Caloundra is the ideal destination for families looking for a relaxed beach holiday. With numerous gorgeous beaches to chose from, great priced family friendly accommodation, awesome playgrounds and casual family friendly dining options; Caloundra is the perfect holiday destination.
In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to plan the ultimate family break in Caloundra. We share all the best things to do in Caloundra with the kids, provide information about the various Caloundra beaches to help you decide where to base yourself, give tips on our favourite resorts, apartments and holiday parks, as well as some great child friendly cafes and information on how to get to Caloundra.
- 18 Things to do in Caloundra, Sunshine Coast
- 1. Beach Hop
- 2. Walk the Caloundra Section of the Coastal Pathway
- 3. Check out the views from the Caloundra Lighthouse
- 4. Check out the Colourful Caloundra Murals
- 5. Shop at the Caloundra Markets Sunday
- 6. Shop at the Caloundra Twilight Markets
- 7. Caloundra Jet Ski
- 8. Caloundra Jet Boat
- 9. Join a Kayak or Canoe Tour
- 10. Caloundra Cruises
- 11. Take the Kids Go Karting
- 12. Spend the day at Aussie World – Sunshine Coast
- 13. Sea Life Mooloolaba
- 14. Big Pineapple
- 15. Wildlife HQ – Big Pineapple Zoo
- 16. Australia Zoo
- 17. The Ginger Factory
- 18. Eumundi Markets, Sunshine Coast
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- The Best Caloundra Beach for a Family Holiday
- Where to Stay – Caloundra Accommodation
- Where to Eat – Caloundra Restaurants
- Getting There
- Our Verdict
18 Things to do in Caloundra, Sunshine Coast
1. Beach Hop
There are some beautiful Sunshine Coast beaches, and many are located right here in Caloundra. The main beaches in Caloundra include Golden Beach, Bulcock Beach, Kings Beach, Shelly Beach, Moffat Beach, Dicky Beach and Currimundi Lake and Beach.
Each beach is special in its own way whether it’s for being the best surf beach, having awesome playgrounds for the kids, being close to cafes or having gorgeous calm waters. Keep reading below for more information on what you can expect at each of the Caloundra beaches.
I recommend basing yourself at your favourite beach and visiting as many as you can during your stay. PS my favourite are Bulcock, Moffat and Currimundi. Although I could quite happily stay at either one of them.
2. Walk the Caloundra Section of the Coastal Pathway
Walking the Caloundra section of the Coastal Pathway is a great way to get familiar with the region and see the gorgeous Caloundra Beaches.
The Caloundra section is 9 kilometres and starts at Bells Creek in the south and finishes at Point Cartwright in the north. This section of the path takes you past the Pumicestone Passage, then on to Bulcock and Kings Beaches.
As you pass the Kings Beach Bathing Pavilion you will reach the headland. This section of the walks has various plaques honoring the lives of those lost in war. You will then pass Shelly and Moffat Beach before crossing the Tooway Creek. After the creek, the path passes Dicky Beach and continues onto Currimundi Lake.
If you still have energy the path continues on past Wurtulla, Kawana Waters, Warana, Buddina before finishing at Point Cartwright at the mouth of the Mooloolaba River.
3. Check out the views from the Caloundra Lighthouse
The Caloundra Lighthouse is the oldest building in Caloundra and you will find it at Canberra Terrace, Kings Beach.
You can climb to the top of the lighthouse and get great views across Kings Beach to Bribie Island and out to the Glasshouse Mountains. The lighthouse is only open on every second and fourth Saturday of the month between 9 am and 12 pm. Entry costs $2 for adults and children are free.
4. Check out the Colourful Caloundra Murals
I just love checking out colourful art murals, so I was super keen to check out Caloundra’s mural trail.
You will find murals in the following locations:
- Caloundra Regional Gallery;
- Williamson Lane: large mural of Caloundra’s famous surfing duo Ma and Pa Bendall – more murals here too, including cat’s eyes, Gone with the Wind and the Tiger;
- Village Laneway (off Bulcock Street, where Lamkin Lane Espresso Bar is located): bather at the Pavillion and lighthouse; and
- Moreton Parade and Dingle Ave roundabout: this was our favourite (pictured above); bright and cheerful mural of various iconic Caloundra locations, activities and events;
If you want more artistic things to do around Caloundra, then be sure to check out the mural trail.
5. Shop at the Caloundra Markets Sunday
Every Sunday between 8 am and 1 pm, Bulcock street comes alive with the Caloundra markets or the Caloundra Street Fair which is its official name.
The street fair has over 150 unique of stalls selling a variety of things including kids and adult’s clothes, homewares, art, coffee, and freshly made local food. There are also plenty of buskers for entertainment.
6. Shop at the Caloundra Twilight Markets
During the holidays you can also experience the Caloundra twilight markets. Usually held on a Friday evening between the hours of 5 pm to 9 pm you can expect to see the same great unique stalls that are at the Sunday markets.
The Caloundra night markets are also held at Bulcock Street.
