The Magic of Mooloolaba Beach
Considering it has featured on The Amazing Race and numerous TV holiday shows it’s a wonder that Mooloolaba Beach isn’t up there with Bondi in terms of visitor numbers.
It is certainly as beautiful as Sydney’s iconic beach and offers just as good a beach day experience too.
Recently voted the sixth best beach in Australia by Tripadvisor and featuring on our list of the 75 best beaches in Australia, Mooloolaba Beach is known as one of the safest and most beautiful beaches on the Sunshine Coast.
Offering the perfect location for a beachside holiday for couples or families, it is much quieter than the Gold Coast, and thus a completely different vibe.
But that all adds to the charm of Mooloolaba Beach.
About Mooloolaba Beach
Mooloolaba Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Sunshine Coast.
Patrolled every day of the year in two main spots, the north-east to north-facing beach is replete with a gentle sweep of pristine white sand, aquamarine waters and lush grassy knolls.
Lying in the sheltered side of Point Cartwright it is a great beach for swimming, body or surfboarding and many other beach activities.
As there is plenty of protection from the prevailing southerly and southeasterly winds, it offers near-perfect conditions all year round for those who love the ocean.
A spectacular beach to look at, Mooloolaba Beach stretches for about 1.7km. Very well maintained, it is clean, tidy and radiates a tranquil, family-friendly atmosphere.
It also features fascinating rock pools at the northern end of the beach will hold your attention for hours on end, whilst some good fishing can be found by the rock wall at the other end of the beach.
Mooloolaba Beach is located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, on 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.
It is also just a short drive to Caloundra (20 minutes), Nambour (25 minutes) and Noosa (40 minutes).
Mooloolaba is bounded on the east by the Coral Sea, on the south by the Mooloolah River, on the north by Alexandra Headland and to the west by Buderim.
It enjoys a stunning location, sitting on a spit of land between a marina on the Mooloolah River and the beautiful beaches of the Pacific Ocean.
Mooloolaba is believed to derive its name from the Aboriginal word mulu, meaning snapper fish, or mulla meaning Red-bellied Black Snake.
Originally known as Mooloolah Heads, the name was officially changed to Mooloolaba by Thomas O’Connor in 1919 when he subdivided land for sale there.
Previously Mooloolaba was an established fruit growing and fishing area. But after O’Connor started selling the land it soon metamorphosized into a seaside resort for settlers in Buderim who liked to visit the main beach area.
A number of holiday cottages and houses began to spring up along the river and narrow spit over the next few years. Which proved to be the catalyst for the Mooloolaba Surf Life Saving Club to open in 1923.
Since then the area has gradually been developed, notably in the 1960s and 1980s, as well as continuously today, into one of the main holiday spots on the Sunshine Coast.
Mooloolaba Beach has plenty of facilities and amenities for visitors to use.
This includes a number of toilet areas including the iconic ‘Loo With A View’, as well as plenty of bbq’s, picnic tables and other seating areas to prepare and eat food in.
There are also a good few children’s playgrounds for the little ones to run around in, as well as lots of grassy hillside to spread out a blanket and chill out on.
Not far beyond either end of the 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 ocean views all the way.
Two fairly recent developments 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.
Away from the beach there are quite a few excellent attractions in, and within easy reach of, the area to keep you entertained.
One of the best of them is UnderWater World, an award winning tourist attraction which showcases 8 unique zones that houses 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.
Whatever you choose to do, the kids will love it.
Other local attractions include whale watching cruises and also the Sunshine Coast’s number one dive site. ‘The Brisbane’, which sits on the ocean floor 2.9 nautical miles offshore. Covered in both hard and soft coral, it is home to more than 200 species of fish.
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.
A little further afield the world famous Australia Zoo is within an easy drive. As is the renowned Eummundi Markets, Aussie World, The Ginger Factory and the hugely impressive Wild Horse Mountain lookout.
