18 July 2017
We have made Coolum Beach our new home for the next 5 months. After living in Brisbane hotels for our first two weeks and investigating the areas between Sunshine Coast to the north and Gold Coast to the south, we decided Coolum Beach was the best fit for our family. It provides a relaxed, safe, family friendly atmosphere and affordable access to the beach lifestyle. Our apartment has several swimming pools and a small gym. It is a short walk to all the basics, including the beach, parks, restaurants, a grocery store, a pharmacy, the library and community center, and soccer fields. We even belong to the local surf club.
Coolum Beach is part of a collection of seaside communities that make up the Sunshine Coast. It is anchored by the town of Maroochydore which is about a 20 minute drive south but maybe more known nationally for Noosa on the north end, also known as the “Relaxation Capital” of Australia. Coolum and Peregian Beaches stretch about 1 mile long. On the south end of Coolum there are some rocky areas that create 3 additional small sandy bays. There are no high-rises and the locals are fighting to maintain this low-rise, low-key vibe.
Brisbane, a fantastic city, serves as the business hub and capital of Queensland. It was too much city and not enough beach for us. Gold Coast is a popular tourist area with several theme parks and long wide sandy beaches, such as the famed Surfer’s Paradise. The beach side feels like Ft. Lauderdale and the inland side feels more like Orlando. We are excited to spend more time visiting in the near future but it was not the atmosphere we were looking to live.
We are still settling into our new place but are making progress. The kids are on a regular home school schedule. We try to do something each afternoon whether it is investigating a new town, taking long walks, or just going to the beach.
A few days ago we made the trek on foot from our apartment to the top of Mount Coolum and back, about 14 km (8 1/2 miles), some quite steep. From the top there are nice views from Peregian to Maroochydore on the east and the Glass Mountain Range to the west. Cole spotted our first kangaroo in the wild.