7. Caloundra Jet Ski
An exhilarating way to explore the Pumicestone Passage and Bribie Island surrounds is with Caloundra Jet Ski. There’s no need for a jetski license, these guys will show you everything you need to know.
The guys at Caloundra Jet Ski have a variety of tours including:
- City Explorer: see the northern end of the Pumicestone Passage – ideal for everyone (children from 8 years of age). Duration is 45 minutes and cost is $150 per jetski;
- Bribie Blast: this trip is 30 kms along the western bank of Bribie Island – duration is 60 minutes and cost is $190 per jetski;
- Glasshouse Twister: Go deep into the Moreton Bay Marine Park during this 60 kms ride over 90 minutes. Cost is $280 per jetski;
- Sunshine Coast Jetskis Epic: Over 3.5 hours pass the Pumicestone Passage on the way to Bribie Island, there’s even time for a coffee break. Cost is $420 per jetski;
- Up the Creek: This one is perfect for the kids – explore Pumicestone Passage and Ningi Creek. Duration is 60 minutes and cost is $180 per jetski;
- Flinders on a Jetski: Over 90 minutes trace the path of Mathew Flinders by heading for White Patch, then along Little Goat Island, past Elimbath Creek and under the Bribie Bridge, past the Bongaree foreshore and finally out to the Pumicestone Passage. Cost per jetski is $260; and
- AdventureX – This one is only for the most committed as this is an entire day trip. The day includes time on the jetski as well as high powered karts, seafood lunch and drinks. Cost is $290 per person.
Kids must be at least 8 years old to ride and 16 years of age to ride solo. Kids from as young as 12 can drive, provided there is an adult on the back.
Definitely see Ken at Caloundra Jetski if you are after one of the more adrenaline pumping Caloundra activities. Click here to make an online booking.
8. Caloundra Jet Boat
If being on a jetski is not your thing, or perhaps you have kids under 8 years but still like the idea of whizzing about the Pumicestone Passage then check out Caloundra Jet Boat.
With Caloundra Jet Boat you will go almost the entire length of the Pumicestone Passage over 90 minutes.
Departures are from the Fraser Park Jetty at Golden Beach and the cost is $130 per person with discounts provided for families and groups. Click here for more information.
9. Join a Kayak or Canoe Tour
Another great way to explore the Pumicestone Passage and the Bribie Island surrounds is with a guided kayak tour. A nice slow kayak gives the chance to get up close to the birdlife in the area and see the marine life including turtles, dolphins, dugongs, whales and rays.
There are a range of operators that offer kayak and canoe tours, including:
- Ocean Adventure: offer tours from 2 hours, half days and multi day trips, with prices starting at $50 per person;
- Adventure Empire: 4 hour canoe tours of either the Pumicestone Passage or the Currimundi Lake Canoe Trail
- Blue Water Kayak offer half day tours from $100 per person.
You can also hire kayaks on an hourly basis from a range of operators in Caloundra including Golden Beach Hire and Bills Boat Hire in Golden Beach or Kite Thrills in Currimundi Lake.
10. Caloundra Cruises
If you prefer to sit back and relax whilst exploring the Pumicestone Passage, then one of the Caloundra Cruises is for you.
There are a variety of cruises on offer from a short 90-minute cruise, cruises including lunch, sunset cruises or the 2.5-hour eco explorer cruise. The eco explorer cruise leaves on Thursdays at 9.30 am and costs $55 per adult and $25 per child with family passes available for $145. Click here to make a booking online.
11. Take the Kids Go Karting
Only 15 minutes from Caloundra is Big Kart, home to Australia’s largest commercial track where you can drive karts up to 70 km per hour.
There are 2 tracks here, one for those over 12 years of age and the kids track. Prices for the kids track start at $20 for 10 minutes and $45 for 15 minutes on the big kart track. You see the full range of tickets available here.
Children from young as 3 years of age can ride a kart in tandem with an adult, whilst kids from 7 years of age can drive the karts by themselves on the kids track.
Big Kart is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm and until 10 pm on Friday, Saturdays and Christmas and Easter holidays. Big Kart is located at 2310 Steve Irwin Way, Landsborough.
12. Spend the day at Aussie World – Sunshine Coast
Whilst much smaller than the Gold Coast theme parks, Aussie World – Sunshine Coast certainly makes up for this in the fun to be had, no queue lines and ticket prices are much cheaper!
Located only 15 minutes from Caloundra on the Bruce Highway at Palmview, families are guaranteed to have a fantastic day at Aussie World. As they say “fun is our thing”, and they are not lying!
There are over 18 Aussie World rides and attractions spread out over 15 acres. All your family favourite rides are here including chair plane, Ferris wheel, dodgems, giant slides, swimming ship, carousel and tea cups. There are also a few thrill rides for the older rides and gentle rides for the tiny tots.
