Climb Mount Coolum
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Mt Coolum sunrise

Mount Coolum is an awe-inspiring volcanic dome that presides over the Sunshine Coast landscape. Climbing to the top of this ancient laccolith is a must-do when visiting the region: the views from the top are spectacular!

Getting here

Head to the Mount Coolum Car Park, accessible 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 Tanah Street West. Follow the National Parks and Wildlife signs and directions to the walking track.

Mount Coolum boardwalk / Photo credit: Brent Matthews
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Mount Coolum boardwalk / Photo credit: Brent Matthews

What to bring

Make sure to pack your camera to capture the Instagram-worthy views you'll discover on your journey to the peak. There are limited facilities on-site, so BYO bottled water (climbing can be thirsty work). Wear enclosed shoes to get a firm grip on the rockier parts of the track, and pop on a hat and some sunscreen. 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 stunning 360-degree views from the summit.

The climb

Only reasonably fit walkers should attempt this climb. Allow 1½ hours for the return walk, as it will take approximately 45 minutes to reach the summit and another 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 tackling 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 the summit of Mount Coolum, you'll find sweeping 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.

Above image: Mount Coolum sunrise
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Above image: Mount Coolum sunrise

Wildlife

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.

Opening hours

For your safety, walk in Mount Coolum National Park in daylight hours only. Do not attempt this walk in wet weather.

Mount Coolum from the beach
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Mount Coolum from the beach

After your climb

Cool off after your climb with a dip at Coolum Beach before heading up to The Esplanade to sample the local fare at one of the many eateries along the beachfront. Alternatively, kick back at the Coolum Surf Club with fresh Mooloolaba prawns and a few coldies. 

Accommodation

If you're making a weekend of your Coolum adventures, check out some of the fantastic accommodation options available. 

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