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A Guide to Mooloolaba - Beaches, Nightlife, and Family Fun

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With an almost perfect year-round climate, Mooloolaba constantly draws visitors. It is one of the most popular seaside spots on Australia's Sunshine Coast, and wonderful for a romantic getaway or water-sport-centered family vacation. Mooloolaba's main beach is backed by a famous strip of high-rise vacation apartments. On ground level, there are a multitude of shopping, dining, and nightlife options along the esplanade.

Mooloolaba Beach


Surrounded by shady parks with playgrounds and picnic areas, the long stretch of Mooloolaba Beach hosts many water sports. Coral Sea waters offer safe spots for swimming, point breaks for surfing, and steady winds for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Cruises can take you out to see turtles, dolphins, and migratory whales. Walks along the white sand can lead you to shimmering rock pools, and a view of Point Cartwright Lighthouse across the Mooloolah River. This active lighthouse, an 11-minute drive from town, is surrounded by a tree-dotted park that's popular with locals and tourists alike.


  • Coastal Cruises, 123 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba QLD 4557; Tel: +61 419 704 797; Website: Coastal Cruises

  • Maroochydore Surf School, 34-36 Alexandra Parade, Maroochydore QLD 4558; Tel: +61 7 5443 1298; Website: Maroochydore Surf School

The Esplanade


Facing Mooloolaba Beach, The Esplanade is the town's geographical and social center. A walk, jog, or rollerblade along the strip passes dining spots that range from world-class restaurants and high-end bistros, to casual eateries and breezy seaside cafés. While seafood reigns supreme, international cuisine with restaurants specializing in Portuguese, Italian, and Thai food, also share the strip. Shopping along The Esplanade is just as varied, with upscale clothing boutiques alongside stores selling moderately priced beachwear. Art galleries cater to well-heeled collectors, while souvenirs shops offer affordable handicrafts.



Deep-sea discoveries


Beyond beachfront water sports, Mooloolaba offers great scuba diving and snorkeling. You can plunge for a swim into the boiler and engine rooms of the “HMAS Brisbane,” a destroyer that was sunk in order to create a dive site. There's also more tranquil diving in the calm waters of the Mooloolah River. Boating adventures include whale watching outings, leisurely canal cruises, and a chance to for a wild ride on a jet boat. Fully enclosed jet boats hit the open waters for wave jumping, fish tailing, and extreme figure eights.


  • Whale One, 125 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba QLD 4557; Tel: +61 1300 942 531; Website: Whale One

  • Mooloolaba Jet Boat, 22 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba QLD 4557; Tel: +61 402 625 825; Website: Mooloolaba Jet Boat


Bars and nightlife in Mooloolaba


Swanky wine bars and low-lit cocktail lounges attract a mature clientele, while pubs and nightclubs bring in a younger scene looking to party into the night. Much of the nocturnal action is centered at The Wharf, an entertainment complex at Mooloolaba's marina. A short walk from The Esplanade, The Wharf has over a half dozen venues under one roof, spanning from an intimate lounge to a raucous nightclub.


  • The Wharf, 123 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba QLD 4557; Tel: +61 7 5458 6272; Website: The Wharf

  • The Yacht Club, 33-45 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba QLD 4557; Tel: +61 7 5370 1700; Website: The Yacht Club


Fun centers in Mooloolaba


A 3-minute walk from The Esplanade takes you to UnderWater World Sea Life Aquarium. This aquatic center has a tunnel that lets you explore a coral reef, cave, and an open-ocean environment with sharks, stingrays, and moray eels. Mooloolaba also serves as a base to explore nearby attractions like Aussie World. A 13-minute drive from town, this theme park has games and attractions running from thrilling rides to milder ones for toddlers, as well as installations like” Crazy Mirrors” and “Professor Bogglesworth’s Illusionarium.” A 20-minute drive from Mooloolaba, Big Kart Track has go-karts tracks for kids and adults.


  • UnderWater World Sea Life Aquarium, Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba QLD 4557; Tel: +61 7 5458 6280; Website: UnderWater World Sea Life Aquarium

  • Aussie World, 73 Frizzo Rd., Palmview QLD 4553; Tel: +61 7 5494 5444; Website: Aussie World