As well as rides there is roving entertainers, Professor Bogglesworth’s Illusionarium, horror house ( must be over 12 yo), water play area (bring swimmers and towels), mini golf, sideshow alley, crazy mirrors and arcade games. The side show alley games are $5 a go or on entry buy a pass for 3 games for $12. I am not sure if every game wins a prize, but every game Myla had a go at she got a small prize as did other children I saw playing.
Myla absolutely loved Aussie World, and I loved it being that it was so much smaller than the Gold Coast parks. It was easy for us to walk around the park multiple times without being exhausted and having no queue lines Myla could go on rides multiple times. Some rides she went on 3-5 times each. There are heaps of benches and tables under shady trees for parents to relax whilst the kids go on all the rides.
On a hot day, be sure to bring the kids swimmers and towels as there is a small water play area. It’s nothing too flash but the kids in there were having a blast – Myla easily spent close to an hour in there cooling off.
There is a large cafe there and like most theme parks the food is a little overpriced, however there are ways to reduce your food bill. The proportion sizes are fairly large so small children could easily share a meal. Kids meals were $10 which include chips, drink and either nuggets, fish or hot dog. I had a wrap which was huge and came in 2 halfs so could easily be shared – at $8.50 per wrap this is pretty reasonable.
I wanted to quickly mention one of my favourite things about Aussie World which I have not seen at any other parks. On all the rides and attractions before it starts, when the ride attendant gives their safety spiel they mention that if you need to get off the ride for any reason, simply raise your hand and they will get you off. I have never come across this before, and with Myla being quite hesitant going on new rides this gave her the confidence to have a go. Unfortunately we did have to put our hands up on 2 occasions, but as promised they immediately got Myla off the ride.
Aussie World opening hours are 10 am to 5 pm daily (except Christmas Day and Anzac Day). Aussie World tickets are $40 per person, under 3s are free and discounted family passes are available. For Aussie World discount tickets, purchase online to save a few dollars per ticket.
13. Sea Life Mooloolaba
For families who want to see marine life up close, then a visit to Sea Life, Mooloolaba is a must (previously known as Underwater World Mooloolaba). The award winning Sunshine Coast aquarium is located at Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba which is only 20 minutes from Caloundra.
Sea Life, Sunshine Coast is fantastic for kids with loads of hands on experiences, displays and shows across 11 themed zones.
The main attraction at Sea Life is the Ocean Tunnel. The tunnel allows you to see marine life swim by you and above you as you wander through. The tunnel is full of sharks, sting rays, turtles and fish.
The kids will love the tidal touch pool, which as the name suggests allows the kids to touch starfish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers.
Other interactive displays include various touch screen devices where the kids can learn more about the various marine life on display, looking through telescopes and climbing through caves and popping your head up in the centre of the tanks.
There are a variety of animal presentations on during the day including seals, sting rays, ocean tunnel tour and jellyfish. Check the presentation times on arrival.
For an additional charge, there are a range of animal encounters you can experience. These experiences include either snorkel or dive with sharks, swim with the seals, camp over night at Sea Life, birthday parties and behind the scene tours.
There is also a 3 level playground that is suitable for the smaller kids.
Sea Life is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm and tickets are $39 per adult and $27 per child with family passes available for $132. For a hefty Sea Life Mooloolaba discount, book online.
If you are heading to Australia Zoo also you can save by purchasing a combined ticket – click here to book online.
14. Big Pineapple
At the Big Pineapple you can learn about the process of pineapple farming from start all the way to the factory and enjoy the train ride.
The Pineapple Heritage Train explores the rainforest, gardens and bamboo forest whilst passing the animals at the Wildlife HQ (see below)
The Big Pineapple is located only 20 minutes from Caloundra at Nambour Connection Road Woombye and is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm. Entry to the Big Pineapple is free; however the train is $5 per person.
15. Wildlife HQ – Big Pineapple Zoo
If you are visiting the Big Pineapple, stop in at Wildlife HQ, located next door. Wildlife HQ (often referred to as the Big Pineapple Zoo) is home to various animals from around the world including koalas, dingoes, snakes, crocodiles, sun bears, red pandas and meerkats.
Open daily (except Christmas Day) during the hours of 9 am to 4 pm. Entry is $29 per adult and $15 for children, with family passes available for $79.
16. Australia Zoo
A visit to Australia Zoo is a must for any family visiting the Sunshine Coast. Australia Zoo is one of Australia’s most well-known zoos thanks to the late Steve Irwin, who is also known as the Crocodile Hunter. The zoo is now run by his wife and children Bindi and Bob.
Some of the animals on display include Australian Lizards, Freshwater and Saltwater Crocodiles, Koalas, Birds of Prey, Kangaroos, Red Pandas and tigers.
There are a variety of animal presentations on during the day including tortoises, otters, koalas, birds of prey and crocodiles. The main show during the day is the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors. This show is held only a once a day in the Crocosuem and is not to be missed. You will see and learn about giant snakes, birds and saltwater crocodiles. Check the presentation times on arrival.
