The Caloundra region in the southern part of the Sunshine Coast has a handful of secluded, pristine beaches dotted along her coastline that are ideal for body boarding, surfing, rock pool fossicking, sand castle building and wading in salty waters.
The sparkling Pumicestone Passage
cuts between Bribie Island and the mainland. The passage is a watersport haven for water skiers, kite surfers and fishing enthusiasts.
in the north is where beachgoers will see rusted remains of shipwreck S.S.Dicky,
which was forced onto shore by a cyclone and high seas in 1893.
Travelling south from Dicky Beach, visitors will discover the sleepy coastal village of Moffat Beach where a selection of cafes, fashion and homewares shops sits side by side overlooking the point. The headland at Moffat Beach is popular amongst the long-boarding fraternity. In ideal conditions it offers a long, right-hand break that is said to be one of the best on the east coast.
Around the headland to the south lies Shelly Beach, a perfect spot for those who love peering into rock pools and taking a closer look at aquatic life.
Around the Caloundra headland is Kings Beach, home of the Stunned Mullets, a tight-knit male swimming group that meets at daybreak every morning (even in winter) to body surf and ocean swim. Kings Beach is bordered by a leafy park with free barbecue facilities, aquatic playground for the kids and a ocean pool.
A hop, skip and a jump from Kings Beach along a beach boardwalk sits Bulcock Beach,
which is an all-time favourite beach destination for young families. This is where Pumicestone Passage spills into the ocean; kite surfers play in the wild winds in the river mouth, fishing enthusiasts cast off the boardwalk and surfers cruise the long breaks at Happy Valley (a great beginner surf spot). There is a fantastic selection of eateries along Bulcock Beach,
the quintessential fish and chips to fine dining options.
Golden Beach is protected by Bribie Island and is a water sport hub. On any given weekend and throughout school holidays the shores are lined with families picnicking while jumping on and off water skis and wake boards.
PATROLLED BEACHES ALL YEAR ROUND
Golden Beach, Bulcock Beach, Kings Beach, Dicky Beach, Currimundi, Wurtulla
Check out the local surf conditions here
SECRETS ONLY A LOCAL WOULD KNOW
- If you like running or power walking, the Caloundra Coastal Pathway promises to get your heart pumping. Start at Moffat Beach, at the end of Seaview Terrace and follow the footpath south ascending to Moffat Headland alongside George Watson Park. Cruise past Shelly Beach, up and around Caloundra headland and down the hill into Kings Beach. If you’re breathing easy at this stage, continue on to Bulcock Beach and beyond.
- For a salty plunge, visit the surf pool at Kings Beach squeezed between the Kings Beach Surf Club and the South Pacific Ocean.
- Seek and you shall find wondrous sea creatures that spurt water in your face, crabs that scoot at the sight of their own shadow and fish that swim for cover at the rock pools at Shelly Beach.
- Learn to surf at Happy Valley, one of the best beginner waves on the Sunshine Coast.
- Shop in the fig-shaded commercial district along Bulcock Street.
- Eat out in one of the many restaurants, or take fish and chips down to the boardwalk.
- See what’s showing at the Caloundra Art Gallery, located five minutes' walk from the beach on Omrah Ave.
- Fish the current that flows past Bribie Island, a spot that has attracted fish and the anglers who pursue them for decades.
- Wonder at the wide blue sea from a beautiful bird’s-eye view. The cliff that skirts the headland between Shelley and Moffat beaches offers spectacular views of the ocean and beach. Start at McIlwraith Street, Moffat Beach and walk along the edge of the world along the Des Dwyer walkway toward Moffat Beach.
- Watch the kite surfers – the waters off Bulcock Beach are a favourite among advanced riders, so there’s some excellent action to be seen when the wind is out of the southeast.
Winding 6km through
residential and bushland areas, the Currimundi Lake Canoe Trail is a hidden vein of the region beckoning to be discovered. Lined with paperback trees and she-oaks, the sheltered waterway is ideal for beginners or those looking for an easy paddle.
Launch your canoe or kayak into the wet at Noel Burns Park on Mulloka Esplanade, Wurtulla.
There have been countless
coffee enthusiasts who have tried and failed to live the dream of the bitter bean. In a time where chains rule with an iron fist, a successful boutique needs to offer up a perfect mix of character, ambience and of course, great tasting coffee to make its mark. Moffat Beach’s newest café, The Pocket, has all of these elements – and more – in abundance. Delicious Campos coffee, excellent staff, a gorgeous rustic façade and yummy nibbles make it a must-visit. There are even free Schmackos in a jar out the front for your four-legged friend. Perfect. 8 Seaview Terrace, Moffat Beach.
True connoisseurs of the chicken parmigiana will be the first to tell you that the pursuit of the perfect parmy is laden with shattered dreams. Whilst most establishments will claim their own interpretation of the time-honoured pub classic is the chosen one, it’s rare the offering will ever live up to its promise. Dicky Beach Surf Club however, is as far removed from the “parmy pretender” tag as you could possibly imagine, and delivers not one but five different chicken parmigianas to sink your teeth into. Beautifully cooked, wonderfully fresh and a knock-your-socks-off filling. Perfection. 1A Coochin Street, Dicky Beach. 5491 6078.
