The Best Things To Do in Coolum 2024

If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors, this Sunshine Coast suburb is the perfect spot. There are plenty of things to do in Coolum, from swimming in the ocean to hiking up mountains.

Our climb up Mt Coolum was one of the highlights on our Sunshine Coast road trip.

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Things to do in Coolum

The Boardwalk Mt Coolum

Access to the beachside boardwalk is from Breezeway Street, where there are two small car parks. The boardwalk meanders through bushland to the beach.

Once at the beach, turn around for a beautiful view of Mt Coolum. This place is good for land-based whale watching from June to October.

Dogs are allowed on the boardwalk if they are kept on a lead.

wooden boardwalk with views of mountain in the background
Mt Coolum Boardwalk

Mount Coolum

This 25 million-year-old laccolith was formed when a dome-shaped piece of magma cooled below the Earth’s surface.

view of mountain from street with car driving past

Mount Coolum Summit Walk

Grade 4 – 1.6 km return – allow 1-2 hours – 208m above sea level

Access the Mount Coolum Car Park from Tanah Street, off David Low Way. The car park is small, and we found it hard to find a space (had to wait for people to leave).

There was a Juice Van, which appeared popular, and a water fountain to refill your drink bottle.

trail sign for mt coolum

Due to erosion from hikers, most of this trail is now stepped. However, it is steep and narrow in places, so it is only suitable for fit walkers only.

The walk begins through native bush and forest before becoming steep as you climb the rock face.

The trail was extremely busy when we hiked up to the summit, so we had to stop several times to let hikers in the opposite direction past. There are also places to stop if you are feeling out of breath from the steep climb.

cobbled path uphill with steps in native bush
Near the start of the Mt Coolum summit trail

Make sure to keep to the path for your safety and to protect the flora. Supervise children carefully and keep away from cliff edges.

hikers climbing steep stone stairs
The trail becomes steeper and rockier nearer the summit

During your walk, look out for honeyeaters, peregrine falcons (only one of 25 to 35 known pairs in south-east Queensland), echidnas, northern brown bandicoots, and grey-headed flying foxes.

Once at the summit, take in the views, including Point Cartwright, the Glass House Mountains, the Blackhall Range, and Noosa Heads. There are walls to sit on to recover from the walk up.

Our daughters enjoyed the hike and there were plenty of children on the trail, including young ones.

views from mt coolum summit of surrounding bushland ocean and coastline
Views from Mt Coolum summit

This trail is best hiked early morning or late afternoon during summer and avoided in wet weather as the track becomes extremely slippery. Only attempt this hike in daylight.

Bring your own water, wear enclosed shoes, a hat, sun protection, and insect repellent.

Mt Coolum Golf Club

The picturesque Mount Coolum Golf Club is a challenging par 72 course open to social players and affiliate members.

The Pro Shop provides clubs and equipment hire, including motorised carts, and the clubhouse facilities include showers, a bar, bistro, and poker machines.

view from mountain of green golf course in front of the ocean
View of Mt Coolum Golf Course from Mt Coolum

Point Arkwright Lookout & Picnic Area

Off Jubilee Esplanade is a car park with toilet facilities, a lookout, and a picnic area. The lookout provides stunning coastline views and is an excellent place to spot whales from June to October.

Point Arkwright Trail

5 km return – 77 m elevation – easy

This trail from Coolum Beach to Point Arkwright is part of the Sunshine Coast Coastal Pathway and is suitable for all walkers.

Start from the car park south of Coolum Surf Club, along the Coolum Coastal boardwalk. The coastal path winds its way south above the beaches to Point Arkwright, passing bays and lookouts along the way.

The wooden Coolum Boardwalk hugs the coastline to Point Perry Lookout, with great ocean views north up the coast to Peregian and the Noosa Headland.

