Discover the best things to do in Mooloolaba. Experience the vibrant coastal charm of Mooloolaba with an array of exciting activities to suit every taste. From thrilling water sports and relaxing beachside strolls to exploring local markets and indulging in delicious dining options, there’s something for everyone in Mooloolaba.
Despite its stunning coastal beauty, Mooloolaba remains surprisingly underrated. Its pristine beaches and breathtaking sunsets alone are reason enough to entice visitors. I’ll admit, before my visit, Mooloolaba wasn’t even on my radar. The opportunity to swim with whales, a long-held dream on my Australian bucket list, led me there. Mooloolaba is one of the few places on the East Coast where this incredible experience is possible.
PIN for later reference – Things To Do Mooloolaba: Exciting Adventures and Attractions
This article may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. For complete information, please see our affiliate disclaimer here.
Mooloolaba is a coastal suburb adjacent to Maroochydore in the Sunshine Coast region. According to TripAdvisor, renowned for its pristine and secure shores, particularly Mooloolaba Beach, this locale earned the accolade of the sixth-best beach in Australia. “Mooloolaba” originates in the Aboriginal term “mulu,” signifying the esteemed snapper fish. As of the 2016 census, Mooloolaba boasted a modest population of approximately 7,700 residents.
For optimal enjoyment, plan your visit to Mooloolaba during the balmy summer months spanning from December to February. With just 2 to 3 days, you can thoroughly explore this coastal gem. If you need extra time, consider extending your stay to include Noosa Heads, a mere 50 kilometres away. This neighbouring coastal town boasts breathtaking beaches, adding further allure to your Sunshine Coast adventure.
How to Get to Mooloolaba?
- By Air – The Sunshine Coast Airport is the nearest air hub to Mooloolaba, approximately 20 kilometres away. A taxi ride from the airport to Mooloolaba typically costs around AUD 40 for a one-way trip. Jetstar stands out as an affordable airline operating from the Sunshine Coast.
- By Road – Situated on the east coast of Australia, Mooloolaba sits a mere 100 kilometres from Brisbane, with a driving time of approximately one hour and fifteen minutes.
- By Train (Public Transport) – For those opting for public transport, Landsborough station serves as the nearest train stop to Mooloolaba, which is approximately 30 minutes away. Frequent trains ply between Bowen Hills (Brisbane) and Landsborough station. For the latest information on train schedules, timings, and routes, refer to Translink.
Stay at Mooloolaba
Mooloolaba offers a diverse range of accommodations catering to various budgets and preferences. From budget-friendly backpacker hostels to luxurious hotels, there’s something for every traveller. Additionally, the suburb features a selection of Airbnb rentals and serviced apartments to suit individual needs.
For an unforgettable beachfront experience, consider staying at Mantra on Mooloolaba Beach, boasting breathtaking, uninterrupted ocean views. Other notable accommodations include Coco and Oceans, offering exceptional stays amidst the charm of Mooloolaba.
Central Motel is a charming option for solo travellers seeking cozy accommodations. Access to the rooms is facilitated through digital codes, conveniently managed by the administration, which provides guests with the code via email.
The room I was assigned was snug and inviting, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Additionally, its prime location, just a few hundred meters from the wharf, adds further convenience to its appeal.
Things To Do in Mooloolaba
Visit Mooloolaba Beach
As per TripAdvisor rankings, Mooloolaba proudly claims the sixth spot among Australia’s best beaches. Its pristine shoreline and mesmerizing azure waters make it one of the most breathtaking destinations. Be sure to include a visit to this picturesque beach on your itinerary when exploring Mooloolaba.
Watch Sunset at the Wharf
The sunset view from the wharf is genuinely enchanting and delightful. I highly recommend strolling along the wharf during sunset as the sky transforms into a mesmerizing display of dramatic pink hues. It’s an experience that truly feels magical and shouldn’t be missed.
Dine at Local Restaurants
Mooloolaba boasts many dining options, with numerous restaurants and cafes. The Esplanade, located by the wharf, is renowned for its delicious culinary offerings. Whether you’re craving international flavours or local delicacies, there’s something to suit every palate and budget. During my visit, I enjoyed dining at establishments like Lotus Thai and The Surf Club, where I was impressed by the freshness and delectable taste of the food served.
