aerial view of a long sandy beach with calm waves and apartments lining the esplanade

Top 20 Things to do in Caloundra Queensland 2024

The stunning coastline of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is a must-see for tourists looking to explore the natural beauty of this state. With its stunning sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, there are lots of things to do in Caloundra, one of Australia’s fastest-growing cities.

We visited Caloundra on a road trip along the Sunshine Coast. It’s an ideal place to base yourselves to explore the surrounding beaches, the Glasshouse Mountains, and the Blackall Range.

This post may contain affiliate links (of companies I book through). This means I may receive a small commission if you book through them. You can read the disclaimer for more information.

Things to do in Caloundra

Pelican Waters

Walk along the esplanade for views of Bells Creek and the Pumicestone Passage, a protected marine park and safe haven for wildlife. The 35 km channel between Bribie Island and the Caboolture coast is a popular location for water sports and nature lovers, where you can take a guided kayak tour, wind or kitesurf, or go bird watching.

You have the chance to see dugongs, turtles, dolphins, and a diverse range of birdlife.

Caloundra Cruise

Caloundra Cruises depart from the Pelican Waters Tavern Jetty, including the sunset cruise. The daily tours cruise along the Pumicestone Passage on a 1930s-style riverboat.

The most popular cruise is the Classic Caloundra, taking you along the Pumicestone Passage on a 1 hour 20 minute tour.

aerial view of an inlet and sandy island
Pumicestone Passage between Caloundra & Bribie Island

Golden Beach

Golden Beach is calmer than the surf beaches, making it perfect for swimming, fishing, and boating. It’s also excellent for kayaking and stand up paddle boarding.

Check the price of hiring a kayak here or a SUP here.

Caloundra Coastal Walk

Walk along the coastal path from Golden Beach to Buddina for beautiful coastal views, beachfront houses, cafes, street vistas, the wreck of SS Dicky, and war memorials.

Start at Golden Beach and head north to Mooloolaba. This walk is 20 km one way, so you can either take an Uber back to the start point or walk part of the trail.

The trail is best walked in the morning before the sun gets too hot as it will take about four hours one way. A spectacular sunrise walk that gets busier as the day goes on.

If you have kids, stop at one of the beaches (Kings Beach is excellent for children) and a playground along the way.

Click on the map to take you to Google Maps.

map of caloundra coastal walk
Caloundra Coastal Walk Map

Beachtree Distilling Co

If you like spirits, Beachtree Distilling is a small-batch handcrafted distillery selling gin and vodka. Their products use ethical and sustainable methods to source and produce world-class spirits, and the labels are cute too!

A wonderful idea they are promoting at present is for every 500 ml bottle of gin or vodka that you buy, they will have one tree planted on your behalf. I love this.

14 Industrial Avenue

Caloundra Street Art Trail

Take a wander through Caloundra and find the quirky huge murals depicting the area’s culture and history. While walking along Bulcock Street, stop at one of the many boutiques, cafes, pubs, and restaurants.

Caloundra Botanic Gardens – Ben Bennett Bushland Park

This 21-hectare large reserve in central Caloundra has plenty of picturesque bushwalks and pathways taking you through forests, coastal heaths, and one of the few remaining areas of coastal lowland vine forest.

Apparently, there are plans for a road to be widened that will go through part of this bushland.

Bulcock Beach

A boardwalk runs along this picturesque beach, and there are many places to stop for a picnic under shady trees.

Swimming is only recommended on the main part of the beach between the flags. The point has strong currents and submerged objects.

From the point, you can see the tip of the northern part of Bribie Island which became separated from the southern part at the end of 2021 due to erosion from ex-tropical cyclone Seth. The Bribie Island breakthrough has left a 300 m channel that is treacherous due to strong currents and debris and watercraft users are warned to avoid the breakthrough area.

a wide expanse of white sand with water in-between it and an island one of the things to do in caloundra
Caloundra’s Bulcock Beach

Caloundra Jet Ski Hire

Caloundra Jet Ski rent out jet skis if you have a licence – two hours starting from A$149.