For an additional charge, there are a range of Australia Zoo animal encounters you can experience. These experiences include getting up close with either meerkats, lemurs, red pandas, rhinos, komodo dragons, giraffe, cheetahs, dingoes, kolas, tortoise, wombats, echidnas, possums or farm animals; have your photo with a cheetah or an eagle; tour the wildlife hospital; walk with tigers or wombats and ride a camel.
The attraction is only 25 minutes from Caloundra and is situated at 1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah. Australia Zoo tickets are $59 per adult and $35 per child. Family passes are $172. Click here for cheaper tickets.
Australia Zoo opening hours are 9 am to 5 pm daily (except Christmas Day).
17. The Ginger Factory
The Ginger Factory is a great way to spend a few hours with the kids. There are a variety of attractions here:
- Ginger Train: take a tour through 9 hectares of lush tropical gardens on the 116 year old historic sugar cane train. Ticket prices are $8 per adult or $7 per child;
- Ginger factory tour: take a guided tour through the Buderim Ginger Factory – see how ginger is grown, harvest and made into a range of products as well has a taste some products. Ticket prices are $15 per adult or $11 per child;
- Overboard Boat: follow the gingerbread man on an adventure. The ride features over 200 handmade moving puppets. Ticket prices are $12.50 per adult or $11.50 per child;
- Live Bee Show: learn about the workings of a beehive and taste a variety of honey. Ticket prices are $15 per adult or $11 per child; and
- Playground – free.
You can purchase bundles for the attractions as well as family passes to save money. Click here to see the full range of tickets available.
The Ginger Factory is located 30 minutes from Caloundra at 50 Pioneer Road, Yandina.
18. Eumundi Markets, Sunshine Coast
With over 600 stalls, the Eumundi markets Sunshine Coast is said to be Australia’s biggest art and craft market, selling a range of handmade crafts and delicious local produce. You will find everything here from jewelry, to clothes, toys, coffee, cakes, fruit and vegetables and stacks more.
Eumundi Markets days are only Wednesdays(8am to 1.30pm) and Saturday (7am to 2 pm), so be sure to plan your day in advance so as not to miss it.
Before you head back to Caloundra stop at the playground at nearby Dick Caplick Park, just beside the markets.
The markets are located 35 minutes from Caloundra at Napier Road, Eumundi. If you don’t have your own transport you can book a bus transfer – click here to make a booking.
The Best Caloundra Beach for a Family Holiday
There are numerous beautiful Sunshine Coast Beaches and many of them are right here in Caloundra. So, choosing the best beach to base yourself out can be a difficult choice. Factors which may influence your decision is:
- Does your family prefer surf or calm waters?
- Do you like to be close to shops and cafes or in a residential setting?
- Do you want to be close to one of the many Caloundra Parks?
Below we look at each of the Caloundra Beaches and provide some information on the above factors to help you choose the right base for your family holiday in Caloundra.
1. Golden Beach, Caloundra
Golden Beach, Caloundra is located on the shores of the Pumicestone passage. Protected by the tip of Bribie Island, Golden Beach provides calm waters perfect for families. This is also where the Caloundra Coastal walk commences.
There are a variety of parks along Golden Beach. Playgrounds can be found at Ayliffe, Fraser (pictured below), and Westminster Parks. Fraser Park has a great range of play equipment for the kids and there is also a great sandy patrolled beach here as well.
At Bill’s Boat & Bike Hire as well as Golden Beach Hire (both which are located along the Esplanade at Golden Beach, Sunshine Coast) you can hire a range of equipment including boats, kayaks, bikes and SUP. This is a great way to explore the waters of the Pumicestone Passage and the northern tip of the Bribie Island National Park surrounds. You may also like to go further a field and explore the mansions on nearby Pelican Waters canals.
There are not many cafes along the northern end of Golden Beach, however nearby cafes in downtown Caloundra are a short walk away. Cafes at the southern end of the beach include My Beach Spot, Golden Grill, Parkside Eatery, Golden Seafood Takeaway, Chill Café 89 and Caloundra Power Boat Club. A block back from the beach along Landsborough Parade between Beattie and Nelson Streets you will find a range of shops and cafes including fish and chips, Chinese, Thai and a bakery.
Whilst essentially a quiet residential area, Golden Beach accommodation includes Oaks Oasis Resort, Golden Beach Holiday Park, the Atrium Apartments, Fairseas, Gemini Resort, Riviere on Golden Beach, Moorings Beach Resort, Windward Passage Holiday Apartments, Sandy Shores Luxury Holiday Units, Ramada Resort and Belvedere Apartments. See below for our full review of Oaks Oasis.
If you want to stay at Golden Beach, QLD I recommend staying at the Oaks Caloundra at it is located at the northern end of the beach and within walking distance to the shops and cafes of Caloundra.
2. Bulcock Beach, Caloundra
If you like the calm waters of Golden Beach but want to be closer to the action then Bulcock Beach is probably a perfect choice for you. Bulcock Beach is a popular Caloundra Beach with families, particularly ones with small children due to the combination of both soft waves and calm waters. This is one of my favourite beaches in Caloundra.
