Mooloolaba is a coastal suburb of Maroochydore in the Sunshine Coast Region, Queensland, Australia.[2] It is located 97 kilometres (60 mi) north of the state capital, Brisbane, and is part of the Maroochydore urban centre. In the 2016 census, Mooloolaba had a population of 7,730 people.[1]


Mooloolaba Esplanade, 2019

Mooloolaba is bounded on the east by the Coral Sea, on the south by the Mooloolah River, on the north by Alexandra Headland and to the west by Buderim. Mooloolaba Harbour (near the mouth of the Mooloolah River, 26°41′09″S 153°07′58″E / 26.6858°S 153.1328°E / -26.6858; 153.1328 (Mooloolaba Harbour)) is the home of a large fleet of fishing vessels, as well as being the northern base for the pilot vessels that control shipping through Moreton Bay and the Port of Brisbane.[3] Due to its sheltered location in the lee of Point Cartwright, it is an all-weather harbour favoured by recreational sailors.

The esplanade facing Mooloolaba beach is a centre for tourist activity, containing the Sea Life marine park (26°40′58″S 153°07′17″E / 26.6828°S 153.1213°E / -26.6828; 153.1213 (Sea Life Sunshine Coast)), as well as many souvenir and clothing shops, bookshops, galleries and restaurants. Behind the apartments facing the Mooloolaba Beach (26°40′52″S 153°07′18″E / 26.6811°S 153.1217°E / -26.6811; 153.1217 (Mooloolaba Beach))[4] are camping grounds, backpacker hostels and canal villas. It is also a tourism destination, with cruise ships regularly anchoring outside the port.

Mooloolaba is serviced by coach from Brisbane, by train and connecting bus via Nambour, Woombye, Landsborough station, and by air from Sunshine Coast Airport.


Mooloolaba derives from the Aboriginal word mulu, meaning snapper fish, or mulla meaning Red-bellied Black Snake. Originally known as Mooloolah Heads, the name was changed to Mooloolaba by Thomas O'Connor in 1919 when he subdivided land for sale there.[5][6][2]

A Methodist Church hall was opened on Saturday 28 January 1933.[7]

Mooloolaba Provisional School opened on 2 May 1933. On 24 January 1938 it became Mooloolaba State School.[8]

In September 1954 Archbishop Reginald Halse performed a stump-capping ceremony for the new Anglican church at Mooloolaba.[9] St Elizabeth's Anglican Church was dedicated on 2 November 1954 by Archbishop Halse. Its closure on 2 April 2006 was approved by Venerable R N Gowty, Archdeacon of Wide Bay.[10] The congregation had dwindled to 17 people and a property developer offered a sum for the block in First Avenue (approx 26°40′39″S 153°06′55″E / 26.6774°S 153.1152°E / -26.6774; 153.1152 (St Elizabeth's Anglican Church)) described as "safely estimated to be in the millions" to combine the church land with other parcels to build a high-rise residential development. The plan was to combine St Elizabeth's with St Peter's Anglican in Maroochydore and have only one Anglican church in the area.[11]

In the 2016 census, Mooloolaba had a population of 7,730 people.[1]


Mooloolaba State School is a government primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at the corner Meta and Douglas Streets (26°40′42″S 153°06′49″E / 26.6784°S 153.1137°E / -26.6784; 153.1137 (Mooloolaba State School)).[12][13] In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 677 students with 45 teachers (39 full-time equivalent) and 20 non-teaching staff (15 full-time equivalent).[14] It includes a special education program.[12]

There are no secondary schools in Moloolaba. The nearest secondary school is Mountain Creek State High School in neighbouring Mountain Creek.[15]


The Sunshine Coast Regional Council operates a mobile library service which visits Moondarra Drive.[16]


Mooloolaba is also home to the Mooloolaba Triathlon and the Sydney to Mooloolaba Yacht Race. It is also home to various on beach events.[17]

In popular culture

Mooloolaba featured in the fourth season of The Amazing Race. Evangelist Peter Foxhall and Pastor Bill Furler pioneered an Assemblies of God church at the Mooloolaba Surf Lifesaving Club in the mid-1980s. The town was also the home of the Christian pop/rock band Newsboys and is mentioned in their song "RSL 1984" from In the Hands of God. It is the fourth town mentioned in the original Australian version of the song "I've Been Everywhere".

In August and September 2015, the town garnered media attention when a French woman recorded a video claiming to have had a one-night stand with a male resident of Mooloolaba, asking him to come forward. It turned out to have been a promotional advert for the town, masterminded by a British social media expert - the woman was a French university student and actress.[18]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Mooloolaba (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b "Mooloolaba - suburb in Sunshine Coast Region (entry 48768)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Mooloolabah Harbour - harbour in the Sunshine Coast Region (entry 22611)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  4. ^ "Mooloolaba Beach - beach in the Sunshine Coast Region (entry 22610)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  5. ^ "South East Queensland - Place Names". Archived from the original on 22 August 2006. Retrieved 16 December 2006.
  6. ^ "Place Name Origins". Maroochy Shire Council. Archived from the original on 10 December 2006. Retrieved 16 December 2006.
  7. ^ "Place of Worship". Nambour Chronicle And North Coast Advertiser. XXIX, (1496). Queensland, Australia. 3 February 1933. p. 4. Retrieved 7 July 2020 – via National Library of Australia.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  8. ^ Queensland Family History Society (2010), Queensland schools past and present (Version 1.01 ed.), Queensland Family History Society, ISBN 978-1-921171-26-0
  9. ^ "Church of England Stump Capping". Nambour Chronicle And North Coast Advertiser. Queensland, Australia. 3 September 1954. p. 2. Retrieved 7 July 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ Anglican Church of Southern Queensland. "Closed Churches". Archived from the original on 3 April 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Church to look for new home". Sunshine Coast Daily. 31 March 2006. Archived from the original on 7 July 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  12. ^ a b "State and non-state school details". Queensland Government. 9 July 2018. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Mooloolaba State School". Archived from the original on 6 May 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  14. ^ "ACARA School Profile 2017". Archived from the original on 22 November 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Queensland Globe". State of Queensland. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Libraries: Mobile timetable". Sunshine Coast Regional Council. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  17. ^ "Sydney to Mooloolaba Yacht Race". Sunshine Coast Daily. Sunshine Coast Newspaper Company. Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  18. ^ Stephens, Kim (2 September 2015). "Natalie Amyot video: Marketer admits viral hoax". The Brisbane Times. Retrieved 18 January 2020.

External links

  • "Mooloolaba". Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland.