Mooloolaba – My Top Ten

We first came to Mooloolaba on a holiday in October 1998. For the next 18 years, we came up most years. We always said that one day we’d live here. Now we do, not in Mooloolaba itself, but just a few kms inland.

We do, however, head down most mornings to walk the beach and every morning I still have to pinch myself that we’re lucky enough to be here. At the end of the rock wall the other morning, the part where the Mooloolah River meets the ocean at Mooloolaba Spit, we got to talking to two lovely ladies from Tauranga and Hamilton. There were holidaying in Mooloolaba for a week and wanted ideas of things to do, places to eat.

Each morning on our walk we ran into them and chatted some more. They’d tell us what they did the day before and we’d be prompted for more ideas.

They flew home yesterday, but it occurred to me that although I bore my Instagram followers with pictures of Mooloolaba Beach every day, I’ve never actually blogged my favourite things to do here…so here goes…I’ll keep it to my top 10:

1.The beach

There’s a reason this beach is regularly in the top 10 Aussie beach lists – it’s just beautiful.

Being north-facing, it’s relatively well protected and the swimming is good all year round. Even in winter, the ocean temps hover around the 20C mark.

2.The beach walk

If you follow me on Instagram, you’d know I do this every weekday morning – we follow the path from the rock pools at the northern end of the beach to the end of the rock wall at The Spit.

It’s 5kms round trip and we always stop off for morning coffee afterwards at…

the end of the rock wall taken from Whale One

3. Hustle and Flow

These guys are at the Surf Club every morning from 5.30am and make the best coffee. 

4. Mooloolaba to Alex

The walk over the headland to Alexandra Headland is also just under 5km round trip from Mooloolaba Surf Club. At low tide, you can walk around the headland.

On the way is the lookout and memorial for HMAS Brisbane, some picnic area with super clean barbecue facilities and fabulous views.

Alex Hill is a favourite place for people to gather to watch the sunset.

5. Prawns at the Deck

Mooloolaba king prawns are, in my humble and completely unbiased opinion, the best prawns you’ll ever taste; and the best place to taste them is at the fisheries at The Spit. Buy them at Mooloolah River Fisheries and take them upstairs to The Deck to eat. Not only do you get views of the river, but it’s licenced so you can grab a glass of white wine or a beer to have with your prawns. 

If you’re not into prawns, they also do great fish and chips with the same deal. Winning.

6. Sealife

Coincidentally this place is celebrating it’s 30thanniversary this weekend. When we used to come up on holidays it was the first place we’d go to, although back then it was called Underwater World.

Sarah and I still go at least once a year and still get as much enjoyment from it as we did when she was a toddler.

They still do heaps for conservation and rescue of sea turtles and seals and work closely with the Reef Check guys too. 

7. Whale Watching with Sunreef’s Whale One

The whale watching season runs from June to October so if you’re on the coast then, this is an absolute must.

8. Rice Boi

I could fill this post with foodie recommendations, but if I were to pick one must-do restaurant it would be this one. We just love it. It’s cheap – the most expensive item on the menu is the 10-hour coconut braised beef ($22) – and laid back. In many ways it feels very Melbourne. Anyways, the food is fantastic, and the crispy eggplant chips will change the way you feel about eggplant forever.

9. The Wharf

When we first started visiting Mooloolaba in 1998 this place was a bit of a tourist attraction with Underwater World, lolly shops, take away places, ice cream shops etc. Over the years, things changed and up until a few years ago the remaining tenants were the dive schools and hire places and a sweetie shop that was somehow hanging on.

Since then The Wharf has been sold and redeveloped – not into units, thankfully, but into a place full of restaurants (such as Rice Boi), bars, and some well worth having a look at homewares and fashion retailers.

There’s enough variety for you to eat and drink here every night of your holiday.

10. The Esplanade

But if you didn’t venture past The Wharf, you’d be missing The Esplanade. Coffee shops, cafes and restaurants, fashion stores all spill out onto the pavement here – and it’s right on the beach. Okay, there’s a road in between, but you can pretty much step off the beach and into a café. Too easy.

A Sunday busker at Loo With A View

Head back a block to First Avenue and you’ll find more great places to eat, and then…but no, I’m keeping this to my top 10.

Sunset at the rock pools

There you have it. Have you visited? If so, what are your favourites?It’s Thursday so it’s Lovin Life Linky. Click in the link below to see what others are loving about life at the moment – or to link up a post of your own.

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Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

18 thoughts

  1. I’m def keen to try Rice Boi one day! And I love your sunrise pics. I know I’m not on Insta at the moment but those pics are so lovely to wake to each day. Of course there’s a level of guilt that I’m still lying in bed, but…. whatevs.

    A job I could apply for actually popped up at the Sunshine Coast last week. I’ve kinda committed to staying here now while mum’s here but eventually thought about heading to the Sunny Coast hinterland. And so I wondered if I should fast-track that. Stressed about what it would mean for mum etc… I haven’t applied yet, though sent a half-hearted query letter. (It’s not as senior as my last gig but… opportunities are limited.)

    I happened to see my GP while I was pondering it and she suggested that mum wouldn’t want me to forgo an opportunity etc etc. But I’m still unsure.

    1. We are so overdue a chat… Sunny Coast hinterland would be great for you. I don’t think your mother would want you to forgo an opportunity but even so, that doesn’t help with teh feelings of guilt.

  2. Hi, Jo – My husband and I did a home exchange to Maroochydore in 2010. Although we didn’t get to all of the places that you listed in Mooloolaba, we LOVED the area and wished that we could have stayed much longer. You are very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place!

    1. Oh wow! It’s changed so much over the years and you wouldn’t know the Wharf area in Mooloolaba now. We’re blessed to live so close.

  3. Oh stop it! Now I wanna get to Mooloolaba for another holiday ASAP. I’m with you … Rice Boi in my opinion is the best restaurant and food i have eaten in ever (no joke). I was blown away by the food there and the location is A1 too. I love the beach and the beach walks and the shops and the cafes and restaurants and the vibe. Yep – need another getaway up that way soon. Great photo’s BTW! #TeamLovinLife

  4. I remember getting to do a sleepover at underwater world as a kid, I think it was a brownies/girl guides thing. Great fun to run around in there after it’s closed!

  5. Such a beautiful place you live in, Jo. Stunning scenery, temperate climate, sea life, and great food, what not to love? I’d go there for winter holidays if I lived closer. Thanks for sharing your top ten.

  6. It looks like such a fabulous spot Jo – and the name (like Tumbarumba) is one that just makes me smile – how could you live in Mooloolaba and not laugh when you tell people what your town’s called? Beautiful pics and you’re very blessed to have found your happy place. x

  7. I know you hear it all the time, Joanne, I love the name! I cannot imagine ocean temperatures at 20 degrees. Spectacular beaches. Spectacular photos! And then the seafood. Wow! Difficult to keep to top ten:)

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