This is also the place to be if you need to be close to shops as all the main shops and cafes of Caloundra are 5 minutes’ walk away including cinemas.
There is also a gorgeous park at Happy Valley, with large trees providing lots of shade and plenty of green lawn for picnics. The kids will love the playground area, there is a large fort and pirate ship both with various climbing equipment and slides. There is also swings here. Myla just loves this park and we returned to play here numerous times during our recent stay in Caloundra.
There is a great range of Caloundra restaurants and cafes along the Esplanade like Hello Harry, Drift Bar, Tides Waterfront, The Coffee Club, Sand Bar (for fish and chips), Drift and Hog’s Breath Caloundra as well as ice cream at Gelato Rumba.
If you would like to spend your Sunshine Coast holidays here, Bulcock Beach accommodation includes Rumba Beach Resort, Cerulean Apartments, Monaco Resorts, Waterview Resort, Breakfree Grand Pacific, the Waterford Prestige Apartments, Joanne Apartments, Centrepoint Apartments, Tranquil Shores and Kookaburra Court 5.
3. Kings Beach Caloundra
One of the most popular Sunshine Coast beaches is Kings Beach, Caloundra. As well as the beach, here you will find a free saltwater pool, various clubs and restaurants, playgrounds and a multitude of Caloundra holiday accommodation.
The beach here is a surf beach with gorgeous white powdery sand. If surf beaches aren’t your thing – then head to the free 25 metre sea water swimming pool along the Kings Beach foreshore. The pool is great for kids and has plenty of seating and shade as well.
Just left to the beach and pool are the Kings Beach rock pools. The kids will enjoy fossicking and exploring for sea life.
Little ones will love Lions Park and Kings Beach Park which both have a great playground with climbing nets, ramps, slides and other play equipment.
Cafes at Kings Beach Sunshine Coast include the Pavilion Kiosk, Kings Beach Surf Club, De Lish Fish, Crusoes on Kings, Elements on King and CPTN Kings Beach. We had lunch at the Pavilion – these guys do nice sandwiches and wraps for $7 to $9 and have casual seating with views of the beach.
Kings Beach accommodation includes Rolling Surf Resort, Shearwater Resort, Casablanca Beachfront Apartments, Kings Edge, Lindomare Apartments, Meridian Caloundra, Campbells Cove Beachfront Apartments and Capeview Apartments,
4. Shelly Beach Caloundra
Shelly Beach, Caloundra is a very pretty but rocky beach, so whilst not ideal for swimming the Shelly Beach rock pools are excellent for fossicking and exploring for marine life. There are over 20 different marine species that live in the rockpool ecosystem including sea cucumbers, octoppus, sea hare and coral.
The parklands around Shelly Beach are lovely with a playground, BBQ and picnic facilities.
Shelly Beach, Sunshine Coast is mainly residential, however there are some nearby Caloundra resorts and apartments such as Sea Point Ocean Apartments and Pacific View Resort.
5. Moffat Beach Caloundra
Moffat Beach, Caloundra is a picturesque surf beach and is ok for swimming depending upon the wave conditions. For surfers however, it is the ideal beach and home to one of Australia’s longest running surf competition; The Ma and Pa Bendall Classic. Tooway Creek also spills out onto the beach here which is great for small kids to splash about in.
There are two great kids playground here at Moffat Beach Park and Eleanor Shipley Park, both offering fantastic views of the Moffat Beach Headland. This beach is very pretty – in my view the prettiest beach in Caloundra.
There are a couple of good cafes along Seaview Terrace including the Pocket Espresso Bar, Moffats Beachside Takeaway, Sunnys @ Moffat, Café by the Beach, the Fish Bowl, Blackwater and the Coco Loco Club.
Moffat Beach accommodation is fairly limited but there is Norfolks on Moffat Beach and Raintrees Resort.
6. Dickys Beach Caloundra
Dicky Beach Caloundra is a popular beach for families with its surf beach, skate park and playgrounds not to mention one of the few places where you find Caloundra beachfront accommodation.
Nearby cafes at Dicky Beach include Tuk Tuk Thai on Dicky Beach, Yume Japanese Restaurant at Dicky, Three Bar & Grill, Dicky Beach Surf Club.
Dicky Beach accommodation includes Dicky Beach Holiday Park and Portobello by the Sea.
7. Currimundi Lake and Surf Beach
Currimundi has a gorgeous lake well protected from the wind. There is a large shallow sand bank, perfect for swimming, particularly for families with small children. The depth of the water varies from ankle to waist deep. Around the lake are huge she-oaks, paperbarks and banksia trees that provide plenty of shade
The lake is also the ideal spot for kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. You can bring your own equipment or hire from Kitethrills.
There is also a playground close by to the lake at Cliff Hargreaves Park. Here you will find BBQ facilities and toilets.
If you prefer a surf beach, just around the corner you will find Currimundi Surf Beach.
Cafes are fairly limited in the area with only Coco’s Beach Cafe and Kite Thrills Beach Espresso Bar in the area.
