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The Sunshine Coast, 100 kilometres north of Brisbane, is a place that I have visited often over the years. During a ten year involvement with Nipper competition in Surf Lifesaving, we travelled to many surf carnivals on the Sunshine Coast and now it is the place that our daughter calls home.
Known as the urban centre of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore is located on the Maroochy River and is a popular holiday spot with both the river estuary and beautiful beaches.
Sunshine Plaza is the Sunshine Coast’s largest shopping mall, and has a large cinema complex, fashion boutiques, department stores and food courts. Maroochydore also offers nightlife with fashionable bars, restaurants and several Surf Life Saving Clubs always brimming with visitors.
Cotton Tree is a trendy little suburb located north of Maroochydore on the river mouth and beach and where there is a large caravan park, high-rise holiday apartments, cafes, restaurants and a small shopping centre. Camping at the Cotton Tree Caravan Park is a family favourite of ours and where we’ve spent most of our Sunshine Coast holidays.
Surf the waves at the beach or make use of the calmer waters of the river by windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding or sailing. Maroochy River is an angler’s delight with great fishing all year round.
A long walking track runs from Cotton Tree – Maroochydore through Alexandra Headland, southwards to Mooloolaba, and is always busy with people strolling, jogging or cycling along the beachfront. The headland at Alexandra Headland has some spectacular views of the coastline towards Mooloolaba to the south and Alexandra Headland and Maroochydore beaches to the north.
Nearby Mooloolaba with its beautiful beachfront esplanade boasts upmarket fashion boutiques, cool cafes, healthy juice bars, outdoor restaurants and stylish clubs and bars. Mooloolaba Surf Club with it’s prime position on the beach is a great spot to sit, relax and have a cold drink or a meal with stunning views.
Underwater World at Mooloolaba Wharf is home to thousands of marine animals, including sharks, seals, turtles, stingrays, otters, sawfish, tropical fish and where you can walk underwater through the glass viewing tunnel and see Australia’s marine life like never before.
A 34 km drive north west of Maroochydore are the famous Eumundi Markets which has a diverse and amazing range of art, craft, products, entertainment and local produce. The drive itself out through the lush green terrain surrounding Eumundi is worth the trip alone, and once there you will enjoy a stroll around this charming historical town with the most magnificent Fig trees adorning the streets.
Aside from the world famous Eumundi Markets, Eumundi boasts six fabulous art galleries, showcasing the finest in contemporary art, Aboriginal art, as well as stained glass and hot glass art. There are also plenty of places for a bite to eat or drink with options ranging from the iconic pubs Joe’s Waterhole and The Imperial Hotel, to relaxed cafes and coffee shops.
For those who like an uphill challenging walk try the hike up Mt Coolum, that is 15 kilometres north of Maroochydore. Once you scale to the top there are gorgeous panoramic views of Coolum, the Sunshine Coast beaches and Hinterland.
Maroochydore is one of those holiday destinations that has everything on offer: sun-drenched beaches, calm water river with a host of water activities to entertain all ages, great shopping, trendy eateries and coffee shops, a wide rage of accommodation for all budgets and heaps of tourist attractions within a short distance. I could easily return here time and time again for a relaxing break and change of scenery.
For more information about Maroochydore go to Visit Sunshine Coast.
Want to read more about holidaying in Queensland? See my article on discovering Queensland: A State of Excitement!
Linking up with Travel Photo Thursday
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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