Charm­ing, re­laxed spot to un­wind

Sold On Sunshine Coast - - Suburb Profile | Cotton Tree -

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.

PHOTO: CHE CHAP­MAN

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