Unfortunately, there is no accommodation in the area, however you may find one of the Caloundra holiday rentals on sites such as Airbnb. If you are new to Airbnb, click here for $50 AUD off your first booking.
Where to Stay – Caloundra Accommodation
There are plenty of options in terms of Caloundra accommodation. Caloundra holiday accommodation includes resorts, self contained apartments, holiday home rentals and caravan parks.
Whilst we can’t cover them all, in this section we will cover on some recommended places to stay in Caloundra on the basis of their location, reviews and value for money.
Caloundra Hotels, Resorts and Apartments
Unlike the Gold Coast, you won’t find a crazy amount of high rises in Caloundra; in fact the area is mainly residential. For me this is what I love about Caloundra as this is what gives it its nice homely feel. Most of the Caloundra hotels and apartments are found in low to mid rise buildings.
Oaks Oasis Caloundra
During our recent visit to Caloundra we stayed at Oaks Oasis Caloundra and I have one word for this place – AMAZING!!!. Your kids will thank you for staying here and you will love the break you get whilst the kids are busy having the time of their lives. Without a doubt this place would have to be one of the best family Caloundra resorts.
Oaks Oasis Resort Caloundra is located in Golden Beach in a super convenient location for families, with everything you could possibly need within walking distance. Here is a quick guide of whats nearby and how long it will take to walk there:
- Woolworths supermarket, bottle shop and fast food (KFC, McDonald’s, Domino’s, Cold Rock)- 3 minutes
- Swimming area at Golden Beach – 8 minutes
- Dining options at Bulcock Beach – 10 minutes;
- Stocklands Shopping Centre – 8 minutes;
- Bulcock Beach – 15 minutes;
- Happy Valley Playground – 20 minutes;
- Golden Beach shops – 25 minutes;
- Fraser Park playground – 25 minutes
There are a range of different accommodation options at Oaks Caloundra from hotel style rooms to self contained apartments with 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms. During our recent visit we stayed in a family hotel room.
Travelling with a family, I usually prefer to stay in a self contained room for space and to make our own meals, however I was pleasantly surprised how spacious the hotel rooms were. There is plenty of storage space for your luggage and items with drawers in the TV cabinet, various shelves above the fridge, cupboard space and various shelving in the bathroom.
Whilst not self contained, there are a few facilities to help you provide basic meals, like lunch or breakfast in your room. Plates, bowls and cutlery are provided as well as a small fridge and table and chairs. An addition of a microwave would make this the perfect hotel room – there is plenty of room for one.
The bathroom is massive! Many times bathrooms are so crazy small, which is silly in a family room – but this one is massive! Seriously the entire family can shower together and still have room!
The reason you bring the kids to Oaks Resort Caloundra is for their fantastic facilities to entertain the kids. The facilities are so good here, you may not see anything else in Caloundra! Facilities include a fun-filled water park, resort-style pool with spa, putt-putt golf, sandpit, climbing frame and giant Kangaroo Jumper.
The main attraction is of course the 500m2 multi-level, Oaks Oasis Caloundra water park, complete with water slides, fountains and interactive activities. The water park is open from 9 am to 5 pm and kids will need a wrist band to enter (these are provided after showing your room key). There are plenty of sun lounges and tables and chairs around the water park for the parents to relax whilst supervising their kids. There is some shading here, but there does need to be more. Whilst there are pop up style tents, and sun umbrellas for the tables and chairs the sun lounges don’t have any and it is super hot here!
There is a kiosk at the water park selling drinks, ice blocks and other snacks as well as pool towels which you need to hire for $2 each.
By the water park there is also a small kids playground and two small trampolines.
Just outside the water park there is also a massive jumping pillow, mini golf, climbing structure, sand pit and skate park. Myla did go on the jumping pillow for around 10 minutes, but we basically could not get her out of the water park. There is also a tennis court.
There is also a good sized lagoon style swimming pool. The pool is not overly large, but given the majority of the kids are in the water park, we never found the pool overcrowded. The pool is heated, which is ideal for soft people like, easy to get straight in. The pool is open from 7 am to 10 pm.
By the pool is a bar and the Oasis Caloundra onsite restaurant Reflections. The restaurant is open daily serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meals available include pizzas (from $12.50) , burgers (from $16), salads (from $16), fish (from $25), steak (from $25) and more. We didn’t eat at the restaurant during our stay so cannot provide any further information. We did however have a few drinks from the bar around the pool and found their drinks reasonable price for a resort.
Reviews / Booking
We throughly enjoyed our stay at the Oasis Resort Caloundra and would highly recommend it for families, particularly with younger children. Oaks is well recommended on TripAdvisor with 78% of people rating it as excellent of very good.
At the time of publishing the best rate for a family of 2 adults and 2 children was $169 on Booking.com. Click to check the latest prices or to make a booking.
