Exploring Coolum on Australia Day Long Weekend

Exploring Coolum on Australia Day Long Weekend: 
A Perfect Blend of Adventure and Relaxation


As the Australia Day Long Weekend approached, we hooked up the caravan and embarked on another adventure. This year, instead of our usual trip to Burrum Heads, we chose to explore the charming Coolum Holiday Park on the Sunshine Coast. Coolum Holiday Park is a fantastic spot because it has everything you could want, right next to a great surf beach which goes on for miles, a well maintained caravan park, with shops, cafe's & restaurants just across the road, dog friendly with lots of good walking tracks, very reasonable despite the holiday period.  Nestled in the heart of the Sunshine Coast, Coolum is a sought-after holiday destination that has it all. Boasting a picturesque coastline and world-class beaches, Coolum is a haven for surfers and beach enthusiasts alike. You can spend your day swimming, surfing or simply soaking up the sun on the golden sands. The possibility of rain couldn't dampen our excitement.


Our mornings and late afternoons were filled with invigorating swims in the surf, accompanied by our beloved pup, Shari. Swimming in the ocean is one of the great things about a beach holiday and it doesn’t get much better than on the Sunshine Coast. Relaxation and people-watching became our motto as we soaked up the vibrant atmosphere and scenic beauty of Coolum Beach. The Coolum Boardwalk is perfect for taking an easy walk.


To start our day right, we visited a couple of local cafes for breakfast. There is a fantastic coffee culture around town with plenty of places to find your morning cup before going for a swim or walk along the beach. Alley Cat, a family-owned and operated business located in the heart of Coolum Beach. Sitting rather discreetly among the cafes and shops of Coolum’s main drag is Alley Cat. Bustling morning, noon, and night with locals and their dogs, this eatery belongs in any pet-friendly guide to the Sunshine Coast. While the coffee is legendary, so too are the savoury muffins. I never could resist the Breakfast Burger and Kim went with the Vegie Stack with bacon, which Shari had a side of bacon. Their healthy menu and exquisite coffee provided the perfect fuel for our adventures.

We also savored breakfast at Cuban St Coffee Roasters in Marcoola, a cute little place buzzing with energy and serving exceptional coffee. Cuba Street is next door to a roastery so you know your coffee is going to be super fresh. Delicious toasted bagels and focaccia with bacon, avocado and cream cheese, or chicken and cheese.


In between our beach activities, Kim indulged her shopping desires by exploring the unique boutiques that Coolum had to offer. Coolum shops are located (in the heart of Coolum) just off the esplanade on Park Street opposite Tickle Park and Skate Park Depending on your shopping list, you can find everything you need and more, not far from your Coolum beach accommodation. Elmari Boutique, Nomadi Coolum, Aura is a small boutique on the esplanade, which is a great place to  shop for sweet summer essentials and accessories - perfect for your beach getaway., Ghanda Clothing Coolum, Zasha Boutique, and more were all part of her shopping extravaganza.


Coolum Lions put together a Great Family Day for Coolum’s Australia Day Celebrations this year. Australia Day kicks off with the traditional Lioness Breakfast in the Park from 6.30am. It is a great opportunity to go for a walk on the magnificent Coolum Beach and then celebrate Australia Day with a bacon and egg burger in the park. The morning activities of novelty events lead by the Gone Bonkers Thong throwing competition, the Yum Gelato Ice-Cream eating completion, 3-legged races. The evening, we were treated to a spectacular fireworks display from Trickle Park. The vibrant colors against the night sky painted a picture of joy and celebration.

One of our most memorable experiences was attending Salty Saturday at Jack Morgan Park. This community celebration of beachside bliss offered delicious street food, local markets, live music, and chilled vibes. 

Kim indulged in a meal from the renowned Reka, enjoying a simple yet flavorful harvest bowl. 

The Charlie Blue Earrings she stumbled upon were simple, affordable, and truly memorable, just like our Coolum experience. Salty Saturdays offers a diverse range of experiences, from engaging activities for kids and exploring local crafts to enjoying delicious food, music, and the beauty of Coolum's coastal setting. It's an event that brings the community together for a memorable weekend of entertainment and relaxation.


Another highlight was our visit to Canteen Bar and Grill, a lovely outdoor venue overlooking the Coolum surf. The dog-friendly environment, great selection of beers, and refreshing cocktails provided the perfect ambiance for a late afternoon drinks session. Shari, our pup, became an instant hit with the friendly staff. With ocean views and the fresh sea breeze the amazing brunch options are the perfect way to start your day. Great coffee and exciting menu options are available such as, truffle mushrooms, jalapeno corn fritters and BBQ pork belly omelette to get your mouth watering.


Exploring the local markets was a must. We made our way to the Sunshine Coast Collective Markets, immersing ourselves in the truly local experience. Kim couldn't resist picking up some dog treats and shampoo from Hooper Ruff Dog Boutique. We continued our market adventures at Cotton Tree Markets, discovering unique treasures and supporting local artisans.


As the sun set each evening, we found ourselves connecting with fellow outdoor lovers, sharing stories of adventure and forging new friendships. The weather, although a tad humid, did not hinder our enjoyment. The cool air conditioning in our cozy caravan provided a welcomed reprieve after each fun-filled day.


Our stay at Coolum Holiday Park was nothing short of incredible, and we're already counting down the days until we can return. The blend of adventure, relaxation, and community spirit made for a truly unforgettable Australia Day Long Weekend that we will cherish for years to come.

3 experiences to consider in Coolum

Salty Saturdays

The local markets in Coolum are always such a vibe so check out Salty Saturdays. They are held every second Saturday of the month in Jack Morgan Park (next to the Coolum Bowls Club). They are filled with a fun afternoon of music, shopping and entertainment for the entire family.

Enjoy Vivid Sunrises and Sunsets

The skies appear to be growing more vivid and bold as the days grow shorter and cooler. This is due to the reduced humidity and the earth’s rotational tilt. There are more opportunities to see both sunrise and sunset during the winter months due to the shorter days.

Hike Mount Coolum:

Take your love to new heights by conquering Mount Coolum, a majestic volcanic dome rising above the coastal landscape. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a memorable adventure together.

As you ascend the well-marked trail, immerse yourselves in nature’s wonders, including unique flora and fauna. Reaching the summit rewards you with awe-inspiring panoramic views of the coastline and hinterland, creating a moment you’ll never forget.

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