Close to home #3 Cotton Tree
It’s always lovely to go on a long holiday to a far flung destination. There are times, however, when it’s not convenient or cost effective and a staycation, closer to home, is the way to go. The destinations in this series of posts are all within a couple of hours’ drive of our home. They’re easy to get to, there’s plenty to see and do and at the end of the holiday we’re home again in no time.
The Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane, is one of Queensland’s most loved playgrounds. From the laid back style of Caloundra in the south to the exclusive resorts at Noosa 60 km to the north, there’s a holiday destination to suit everyone.
Tucked away between the high-rises of Alexandra Headland and the wide mouth of the Maroochy River is the small beachfront suburb of Cotton Tree and the Cotton Tree Holiday Park takes prime position.
The holiday park, with its broad, grassed camping sites, has two water frontages; it’s only a couple of minutes’ walk either way to the Pacific Ocean or the river. On the ocean side at Maroochy Beach, windsurfers take advantage of the tumbling waves and further along lifesavers watch over the bathers swimming between the flags.
Around the other side, where the Maroochy River enters the ocean, the water is much calmer; it’s perfect for small children, kayakers and lifesavers-in-training, who perfect their water skills in the glassy conditions.
Campers at the park have all they need within easy walking distance. Along Cotton Tree Parade and King Street there are trendy boutiques selling the latest swimwear and cafés where freshly caught seafood headlines the menu, while not far away is Sunshine Plaza, the largest shopping centre on the Sunshine Coast. The walkway through the Esplanade Parkland follows the bank of the Maroochy River. There’s time for walkers to pause for reflection at the Maroochydore War Memorial and Naval Memorial.
Pelicans, who also have plenty of time, gather in the shallows waiting for offcuts from the fishermen.
With a choice of surf or still water and walking, dining and shopping all in easy reach, every day is a holiday at Cotton Tree.