Vil­lage feel with modern con­ve­niences

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.

With the Coast’s hous­ing mar­ket and real es­tate the fo­cus of a lot of at­ten­tion, ac­com­pa­nied by de­vel­oper con­fi­dence in the area and the fu­ture, an in­flux of new apart­ment com­plexes is on the rise.

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.

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, cafés and juice bars, this area proves a hit with the lo­cals, tourists, and of course the health-con­scious.

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 child-care groups. Dis­cover hand­made 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 the Maroochydore Ten­nis Club.

Per­haps ta­ble ten­nis is your game of choice? Have a hit on the ta­bles out­side the Cot­ton Tree Aquatic Cen­tre.

The Olympic-size river­front pool is sought af­ter 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 the 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. It is lo­cated next to the river, en­sur­ing calm wa­ter yet a sandy beach for sun tan­ning or mas­ter­piece sand­cas­tle mak­ing.

Over­look­ing this beach is the leg­endary Cot­ton Tree Car­a­van Park. This camp­ing ground is a his­toric land­mark demon­strat­ing the sig­nif­i­cance of the tra­di­tional Aussie hol­i­day.

Un­til the 1910s, Cot­ton Tree was ac­ces­si­ble only by wa­ter. Then in 1927 a road was put through what is now Maroochydore.

An­drew and Tom Petrie orig­i­nally ex­plored the area for re­sourc­ing tim­ber. Af­ter build­ing sev­eral cot­tages to house em­ploy­ees for the tim­ber de­pot, the ac­com­mo­da­tion was soon used to run hol­i­day camps by the Sal­va­tion Army.

In 1916 the Sun­shine Coast’s first surf club, the Maroochydore Surf Club, was opened. Then in 1921 Maroochydore saw the open­ing of the first school on the Sun­shine Coast, and from there the growth has con­tin­ued. *Fig­ures are for the en­tire Maroochydore/Cot­ton Tree area.

PHOTO: JOHN MCCUTCHEON

SUM­MER TIME: Cot­ton Tree on a per­fect sum­mer’s day.

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