If you want a longer walk, continue south to Yaroomba Beach.

wooden lookout over sandy beach on a summer day
Tourism and Events Queensland

First Bay

First Bay is just south of Coolum’s main beach past Point Perry and a fun place to explore the rock pools.

The beach is popular with surfers and anglers but is not patrolled.

Second Bay

Second Bay has an accessible lookout built as a whale-watching platform. Stairs lead down to the unpatrolled beach.

Third Bay

This bay is the most secluded beach in Coolum and is maybe why it’s an unofficial clothing-optional beach.

Coolum Beach

a cloudy day at a beach with a white surf lifesaving lookout tower
Coolum Beach

Coolum Beach is moderately hazardous due to the number of rips present. Therefore, swimming is recommended only between the flags at patrolled beaches. The Coolum Beach Surf Lifesaving Club has been patrolling these waters since 1919.

The consistent surf breaks make Coolum Beach popular with surfers, with the best conditions at high tide on a moderate swell.

If you want to fish, the rips produce good holes along the beach, with the deep longshore trough also accessible with a long cast.

Coolum Beach has a range of facilities that include:

  • Parking
  • Large Park with shade
  • Skate Park & Playground
  • BBQ
  • Toilets & Showers
  • Café
  • Picnic Tables
  • Lookout
people learning to surf in low waves on sand beach one of the things to do in coolum
Coolum Surf School by Tourism and Events Queensland

Coolum Lookouts

For beautiful views, check out these lookouts:

  • Point Perry Lookout
  • Hanson’s Lookout
  • Mount Coolum
  • Point Arkwright
  • Emu Mountain
views from lookout over countryside and waterways
View from Mt Coolum summit

Emu Mountain Summit Walk

1.1 km return – allow 45 minutes – 208m above sea level

Emu Mountain summit walk is a great way to combine some fresh air with views of both the hinterland and coast. This easy walk starts from Coolum High School and takes you up to the summit, where you can enjoy 360-degree views.

Sunsets on Emu Mountain are so special!

Also known as Mount Peregian, Peregian is the aboriginal name for Emu.

Stumers Creek

Stumers Creek is one of the best off-leash dog beaches on the Sunshine Coast. This mangrove creek is sometimes closed by a sand bar, making it more like a lake.

The annual Coolum Kite Festival occurred here but isn’t held anymore.

Bare Foot Bowls

Have a game of barefoot bowls at the Coolum Beach Bowls Club on Fridays from 5 pm to 7 pm and Sundays from 1 pm to 5 pm.

The cost in June 2022 was A$7 per player, with children under thirteen free.  Bookings are not required for these sessions.

Coolum Aqua Park

Please note this is a summer-based business operating from early September until late April.

Blast Aqua Park is in the Oz Ski Resort Complex and features a huge inflatable water obstacle course suitable for aged six and over.

Spend the day here with shade, free BBQs, changing rooms, picnic tables, sun loungers, a café, and a kiosk.

Oz Ski Resort

Oz Ski Resort is a world-class water ski facility that offers coaching in water skiing and wakeboarding, plus exhilarating tube, and banana boat rides.

Coolum Markets

Salty Saturdays

Salty Saturdays are held on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month at Jack Morgan Park from 1 pm to 7 pm.

During this time, you’ll find live music, kids’ activities, free entertainment, food, and a bar.

Sunshine Coast Collective Markets

These markets in Barnes Lane are held every second and fourth Sunday of the month from 8 am to 12 pm.

The aim is to showcase local artisans, foodies, growers, and musicians.

Coolum Accommodation

We use for most accommodation bookings as they offer free cancellation on most rooms, have a loyalty program (Genius), and have great customer support. We also use Agoda depending on pricing (click on photo for Agoda).

Coolum Apartment & Resort Accommodation

The Point Coolum Beach $$

1 Bay Terrace

This hillside resort offers apartments and villas with ocean views from their private balconies.

