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Retro Caloundra

Travelling was once an opportunity to unwind and enjoy a destination; to revel in its sense of place; to forge relationships with local people and take home memories more precious and long lasting than any Instagram post.

If you’re longing for the uncomplicated joy of holidays past, when simple pleasures like strolling along the beach or spinning around on a Ferris wheel used to bring such joy, you’ll find all that you’re missing and more at Caloundra.

Retro vibes at Kameruka

Kameruka, a lovingly renovated 1960s beach house, is decked out with retro furniture that’s bright as a summer’s day and tucked down a side street within walking distance of the beach. There’s a swimming pool and modern bedroom and bathroom in the extension out the back. While the original kitchen might have you missing today’s modern day appliances, washing up as you listen to birds chirping outside the window is a small price to pay for the genuine charm of this well-priced pet friendly accommodation option.

Soak up the vibe at Moffat Beach

If you’re travelling with your pooch – or even if you’re not – make your way to Moffat Beach which comes with a cute collection of cafes and restaurants. Before 8am and after 4pm, dogs are allowed off the leash and their happiness is contagious. Grab a seat overlooking the ocean and watch them playing on the sand as you sip a coffee from The Pocket Espresso Bar. If the sun is getting low, grab a chilled brew from Moffat Beach Brewing Co and stay for the live music.

Take a coastal stroll

Late afternoon is the perfect time to stroll along the coastal walk that leads from Moffat Beach around the headland to Kings Beach and Bulcock Beach. After you head up the hill and pass the park named after local surfing legends Ma and Pa Bendall, catch your breath and breath in the fresh sea air at Shelly Beach. From here, it’s an easy stroll past the heritage listed Kings Beach Bathing Pavilion and on to Bulcock Beach where you’ll find the Sunshine Coast’s best fish and chips at Sandbar Café which also does takeaway.

Ride a Ferris wheel

Think you’re too old (or too cool) to ride a Ferris wheel? Don’t be so sure. Australia’s tallest portable observation wheel has been set up overlooking Bulcock Beach and soars 35 metres into the air above the sand. On one side, there’s the sparkling ocean and swimmers far below; on the other you can look out over Caloundra or gaze at the Glass House Mountains. Ride just before sundown and watch the sunset light up the sky behind their towering peaks.

Discover hidden treasures

One of the great pleasures of an old school beach holiday is having time to wander around local coastal towns. Slip down Lamkin Lane off Caloundra’s main street and you’ll discover a collection of funky street art featuring the Kings Beach Bathing Pavilion, Caloundra’s oldest lighthouse and a prowling tiger. Around the corner there’s a colourful mural featuring Marjorie and Charles Bendall. The beloved Caloundra surf legends learned to surf in their 50s, something that was unheard of at the time and earned them the nicknames “Ma” and “Pa” from the local surf community. You’re never too old – or too young – to enjoy spending time at Caloundra.

Disclosure: The writer explored Caloundra with assistance from Visit Sunshine Coast and Tourism & Events Queensland.

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