Mooloolaba Beach has featured in TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Beaches list two years running - and it's not hard to see why. Golden sand, clear waters and a gentle beach break make this stretch of coast one of the best places in Australia to pitch your beach umbrella and get some vitamin sea. Spend the morning in the water and then stroll up to the Esplanade's vibrant restaurant strip for lunch, or camp out under your umbrella for a relaxing afternoon snooze. You could swim, eat, sleep, repeat for your whole holiday!
Coastal walks are a morning ritual for locals on the Sunshine Coast, so rise early to go a little native on your next holiday. Watch the dawn break over Mooloolaba Beach as you head towards Alexandra Headland on an easy 20-minute stroll to arrive at one of the most instagrammable spots on the Sunshine Coast. Keep walking, and you'll arrive at Cotton Tree, where the river meets the ocean. Grab a coffee from the Alex Heads Surf Club on the walk back and finish off your stroll with a dip at the beach before heading to Acai Brothers for breakfast of superfood goodness.
The dining scene is hotting up in Mooloolaba. Backlane Bar and Tapas Bar on First Avenue is making quite a buzz with locals and The Dock Restaurant, in the newly renovated The Wharf Mooloolaba riverside centre, is on every foodie's hit list. Of course, Mooloolaba is no stranger to premium dining, with Spice Bar's delectable Asian-fusion cuisine recognised in TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards as a gastronomic must-do. Just down the Esplanade is Augello's Ristorante and Pizzaria which holds the title for 2017's 'World's Best Pizza', and Three Little Stones - a little bistro with a reputation for generous serves of scrumptious, locally-sourced fare and excellent coffee. The Boathouse Restaurant in Mooloolaba Surf Club has all-day dining and you can choose from club classics to mod-Oz creations. Still hungry? Check out our guide to the best eats and drinks in Mooloolaba.
Lovers of antique and fine jewellery will be smitten with the exquisite range of vintage style baubles at Avenue J Couture underneath Mantra Zanzibar on the Esplanade. From Edwardian diamond and pearl ‘bow’ rings to art deco diamond ear rings, Avenue J is the place to source some timeless bling or holiday keepsake. The Mooloolaba Esplanade is also home to an exciting shopping precinct by the water, where you can buy everything from beach towels, to designer label clothes, and the latest swimwear and art masterpieces.
Sea Life Sunshine Coast
Nope, it's not just for kids - SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast is an underwater wonderworld! Explore the depths of the ocean and marvel as sharks, rays and reef fish swim right over you in the underwater tunnel. Touch sea creatures in the tidal pool, see mesmerising marine life displays, and discover something ‘fishy’ at Seal Island show. Roll up your sleeves and become a Marine Biologist for the day. And for the real adventurers, the Seal Swim and Seal Encounters allow you to get up close with some of the coast’s most adorable sea creatures!
Parkyn Parade Seafood Precinct
You can't come to Mooloolaba and not try a Mooloolaba prawn. You'll find these tender and flavour-packed shellfish gracing menus right across the Sunshine Coast, but nothing beats a fresh prawn straight off the trawler. Parkyn Parade Seafood Precinct is a working port and your go-to for sourcing the freshest seafood on the Sunshine Coast. Pack a picnic, stroll to Parkyn Parade and order a kilo of Mooloolaba prawns from one of the many retailers that line the shore. It's a short walk back to the beach to find a spot to drop your towel and dine alfresco on some of the freshest seafood you're ever likely to eat.
Take to the water on a relaxing cruise or an exhilarating jet boat ride. Board their Hela-Va jet boat and lock yourself in for some high-speed thrills and dare-devil manoeuvres on the open ocean with Sunshine Coast Afloat. Or jump onto Whale One for a Marine Discovery Lunch Tour where you’ll become sea explorers for-a-day in search of dolphins, turtles and other marine species. Sunshine Coast Afloat and Whale One operate family-friendly whale watching tours between May and October each year – and for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, join Sunreef on an incredible swim with the whales experience. Enjoy one of the very informative 1-hour Mooloolaba Canal Cruise. If you’d prefer to sit back and let someone else do all the work, why not book a seafood lunch cruise with Coastal Cruises Mooloolaba or settle in and enjoy an evening cruise, watching the sun set over Mooloolaba Bay with a cocktail or two in hand.
From quirky trivia nights to renowned cultural festivals and international sporting competitions, why not step it up a notch and take part in one of the Mooloolaba’s many sporting, arts or cultural events? This amazing holiday destination doubles as a hub for must-do experiences, combining the best of the destination’s relaxed beach lifestyle and its stunning natural beauty. For a full year round event guide, check out our exciting What’s On calendar.
On the second Friday of every month, Nights on Ocean comes to life on nearby Ocean Street, Maroochydore. With the street already famous for being the Sunshine Coast’s nightlife capital, Nights on Ocean builds on the precinct's restaurants and bars and amplifies the already pumping atmosphere. Delight in food stalls that take you on a culinary tour around the world, stroll the street and be entertained by local bands, buskers and dancers and meet local artisans selling an eclectic range of handmade arts, clothing and jewellery.
Take a 'doors off' flight in a seaplane
Take off from the Maroochy River, just short drive from Mooloolaba, and enjoy a sky-high, jaw-dropping adventure in the air over the spectacular Sunshine Coast coastline. Paradise Seaplanes’ "Wilga Warbird" will take you on a joyride over some of the most picturesque parts of the coast. Forget about grabbing a window seat for the best view, this baby has more glass windows than a helicopter! You’ll cruise low and slow at around 500 feet, taking in magnificent views of the Maroochy River, Noosa and Mount Coolum, Caloundra and the Pumicestone Passage, or Rainbow Beach and Double Island Point. For a big punch of extra POW!, upgrade to a ‘Touch the Sky - Doors Off’ tour.