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Beach and Beyond - What to See and Do in Mooloolaba

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Sunny weather, white sandy beaches, and plenty of water sports draw visitors to Mooloolaba on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. A drive of about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Brisbane, this seaside vacation spot is packed with oceanfront eateries, boutique shopping, and family-themed activities. When the sun goes down, bars and clubs fill with night people out to have a good time.

The Esplanade


A myriad of restaurants, art galleries, and a wide range of shopping options are found along The Esplanade, an oceanfront pedestrian strip that's a hub for leisure activity. Backed by a line of high-rise apartment buildings that rent to short-term visitors, The Esplanade is a perfect place to laze away a day at an outdoor café table over coffee, or a tropical cocktail. Whilst doing so, you can enjoy ocean views and a parade of passerbys.


  • Spice Bar, 123 Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mooloolaba QLD 4557; Tel: +61 7 5444 2022; Website: Spice Bar

  • David Hart Galleries, The Peninsular, 22/13 Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mooloolaba QLD 4557; Tel: +61 7 5452 5600; Website: David Hart Galleries

Ocean water sports


If you're into ocean activity, Mooloolaba Beach is the place for you. Patrolled beaches with calm waters for swimming make it a great place to take the family. Point breaks are a top draw for seasoned surfers, with plenty of surfing schools in the area to help out novices. It's also a place that's popular for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Snorkeling and scuba diving are found just offshore, notably at the “HMAS Brisbane” - a destroyer that was sunk to create a dive site. Grassy areas to spread out and have a picnic area just off the sand.


  • Scuba World, The Wharf, Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba QLD 4557; Tel: +61 7 5444 8595; Website: Scuba World

  • XL Surfing Academy, Mooloolaba, Queensland 4557; Tel: +61 7 5478 1337; Website: XL Surfing Academy


Motorized ocean fun


Looking for something a little more high-energy from your ocean experience? You can rent a personal watercraft to go buzzing across the open water. For a faster thrill ride, why not strap into the racing seat of a jet boat? it takes groups on wild rides of fish tails, wave jumping, and ocean-swell surfing. For a more tranquil time at sea, whale-watching tours head out to get glimpses of migratory humpback whales that pass through these parts twice a year. A romantic dinner aboard a sunset cruise is a great way to end any day.


  • 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


Fun and learning centers


One of Mooloolaba's most-visited attractions, UnderWater World Sea Life Aquarium has a shark tunnel that lets you come face-to-face with more than 8 species of sharks, as well as stingrays and turtles. A 13-minute drive from Mooloolaba, Aussie World theme park has rides and games designed to please all ages. Big Kart Track, a 20-minute drive away, has go-kart tracks to challenge and entertain both adults and children.


  • 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


Bars, clubs, and nightlife


While the beach is Mooloolaba's big draw, many visitors are also attracted to its famed nightlife scene. Those looking to imbibe can find watering holes that cater to nearly every inclination - from low-lit cocktail lounges and chic wine bars, to traditional pubs and high-energy venues with live music.


  • The Wharf Tavern, River Esplanade and Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba QLD 4557; Tel: +61 7 5444 8383; Website: The Wharf Tavern

  • O'Malleys Irish Pub, 1 Venning St., Mooloolaba QLD 4557; Tel: +61 7 5452 6344; Website: O'Malleys Irish Pub