If you were a tourist I'd forgive you for assuming that the only decent beaches on the Coast worth visiting at Noosa or Mooloolaba. Don't get me wrong, those are still great places to visit, but Maroochydore still has plenty to offer and you'll soon see why it brings in such big crowds on beautiful days like the one I experienced recently.
The main beach area can be found outside the Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club. The club itself boasts a functions room, TAB, bar, a café and gaming room with 70 pokies. But we're not here to dwell on the indoors. The red and yellow flags are set out right outside the surf club seven days a week. It should come as no surprise that weekends, public holidays and school holidays are by far the most popular days down here – and when the sun's shining it's easy to see why.
I went for a walk by one beautiful Saturday recently and this beach appeals to all age groups - teenagers having a day of fun with friends, families both young and old, elderly. You don't have to be a swimmer either to enjoy the beach, I saw plenty of people on my walk quite happy playing in the sand, sunbaking and even fishing. This is also a great place to go on a walk, you'll get some great views of Alexandra Headland, Mooloolaba and Point Cartwright to the south, and Old Woman Island, the Maroochy River mouth (close to Cotton Tree) and Mount Coolum to the north.
There is rarely any rough surf here – it makes it great for beginners to swimming, surfing and bodyboarding. Kids love the area as well – families will have no trouble finding a patch of sand to call their own for the day. The area outside the SLSC if the most popular, and safest, area to swim. Depending on when you visit and if the swell has been relentless, you may come across some exposed coffee rock - it's a rock-like formations of indurated sand formed from ancient river sediments. It's actually quite common on south-east Queensland shores.
You wouldn't know it but an awful lot of history has unfolded right outside the SLSC. Just underneath the Lifeguard tower you may see the memorial plaque to those wounded and killed in the December 30, 1950 Wirraway aircraft crash on the beach. The Wirraway A20-212 was observing beaches from Redcliffe to Noosa following some shark sightings and crashed on the beach. It killed three young children and seriously injured 14 others. The plaque at the beach explains it all. You'll find some more background information here.
If you're looking at making your trip to Maroochydore Beach more than as day visit then you will find plenty of accommodation suitable for any budget within walking distance. The Maroochydore Beach Holiday Park is the closest, having its own private entrance down to the beach. The Sebel, just over the road from the Holiday Park, is a bit more luxurious and can offer you some beautiful views of the beach if you can afford it.
This guy can't wait to get down to the beach for a surf
If you're looking for somewhere to eat or grab a coffee, the Beach Street Deli across from the Maroochydore SLSC is one of your best chances. Café Venice, which is located under The Sebel, is another great option.