This popular 90-minute jet ski tour of Moreton Bay Marine Park takes you through a narrow mangrove-lined marine channel to areas of dense jungle.

Caloundra Markets

Two markets operate in Caloundra:

The Caloundra Street Fair – every Sunday

This market, open from 8 am to 1 pm, features over 120 stalls selling fresh local food, flowers, fresh juices, breakfasts, coffee, lunch, sweet treats, and locally made products.

There are also performers each week and kids’ activities.

Bulcock Street

The Caloundra Twilight Markets – last Friday of the month

Over 70 stalls line the waterfront of Bulcock Beach Esplanade on the last Friday of each month (apart from July & August) from 5 pm to 9 pm.

Kids’ activities amuse the little ones while you enjoy local food and the sunset.

Bulcock Beach Esplanade

Unfortunately, we missed both these markets due to the timing of our trips to the Sunshine Coast.

map of Caloundra beaches and coastline trails
Caloundra beaches map

Kings Beach

This beach is popular with families because it is patrolled all year and has playgrounds, large grassed areas, and child-friendly cafes. It’s also renowned for learning to surf as it is southeast facing, and Moreton Island decreases the waves.

The Kings Beach Ocean Pool, a 25m seawater pool, is at the north end of the beach (you can see the white umbrellas around it in the photo below).

sandy beach on a clear day with people on the beach. Red and white surf lifesaving flags are on the beach with swimmers in the ocean. Trees and buildings back the beach.
Kings Beach

Kings Beach has great facilities too with Surf Lifesaving Club, toilets, parking, kids water fountain, picnic tables, and playground. Cafes look out onto the ocean, perfect for that morning coffee.

water fountains with trees
Water fountains at Kings Beach

Caloundra’s Old Lighthouse

The oldest building in Caloundra, the old lighthouse, is open every second and fourth Saturday of the month from 9 am to 3 pm.

It was built in 1896 with a timber frame with corrugated zinc anneal cladding, like many Queensland towers. You can read more about the history of Caloundra Lighthouse at Lighthouses of Australia here.

8/10 Canberra Terrace, Kings Beach

Shelly Beach

Shelly Beach is beautiful but not suitable for swimming. Instead, it’s most known for its ankle-deep rock pools and the marine life there, including black sea cucumbers, common sydney octopus, blue periwinkles, and rose barnacles. Kids can spent ages here exploring the rock pools but please teach them not to touch and to leave these amazing creatures where they belong.

green scrub backing onto a beach with flat rocks with rock pools and sand
Shelly Beach

Moffat Beach & Moffat Headland Lookout

a creek leading to a beach cut off by a sand bar across it
Tooway Creek leading to Moffat Beach

Moffat Headland Lookout provides views all the way along the coast to Mooloolaba on clear days. Located at Ma and Pa Bendall Park, the viewing platforms overlook Moffat Beach. It’s a peaceful spot to take in the views and you may even spot a whale (we weren’t so lucky though).

Small Moffat Beach has a lovely grassed area with pine and pandanus trees providing shade and a children’s playground.

This beach is unpatrolled but can offer safe swimming under normal low wave conditions. However, it has strong rips when waves exceed 1 m. As with any unpatrolled beach, you swim at your own risk. If you want a paddle, Tooway Creek offers calm waters, making it excellent for children. The Eleanor Shipley Memorial Park is close by with picnic tables and BBQs.

‘Moffats’ on the southern point is popular with surfers in the right conditions (spot the surfers in the photo below).

view onto surfers in the ocean and beach from headland lookout
Moffat Beach from Moffat Headland

Moffat Brewing Co

This craft brewery serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a range of beers, only 50 m from the beach. Unfortunately, they don’t accept bookings, walk-ins only.

We didn’t have time to visit Moffat Brewing Co. so if you’ve been, please let me know in the comments.

Shop 2/12 Seaview Terrace, Moffat Beach

inside a modern brewery with people drinking beer
Moffat Brewing Co

Caloundra Golf Club

Visitors are welcome at Caloundra Golf Club, a premier 18-hole golf course. Tee times are available throughout the week on their website.