In recent years The Esplanade has grown a reputation for being a good place to shop.
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 specialty stores that sell beautiful gifts and homewares.
Other shops in the surrounding area can be found on First Avenue, Brisbane Road and The Wharf.
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!
Best Time To Visit
With over 300 sunny days a year on average Mooloolaba is a great all year destination to visit. Which is just one of many reasons why you will come to love it.
It can get a little hot in the summer months of December to February when the humidity can be high, and it can storm on occasion.
It can also get a little chilly at night in the winter months of June to August.
But even in these times there is usually plenty of sunshine about, or just round the corner.
You would be after all in the Sunshine State!
Sunrise and sunsets
Mooloolaba offers you the chance to see some scintillating sunrises and sunsets.
Viewing the sunrise off the horizon is best done from the main beach, the spit or the lookout at the top of Alexandra Headlands.
While the sunrise colours from Port Cartwright or the old caravan park area of Mooloolaba Beach can be breathtaking.
Several 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.
Mooloolaba is a pretty easy destination to get to both for international and Australian visitors.
Located about 100km north of Brisbane Airport, it takes around 90 minutes to drive there 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.
Those wishing to travel by train can do so up to Nambour and take a connecting bus or taxi from there.
Cruise ships regularly anchoring outside the port here too, while Mooloolaba also has a marina for those who have their own sea vessels.
Place to Stay
Mooloolaba has a full range of accommodation options to suit all budgets, tastes and styles.
This includes plenty of family friendly resorts and 2-3 bedroom apartment complexes for longer stays. It also incorporates luxury boutique complexes, which are perfect for romantic getaways and a range of budget options too.
Many of which are conveniently situated on or within a few minutes walk of both the Esplanade and the main beach.
Some of the most popular resorts include Oceans, the only AAA 5 Star resort in Mooloolaba, as well as the Peninsular, the Landmark Resort & Spa and the Caribbean.
Those looking for boutique fully-self contained apartment accommodation should check out First Light Mooloolaba, while the Beach Hostel Mooloolaba (formerly known as Mooloolaba Backpackers) is a favourite amongst the younger crowd.
The newly relocated and upgraded Caravan Park offers excellent facilities for those looking to camp.
Use the search box below to find the best deals currently available for accommodation in Mooloolaba.
You certainly won’t go hungry in Mooloolaba as there are plenty of places to eat. Especially on the Esplanade where there are numerous cafes and restaurants.
On the Esplanade Bella Venezia is a well established favourite that has been serving quality Italian fayre for many years. Also Quarterdeck at the other end of the Esplanade 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 Thai, 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.
For really good feed check out Thai Seasons, a bit of a hidden gem on Brisbane Road. Whilst on the wharf both Rice Boi and Ninth Street serves excellent food too.
Those looking to taste some of the Sunshine Coast’s best seafood should head to Fisheries on the Spit which has been serving fresh seafood to locals and holidaymakers since 1982 or the nearby Mooloolaba Fish Market.
There are plenty of places to buy a good coffee in Mooloolaba. But our favourite is Hustle and Flow, a small hole-in-the wall located underneath the surf club.
Other good places include The Columbian Coffee Company on Brisbane Road, The Good Bean Espresso Bar on the Esplanade and The Velo Project, which is a little out of the way on Careela Street, but does get rave reviews.
Want To Visit Mooloolaba?
If you are interested in visit Mooloolaba for a day trip or a holiday there are a number of other resources you can draw upon.
Check out the section on Mooloolaba on the Tourism Queensland website.
If you are on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter you can also search through the #mooloolaba and #visitmooloolaba hashtags
If you do visit Mooloolaba don’t forget to tag #beachscenes on any of the beach photos you post on Instagram.
Mooloolaba Beach Products
At Beach Scenes we have taken some lovely photos of Mooloolaba Beach and turned them into a really cool range of beach themed homewares and gift products.
Why not check them out if you love this beach!