Charming, relaxed spot to unwind
JUST about every visitor to the central Sunshine Coast goes to Cotton Tree … and falls in love with its charm.
And they have been doing it for more than 100 years.
A small village within Maroochydore, Cotton Tree is superbly situated between the calm Maroochy River and a stunning stretch of golden surfing beaches.
The area takes its name from the Hibiscus tiliaceus plant which is also known as Coastal Cotton tree or Cottonwood.
First gazetted as a wharf and water reserve in 1873 it was soon popular as a camping reserve.
Until the 1910s, Cotton Tree was accessible only by water. Then in 1927 a road was put through what is now Maroochydore.
After seeing many changes through the years, the popular river side location flourished as a tourist destination.
In 1916 the Sunshine Coast’s first surf club, Maroochydore Surf Club, opened. Then in 1921 the first school on the Sunshine Coast was opened there, and the growth has continued.
The landscape provides stunning views and a beauty of colour that only nature can produce. The Cotton Tree Esplanade offers an ever-changing northern seascape over the crystal sands and peacock blue water. But be aware, the water may look the perfect place to swim but the tide can be swift.
Holiday and residential apartments continue to be built to provide for the ever-increasing demand in such a location.
Along with its charming strip of boutique shops, cafes and juice bars, this area proves a hit with the locals, tourists, and of course the health conscious. Can you imagine a more perfect setting than fresh fish and chips by the waterfront while watching the sunset?
Then there is the exciting range of restaurants and coffee spots to refresh the soul as well as the senses.
Handy to Maroochydore RSL and Events Centre as well as the regional shopping in Maroochydore, Cotton Tree has so much to see and do. There is the library and neighbourhood centre, as well as the nearby childcare groups.
Discover hand-made arts and crafts and fresh local produce at the Sunday markets along King St or put the white socks and sweat bands on for a game of tennis at Maroochydore Tennis Club.
Perhaps table tennis is your game of choice? Have a hit on the tables outside Cotton Tree Aquatic Centre.
The Olympic-size riverfront pool is sought by national, international and state swim squads as well as those learning to swim or enjoying water aerobics.
To the north is the Maroochy River, a playground for the young and forever young. With plenty of grass areas for a family picnic along Cotton Tree Park, there is also a popular playground for the littlies and enough room for the big kids to kick a ball.
The river is a great spot to take the kayak or stand-up paddle board for a splash.
If low-key water activities aren’t your priority swap the SuP for a surfboard and paddle around the sandbags to the northern point of Maroochydore Beach. Offshore winds from the southwest are sure to make the keen kite surfers excited on blowy days.
For a softer wave, or no waves at all, the beach directly across Cotton Tree Caravan Park is the perfect spot for young families. Being located next to the river ensures calm water yet a sandy beach for sun tanning or sandcastle making.
Overlooking this beach is Cotton Tree Caravan Park. This camping ground is a historical landmark demonstrating the significance of the traditional Aussie holiday.
Cotton Tree is also home to Maroochy Beach Bowls Club and Maroochy Swans Rugby Union Club.