Coolum is the largest beach side resort on Queensland's southern Sunshine Coast. The town is focused around the beach which is patrolled by life savers and offers swimming and surfing, in its day it is known as one of the best breaks in Queensland.

Location: 90 minutes (135 km) north of Brisbane and about 15 km south of Noosa.

The area is fast growing and the town is renowned for its quality world-class golf courses, accommodation and a lively cafe and restaurant scene. Coolum Beach is a popular day trip and holiday destination from Brisbane and other locations on the Sunshine Coast.

Plan And Book

Coolum Beach

Coolum Beach occupies the southern 2 km of the long ribbon of sand along the coast. The main Caloundra-Noosa Road passes just behind the beach, which is backed by a large reserve containing a caravan park, as well as the surf lifesaving club at the southern end, close by the rocks of Point Perry. All facilities are available in the adjoining shopping area. This is the traditional surfing beach with the surf lifesaving club formed in 1919. Wabe hieight decareses slightly toward the point, however rips still dominated the surf.

Swimming anywhere along the beach is relatively hazardous owing to the persistent strong rips, the deep longshore trough and larger rips further offshore. You should only swim at the four patrolled beaches. Stay between the flags and well clear of the rips. The rips produce good holes for fishing along the length of the beach, with the deep longshore trough also accessible with a long cast.

The 20 metre high Point Perry forms the southern boundary of Coolum Beach. The rocks of the headland continue in a south-east direction for 1.5 km to Point Arkwright. Along the base of the bluffs are three small, rock-bound beaches. The main road runs along the top of the bluffs, with small car parks above each. Steep tracks provide access from the car parks to each beach. Thebeaches receive waves averaging over 1 metres, which maintain strong permanent rips that tend to run out along the northern rocks.

Mt Coolum

Mt Coolum is an isolated volcanic dome, 208 metres in height, roughly circular in outline, covering a plan area of approximately 1 square kilometre. Long before the appearance of Europeans, the Aborigines were also obviously affected by its aesthetic appeal; its image of solidity; its stark, isolated bulk; almost every story, myth or legend of these parts involves Mount Coolum in some way.

There is a walking track to the summit. It goes without saying that the view from the top is truly magnificent; a 360 degree overview of the Sunshine Coast can be had by simply turning around; coastline and beaches extending from Moreton Island to Double Island Point, the cane fields and wetland areas of the Maroochy River Valley, as well as the main areas of the Coast, plus more.

Although the geology of Mount Coolum is in itself quite spectacular, some of its most important aspects are not so immediately obvious. Ecologically, Mount Coolum is one of the most important square kilometres in Australia. The diversity of plant life within such a confined area is unequalled. The site has been intensely studied and over 700 plant types are now documented. This includes 590 flowering plants, 49 ferns and over 100 species of the lesser plants such as mosses, liverworts, lichens etc. By way of comparison, there are only 1400 species in all of Great Britain.

Brief History

The Coolum district was the traditional land of the Inabara or Yinneburra clan of the Undanbi Tribe. In turn, they were part of the larger group of the Kabi Kabi. In 1823, the first Europeans to pass through Coolum were castaways and shipwrecked sailors. The first land selection in Coolum was made in 1871 by Grainger Ward - a pastoral lease of 255 hectares. Here, Ward ran upwards of 300 head of cattle. The first permanent european settler of Coolum was William Perry-Keene and his family in 1905. Cane farming provided the main source of financial stability in the distruct until the advent of tourism in the 1960s.

Origin of name: The origin of the name Coolum appears to be derived from the Aboriginal word 'gulum' or 'kulum' meaning 'blunt' or 'headless'. This is assumed to refer to the shape of Mount Coolum, which has no peak. According to Aboriginal legend, Ninderry knocked off Coolum's head and it fell into the ocean and is now Mudjimba Island.

Surrounding Area

Glasshouse Mountains

The Glasshouse Mountains are a series of spectacular volcanic plugs that rise dramatically from the coastal plain and dominate the landscape of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. They are formed of rhyolite and trachtyte, lavas which hardened inside the vents of tertiary volcanoes that have been greatly reduced by about 25 million years of erosion. The Glasshouse Mountains offer some spectacular walking tracks through open woodlands and heaths to panoramic lookouts and mountain summits. The walks range from easy to challenging grades.

View towards Pt Arkwright from Pt Perry