AT’s guide to the best cheap accommodation for summer and Christmas holidays
Caloundra and Maroochydore
Why do we rate it?
The stretch of sand between Caloundra and Maroochydore is the more affordable and least posh part of the Sunshine Coast; Noosa being the obvious zenith of wealthy holidaying on this coastline.
Where is it?
Maroochydore is 100km north of Brisbane, a 1hr 30min drive. Or just 15min from the Sunshine Coast Airport at Marcoola.
Where to stay
Caloundra and Maroochydore offer loads of options but they fill up quickly with Brisbanites. The pick of the apartments in this area are Coco Apartments, located a street back from the beach in Mooloolaba. Pumicestone Blue Resort is an older-style block with nice apartments in Caloundra. Ocean Boulevard at Alexandra Head offers one-bedroom apartments across from the beach, more for the sedate beach-going couple. The new Rumba Resort has killer placement right on the Esplanade at Caloundra.
How much is it?
Most Sunshine Coast apartment operators work on a five-night minimum for the key Christmas period. The rate per night goes down marginally for longer stays. Pumicestone Blue has two-bedroom apartments from $294 per night for five nights or $268 for seven. Ocean Boulevard’s one-bedders on the beach at ground level start at $174 a night; for the top floor you’re looking at $200. Coco’s two-bedroom apartments cost $415 a night for five nights and $365 for seven. Rumba’s modern two-bedders cost from $350 a night.
Everyone except Rumba has limited availability Dec 26-Jan 3. Rumba has vacancies only after Jan 3.
What to do
It’s beach-holiday central, with loads of sand to choose from. Locals head to Coolum Beach to escape the crowds. See the beautiful and wealthy in action on Hastings St (but if you are on a budget you’ll only be able to buy yourself a coffee here). Go on a Noosa River Cruise. Eumundi Markets are worth a visit. Take the littlies to Australia Zoo, which is a serious conservation effort as well as an attraction.
Coco Mooloolaba //
79-83 First Ave, Mooloolaba.
(07) 5315 5166; cocomooloolaba.com.au
Pumicestone Blue // 111 Bulcock St Caloundra.
(07) 5492 8989; pumicestoneblue.com
Ocean Boulevard // 136-138 Alexandra Pde.
(07) 5443 3229; oceanboulevard.com.au
Rumba Resorts // The Esplanade, Caloundra.
(07) 5492 0555; rumbaresort.com.au