- Waterview Resort is located a short 2 minute walk to the gorgeous family Bulcock Beach, a range of great dining options on your door step and directly across the road to the awesome playground area at Happy Valley. It is also only a 10 minute walk to surf at Kings Beach;
- Facilities include a swimming pool, parking and BBQ facilities;
- Family sized apartments feature a fully equipped kitchen, laundry and balconies with stunning water views;
- At the time of publishing the best rate was $157 per night for 2 adults and 2 children in a 2 bedroom apartment on Agoda;
Tranquil Shores Holiday Apartments
- Tranquil Shores Holiday Apartments are located a short 2 minute walk to the gorgeous family Bulcock Beach, a range of great dining options on your door step and 4 minute walk to the awesome playground area at Happy Valley. It is also only a 10 minute walk to surf at Kings Beach;
- Facilities include a swimming pool, spa, free wifi, parking and BBQ facilities;
- Family sized apartments feature a fully equipped kitchen, laundry and balconies with stunning water or pool views;
- At the time of publishing the best rate was $135 per night for 2 adults and 2 children in a 2 bedroom apartment on Booking.com;
Pumicestone Blue Resort
- Pumicestone Blue Resort is located a short 5 minute walk to the gorgeous family Bulcock Beach, a range of great dining options on your door step and 9 minute walk to the awesome playground area at Happy Valley;
- Facilities include a swimming pool, fitness centre, spa, free wifi, parking, sauna and rooftop terrace;
- Family sized apartments feature a fully equipped kitchen, laundry and balconies with stunning water views;
- At the time of publishing the best rate was $290 per night for 2 adults and 2 children in a 2 bedroom apartment with ocean views on Lastminute.com.au;
Breakfree Grand Pacific
- Break Free Grand Pacific is located a short 3 minute walk to the gorgeous family Bulcock Beach, a range of great dining options on your door step and 6 minute walk to the awesome playground area at Happy Valley. Its also only a 15 walk to the surf of Kings Beach;
- Facilities include a large lagoon style swimming pool, fitness centre, sauna, free parking and games room;
- Family sized apartments feature a fully equipped kitchen, laundry and balcony;
- At the time of publishing the best rate was $148 per night for 2 adults and 2 children in a 2 bedroom apartment with garden views on Booking.com;
Rolling Surf Resort
- Rolling Surf Resort is located in a prime position directly on Kings Beach. It is a 5 minute walk to the free salt water pool and Kings Beach playground, 10 minute walk to the gorgeous family Bulcock Beach and it’s various cafes as well as having a range of great Kings Beach dining options on your door step. It is also a 10 minute walk to the awesome playground area at Happy Valley;
- Facilities include a swimming pool, parking and BBQ facilities;
- 2 bedroom apartments feature a fully equipped kitchen, laundry and balcony;
- At the time of publishing the best rate was $144 per night for 2 adults and 2 children in a 2 bedroom apartment on Booking.com;
Portobello by the Sea
- Portobello by the Sea is located directly across the road from Dicky Beach, a small playground and with a range of great cafes on your door step. There is also a bottle shop, supermarket, fish and chip shops, chemist and surf life saving club within a few minutes walk;
- Facilities include a swimming pool (including a kids wading pool), parking and BBQ facilities;
- These Caloundra holiday apartments feature a fully equipped kitchen, laundry and balcony;
- At the time of publishing the best rate was $162 per night for 2 adults and 2 children in a 2 bedroom apartment on Booking.com;
Norfolks on Moffat Beach
- Norfolks on Moffat Beach is located in the picturesque Moffat Beach village, directly across the road from the beach. A range of great dining options are on your door step as well as 2 great playgrounds;
- Facilities include a swimming pool, spa, free wifi, parking and BBQ facilities;
- Family sized Caloundra apartments feature a fully equipped kitchen, laundry and balconies with stunning water or pool views;
- At the time of publishing the best rate was $136 per night for 2 adults and 2 children in a 2 bedroom apartment on Booking.com;
Caloundra Caravan Park
If you are camping or bring the caravan or perhaps just prefer the laid feel of a Caloundra holiday park then we recommend you check out Caloundra Waterfront Holiday Park or Dicky Beach Caravan Park.
Big 4 Caloundra (Caloundra Waterfront Holiday Park)
- The Big 4 Caloundra offers great Caloundra family accommodation on the waterfront of the Pumicestone Passage; in a fantastic location, directly on the water front at Golden Beach, with supermarkets and various Caloundra dining options close as well as a short walk to Bulcock Beach;
- The Caloundra caravan park facilities include a swimming pool with waterslide, jumping pillow, playground, BBQ facilities, camp kitchen, laundry and free wifi;
- Accommodation options at Big 4 caravan park Caloundra include studios as well as caravan and camp sites. Family sized cabins include a kitchen, TV, aircon, bathroom and outdoor patio with table and chairs;
- 2 bedroom cabins start at around $167 per night and bookings need to be made directly – click here to book.
