Coolum Beach, Queensland

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Coolum Beach
Sunshine CoastQueensland
Sunshine coast 02.jpg
Coolum Beach, looking north
Population8,497 (2016 census)[1]
Location119 km (74 mi) from Brisbane
LGA(s)Sunshine Coast Region
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s)Fairfax
Suburbs around Coolum Beach:
Peregian Springs Peregian Beach Pacific Ocean
Yandina Creek Coolum Beach Pacific Ocean
Marcoola Yaroomba Pacific Ocean

Coolum Beach is a beachside town and suburb of the Sunshine Coast Region, Queensland, Australia and is also the name of the beach around which the town is based.[2][3][4] In the 2016 census, Coolum Beach had a population of 8,497 people.[1]


The name is derived from the local Undumbi word gulum or guloom, meaning "blunt" or "headless", referring to the shape of Mount Coolum, which has no peak.[5] According to Aboriginal legend, Ninderry knocked off Coolum's head and it fell into the ocean and is now Mudjimba Island.

The Coolum district was the traditional land of the Inabara or Yinneburra clan of the Undanbi Tribe. In turn, they were part of the larger group of the Kabi Kabi.

In 1823, the first Europeans to pass through Coolum were castaways and shipwrecked sailors. The first land selection in Coolum was made in 1871 by Grainger Ward - a pastoral lease of 255 hectares. Here, Ward ran upwards of 300 head of cattle. In 1881, Mark Blasdall selected his own lease of 252 hectares. Blasdall was the first to plan sugarcane in the area and to cut timber. He built two huts and a sawmill as well as clearing Coolum Creek, thus enabling steampships to enter to load timber and deliver supplies. By 1882 the steampships 'Tadorna Radjah' and 'Gneering' began to regularly travel from Brisbane to Coolum creek. In 1883 the first Coolum land was freehold and by 1884, Blasdall was declared insolvent and his land freeholded.

The first permanent settler of Coolum was William Perry-Keene and his family in 1905. His home was called "Green Hills" and was situated at the corner of Beach Road, Daytona and Key West Avenues. Between 1906 and 1912 many people settled permanently in the region. By 1912 there were eight to 12 families living in the district. In 1909, Coulsin established a mailboat service on the Maroochy River. This provided the first regular connection between Coolum and the railhead at Yandina. In 1911, a horse-drawn tramline and punt loading facilities were built at Coolum Creek.

Real estate map of Coolum Beach Estate, 1923

Construction of the first paved road to Coolum was undertaken between 1922 and 1925. This provided vehicle access from Coolum to Yandina. In 1923, the tramline to Coolum was opened and unscheduled passenger services began. Over this time considerable expansion of the sugarcane industry took place. Cane farming provided the main source of financial stability in the district until the advent of tourism in the 1960s.

The Coolum Library opened in 1989 with a major refurbishment in 1997.[6]

In 2002 Coolum hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, replacing the 2001 meeting that was postponed and moved from Brisbane in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

In 2006 Australian census, the population of Coolum was 7,744.


Mount Coolum dominates the landscape, and can be seen from most of Coolum. Mount Coolum National Park provides a 1.6 km bush walk up the mountain to 360 degree views of the coast. The track was upgraded in 2012 to improve safety and accessibility.[7]


Coolum State School is located at the entrance to the town off the Sunshine Motorway.

Coolum State High School is located in the outskirts of the town near neighbouring town Peregian Beach on the David Low Way.


The Sunshine Coast Regional Council operates a public library at 6 Park Street.[8]

Commercial area[edit]

Coolum Beach is a popular day trip and holiday destination. The town is focused around the beach which is patrolled by life savers and offers swimming and surfing, in its day it is known as one of the best breaks in Queensland.[citation needed] Parks, a boardwalk, esplanade shops, and the surf lifesaver club surround the beach. Over the last five years Coolum Beach has seen heavy development, with new buildings for retail business and holiday apartments.

Public Transport[edit]

Sunbus, a division of TransLink operates local buses.

The nearest railway station is in Nambour, from where there are Queensland Rail trains to Roma Street railway station in Brisbane as well as a line to Ipswich and North Gympie.

Notable people[edit]

Notable people who are from or have lived in Coolum include:


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Coolum Beach (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 25 March 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Coolum Beach - population centre in the Sunshine Coast Region (entry 8151)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Coolum Beach - suburb of the Sunshine Coast Region (entry 48580)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Coolum Beach - beach of the Sunshine Coast Region (entry 8150)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  5. ^ Wells, Robin A. (2003). In the Tracks of a Rainbow: Indigenous Culture and Legends of the Sunshine Coast. Gullirae Books. ISBN 0-9580854-0-4.
  6. ^ "Public Libraries Statistical Bulletin 2016-17" (PDF). Public Libraries Connect. State Library of Queensland. November 2017. p. 16. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Noosa Walks and Trails". Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Coolum Library". Sunshine Coast Regional Council. Retrieved 30 January 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°31′58″S 153°04′08″E / 26.5327389°S 153.0689226°E / -26.5327389; 153.0689226

2. An Island Surrounded by Land; Windolf & Windolf, Zusammen Books, 2004