Ok….a disclaimer straight up. If you are coming from Switzerland you may not find our much loved “Mount Coolum” much of a mountain. Friends of mine from Colorado refer to Australia’s mountains as rolling hills and after being in Colorado, I can see why.
In saying that though we love Mount Coolum! Coming from Sydney where there was nothing to ‘peak’ this was exciting for us!!! Plus the view from the top seeing the length of ocean is pretty impressive.
We love Mt Coolum because it is not a ‘big deal’. You can be up and down in an hour if you walk consistently & don’t spend too long at the top. If you are slow walkers and like to linger at the view then leave a few hours. My 8 yr old runs up it, along with many other runners in the area and it takes him under 30 minutes one way. With my 4 yr old though it takes us much longer as he stops at nearly every rock along the way to see if it draws (and there are A LOT of rocks).
The path is steep and rocky, and there are parts you do need to be careful. I wouldn’t let my kids out of my sight (if I can help it!) as it is a very busy path with a few very steep bits they could hurt themselves on if they got bumped on the stairs. In saying that everyone we have met on the path has always been very friendly and encouraging to the kids, excited they are out exploring!
The path starts off as a regular bush trail, then turns into a steeper rocky ascent, some steep stairs and then back to a path before reaching the top. From the top you can see the Sunshine Coast Airport and the beautiful coastline. If you go in the afternoon you may find there is a shadow cast over the ocean side as the sun sets behind the mountain and lots of mozzies up the top as evening approaches so wear some aeroguard. It is a steep descent down in a few parts so if you have little ones they may need your hand. It can be hard on your knees.
Also worth noting is there are no toilets here. The closest ones are in the next town of Yaroomba (about a 5 minute drive) and you will need to ask one of the local shops for keys. Alternatively if your staying further north and your kids can wait, there are public toilets at Point Arkwright or Coolum beach.
Even though a fairly short walk, it is steep and the Sunshine Coast weather is very warm so I would definitely take a bottle of water. We usually take one bottle and share it so the kids hands are free.
I love seeing so many people out enjoying Mount Coolum. There is something really fun about reaching a ‘peak’ in a walk, then turning around and heading home. We have hiked this mountain with heaps of kids, at one point there were 7 kids under 8 – and they all did fantastic. If your kids are not used to hiking they may find it challenging, but they gotta start somewhere!
Happy hiking !!