Located just an hour north of Brisbane, Caloundra is the Southern Gateway to the Sunshine Coast. And with stunning beaches and a laid-back “everything’s too easy” charm, it’s the perfect quick getaway for families.
Yet, explore beyond the gorgeous beaches and you’ll discover a bucket-load of fun for families in Caloundra and its surrounds. From karting to koalas there’s a huge range of experiences and activities for kids. So, rather than just visit for a day… why not stay for a few days?
Kids Attractions in Caloundra
There’s plenty of kid-friendly attractions within easy reach of Caloundra for families to enjoy. Here’s some of our favourites:
Queensland Air Museum: With over 94 historically significant aircraft that have been lovingly, restored, this impressive slice of aviation history is a fab day out with the family. The family friendly museum is the largest and most diverse aviation museum in Australia, and its a great place for kids to explore.
Aussie World: Just a hop and a skip from Caloundra, Aussie World is THE theme park on the Sunshine Coast. With rides for all ages, from the Toot Toot Train for the little ones through to the heart-stopping Redback, there’s a whole day of fun to be had for the whole family.
Adventure Empire: In the heart of Caloundra, Adventure Empire is the perfect place for a rainy day, or when you need a little respite from the sun. This huge indoor climbing and bouldering centre offers a fun, safe environment for little climbers of all abilities. The main climbing area is suitable for ages 6 and above, and there is the Little Monkey’s Club for ages 4-10.
Big Kart Track: An easy 15-minute drive from Caloundra, Big Kart Track is the largest commercial go karting track in Australia. Helmets on, belt up and unleash the adrenaline as you race around the track in the streamlined 270cc karts. The adult track is for those over 152cm tall and a minimum of 12 years old. There is also a kids track that doesn’t have a height restriction but kids must be over 7 years old to drive. There are also tandem karts for kids aged between 3-6 years old, accompanied by an adult.
Australia Zoo: Just five minutes from the Big Kart Track and home to the Crocodile Hunter, Australia Zoo is a must-do for any family visiting the Sunshine Coast. Experience the ultimate wildlife adventure with impressive shows, wandering wildlife and animal encounters.
Splash and play in Caloundra
One of our favourite things to do in Caloundra with kids is to hire a boat from Bill’s Boat and Bike Hire and explore the pristine North Bribie Island National Park and its unspoiled beaches, or take a cruise along RAMSAR Listed Pumicestone Passage. As one of the most stunning waterways on the Sunshine Coast, it’s a super fun and relaxing way to spend the day.
Bill’s Boat Hire has watercraft to suit every family: BBQ Pontoon Boats, Fishing Pontoon Boat, Half Cabin Cruiser, Tinnies, Double and Single Kayaks. If you prefer pedal power, pick up a 4 Wheel Surrey Bike, perfect for families to safely explore the Coastal Pathway.
Make sure you stop off at King’s Beach for a splash and a play. Explore the rock pools, play in the kid-friendly water fountain, take a dip in the oceanfront saltwater swimming pool. The grassy area is perfect for ball games and a picnic, and there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat directly across from the beach.
Want to go where the locals go? Little Mountain Aquatic Centre is a newly constructed pool and a hidden gem loved by the locals. It has a fenced play area and cafe, and great facilities for the little ones.
Or for those with energy to burn, head to Grahame Stewart Park at Currimundi, where there is a huge kids bike track, basketball hoops, and a fully fenced enormous playground.
Family friendly markets in Caloundra
Caloundra is home to some of the Sunshine Coast’s best markets for families.
Don’t miss the renowned NightQuarter, now relocated from the Gold Coast to Birtinya (just 10 minutes from Caloundra). Enjoy innovative eats, live music, immersive experiences and more. Open Friday & Saturday 4pm – 10pm, and Sunday 12pm – 6pm.
The Caloundra Street Fair Markets are held every Sunday (8am-1pm) and feature over 120 unique stalls with something for the whole family. And with a large range of both food and artisan stalls the The Caloundra Twilight Markets are held the last Friday of each month from 5pm-9pm.
Best places for families to stay in Caloundra
Ideally located at the southern end of the Sunshine Coast, Caloundra is the perfect spot to base yourself for a few days. Here’s our favourite places to stay:
Oaks Sunshine Coast Oasis Resort: With lush tropical grounds, a newly refurbished fun-filled waterpark, resort-style pool, putt-putt golf course, sandpit and climbing frame, The Oaks is a family favourite. The apartments are spacious, the on-site restaurant is really good, and it’s super close to the beach and the bustling hub of Caloundra.
Caloundra House and Camping Boats: For somewhere truly unique to snooze, why not pick up a house boat and spend a few nights on the water?! Cruise along Pummicestone Passage, relax in the outside dining area, surrounded by the serenity of the National Park. The house boat includes a three person tinny that has an operation licence to go fishing, crabbing or just exploring.
Watermark Resort Caloundra: Centrally located, absolute waterfront accommodation, with three sparkling pools and all the facilities every family could wish for. All apartments have private patio or balcony with water views.
Dicky Beach Family Holiday Park: With direct access to Dicky Beach, the Dicky Beach Holiday Park has a variety of accommodation, ranging from camping to caravans as well as studio units. For the family, there is a swimming pool, full size tennis court, children’s playground, BBQs and recreation room. Plus, there are plenty of dining options nearby.
For more ideas head to visitsunshinecoast.com
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, please check websites for up-to-date restrictions on activities.