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Your ultimate guide on where to eat, stay and play in Mooloolaba

Your ultimate guide on where to eat, stay and play in Mooloolaba

With a sparkling coastline perfect for lazing away the day, incredible restaurants to eat your way around and a vibing bar scene to explore, one sun-drenched day in Mooloolaba is simply never enough.

Your ultimate guide on where to eat, stay and play in Mooloolaba
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The Dock (at The Wharf), Mooloolaba

If you want to really soak up the natural beauty and epic attractions this slice of paradise has to offer, then we have the perfect holiday guide for you. Do as the locals do, and check out all the best things to eat, see and do in Mooloolaba. 

The best places to eat and drink in Mooloolaba 

The Surf Club, Mooloolaba
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The Surf Club, Mooloolaba

The first tip you need to know when visiting Mooloolaba is to arrive hungry - the foodie scene is one of the best in Queensland. Start your morning with a tour of the seaside suburbs' best cafes. The Velo Project and De Ja Vu Cafe & Bar get our vote for their eggs benny, corn fritters and smooth coffee. For something a bit special, book lunch at Spice Bar restaurant then in the PM wander to The Wharf and take your tastebuds on a tour around the world.  For authentic Italian fare try Il Vento, fill up on modern Asian eats at Rice Boi and taste the Sunshine Coast’s best local produce on a plate (read: mouth-watering seafood) at Pier 33. For something a bit more laidback, you can’t go past the Mooloolaba Surf Club or some classic fish and chips, caught fresh that morning by trawlers at The Spit.  

Thirsty? Grab an espresso martini or flaming cocktail from the mixologist masters at Boston Shaker Bar and Backlane Tapas and Wine Bar, or sip craft beers and listen to live music at Taps Mooloolaba and Blackflag Brewing. Round out your night with a stroll along the esplanade to Pavilion Mooloolaba. Snag a seat next to the bi-fold windows overlooking the ocean and order a cocktail or two from their extensive menu.

The best things to do in Mooloolaba

While we reckon it’s always a good idea to throw a towel down on Mooloolaba’s pristine beaches - even in winter - there’s so much to do in this special spot you’ll want to plan your days wisely so you don’t miss out. Start your day right with a stroll along the coastal pathway that stretches just over four km to Cotton Tree. If the lure of the ocean proves too great, you can get to know the friendly locals who call the sparkling blue waters home with Sunreef’s swim with the humpback whales experience. Be enchanted as you float alongside the gentle giants as they slowly make their way up north. If you want to explore under the water without getting wet, pay a visit to SEALIFE Mooloolaba. Discover the Sunshine Coast’s only colony of Little Blue Penguins, marvel at their mysterious coastal wreck and the animals that inhabit it, and wander beneath sharks as you walk through their 80-metre long ocean tunnel. 

The Mooloolaba Spit, Mooloolaba
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The Mooloolaba Spit, Mooloolaba

Learn about the Kabi Kabi people, the traditional owners of the Sunshine Coast, with Saltwater Eco Tours and go for a sunset cruise along the Mooloolaba canals, sipping bubbles and feasting on local seafood while the sun slips behind the Blackall Range. Finally, flex your creative side with a sip n’ paint session at Fridas. It’s BYO so you can bring booze and nibbles while an instructor teaches you how to make your own masterpiece. 

The best places to stay in Mooloolaba 

Be the first to sink your toes in the sand and watch the sun’s golden rays bounce off the ocean with one of Mooloolaba’s best beachside retreats. For something a little bit luxe check yourself into Oceans Mooloolaba. A true sanctuary by the sea, soak up the sunshine and breathe in the fresh ocean air on their sprawling balconies with views that sweep from Point Cartwright to the Northshore. There’s also a huge pool with a 25-metre lap pool attached, spa and gym to check out - plus the whole gang can enjoy a private movie night in the resort's 14-seat movie theatre. 

Perfect for the whole family, everyone can holiday in comfort and stunning surroundings at Mantra Mooloolaba Beach. Perched on the Esplanade - stumbling distance to the best shops, restaurants and bars - there’s one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with private balconies offering ocean or lush hinterland views. There’s not one but two lagoon-style pools to bliss out in, plus a gym, sauna and BBQ areas - perfect for grilling the seafood you bought fresh from the trawler earlier that day.

Family walking along Mooloolaba Beach, Mooloolaba
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Family walking along Mooloolaba Beach, Mooloolaba

If camping is more your vibe, Mooloolaba Beach Holiday Park offers powered sites for your tent, camper or caravan. Revamped in 2019, there's laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, a modern camp kitchen and BBQ facilities. But best of all, there is direct access to Mooloolaba beach. 

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