Dicky Beach Caravan Park
- The Dicky Beach Caravan Park offers great Dicky Beach accommodation in a fantastic location, directly on the beach front at Dicky Beach, the Dicky Beach Surf Club on one side and a variety of shops on cafes across the road on the other side;
- Facilities at the Dicky Beach family holiday park include a swimming pool, tennis court, playground, BBQ facilities, camp kitchen, laundry and free wifi;
- Accommodation options include studios as well as caravan and camp sites. Family sized studios include a kitchenette, double bed, bunks, TV, aircon, bathroom and outdoor patio with table and chairs;
- Studios start at around $120 per night and bookings need to be made directly – click here to book.
Where to Eat – Caloundra Restaurants
There are several great family friendly Caloundra restaurants with most being found around Bulcock and Kings Beach.
I have mentioned a few of cafes and restaurants under each beach section above, however in this section I have included some personal favourites for families.
Hello Harry Burger
Located along the Esplanade at Bulcock Beach is a funky burger joint called Hello Harry. These guys serve up great burgers at a great price – like they say on their website “no nonsense, no fluff, just delicious burgers”.
The burger joint is not much more than a hole in the wall style cafe, but inside you will find massive splashes of colour on the wall with funky graffiti art, distressed timber tables and mismatched coloured stools. Such a great location on the Esplanade at Bulcock Beach with lovely views across the Pumicestone Passage to Bribie Island.
As soon as we entered we were greeted with super friendly staff and Myla was given a bunch of crayons and paper bag to decorate. We arrived just before 6 pm on a Monday night and got a table straight away – but soon after there was a long queue of customers waiting to get in – this place was pumping for a Monday night!
The menu is a simple; but delicious burger menu. Choose between beef, chicken, pulled pork, lamb, vegetarian and many more. Burgers are priced between $10 to $14 with kids burgers $7. There are also a range of delicious sides like seasoned chips (mmm my favourite), onion rings, sweet potato fries and salad priced from $5 to $8. Just a word of warning, unless you have a massive appetite don’t order a burger and side all to yourself – we couldn’t get through 2 sides between the 4 of us – these servings are super generous!
Hello Harry is licensed and serve a range of wine, beers, ciders and spirits all at a really good price. And the kids, ok some grown ups too, will love their super delicious milkshakes – they even have nutella flavour!
These guys are open daily with opening hours Monday to Friday being 11.30 am to 9 pm and 11 am to 9 pm on the weekends.
Seafood Market @ Caloundra
For some of the fish and chips Caloundra has to offer check out Seafood Market @Caloundra. As well as delicious fish and chips, these guys claim to have the freshest seafood Caloundra has on offer.
They have a variety of fish available which can all be crumbed, battered or grilled; as well as burgers, salads and wraps. You can find their full menu and prices here. They have plenty of seating at the store or do what we did and take it to nearby Bulcock Beach for fish and chips on the beach.
For those who want to cook their own seafood, the guys at Seafood Market will clean your seafood at no extra cost. They are also happy to to give you some tips on how best to cook it once you get home.
This place is clearly popular – we visited on a Wednesday night and this place was packed.
The Seafood Market is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 7.30 pm and is located at 144 Bulcock Street Caloundra – only a short walk from the Oaks Oasis Caloundra.
For those flying into the Brisbane airport, Caloundra is around a 1 hour and 15 minute drive. It is also possible to fly into the Sunshine Coast airport which is around a 30 minutes drive from Caloundra. Whichever airport your drive into, I would recommend hiring a car at the airport and driving to Caloundra, this way you will have transport in Caloundra to visit all the gorgeous beaches as well as the attractions nearby.
However if you are just after a beach holiday, it is possible to get here without your own transport. You could easily stay put on most of the Caloundra beaches and walk to everything you would need. If this is you, then you can easily obtain shuttle transfers from both airports to Caloundra. Click here to book a shuttle transfer.
If you are coming from Brisbane to Caloundra, using public transport, the best option is a combination of train and bus. Take a train from the city to Landsborough Station and a bus from here to Caloundra. Use the Journey Planner to find the departure times and fares.
If you are needing public transport to get around Caloundra, use the Translink Journey Planner to find the best option and fares. There is a fairly good bus service with regular departure times and stops at various stops along the coast.
We absolutely love Caloundra as family holiday destination. It has a lovely laid back casual vibe, it is not overrun with high rises and overpriced cafes. The beaches are beautiful and there are stacks of calm waters which are ideal for small kids and you will find playgrounds every couple of hundred metres.
You could easily spend your entire holiday on the beach, but if you need a little more to keep you busy there are heaps of Sunshine Coast attractions close by to explore as well as other stunning Sunshine Coast beaches including Noosa and Mooloolaba.
If you are after a reasonably priced, stress free family holiday by the beach, look no further than Caloundra.
Thanks so much to Oaks Oasis, Hello Harry, Seafood Market @ Caloundra and Aussie World for hosting us in Caloundra. As always, all opinions expressed in this blog are my own and have not been influenced in anyway.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means that should make any bookings using my links, I may be paid a small commission at no extra cost to you. This allows me to provide this information free of charge – thank you for supporting our website.
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