Caloundra was given the title Australia’s “tidiest” town, in 2012. I’m not sure what constitutes the “tidiest” town, but the Australian Tidy Towns Judge, Dick Olesinski makes it clear. “Caloundra is a dynamic and environmentally aware community with friendly, enthusiastic and dedicated residents that care for their unique environment,” said Mr Olesinski.
I agree with Mr Olesinski, Caloundra has a “unique” environment. But it’s tidiness was not the decisive factor in it being my destination choice for the September School holidays.
Why Caloundra appeals (to me):
- is close to Brisbane (one hour drive from Brisbane airport)
- has a laid back feel
- easy to get around
- abundant choice of beaches
- its family friendly with many free activities for the kids
- the Caloundra Music Festival held over the last long week-end of the holidays
I’m a beach lover and who doesn’t look forward to a holiday at the beach? Combine this with Caloundra’s varying attractions and it’s a blueprint for a memorable time away. I was also hoping Caloundra to be the place where my kids will be too busy to utter those annoying words: “I’m bored!”
A rented holiday house at Shelly Beach was our base for one week. Caloundra has a fabulous array of beaches all within easy walking distance of each other, if you are keen to stretch your legs on their well maintained walking paths. Each morning the dog and I would walk alongside some stunning beach vistas.
Kings and Dicky Beach are patrolled beaches and the places to head to if going for a “safe” swim between the flags. I love the fresher water temperature September school holiday provides. The sun does not feel as intense at this time of the year either (compared to Christmas time) which means more beach time without the worry of sunburn.
Some days we chose the quiet and un-patrolled Shelly Beach (no swimming though, as this beach is unpatrolled.) Spoilt with the easy beach access at the end of the quiet cul-de-sac, kids, dog and mum were quite content to venture close to home. Other days when we were keen to go a little further we’d venture to Kings or Dicky Beach.
Caloundra Music Festival
Our holiday co-incided with the Caloundra Music Festival. This was its 8th year and is always held over four days (including the Labour day public holiday.) I discovered the festival for the first time last year. Impressed with the musical talents (many I hadn’t heard before) and the family friendly atmosphere, I wanted to return this year with my two younger sons, so they could have their first music festival experience.
Taking my two 11 year olds meant spending less time at the Festival (attention span of kids), so I can’t review many of the musical acts this year. But that was ok. As a mum I enjoyed introducing the boys to live music. This Festival is kid friendly and with five stages spread over a large area, feeling crowded was never an issue. Another great initiative of the Festival is they’re one of the first to introduce BYO H20 bottles. You fill your own water bottles from the clean water stations found around the various stages. Environmentally friendly and clever!
I’m a Pete Murray fan, so I was excited my boys could finally see him perform live, as most venues Pete plays at are adult only. However I quickly discovered loud outdoor concerts are not for everyone, especially my kids as first-timers! Rather than moshing in the front rows, we moved to a spot half way up the grassed area to enjoy Mr Murray’s popular hits.
A highlight the next day was Mr Percival on the smaller Surf Stage.
We’d no idea who he was (you know when you see someone and you can’t quite place their name but they seem so familiar – that was me. Found out later he’d appeared on the Voice Season 1.) Darren Percival, a Sunny Coast local had the entire crowd (including my boys) up on our feet clapping and singing along to his version of “electrocoustic”* music. My 11 year old’s face wore the biggest grin as he watched Mr Percival. (*Check out Mr Percival and looping )
Another highlight was New Orleans jazz band Tuba Skinny at the Surf stage Sunday afternoon, I felt like we’d stumbled into a back street of New Orleans. Listening to musicians of this calibre perform at the intimate Surf Stage – is what makes this Festival so memorable. A treat for anyone keen to experience musical talent and diversity in music.
Catch a clip of Tuba Skinny (at the French Quarter Festival.) So many hidden musical delights at the Caloundra Music Festival. I missed a few this year, but no bother there’s always next year!
The Sunny Coast spoilt us turning on seven days of brilliant weather. T’was the perfect time of year to enjoy the beach, music and all Caloundra (the tidiest town) has on offer. Thumbs up from this mum and her kids (and the dog!)