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:
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.