Swim with the Whales
My journey to Mooloolaba was primarily fueled by the desire to swim with whales—a dream I’ve harboured since catching sight of humpback whales from above the water’s surface. The snorkelling expedition spans approximately 4 hours, during which the boat navigates to the renowned “Whale Highway” and patiently awaits the appearance of these majestic creatures. Once the whales are sighted, snorkelers eagerly gear up and plunge into the water, eagerly anticipating the whales’ presence.
- Company: Sunreef Mooloolaba is Australia’s pioneering dive centre for organising swimming tours with humpback whales.
- Cost: AUD 229.
- Given that the whales reside in their natural habitat, their willingness to engage with humans is entirely at their discretion. Regrettably, although we caught glimpses of several whales from the surface during my excursion, I did not have the opportunity to encounter them underwater.
Have a Gelato
The Wharf and the Esplanade are dotted with charming ice cream shops offering a delightful selection of gelato flavours. Treat yourself to a scoop and stroll to witness the mesmerizing sunset by the Wharf. The truly captivating experience provides a moment of sheer beauty and tranquillity.
Go Whale Watching
From May to October, the Australian East Coast comes alive with the whale migration season, offering thrilling opportunities for whale watching. During this whale migratory season, whales travel from Antarctica to the northern parts of Australia and back.
Various cruises and ferries embark on excursions dedicated to this mesmerizing experience, typically lasting 3 to 4 hours. Visitors are almost guaranteed to encounter at least one of these magnificent creatures this season.
- The cost of a whale-watching cruise typically ranges from AUD 40 to AUD 100.
- It’s important to note that whales are wild animals, and cruise companies cannot guarantee their presence.
Scuba Dive at HMAS Brisbane
The HMAS Brisbane, the second ship of the Hobart class air warfare destroyers utilized by the Royal Australian Navy, derives its name from the city of Brisbane. With a maximum depth of approximately 28 meters, this wreck is ideal for certified divers above the Advanced Open Water level. However, even Open Water certified divers can partake in the adventure and explore depths above 18 meters.
- Dive Centre: Sunreef
- Cost: AUD 175
Aquaduck Boat Ride
Aquaduck offers an exhilarating one-hour excursion that seamlessly transitions from a bus to a boat once it hits the water—a thrilling and unique experience. Having enjoyed this ride on the Gold Coast, I was pleasantly surprised to find it available in Mooloolaba.
- Company: Aquaduck.
- Cost: AUD 30.
Is Mooloolaba Safe for Solo Female Travellers?
Mooloolaba is exceptionally safe for solo female travellers. During my visit, I explored the area day and night without encountering any issues. The locals are amiable and welcoming, providing a pleasant experience. However, it’s always wise to exercise caution and remain aware of your surroundings, particularly when venturing out at night, as is advisable in any destination worldwide.
I adored Mooloolaba. This quaint suburb exudes a relaxed and laid-back vibe that instantly captivated me. From the tranquil beaches to the bustling wharf, the warm hospitality of the locals, and the delectable cuisine, every aspect of Mooloolaba left me enchanted. My weekend getaway here was nothing short of fantastic, and I’m already eagerly looking forward to returning soon.
- The prices mentioned in the post are valid only at the time of publication. Ensure that you check the booking websites for up-to-date information and prices.
- Opinions and views expressed solely by me are unbiased. If the post is a collaboration, then they are specifically mentioned.
- Ensure that you check the relevant websites for up-to-date information on COVID protocols.
- For any adventurous activities, please note that there is a risk that can be dangerous. Ensure you read the terms and conditions recommended by individual agencies and do them at your own risk.
- For visas, it is best to see the embassy website for changing rules.
- While using the recommended guides, auto-drivers or taxi drivers, do your due diligence and trust your judgement.
How can you support me?
You know how much I love coffee, so you can buy me a coffee – Buy me Coffee!
Or you can purchase from one of the below travel resources without any extra charge to you:
Book your flight on Skyscanner.com or Trip.com
Reserve your accommodation on Stay22
Reserve your stay at a hostel on HostelWorld
Use RentalCars or DiscoverCars for hiring self-driven cars
Book your tours and travels or purchase tickets on Viator or GetYourGuide
For a universal SIM card, use DrimSim
Buy comprehensive travel insurance on SafetyWing and WorldNomads
Do you have a question? Do you want any suggestions and tips for travel, hikes, and scuba dives? Use the Subscription box below to sign up and get updates by email.