Road Trip Coolum Sunshine Coast Queensland Australia



Early morning we indulged in the natural wonders of Coolum up the Sunshine Coast. Cruising to the Sunshine Coast from Brisbane is exactly what it sounds like a beachy, sun-soaked adventure with popular attractions, including Mount Coolum, Coolum Beach, Emu Mountain.

Mount Coolum is an unmissable Sunshine Coast natural attraction that stands proudly against the Sunshine Coast landscape. Once at the summit you'll be rewarded with sensational views over the Sunshine Coast. Looking east toward the sea, coastal views stretch from Double Island Point all the way to Caloundra. The short tracks at the top offer great views to the south overlooking cane land, river valleys and the Sunshine Coast's undulating hills.

Coolum beach is the main beach in Coolum and is the very southern part of a much larger 15km beach that includes Sunrise and Peregian Beaches.

Meander through vivid wildflowers before climbing to the top of Emu Mountain. The mountain, also known as Mount Peregian (the Aboriginal word for emu), is the remnant rhyolite rock from a once-larger volcanic mass. Stand atop the summit and soak in sublime panoramic views of the coastline from Noosa to Maroochydore. Keen eyes will spot the Glass House Mountains to the south-west and Mount Tuchekoi to the north-west.

Our first stop at Coolum was Stumers Creek, where the creek meets the ocean. Driving down Stumers Creek Road at the northern end of Coolum on David Low Way, just north of the Coolum shops and Caravan Park you come across one of the best dog off-leash beach. Dogs can access the off leash beach between access points 67 to 72. If dogs could talk, we’re sure they’d beg you to spice up the exercise regime every once in awhile, instead of the usual round-the-block route, past that tree they have sniffed every day. Our pup (Shari) loves to stretch her legs, running in and out of the creek and surf. Stumers Creek is a winner of a spot for peeps and pups alike.

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From the beach breakfast was calling. Coolum is full of amazing cafes, meaning the opportunities for a morning coffee or smoothies are endless. In Coolum many of the cafes come paired with a great atmosphere, a stunning view or if you're lucky both. Cafes like, Freddy Fuddpukka’s Café, which is one of the friendliest cafes around in which to stop and enjoy a bite to eat. It’s situated within a shopping precinct, so you can grab a few bargains, before or after you eat. The outdoor seating is dog friendly, if you want to bring your pet along with you. Bean Head Café, food is either made at the café or sourced in the local area. It’s fresh and it’s super tasty. Raw Energy Coolum is healthy as well as tasting great. There is also a range of delicious beverages available including fresh coffee and smoothies.

Sitting rather discreetly among the cafes and shops of Coolum’s main drag we came across, Alley Cat. Alley Cat is bustling morning, noon, and night with locals and their dogs. This eatery belongs in any pet-friendly guide to the Sunshine Coast with the coffee being legendary, so too are the savoury muffins.


We cannot understate the vibe of the Coolum Beach Alley Cat. Not only does it serve up fresh muffins and tasty breaky boards to all the coolest cats in Coolum but it’s also a brilliant spot for evening hang outs. With live music and drinks every Fridays & Saturdays from 5pm until late. Ended up getting coffee’s and a Brekky burger of "German Bake House" Turkish bun, bacon free range fried egg, tomato, sliced cheese, avocado, spinach and tomato relish, The Steve Special, of “German Bake House" fermented sourdough, half an avocado, 2 free range fried eggs, bacon, spinach, garlic mushrooms, grilled local tomatoes & haloumi, served with tomato relish.

Breakfast finished we headed to the Sunshine Coast Collective Markets, which isn’t just your average market, it is a collective of local Sunshine Coast designers, musicians, artists, foodies, creators, vintage wares and lifestyle lovers. The intention of the market is to create a true ‘local’ market which showcases to the community and visitors the amazing talent on the Sunshine Coast. Those visiting will enjoy the relaxed Sunday vibe, amazing coffee, to die for street food, a carefully edited line up of stalls, and live music from local musicians. Market-goers won’t find imported products or carbon copies when they browse the 60 stalls. Instead, there is a treasure trove of unique, hand-crafted wares complemented by local produce and foodies. The markets are located at Coolum Primary School, Barns Lane, 2nd and 4th Sunday of each monthly from 8am to 12noon.

Heading home we dropped into The Fisherman Road Markets, situated corner of Fisherman’s Road and David Low Way, Maroochydore. Local markets offer one of a kind trinkets, tasty food, fresh produce, handmade garments, original artwork, home ware and jewellery. Fisherman Road markets you can browse up to 128 stalls offering a large variety of items including fresh produce, books, second hand items, plants, furniture, homemade toys, coffee and food.

A visit to the Sunshine Coast wouldn’t be the same without making a visit to one of the weekend markets. Sunshine Coast Markets range from fresh food farmer’s markets, pre-loved and collective markets to arts and craft markets. They are all worth a stroll around and browse to sample the delicious fare or to purchase that special memento of your Sunshine Coast holiday.

Here is a list of the best Sunshine Coast Markets:


Mooloolaba Esplanade Markets

When: 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month

Where: Surf Club end of Mooloolaba Esplande

What: Featuring an eclectic mix of great crafts, arts, experiences and food.


Fishermans Road Markets

When: Every Sunday 6am to 12.30pm

Where: Fishermans Road, Corner David Low Way,Maroochydore

What: Popular for both fruit and vegetables and bric-a-brac. The markets include 128 stalls.  


Big Top Farmers Markets

When: Wednesdays 8am-3pm, Fridays noon-8pm, Saturdays 8am-3pm

Where: Big Top Market Fresh Complex, Ocean Street, Maroochydore

What: Fresh produce straight from the producers of the region, including fresh fruit and vegetables, juices, marinades, sauces, nuts and seeds, olives, herbs, fresh seafood, organic meat and fresh baked bread.


Cotton Tree Markets

When: Sundays 7am to 12pm

Where: King Street, Cotton Tree, Maroochydore

What: Feature local artisans, designers and inventors selling their own unique and creative works. You will find a diverse and eclectic range of fashion, jewellery, original artworks, sculptures, skincare, pottery, baking, homewares plus so much more to suit all tastes and ages.


Sunshine Coast Collective Markets

When: 4th Sunday of each month

Where: Coolum State School, School Rd, Coolum Beach

What: A collective of local Sunshine Coast designers, musicians, artists, foodies, creators, vintage wares and lifestyle lovers. No mass produced or cheap imported products will be found here.


The Original Eumundi Markets

When: Saturdays 7am-2pm & Wednesdays 8am-1.30pm

Where: Township of Eumundi

What: A huge array of original artworks, sculptures, furniture, handmade toys, homewares, skincare, candles and clothing. There’s a fresh produce section with delicious fruit and vegetables and amazing cheeses and yoghurts as well as fresh baked breads. Scattered throughout the stalls are buskers and street artists. 


Yandina Markets

When: Saturdays

Where: Wonga Park, North Street, Yandina

What: “The country markets locals love” – the markets include plants, fresh food, bric-a-brac, second hand treasures, collectables and car parts.


It is believed the name Coolum is derived from the local Aboriginal word “gulum” or “kulum” meaning blunt or headless, and refers to the shape of Mount Coolum, which has no peak. Prior to European settlement, the Coolum district was the traditional land of the Inabara or Yinneburra clan of the Undanbi tribe of Aboriginal people and part of the larger Kabi Kabi group.

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