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 (actually the mouth of the Mooloolah River) is the home of a large fleet of fishing vessels, as well as the northern base for the pilot vessels that control shipping through Moreton Bay and the Port of Brisbane. 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 UnderWater World Marine Park, as well as many souvenir and clothing shops, galleries and restaurants. Behind the apartments facing the beach are camping grounds, backpacker hostels and canal villas.
Mooloolaba is serviced by coach from Brisbane, train via Landsborough station, or by air from Sunshine Coast Airport.
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. It is also where the famous Christian pop/rock/gospel band the Newsboys started out.