaba Spit.
You certainly won’t go hungry during your Mooloolaba beach visit as there are plenty of places to eat, especially on the Esplanade where there are a number of excellent cafes and restaurants.
On the Esplanade Bella Venezia is a well-established favourite that has been serving quality Italian fayre for many years. Also, at the other end of it, Shalimar, near the entrance to the Main Beach, is a great choice too.
The surf club offers up delightful food with stunning views of the beach, while if you are looking for Chinese, Indian, Japanese or just good old hearty burgers there are plenty of these options in or around the Esplanade and the adjacent Brisbane Road.
Those looking to eat some of the Sunshine Coast’s best seafood restaurants should head to Fisheries on the Mooloolaba Spit. They have been serving fresh seafood to locals and Mooloolaba Beach tourists since 1982.
There are plenty of places to buy good coffee during your Mooloolaba Beach holiday. But my favourite is Hustle and Flow, a small hole-in-the wall located underneath the surf club.
Other good venues to check out include The Columbian Coffee Company on Brisbane Road, The Good Bean Espresso Bar on the Esplanade and The Velo Project. The latter of which is located in a residential area on Careela Street. It is a little out of the way but well worth the effort of going there.
During your beach holiday at Mooloolaba you may get to see some scintillating sunrises and sunsets. Infact few of Australia’s beaches can compare in this respect with this coastal paradise.
Viewing the sunrise off the horizon is best done from the main beach, the spit or the lookout at the top of Alexandra Headlands. You will have to get up early to view it though as often sunrise happens about 5 am in the summer months. Check the sunrise and set times at Mooloolaba if you intend to see either.
If you are more likely to see the sunset then head to Port Cartwright or the new Mooloolaba Foreshore area where the evening hues can be breathtaking.
The Wildhorse Mountain is about a 30 – 40 minute drive from Mooloolaba, but if you can make it there for sunrise or sunset, it will be one of the major highlights of your Sunshine Coast holiday.
Some companies offer you the chance to have a sunset boat cruise around Mooloolaba. Offering a dinner as well as the opportunity to view dusk in all its glory.
How Far is Mooloolaba from Brisbane?
Mooloolaba Beach is located on the Sunshine Coast, about an hour's drive north of Brisbane along the Bruce Highway.
Is Mooloolaba Beach Worth Visiting?
Mooloolaba Beach on the Sunshine Coast is an excellent place to visit for a day trip, weekend getaway or longer week or two week family holiday. As well as its awesome beach, Mooloolaba has some awesome attractions including the marine animals and coral reefs at Sea Life (formerly Underwater World). It is also a short drive to a wide range of attractions including the Sunshine Plaza, Australia Zoo, Aussie World and Mount Coolum.
Can you swim at Mooloolaba Beach?
Mooloolaba Beach Queensland is one of the best beaches for swimming on the Sunshine Coast. The beach is patrolled in three different areas by members of the Mooloolaba Surf Lifesavers. Generally the waves are pretty safe in the main part of the beach, although you do get the occasional rip. For those who are not strong swimmers, consider paddling around The Spit area where the water is calm and protected.
Should I stay at Mooloolaba or Maroochydore?
Both are good options. Mooloolaba has a lovely esplanade that is full of shops and cafes. Many of the beachfront resorts are directly on the esplanade, offering easy access to the beach. Maroochydore tends to be a bit more sprawling and provides accommodation options away from the beach and also directly opposite. It also provides proximity to major shops and supermarkets as well as medical services.
Do you need a car in Mooloolaba?
Unless you want to venture further afield to places like Noosa, Caloundra and Rainbow Beach, you can enjoy a lovely holiday or short break in Mooloolaba without requiring a car. Mooloolaba Beach has an excellent selection of shops, cafes and resorts directly opposite the beach. Should you want to head further out, several buses can take you to where you want to go.
How far is Mooloolaba Beach from the Sunshine Coast Airport
Mooloolaba is about 14 km from Sunshine Coast Airport, which is located in Marcoola. If you don't have a car you can hire one from the airport or catch a taxi or bus to where you need to go.