A freelance writer with an interest in just about everything.
Published September 12th 2016
Family-friendly fun all year round
The perfect family holiday isn't necessarily all that complicated, but sometimes it can be very hard to find. All you need is a few key ingredients: a nice location, plenty of outdoor activities, some relaxation time for mum and dad and something to keep every member of the family entertained. Sprinkle in some warm, sunny weather and you've got everything you need for the ideal family weekend away.
So if you're looking for a decent spot for your next family getaway, make sure Coolum Beach is at the top of your list. Coolum boasts everything you'd expect from a Sunny Coast holiday - sun, sand, surf etc. - but it also has a relaxed, sleepy atmosphere that places like Noosa and Mooloolaba lost long ago. There's plenty to see and do in and around Coolum, but it doesn't attract the same maddening crowds as some of the other tourist spots in the area.
The place you'll spend most of your time at Coolum will no doubt be the beach. Coolum Beach is patrolled every day of the year, and several other beaches nearby also come under the watchful eyes of lifesavers during the summer months for added peace of mind.
If you'd rather watch the action on the beach than take part in it, the nearby surf club has an enviable location and does decent pub meals.
To take in the best of the coastal scenery, a wooden boardwalk starts at Coolum Beach and then winds its way south, hugging the coastline all the way to Point Arkwright. There's a bit of uphill work involved but it's easily stroller accessible.
Other options for activities include a hike up Mt Coolum (it's steep and uneven in parts and not stroller accessible, so best for older kids), exploring the excellent kids' play area at Tickle Park, and taking a stroll along the Esplanade shops.
Like most Sunshine Coast holiday spots, Coolum has plenty of accommodation options. We stayed at Coolum at the Beach and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Our apartment was big, clean and had everything we needed for our stay. There were also three pools to choose from (including a kids' wading pool) but, as the name suggests, it's also just a short walk from the beach.
In terms of dining, the Coolum Beach Hotel has undergone a recent re-development and is a good spot for a drink or two and some pub grub. It's got a great alfresco beach bar area as well, but you won't be allowed to sit there if you've got kids in tow. Freddy Fuddpukka's Cafe has good coffee and is a great spot for breakfast and lunch, while the nearby Coles and Dan Murphy's are there when you need to stock up on supplies.
So if you're heading north from Brisbane for a family weekend away, forget about the crowded tourist spots and spend a few days at Coolum. It's one of an ever-decreasing number of coastal holiday spots in Australia that offers plenty of amenities without detracting from the beauty of the natural environment. Make the most of it while you can.