1 Charles Woodward Drive

golf course with a lush green and lake
Caloundra Golf Course

Dicky Beach

Dicky Beach is 2 km north of Caloundra town centre and separated from Curmmundi Beach by rocks at the northern end of the 800 m beach.

The beach is named after the iron steamship SS Dicky, which was washed up after the 1893 cyclone. Failed attempts were made to relaunch it, and it was used for local dances until someone knocked over a kerosene lamp, catching it on fire.

You can swim at Dicky Beach – the safest place is in the middle where lifeguards patrol.  It is a moderately safe beach under normal wave conditions as long as you are away from the rips at either end. However, high waves produce more rips along the beach and there can be strong currents and dumping waves.

The waves are usually lower than other beaches in the area, making this beach good for beginner surfers.

Fishing is popular off the rocks at each end, on the beach, and in the small creek.

A skatepark and playground keep the kids entertained (this currently closed for upgrades).

large expanse of white sand beach with red and yellow flags with swimmers in the ocean between them
Dicky Beach

Caloundra Music Festival 2022

This year’s Caloundra Music Festival runs from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October.

The family-friendly festival will take place at the Kings Beach Amphitheatre and feature a diverse line-up of entertainment from some of the best Australian music.

Caloundra RSL

Caloundra RSL is one of the biggest clubs in Queensland and has a relaxed restaurant that is open for lunch and dinner to visitors daily, except on Christmas Day.

The club is extremely child-friendly with its own supervised kids’ club and offers specials from Sunday to Thursday when kids under twelve eat free with every main meal purchased over A$20.

19 West Terrace 

Visit Currimundi Lake

sandy beach by a lake
Currimundi Lake

Located between Caloundra and Maroochydore, this tranquil lake runs into the ocean at Currimundi Beach. Families particularly like the location as they can let kids play in the calm water while the trees provide plenty of shade. However, care should be taken if swimming as signs advise not to swim as the lake is unpatrolled with strong currents.

Cliff Hargreaves Park by the foreshore has picnic facilities, BBQ pits, and toilets.

The lake is perfect for watersports, including stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing.

Fishing is good for kayakers and land-based anglers, especially in the early morning or late afternoon/evening.

The walking trails around the lake are well sign-posted and explain flora and fauna of the area.

A few years ago, there were reports of bull sharks in Lake Currimundi, but I haven’t heard of anything recently. As always, be shark aware.

See the map below if you have your furry friend with you – some parts of Lake Currimundi allow dogs off leash.

a map of where dogs are allowed on and off leash at lake currimundi queensland
Map of dog areas Lake Currimundi

Caloundra Accommodation & Hotels

To view prices on, click on the blue links. For Agoda, click on the photo.

There are some great accommodation options in Caloundra, including resorts, aparthotels, and budget accommodation.


17 North Street Budget Accommodation is a motel offering rooms with shared bathroom facilities, barbecues, a garden, free WIFI, a shared kitchen and lounge.

17 North Street, Golden Beach

Top 20 Things to do in Caloundra Queensland 2024


Oaks Sunshine Coast Oasis Resort is a great choice for families as it features a water park, a resort-style pool, a putt-putt golf course, sandpit, climbing frame and jumping pillow, all within 200 m of the beach.

Rooms vary from studios to three-bedroom villas.

2 Landsborough Parade, Caloundra

Top 20 Things to do in Caloundra Queensland 2024

Ocean Views Resort Caloundra has the best of both worlds, on the main street of Caloundra and only a 5-minute walk to Bulcock Beach.

Book your stay at Ocean Views Resort Caloundra and enjoy modern rooms and apartments with a balcony. Have an amazing time in this luxurious resort with all the amenities you need to relax and unwind.

Centaur St & Bulcock St, Caloundra 

Top 20 Things to do in Caloundra Queensland 2024

Ramada Resort by Wyndham Golden Beach is ideal for families with children, as it features a heated lagoon-style swimming pool and a games room. This resort offers free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

Stay at this resort to enjoy the beach, tennis courts, and fitness centre.

