The History of Caloundra, QLD

Caloundra is a coastal city located in the south-east of Queensland, Australia. It has a population of over 50,000 people and a rich history dating back to the late 19th century. The area was first settled in 1873 by pastoralists and miners, who established farms and settlements along the coastline. Since then, it has been transformed into an attractive tourist destination boasting beautiful beaches, lush greenery and unique wildlife.

The History of Caloundra

Early Settlement

The earliest known settlers of Caloundra, QLD were the Kabi Kabi Aboriginal people. Evidence of their presence in the area dates back more than 20,000 years ago. The name ‘Caloundra’ comes from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘place of barramundi’ – a type of fish found in the region’s waters.

In 1873, pastoralists and miners arrived in the area seeking work on surrounding farms or within nearby mines. By 1891, European settlers had established several small townships around Caloundra including Landsborough and Glasshouse Mountains.

Early settlers were largely European immigrants hoping to make a fresh start in life. They set up farms, fishing vessels and businesses to sell the plentiful local produce such as pineapples, oranges, tobacco and sugar cane. As time went on and more people began settling in the area, Caloundra quickly became a bustling coastal hotspot. The locals created such an incredible legacy that remains very much alive today as hundreds of thousands of people across the world now enjoy its beautiful beaches, vibrant local culture and stunning scenery each year.

Town Development

The early 1900s saw significant growth for Caloundra as a township when roads were constructed linking it to Brisbane and other major centres such as Noosa Heads, Maroochydore and Maleny. This made it easy for tourists to visit the area which increased its popularity among holiday-goers. The local economy experienced a boost as businesses opened up in Caloundra to cater to these visitors – including restaurants, cafes, shops and hotels – many of which are still operational today. Undergoing a progessive transformation, the town quickly grew from a small fishing village to one of the popular tourist hubs on Australia’s east coast. With improved infrastructure and roads, an expansion of facilities and public transport, as well as increasing development of new subdivisions and housing complexes, Caloundra quickly gained recognition both internationally and locally. Town Development transformations over the decades not only showcased the town’s rapid economic progress but also its deep connection with nature, making it a desirable living space for families.

In 1925, Caloundra was declared a town after its population exceeded 1,000 people; this marked an important milestone in its development as it enabled civic services such as education and health care to be provided locally rather than relying on those from bigger cities like Brisbane or Maroochydore. As tourism grew throughout Australia during this period so too did interest in Caloundra – leading many prominent Australians such as former Prime Minister Stanley Bruce to visit the town for holidays each year during this time.

Modern Day Attractions

Caloundra has continued to develop over time with many new attractions being built over recent decades including Underwater World Sea Life Aquarium – one of Australia’s largest saltwater aquariums – which opened its doors to visitors in 1991; while Big Kart Track (BKT) – one of Queensland’s biggest go karting facilities – opened its doors in 2007 providing adrenaline-filled fun for all ages! Today there are also plenty of other activities available ranging from boat tours around Pumicestone Passage (which offers stunning views across Bribie Island) to hang gliding off Point Cartwright (where you can admire panoramic views).

Take a stroll around the Caloundra Street Fair, followed by a visit to the iconic Kings Beach boardwalk and swimming pool, then take in some of the world-class street art throughout town. After enjoying the sights of Caloundra, you might decide to embark on a wildlife tour through beautiful Bulcock Beach or spend an afternoon kayaking upstream in the Little Chelsea River. For those who are looking for something even more adventurous, try one of the breathtaking hikes along Mount Beerwah before finishing off your trip with dinner at The Boat Shed Markets overlooking Bulcock Lagoon. Modern day attractions in Caloundra have something for everyone to enjoy! If you’re ever in need of a place to stay near the Sunshine Coast, be sure to check out Caloundra. It’s a beautiful and peaceful town with plenty of things to do. From hiking and swimming to eating and shopping, there’s something for everyone here. What’s your favourite things to do in Caloundra, QLD? And if you need any help planning your trip or finding the best activities for you, just let us know in the comments below. We’re always happy to help!


Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure – there are lots of places worth exploring near Caloundra like Noosa Heads (for surfing), Sunshine Coast Hinterland (for hiking) or Fraser Island (for 4WD driving). There’s something for everyone at this sun-soaked paradise!


From its humble beginnings as a rural outpost inhabited by pastoralists and miners over 150 years ago through to today’s vibrant city filled with exciting attractions – the history of Caloundra is both fascinating and inspiring! So why not come down here on your next holiday? With so much on offer there’s guaranteed fun awaiting you at every corner!

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