Maroochydore and Cotton Tree: the heart of the Sunshine Coast


Situated half way along the coastal stretch, Maroochydore is literally the heart of the Sunshine Coast. Blessed with pristine beaches and the beautiful Maroochy River and Cotton Tree, Maroochydore is also the original and still the largest commercial hub of the region. With a multitude of shops including the recently extended Sunshine Plaza, cafes, restaurants, cinemas and accommodation options at every level, visitors will want for nothing.

Here are some of the ‘not to miss’ places to visit:


1. Maroochydore Beach/ Cotton Tree


Situated at the mouth of the Maroochy River, this stretch of beach offers the best of both worlds – calm water river beachfront plus a great surf beach around the corner. Patrolled year round by the Maroochydore SLSC or life guards, the surf beach offers safe swimming options or a popular surf break for surfers.


Cotton Tree has parklands with picnic areas, walking trails and a caravan park right on the beach. The shopping area boasts high end fashion, home wares, furniture, sports gear and wear. You are sure to find what you're looking for!




2. Maroochy River


This beautiful river allows access to all the water sports you would expect, as well as seaplane rides, boat cruises and fishing charters. A favourite local secret is the quaint Chambers Island, a peaceful island accessed via a short footbridge walk from Bradman Ave. Home to the Maroochy Sailing Club, the island also contains a playground, toilet block and little else other than serene bush/parkland with enough space to ensure you a private spot to swim or picnic. It is hard not to feel that you have travelled back in time.


3. Ocean Street 


Nicknamed the ‘eat street’ of Maroochydore, Ocean Street offers a great variety of dining and bar options. It is also home to the recently revived Nights on Ocean night markets, which attract thousands of visitors each month.


4. Dining 


There are too many great spots to wine and dine to mention them all here, but some local favourites include the Piano Bar, Harvest Breads, 59 Fish, Orleans and The Boat Shed.


5. Sunshine Plaza


Australia’s only major shopping centre build around a natural waterway, Sunshine Plaza has recently undergone major renovations and extensions. With so many stores including David Jones, Myers, H & M, Kmart, Big W, Target and over 320 shops - you will need more than one visit to explore.


Enjoy a coffee or meal at the Riverwalk while the kids enjoy themselves on a variety of watercraft options below. And then catch a movie before you head home!




6. Shopping


If large shopping centres are not your thing, there are options for every budget and taste within the Maroochydore and Cotton Tree precincts. 


7. Take a scenic flight 


Paradise Seaplanes offer an unforgettable adventure, not to mention breathtaking views of Maroochydore and surrounds.


8. Top Shots Fun Park 


For fun physical activities away from beach and water options, head to Top Shots Fun Park. Choose between the climbing walls, an 18-hole mini-golf course, extreme trampolining, and inflatable waterslide and more.


Accommodation options from camping beachfront at Cotton Tree Caravan Park to elegant apartment style accommodation at The Sebel ensure all tastes and budgets are catered for. Maroochydore’s central location on the Sunshine Coast makes it an ideal base for exploring the entire region, or just stay put and enjoy all there is to offer on your doorstep.

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