75 Esplanade, Bulcock Beach

Top 20 Things to do in Caloundra Queensland 2024

Rumba Beach Resort is a great place for couples, families, and groups of friends. You will love your stay in these apartments as they are fully equipped with all the amenities you need to enjoy your trip.

This resort is a 2-minute walk to the beach, overlooking the Pumicestone Passage with the stunning Glass House Mountains in the background.

10 Leeding Terrace, Caloundra

Top 20 Things to do in Caloundra Queensland 2024


Watermark Resort Caloundra offers waterfront accommodation with self-contained apartments and private motel-style rooms. The apartments have a balcony with water views, a fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities. The motel rooms include tea/coffee making facilities and garden views.

Located in the city centre, Watermark Caloundra is 10-minute walk to Bulcock Beach.

38 Maloja Ave, Caloundra 

Top 20 Things to do in Caloundra Queensland 2024


The Terrace at Caloundra, an architecturally designed residence, offers a luxurious escape to the Sunshine Coast. This stunning 5-level property can sleep up to eight guests in three generous sized bedrooms and the master bedroom. There are three bathrooms, including the luxury ensuite fitted with a stand alone bath and double shower.

3/4 Cooma Terrace, Caloundra

Top 20 Things to do in Caloundra Queensland 2024

We use for most accommodation bookings as they offer free cancellation on most rooms, have a loyalty program (Genius), a price match guarantee, the site is user-friendly and they have great customer support. We also book through Stayz for private accommodation as they are often cheaper than Airbnb.

Check availability and prices on now

Caloundra Caravan Park

Big 4 Caloundra Holiday Park is situated on the water’s edge of Pumicestone Passage with accommodation ranging from luxury cabins to sites.

Caloundra Eat & Drink

Some of the best places to check out for food or drink are:

  • Moffat Brewing Co
  • Drift Bar $$
  • Tides Waterfront Dining $$$
  • Three Restaurant & Bar $$
  • Amici Italian & Pizzeria $$
  • Hello Harry the Burger Joint $$

Caloundra Weather

The average maximum temperature in Caloundra ranges from 19°C in July (winter) to 27°C in January (summer).

The coldest time of year in Caloundra is winter (June to August) with average minimum temperatures of around 11°C and the warmest is summer (December to February) at about 21°C.

The wettest month is March, while September is the driest.

For more information, see the Bureau of Meteorology.

a pandanus tree in front of a white sand beach on a sunny day
One of Caloundra’s many Pandanus trees

How to get from Brisbane to Caloundra


The best and easiest way to get around the Sunshine Coast is by car or campervan. The roads are easy to navigate and routes are well sign posted.

You can drive from Brisbane to Caloundra in just under two hours via the M1 (tolls apply).

Car Hire – To compare rental car company prices, I use Discover Cars, an award-winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are have a high rate of customer satisfaction.

Tip: The earlier car rentals are booked, the cheaper it is with more choice of vehicles.

Public Transport

It is feasible to get to Caloundra from Brisbane by public transport. However, it will take between two and three hours, depending on the route and time of day.

Use to plan your journey.


Coast to Hinterland Tours offer a transfer service from Brisbane Airport to the Sunshine Coast using a pre-booked fixed price. The door-to-door meet and greet service with drop-off at your chosen destination includes luggage, airport parking, and tolls in the all-inclusive affordable transfer prices.

Where to Next?

If you’re heading up the Sunshine Coast, these guides will help you plan your itinerary:

Heading down to Brisbane? Consider a detour to Bribie Island:

Travel Tips and Information

To help plan your holiday, use this Queensland Travel Guide which includes helpful information and tips.

Feature image is Kings Beach courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland.


Can you swim at Golden Beach Caloundra?

Golden Beach is protected by the Pumicestone Passage, making it calm and ideal for swimming.

If you found this article helpful, please consider booking through one of our links. It won’t cost you anything but will help towards the cost of running this site. Thank you.

For more travel content, follow us on Facebook.

caloundra travel guide pin