Noticed a russian-themed shipping container parked on the side of Nicklin Way? Decorated with Russian artwork in a palette of red, black and gold, Izba Espresso (which loosely translates to “old hut” in Russian) is a worthy stopover where you can enjoy tea poured from silver urns and sipped from silver glasses and intricately painted cups. Stools occupy the small indoor space, whilst tables and chairs outside catch the sun where caffeine-starved locals, business owners and tradies flock daily to get their fix of Fonzie Abbott espresso and Jenier teas. Tasty cakes, slices and muffins, wraps, toasties and muesli will satisfy hungrier customers. 695 Nicklin Way, Currimundi.
Caloundra has a new
must-go place to go to get that all-important caffeine fix. Award-winning baristas Tim Adams and James Pedrazzini have settled into a laneway behind Bulcock Street and are weaving coffee magic. Lamkin Lane Espresso has a pared back industrial feel – washed concrete floors and exposed light bulbs blend with crisp white and Birchwood stools. A large communal wooden table is perfect for poring over the paper. With Tim Adams beans (of course) in the espresso machine and available in take-home bags, the coffee is the star here, complemented by biscotti, mini tartlets and melting moments. 31 Lamkin Lane, Caloundra.
Behind the bustling and commercialised Nicklin Way, hidden from prying eyes, is sparkling Currimundi Lake, which sometimes flows into the ocean. As a visitor, you wouldn’t stumble across this lake unless a local whispered about it in your ear. Well, we’re that whisper. Currimundi Lake shimmers with beauty. Her placid waters are perfect for tea-bagging in the shallows and its well-paved walking circuit makes it easy to scoot around her shoreline. Make a day of it: soak up the winter sunshine and bathe in her natural beauty. Pure Sunshine Coast bliss.
We’ve found parent paradise
at Caloundra’s new water park and play zone, including splash pool, multi-level water slides, fountains and every kid’s favourite, the giant tipping bucket. If lounging like a lizard is more your style, stretch out on lush sun lounges and timber leisure decks or get the family together under shaded picnic areas or dedicated party tents. The fully heated play zone is open 9am to 5pm every day, with a full-time attendant and Copacabana style bar. First child $20 then $10 per additional child. Adult entry is free. Oaks Oasis Resort, Landsborough Parade, Caloundra.
Alex Surf Club has always had the catch cry “any closer to the beach and you’d get sand in your togs” and now it can be backed up with a bevvy in your hand. Bluff Bar has had a makeover and with the new outdoor garden and seating – part of the council’s recent ‘beautification’ – the space has been opened up and now more than ever, it’s the place to be come the weekend. Tapas are still the choice de jour on the menu but more live music has been added to the line-up so you can enjoy great food, great tunes and keep an eye on the action on the beach in front every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
With coffees flying out of Pocket Espresso since the day they opened, it’s no wonder they quickly outgrew their digs. Locals may have been climbing the walls in a caffeine-free frenzy during the recent shutdown, but the resulting re-fit and reshuffle has seen the space open up to let more people in and given the hole-in-the-wall a new look and vibe. The team has also introduced their own blend of beans called Guru Coffee, so now you have a totally non-Eat Pray Love reason to say you’re going to visit your ‘guru’. 8 Seaview Terrace, Caloundra.
You’ve probably got it on your “always wanted to try that” list, right? Well now’s the perfect time: indoor rock climbing has gone from extreme sport to mainstream in recent years and (we promise) it’s not as hard as it looks. In fact, the exhilaration factor is downright addictive with the added benefit of challenging yourself both physically and mentally as you manipulate your way up the wall in perfect safety. One of those things you’d wished you’d tried earlier; indoor climbing is bolstered by a real sense of community and a fun, adrenalin-fuelled atmosphere. Open Monday to Friday 10am to 9pm and weekends 9am to 6pm. Rockit Indoor Climbing Gym, 1/37 Premier Circuit, Kawana.
So fresh to the coast we bet you haven’t even tried it yet is The Good Bean Deli at Kawana Shoppingworld, Buddina. It’s home to the brew of choice for coffee connoisseurs – single origin coffee from Ethiopia, Guatemala and Mexico and just between us, they also make one of the best chai lattes we’ve ever tasted. Tell the bearded barista lads salt sent you. Food options include fresh wraps and focaccias, cakes and brownies, including gluten or dairy free. (psst, parents! It’s right beside a toddlers’ play area, so you can relax in (relative) peace.)
Retro mavens and vintage enthusiasts will go bonkers over Salvage Design. Located in Warana, this second-hand store showcases carefully curated furniture and quirky treasures worth giving a second home to. After a roam around the shop past Danish-style sideboards, old leather armchairs and well-kept typewriters grab a rich coffee from the in-store espresso bar. Smooth and strong, it teams perfectly with the organic and gluten-free snacks on offer – the paleo brownie is worth its weight in chocolate. A one-stop shop with hard-to-find pieces and good, old-fashioned customer service to match! Shop 9, 278 Nicklin Way, Warana.
TO MARKET TO MARKET
Caloundra Country and Farmers’ markets – held every Sunday – Currimundi Primary School