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World Travel Guide > Guides > Oceania > Australia > Queensland > Caloundra beaches

About Caloundra beaches

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast begins just an hour’s drive north of Brisbane at the coastal resort town of Caloundra, and follows a 100km (62 mile) stretch of white, sandy beaches northwards to Fraser Island. Known as a winter playground of the Sunshine Coast, Caloundra offers both great surf beaches and sheltered waterways, ideal for fishing, boating and water-skiing.

Beach:

Excellent surf beaches follow a 30km (18.5 mile) stretch from Buddina Beach to Pelican Waters. The calmer water of Pumicestone Channel is popular with fishermen and a variety of boating activities. Try your hand at kite-surfing or surf-fishing from the beach, or breathe in the fresh sea air on coastal walks along the foreshore and rocky headlands. Shelling, surfing, windsurfing or lazing in the sun are enjoyed by family vacationers and sunlovers year round under perennial blue skies. Fishing is popular off the jetty at Golden Beach, and the best snorkelling is at King’s Beach and Buddina Beach.

King’s Beach boasts a 25m (82ft) seawater lap pool that flanks the ocean along the foreshore. The beaches are safe and patrolled by surf lifesavers. Currimindi Beach was voted Queensland’s cleanest beach in 2004.

Beyond the beach:

Take in some of the best aerial coastline views in the world on a tandem skydive with Sunshine Coast Skydivers (Caloundra Airport), landing right on the beach. Southern Cross Motorcycle Tours offers door-to-door pickup for Harley motorcycle tours of the coast and hinterland.

Savour the exhilaration of open cockpit flying in a 1944 Tiger Moth, skimming along the coast, watching the sea and sky revolve in aerobatic manoeuvres, or flying around the volcanic peaks of the Glass House Mountains (Flying with Smithy, Caloundra Airport).

Pioneer Park, on the road to Landsborough, is an all abilities park for the whole family including a zip line, climbing ropes and sling carousel. Defy gravity in the Bungee Bullet as you’re flung 50m (164ft) into the air on a bungee, or take in hairpin bends on go-karts, both at the Big Kart Track (Glass House Mountains Tourist Drive, Landsborough). Experience wildlife close encounters at the late Crocodile Hunter’s Australia Zoo (Glass House Mountains Tourist Drive, Beerwah) where you may see Steve Irwin’s wife and daughter hosting interactive activities. Take the Ginger Train at Buderim’s Ginger Factory (50 Pioneer Road, Yandina), or visit the Big Pineapple (Nambour Connection Road, Woombye), a working pineapple and macadamia nut plantation. Train rides pass through the tropical fruit orchards and rainforests.

Family fun:

Beaches are patrolled by lifeguards and many have children’s playgrounds and picnic facilities. King’s Beach seawater pool also has a special children’s pool with wading area. Currimundi Beach and lake are ideal for canoeing, swimming, surfing, fishing and walking. Pumicestone Passage Marine Park (located between Caloundra and Bribie Island) is home to dugongs, dolphins, turtles and over 360 bird species, and can be explored by cruise boats on the smooth inland waterway. The Queensland Air Museum (7 Pathfinder Drive, Caloundra) showcases a fascinating collection of Australia’s early aviation heritage.

Exploring further:

Take a trip to the nearby Blackall Range and hike through lush rainforests, spotting rare plants and native wildlife. Stroll through art and craft shops in small townships, and sample local wines. Many outstanding restaurants can be found in the prosperous, fertile hinterland, surrounded by pineapple plantations and tropical orchards.

Several hours’ boat ride offshore is the World Heritage Fraser Island, an unusual biodiverse ecosystem with abundant wildlife. Tours explore the 124km (77 mile) sand island by 4-wheel drive, through rainforests and coloured sandy deserts, and across open heathland ablaze with wildflowers in spring and summer. Stop to swim in a crystal clear freshwater lake enroute and learn of the island’s intriguing Aboriginal heritage.

Splashing out:

Board the high speed luxury catamaran Breakaway at Bulcock Beach for an exciting blue water cruise off Caloundra’s Sunshine Coast. Sail past Moreton and Bribie Islands and stop to snorkel reefs and shipwrecks (Breakaway Charters, Bulcock Beach).