Facilities include:

  • Two outdoor pools & sun loungers
  • Kitchen & laundry
  • Free WI-FI
  • Free parking
  • Air conditioning & heating

The Best Things To Do in Coolum 2024

Element on Coolum Beach $$

1808 David Low Way

This architecturally designed beachside resort provides stylish one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom self-contained apartments and deluxe suites, all luxuriously appointed with full modern kitchens and laundry facilities.

Facilities include:

  • Outdoor pool with sun loungers
  • Café & restaurants on-site
  • Kitchen & laundry
  • Free WI-FI
  • Free undercover secure parking
  • Air conditioning & heating
  • BBQs
  • Spa (extra charge)
  • Luggage storage

The Best Things To Do in Coolum 2024

Coolum Caprice $$

1770 David Low Way

This property is a one-minute walk from the beach with a range of one, two, and three bedroom apartments, all of which have private balconies with ocean views.

Facilities include:

  • Kitchen & laundry
  • Outdoor pool with spa pool
  • Sauna & Fitness Centre
  • Games room
  • BBQs
  • Free WI-FI
  • Free Parking
  • Air conditioning & heating
  • BBQs

The Best Things To Do in Coolum 2024

Coolum Beach Getaway Resort $$

3-7 First Avenue

Affordable resort accommodation in the heart of Coolum offering a range of apartments.

Facilities include:

  • Half size tennis court
  • Free WI-FI
  • Foxtel
  • Free private parking
  • Outdoor pool with hot tub & sun loungers
  • BBQs
  • Air conditioning & heating
  • Kitchen & laundry
  • Luggage storage

Coolum At The Beach $$

Corner Margaret St & David Low Way

This modern beachside resort offers stylish holiday apartments and luxurious villas in a beautiful tropical setting.

Facilities include:

  • 4 Swimming pools
  • Fitness centre
  • BBQ
  • Kitchen & laundry
  • Free WI-FI
  • Free private parking
  • Air conditioning & heating

The Best Things To Do in Coolum 2024

Budget Accommodation

Coolum Budget Accommodation $

1862 David Low Way

This is the best rated budget accommodation in Coolum. However, please note that not all rooms have air conditioning.

Facilities include:

  • Outdoor pool
  • Free WI-FI in public areas
  • Free street parking
  • BBQ area
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Communal kitchen

Coolum Caravan Parks

Coolum Beach Holiday Park is right next door to the surf club on the beachfront. It offers powered sites and six villas.

Coolum Restaurants & Cafes

Some of the best Coolum restaurants and cafes are:

  • The Caf Coolum $$-$$$
  • Ma Boulangerie Patisserie $$-$$$
  • Curly’s on the Boardwalk $$-$$$
  • Coolum Surf Club $$-$$$
  • Yiani’s Greek Restaurant $$-$$$

Where is Coolum Queensland?

Coolum is a coastal suburb on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

How Far is Coolum from Brisbane?

Coolum is 118 km from Brisbane if you drive via the M1.

How Far is Coolum from Maroochydore & Mooloolaba?

The driving distance from Coolum to Maroochydore is 18 km and 23 km to Mooloolaba.

Coolum Weather

The average maximum temperature in Coolum ranges from 21°C in July (winter) to 29°C in January (summer).

The coldest time of year in Coolum is winter (June to August) with average minimum temperatures of around 7°C and the warmest is summer (December to February) at about 20°C.

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

For more information, see the Bureau of Meteorology.

views of town and coastline from mount coolum summit
Views from Mt Coolum

How to get to Coolum

Sunshine Coast Airport

Sunshine Coast Airport, also known as Maroochydore Airport, is ten minutes by road.


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 Coolum in two hours via the M1 (tolls apply).

Coolum Car Hire

It’s best to hire a car from one of the rental companies at Brisbane airport or Sunshine Coast Airport, depending on where you fly into.

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.


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?

Heading down to Brisbane? Check out these guides:

Travel Tips and Information

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