Caloundra is an unsophisticated town, 96km north of Brisbane that sits on a tropical headland rich in fruit and vegetable farms. It is a well known holiday destination due to its excellent year-round climate and sandy beaches with good surf. It appeals to all ages, and is popular with families as well as independent travellers. Fishing is good here in the calm waters around Pumicestone Channel and off the jetty at Golden Beach, and there are several companies offering daily fishing trips. Snorkelling is also good in these calmer areas, especially off King’s Beach.
Some other activities in the area are also worth visiting. Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo, although pricey, is a great place to see crocodiles and other wildlife. It is just off the highway before town, at the same turnoff for the spectacular Glass House Mountains. These are an ever-popular excursion with backpackers for the beautiful views and great opportunity for hiking. The Big Pineapple is the third big sight here, which is one of Australia’s famed Big Things, as well as being a fully functional pineapple and macadamia nut plantation.
Caloundra itself doesn’t have much to offer otherwise. People come here for the water sports and fishing; some also come for skydiving and flying lessons. The town is basically just a long strip of shops surrounded by suburban homes, with a few good cafés and cheap food. It is a business centre at heart, with a small-town feel and a barely blossoming tourist base.