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Here's one for your Sunshine Coast bucket list!
Mount Coolum is an awe-inspiring volcanic dome that presides over the Sunshine Coast landscape. Climbing to the top of this 25 million year old laccolith is a must-do when visiting the region - the views from the top are absolutely spectacular!
Head to the Mount Coolum Car Park which is accessed from Tanah Street West (off David Low Way). It's just 3.5 km south of Coolum Beach. Off road parking is available on the corner of Jarnahill Drive and Tanan Street West. Follow the National Parks and Wildlife signs and directions to the walking track.
Mount Coolum. Credit – Tourism Events Queensland
Make sure you pack your camera to capture the instagram-worthy views you'll discover on your journey to the peak.
There are only limited facilities on site so BYO bottled water - climbing can be thirsty work! Wear enclosed shoes as parts of the track can be quite rocky - and of course wear a hat and slip,slop,slap before you set out. Insect repellent is also a good idea, particularly in the warmer months.
You'll want to spend some time at the top so be sure to pack a few easy-to-carry snacks to enjoy as you sit back and soak up the amazing 360 degree views from the summit.
Just a tip - only reasonably fit walkers should attempt the climb. Allow 1½ hours for the return walk. It will take 45 minutes to reach the summit and 30 minutes to get back down to the car park.
The first part of the track is a pleasant stroll through native bushland and forest. The path then becomes quite steep as it traverses the rock face, so pause for a while to catch your breath and snap a photo of the breathtaking coastal views. Take care when the rocky part of the track towards the top of the mountain - it can be very slippery when wet. Stay on the designated tracks and stay clear of the cliff edges.
At 208 metres, the summit of Mount Coolum offers panoramic views of the Sunshine Coast. To the east, coastal views stretch from Double Island Point all the way to Caloundra. The short tracks at the top of the mountain offer the best views to the south and showcase a patchwork of flat cane land, river valleys and the rolling hills of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
If you're looking for zen, you'll find plenty of it up here!
Mount Coolum National Park is a haven for local wildlife. The cliffs provide a safe habitat for a pair of nesting Peregrine Falcons - one of 25–35 known pairs in south-east Queensland. You may also encounter Echidnas, Northern Brown Bandicoots and the Grey-Headed Flying-Foxes.
For your safety, walk in Mount Coolum National Park in daylight hours only. Do not attempt this walk in wet weather.
If you need to cool off after your climb then Coolum Beach is just minutes away. Take a dip in the ocean and then head up to The Esplanade to sample the local fare at one of the many eateries along the beach front or kick back at Coolum Surf Club with fresh Mooloolaba prawns and a few coldies.
If you're making a weekend of your Coolum adventures then take a look at some of the fantastic accommodation options available.