Rail­way town un­der trans­for­ma­tion

Sold On Sunshine Coast - - Suburb Profile | Palmwoods -

IT USED to be per­fect for a Sun­day drive from the coast but now Palm­woods is a real des­ti­na­tion as new­com­ers dis­cover the re­laxed life­style of the area.

Lo­cated in the heart of the hin­ter­land, this rail­way town has been un­der­go­ing a trans­for­ma­tion with street beau­ti­fi­ca­tion and a new en­ergy in the shop­ping cen­tre.

The pop­u­lar­ity of laneway din­ing and the nos­tal­gia of the retro-fit­ted Rick’s Garage means visi­tors from Bri­bie Is­land and Bris­bane read­ily rub shoul­ders with those from Bud­erim and Mooloolaba.

Clas­sic cars, food and live mu­sic are part of the recipe for suc­cess of Rick’s in what was a me­chan­i­cal garage.

Visi­tors come to Palm­woods and fin­ish up spend­ing the whole day there.

A re­cent 15-lot sub­di­vi­sion has added to the va­ri­ety of hous­ing on of­fer, from the tra­di­tional 800sq m blocks down to small lots of­fer­ing dual-key prop­er­ties.

The me­dian price of houses has climbed con­sis­tently from $435,000 five years ago to $533,000 in April 2018. Land prices sit at $282,000.

In 1881, the Kuskophs, early Eu­ro­pean set­tlers, named the re­gion Mer­ri­man Flats. The of­fi­cial open­ing of the North Coast rail­way in 1891, for­mally an­nounced the re­nam­ing of the small town, from Mer­ri­man Flats, to Palm­woods, af­ter the pic­cabeen palms that grow in the area.

The 1870s saw a wave of new set­tlers in the Maroochy re­gion. Fol­low­ing the 1880s, which led to tree clear­ing, the rich farm­land was used to farm av­o­ca­dos, cus­tard ap­ples and paw paw or­chards, along with or­ange and ba­nana plan­ta­tions. The North Coast Rail­way be­came an im­por­tant part for the out­let of fresh pro­duce.

Still to this day, Palm­woods is re­spon­si­ble for sup­ply­ing a large quan­tity of lo­cal fruit and veg­eta­bles to sup­pli­ers both lo­cal and in­ter­state.

Cit­rus grow­ing saw a lo­cal fruit juice com­pany ex­pand but now Gourmet Gar­den is the ma­jor land­mark, a pack­aged fresh herbs and spices man­u­fac­turer now un­der in­ter­na­tional con­trol.

A strong com­mu­nity has been built around the school of arts hall in the cen­tre of town.

A pop­u­lar pri­mary school and swim­ming pool are part of a town where most sports and re­cre­ation ac­tiv­i­ties are catered for.

The his­toric Palm­woods Ho­tel was es­tab­lished in 1912.

A small fam­ily-owned busi­ness known for its wel­com­ing fam­ily-friendly at­mos­phere, the ho­tel soon be­come a pop­u­lar venue and tourist draw­card.

Word of mouth has given the ho­tel an en­vi­able rep­u­ta­tion for its great food, fab­u­lous steaks and qual­ity en­ter­tain­ment.

Sur­rounded by a beau­ti­ful hin­ter­land back­drop, Palm­woods is the per­fect place to sit and en­joy a well-de­served cof­fee as you re­lax and watch the world go by.

On the east­ern side of the rail­way line, Kolora Park and its duck pond and play­ground is al­ways a pop­u­lar spot.

Boast­ing nu­mer­ous cafes and res­tau­rants, serv­ing both lo­cal and sea­sonal pro­duce, Palm­woods is home to in­ter­na­tional venues serv­ing In­dian, Thai and Mid­dle East­ern, which will leave you in a quandary as to where to dine first.

Neigh­bour­ing the charis­matic Black­all Range Vil­lages of Maleny, Montville and Mapleton, this hin­ter­land re­gion is an ideal place to call home.

Cen­trally lo­cated, en­joy a 25-minute scenic drive to the Black­all Range, or a 25-minute drive to­wards the coast­line, where you will reach the heart of Maroochydore.

This unique town­ship is home to count­less art and craft en­thu­si­asts, the lo­cal bou­tique stores are filled with in­spir­ing art­work, which are not only hand­made and unique but cre­ated with in­spi­ra­tion.

PHOTO: JOHN GASS

Palm­woods Ho­tel.

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