Maroochydore is the biggest of the suburbs which make up Maroochy. Together with Cotton Tree it is a lot more spread out than Mooloolaba, more commercial and a bit less touristy but, for me not, quite as attractive. It is located 112km north of Brisbane on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast .
The visitors centre is on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Melrose Street next to the Maroochy Beach Sea Breeze Caravan Park and has friendly staff who will provide you with useful information about what to do in the area.
Things to Do
The main reason to come to Maroochydore is for the beach either for swimming, surfing or just relaxing. It has a long sandy beach with some rocky sections all the way along it. There is a patrolled swimming area in front of the Surf Club on Alexandra Parade. There is also a lovely beach and calm water on the South Channel of the Maroochydore River next to the Cotton Tree Caravan Park.
If you fancy a swim but prefer a pool to the sea the Maroochy Aquatic Centre has two large pools.
There is a shared pathway that goes about 5km all the way from Maroochydore to The Spit at Mooloolaba along the back of the beach which you can cycle along if you have a bike or walk or jog along part of it.
The Sunshine Plaza is a large shopping and entertainment centre. It has all the shops you could need under one roof, is home to the 12 screen Birch Carroll and Coyle cinema and houses a wide range of cafes and restaurants. See below for more details.
You can also visit Underwater World in Mooloolaba’s Wharf which is Queensland’s largest oceanarium.
There is a ten pin bowling alley in Mari Street in Alexandra Headland if you are looking for something to do on a wet afternoon or in the evening.
On Sunday mornings from 7am till noon the Cotton Tree Market is on in King Street and at the Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club with lots of speciality shops, crafts stalls, books and cake stalls and much more.
The Maroochy Surf Club on Alexandra Parade is right on the beach front in a quiet area. It is in a big modern building with a balcony and large windows offering great sea views. It has a bistro which offers all the usual dishes but also some which are more special such as prawn tails with egg noodles.
The Boat Shed Restaurant is in a fabulous location right on the river on The Esplanade in Cotton Tree. It has tables inside for dining and some comfortable armchairs outside which are great for having a coffee or a drink and gazing at the river.
If you are looking for something a bit more mediterranean you should try the ba Vigo Spanish Restaurant at 3/27 Cotton Tree Parade opposite the Aquatic Centre. It is a beautifully decorated place and serves some typical Spanish dishes such as Rabo de Toro (ox tail) and Zarzuela (fish stew) while other dishes have a Spanish influence.
You will find quite a few restaurants in the Sunshine Plaza. If you are looking for cheap food there is a large food court called the Brasserie inside the centre and McDonald’s and Subway along the river channel. The Pig ‘n Whistle English pub can be found opposite the cinema and they do some traditional English dishes. Also here you will find Toscani’s Italian Restaurant and Sultan’s Cafe and Restaurant to name but a few.
King Street between Cotton Tree Parade and Memorial Avenue is where the main local shops are to be found and you will find plenty of cafes in this area. One well worth trying is The Red Cafe which does a wide range of interesting breakfast options and gourmet sandwiches and soup at lunchtime.
The Pig ‘n Whistle is a huge English pub in the Sunshine Plaza (mentioned above). Overlooking a small channel of the river it has typical pub tall tables and stools outside, a large bar inside with a room with pool tables and a large dining area. It serves some typical English dishes and is a great place to watch English Premiership matches at the weekends as it is open late enough to actually screen them.
The Maroochy Surf Club has a bar but apart from that the main drinking places are to be found in Mooloolaba.
For information about accommodation see our Maroochydore Accommodation page.