Maroochydore is not just the geographic centre of the Sunshine Coast it is often referred to as the ‘beating’ heart of it too.
A fabulous tourist destination for a day trip, short break or two-week holiday, the area has something for everyone.
Not least a wonderful beach.
It’s the kind of place where you can enjoy a morning swim in the ocean and indulge in a bit of shopping at a world class mall in the afternoon – before heading out for a vibrant evening of dinner and cocktails.
It’s the kind of place that lavishes in outstanding natural beauty and a charming, laid-back atmosphere. Where great memories are made and lots of fun is to be had.
One of several fantastic beaches on the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore Beach is known for being clean, safe, and family-friendly.
It is also packed with plenty of things to see and do.
So it is well worth shortlisting when planning your next mini getaway or family vacation.
About Maroochydore Beach
Maroochydore Beach is sandwiched between Alexandra Headlands and Cotton Tree Beaches.
Together they form one long beach which is excellent to walk on.
Patrolled by the Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club, which was founded on New Year’s Day in 1916 and remains one of Queensland’s oldest surf lifesaving clubs, the beach is popular with locals and holidaymakers alike.
Despite this, outside of major surf carnivals or peak holiday season, Maroochydore Beach never seems overly busy.
Backed by picturesque parkland, the golden sand is well maintained and offers splendid views of Alex Headland, Point Cartwright and Mooloolaba to its south, as well as Old Woman Island, the mouth of the Maroochy River and Mount Coolum to the north, when you are on it.
Averaging waves of around 3 feet, there is not usually rough or dangerous surf here, so it is a great option for swimmers and recreational surfers.
Depending on when you visit, and in particular, if there has been a heavy storm, or if the swell has been raging for a prolonged period of time, you may come across some exposed coffee rock on the beach.
These rock-like formations of indurated sand were formed over millions of years from ancient river sediments. They make an interesting diversion and photo opportunity during any visit to Maroochydore Beach.
Location & History
Maroochydore is located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
It is about 98km north of Brisbane, 200km north of the Gold Coast, 1023km north of Sydney and 1593km south of Cairns.
Established in 1903, Maroochydore’s name derives from the word ‘Muru-kutchi’ in the Yuggera language – translating to red-bill. It is a reference to the black swan, which is regularly seen in the region.
Maroochydore today is a major commercial area on the Sunshine Coast.
It houses the massive Sunshine Plaza shopping mall, as well as the main interchanges for TransLink bus services operated by Sunbus.
The sixth town mentioned in the original Australian version of the song ‘I’ve Been Everywhere by country singer Geoff Mack (released in 1959), Maroochydore is known as a regular venue for major surf sport carnivals.
Things To Do
Maroochydore Beach offers plenty of things to do on the sand as well as off it.
A great beach to go walking on, you will also find decent surf here, as well as many opportunities for kayaking, wakeboarding, windsurfing and other such water activities.
A beautiful place to watch the sunrise, Maroochydore Beach is also a fantastic beach for people watching too. Not least when the surf lifesavers are in training.
The beach offers good opportunities for fishing too, especially at the mouth of the river, as well as plenty of space to play beach cricket, football or touch rugby.
Away from the sand, the nearby Sunshine Plaza houses over 320 stores, including the likes of David Jones, Target, Kmart, Big W, H&M, Coles, Woolworths and Target. As well as City Beach, Country Road, Bonds, Calvin Klein, H&M and Dangerfield. If you love shopping, then a visit here is a must.
Golfers should head to the Horton Park Golf Club, which as well as having a challenging 18-hole course also has a nighttime driving range too.
Other sports you can play include Tennis and Bowls at clubs based in Maroochydore, as well as Ten Pin Bowling.
If you would prefer to get at one with nature, then the Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary and Buderim Waterfalls are both nearby.
Families with kids might also want to visit Aussie World and Australia Zoo. Both of which are an easy 30-40 minute drive by car along the Bruce Highway.
Other Beaches in the Area
Maroochydore Beach sits in the middle of Alexandra Headlands and Cotton Tree Beaches.
A stone’s throw from Mooloolaba Beach, you can also easily get to Kawana Beach, Mudjimba Beach or the beaches of Caloundra by car or bus.
A little further afield, Noosa Main Beach, Peregian Beach, Coolum, Sunrise Beach and Sunshine Beach are between a 30-45 minute drive away.
While if you fancy a bit of a day out, Rainbow Beach, Hervey Bay and Fraser Island are all within an easy 2-hour drive of Maroochydore.
Best Time to Visit
Maroochydore and the Sunshine Coast, in general, are a popular year-round destinations for tourists, holidaymakers and day-trippers from Brisbane, Gympie, the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales.
During the summer months, it can get busy, though usually not as busy as at Mooloolaba or Noosa.
In line with those destinations, accommodation prices tend to be higher between December and February and also at Easter and during the school holidays too.
It can storm heavily in January and February and often gets a bit windy in August.
But If you can visit between March and April, or October and November, you will be blessed with clear skies, warm weather and a generally quieter ambiance.
Maroochydore is just over an hour’s drive north of Brisbane and about 2 hours north of the Gold Coast on the Bruce Highway.
If you don’t plan on driving, Greyhound Australia and Premier Motor Service run daily buses that drop you off into the heart of the Maroochydore CBD.
Multiple daily flights to the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane Airports arrive from all around Australia and abroad. Taxis, shuttle buses and car hire companies can all be accessed from both airports to take you up to Maroochydore.
It is also possible to reach Maroochydore by train if you stop off at Landsborough or Nambour and get a bus from either of those stations.
Maroochydore Beach is blessed with an excellent range of holiday and overnight accommodation options to suit most budgets, tastes and requirements.
These include everything from deluxe resorts and classy boutique hotels to comely, fully-serviced family apartment units and comfortable holiday homes. Also in Cotton Tree there is a very good caravan park on the beachfront esplanade too.
If you are planning a visit to Maroochydore Beach you can use the search box below to find the best hotel deals currently available.
Some popular holiday accommodation providers to look out for are the Sebel, Loea Boutique Hotel, Beachfront Towers Holiday Apartment and the Catalina Resort.
All of these have very been given many favourable reviews across most hotel booking sites.
Maroochydore Beach is a place you won’t go hungry.
The area has a plethora of places to eat, including some of the best restaurants on the Sunshine Coast. Throw in the adjacent suburbs of Mooloolaba and Cotton Tree and you have a veritable foodies paradise.
Overall you will find everything from fish and chips and burger joints, to Thai, Indian, Spanish tapas, Moroccan, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Vietnamese and Italian. Many of these are located in Ocean Street.
Some great options to try are Ba Vigo, which specialises in modern Spanish and North African fayre and The Boat Shed Restaurant, which offers casual, relaxed dining with beautiful coastal views.
The Prickly Pinata is a fresh Mexican Cantina which is popular amongst locals and tourists, while Junk serves an excellent mix of Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Chinese street-style cuisine.
As you would expect from a surf club, the Maroochydore Surf Club serves great food with outstanding views of the beach. It is also a great place to enjoy a coffee or beer while watching the sun set.