Maroochydore Beach: Best Visitors Guide 2024 (UPDATED)

Maroochydore Beach: Sunshine Coast Holiday Destination


Maroochydore Beach Visitor Guide


Table of Contents

Welcome to my post about visiting Maroochydore Beach on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. It’s got plenty of information in it to help you plan a trip there. I’d love you to read all the way through it. However, if there is a specific piece of information you are after just click the link you are most interested in below.

1. Introduction
2. About Maroochydore Beach
3. Location and History
4. Things To Do at Maroochydore Beach
5. Other Beaches Near Maroochydore
6. Best Time to Visit Maroochydore Beach
7. How To Get To Maroochydore Beach
8. Maroochydore Beach Accommodation
9. Maroochydore Beach Restaurants
10. FAQs

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After reading this article, I hope it would have helped you plan your trip to this awesome beach in Queensland, Australia.

Read Time: 7 Minutes



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.

Lavishing in outstanding natural beauty and a charming, laid-back atmosphere, it is also the kind of place 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.


Maroochydore today is a major commercial area and centre of Sunshine Coast Tourism


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 those wanting to do recreational surfing in Maroochydore.

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.


Blue Ocean Sky at Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia


Location and 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 and centre of Sunshine Coast Tourism.

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), the Beach at Maroochydore is known as a regular venue for major surf sport carnivals.


Things to do at Maroochydore Beach

  • Swimming
  • Sunbathing
  • Surfing in Maroochydore
  • Coastal Walks
  • Water Sports
  • Maroochydore Events
  • Seeing sunsets on the coast
  • Picnicking at Maroochydore Beach
  • Explore shops and cafes on the Maroochydore Esplanade
  • Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary

    Things To Do at Maroochydore Beach

    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 and the Maroochy Surf School. There are also 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 to Maroochydore.

    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.


    Maroochydore is just over an hour’s drive north of Brisbane and about 2 hours north of the Gold Coast on the Bruce Highway.


    Other Beaches Near Maroochydore

    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 family-friendly beaches 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 Queensland Beaches all within an easy 2-hour drive of Maroochydore.


    Morning view at Maroochydore Beach Sunshine Coast Queensland


    Best Time to Visit Maroochydore Beach

    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.

    The Maroochydore weather can storm heavily in January and February and often gets a bit windy in August.

    However, if you can visit Maroochydore between March and April, or October and November, you will be blessed with clear skies, warm weather and a generally quieter ambiance.


    Popular Maroochydore Accommodation Options

  • The Sebel Maroochydore
  • Holiday Inn
  • Loea Boutique Hotel
  • Beachfront Towers Holiday Apartment
  • Catalina Resort
  • Top Spot Motel
  • Duporth Riverside
  • Waves Maroochy River
  • Rise Maroochydore
  • M1 Resort

    How To Get To Maroochydore Beach

    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 is just over an hour’s drive north of Brisbane and about 2 hours north of the Gold Coast on the Bruce Highway.


    Maroochydore Beach Accommodation

    Maroochydore has over 100 different types of holiday and overnight accommodation options which 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 beachfront accommodation. Also in nearby Cotton Tree there is a very good caravan park on the beachfront esplanade there.

    If you are planning a visit to Maroochydore Beach, you should check out the options I have outlined below. You can make a booking at any of these hotels by clicking here.

  • The Sebel
  • M1 Resort
  • Elouera Tower
  • Coral Sea Apartments
  • Myconos Resort
  • Loea Boutique Hotel
  • Beachfront Towers
  • Catalina Resort
  • Holiday Inn Maroochydore

    The Golden Sand of Maroochydore Beach on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia


    Maroochydore Beach Restaurants

    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.



    Can you swim at Maroochydore Beach?

    Yes. You can swim at Maroochydore Beach. The water is patrolled regularly by surf-lifesavers, so just be sure to swim between the flags. Alternatively, you can head down to the shallow waters of the river mouth which are generally calm, making them ideal conditions to swim and paddle in the water.


    Can you surf at Maroochydore Beach?

    Maroochydore Beach is a good surf beach that hosts the odd competition. That said, for bigger waves you should walk towards the rockwall at the far end of the beach at Alexandra Headland which is a more challenging spot for experienced surfers.


    How Far Is Maroochydore Beach from Brisbane?

    Maroochydore is about 100 km north of Brisbane. It typically takes about an hour and 15 minutes to drive between both CBD areas along the Bruce Highway.


    Is Maroochydore a good place for a holiday?

    Maroochydore is a fabulous destination for a family holiday. It has an excellent beach, it is close to plenty of cafes, restaurants and shops and offers plenty of top-notch resorts and holiday accommodation apartments. In addition, it is not far from other beaches in the area including Cotton Tree, Alexandra Headlands and Mooloolaba, while attractions like Australia Zoo and Aussie World are less than a 30 minute drive away.


    Is Maroochydore the same as the Sunshine Coast

    Maroochydore is one of the main suburbs of the Sunshine Coast. While it has an excellent beach it is also the main commercial centre, home to several businesses and services and the Sunshine Plaza - one of the biggest shopping centres in the whole of Queensland.


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