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Cruises to Mooloolaba

Mooloolaba (Photo:DAE Photo/Shutterstock)

About Mooloolaba

Queensland is said to be 'beautiful one day, perfect the next'. In keeping with this theme, the Sunshine State prides itself on having more than 2,000 kilometres of fabulous beaches and coastal hotspots. One of these highlights is Mooloolaba, about an hour's drive north of Brisbane.

Mooloolaba's population swells considerably each weekend and on school holidays. However, it's not a quiet hideaway by the ocean. While very much maintaining its own identity, Mooloolaba is, along with the neighbouring Alexandra Headland, a suburb of Maroochydore. The three seaside areas sit next to each other -- the centre of Maroochydore being the third area -- and it's hard to tell where one seaside village and the next begins.

Mooloolaba is very much the tourist hub of the three and The Esplanade, with its abundance of restaurants, cafes and shops overlooking one end of Mooloolaba Beach, is the focal point. Mooloolaba's prime location makes it an excellent launching pad to all sorts of attractions, such as the world-class Australia Zoo, the Glass House Mountains and the Sunshine Coast hinterland and its quaint towns.

For cruise travellers, Mooloolaba has only been a port of call since August 2014. However, its long history as a tourist destination means there is a calm confidence in its treatment of visitors. It might be a small town by the ocean, but for a holiday it is top notch on many levels. The combined population of all three numbers is in excess of 30,424 (based on 2018 Census figures), and this brings with it a co-existing blend of tourism and urban living.

  • Why go to Mooloolaba?

  • Mooloolaba Cruise Port Facilities?

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Azamara Onward
Azamara Onward (Photo: Azamara)

21 Night
Cruise to MooloolabaDetails

1 Review
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Azamara
Mar 1, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Regatta
Regatta

18 Night
Cruise to MooloolabaDetails

378 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Feb 28, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Silver Muse
Silver Muse

14 Night
Cruise to MooloolabaDetails

Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Silversea Cruises
Jan 29, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Star Breeze
Star Breeze

10 Night
Cruise to MooloolabaDetails

Leaving:Melbourne
Cruise Line:Windstar Cruises
Jan 25, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Virgin Voyages

23 Night
Cruise to MooloolabaDetails

Leaving:Melbourne
Cruise Line:Windstar Cruises
Jan 25, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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33 Night
Cruise to MooloolabaDetails

Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Feb 13, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

27 Night
Cruise to MooloolabaDetails

Leaving:Melbourne
Cruise Line:Silversea Cruises
Jan 16, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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25 Night
Cruise to MooloolabaDetails

Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Windstar Cruises
Jan 10, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Why go to Mooloolaba?

Pros:

Breathtaking beaches, pristine national parks, an unhurried vibe and great food

Cons:

One day is not long enough to explore the Sunshine Coast area

Bottom Line:

A 'surf and sun' escape for locals that has plenty more to offer visitors

Mooloolaba Cruise Port Facilities?

The Wharf Mooloolaba is about a 200-metre walk to the start of The Esplanade and its multitude of shops and eateries. However, The Wharf Mooloolaba itself contains quite a few places to shop and dine. There is an ANZ ATM next to The Savvy Squire (123 Parkyn Parade). If a quick bite to eat before or after the day's activities is in order, or a last-minute souvenir needs to be purchased, The Wharf Mooloolaba fits the bill. It's a good point to start or end a cruise. Visit Sunshine Coast also coordinates cruise ship activations at The Wharf Mooloolaba for each cruise ship arrival. These are located immediately as passengers disembark, giving cruise passengers access to Sunshine Coast ambassadors who provide maps and local visitor information for day trips around the region. Visit The Booking Box (0419 704797) on the wharf to get onboard river cruises, fishing charters, tours, activities and experiences around the Sunshine Coast. You can also reserve tickets to attractions such as Australia Zoo. If you would like to book a pre- or post-cruise tour between the Gold Coast and Hervey Bey, you can visit thebookingbox.com.au and reserve your spot online. Editor's note: there is free Wi-Fi at The Wharf Mooloolaba.

Good to Know?

The subtropical climate means the sun can have a bit of bite, even if it's cloudy and the sea breeze feels lovely and cool. In the warmer months, it's best to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30+ To be extra careful, wear a light, long-sleeved cotton shirt.

The 'loo with a view' is a public amenity overlooking the beach on The Esplanade near Brisbane Road. Despite the name, you don't go to the toilet to look at the view. The view occurs after you've used the restrooms and walked out onto the large deck area, which juts out over the sand. It's one of the best-known landmarks in Mooloolaba because so many people use it as a meeting point.

Getting Around?

On Foot: Mooloolaba is very much a walking destination and everything it has to offer is within a 20-minute stroll of The Wharf Mooloolaba. The walk to Alexandra Headland is about 2.5 kilometres from The Wharf Mooloolaba and does involve walking up and down a sloping footpath.

By Taxi: There is a taxi stand at The Wharf Mooloolaba should you wish to venture further then the nearby beaches. The on-demand ride service Uber is also available throughout the Sunshine Coast.

By Bus: Visit TransLink to plan your journey by bus. There are regular daily buses from Mooloolaba to Noosa and the Hinterland.

By rental car: Rental cars are available and the closest is Sunset Rent-A-Car (Shop 9, Zanzibar Arcade, 47 Mooloolaba Esplanade; 07 5370 7400; open Monday to Friday, 8 am to 3pm, Saturdays 8 am to noon, closed Sundays and public holidays) located in an office inside Mantra Zanzibar on The Esplanade just after Brisbane Road (heading away from The Wharf Mooloolaba). It is open seven days a week but with limited hours on Sunday. Other major car rental companies such as Avis (74A Aerodrome Rd; 07 5453 1999; open Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm; Saturday 8 am to noon; Sunday 8 am to 11 am); Hertz (07 5443 3108) and Budget (07 5443 6555) are all located at Maroochydore, which involves a 4.8-kilometre taxi ride.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency is the Australian dollar. There is an ATM at the wharf and a few more located along The Esplanade. ANZ Bank is located opposite the Sunset Rent-A-Car office in the Zanzibar Arcade, just after Brisbane Road. There is also a rediATM inside Oceans Resort (101 Mooloolaba Esplanade) and a Commonwealth Bank ATM opposite the Mooloolaba Post Office (on the corner of Brisbane Road and Hancock Street). Most businesses in Mooloolaba have contactless payment technology.

Language?

English is the main language spoken in Australia. In a tourist hub such as Mooloolaba, Aussie locals are as likely to say 'g'day' as 'good afternoon'. They will almost certainly say 'no worries', too, if you thank them for their help.

Where You're Docked?

Cruise ships moor about 1.5 kilometres off Mooloolaba and come by tender from the cruise vessel to The Wharf Mooloolaba, which recently underwent a $10 million refurbishment. Mooloolaba Beach is a surf beach, so tenders enter a channel -- the entrance to the Mooloolah River and a canal system behind Mooloolaba -- and passengers disembark at The Wharf Mooloolaba.


Mooloolaba Cruise Reviews
We did our own walk around the city. Went for a nice swimRead More
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