Maroochydore is a major commercial area of the Sunshine Coast with most shopping precincts located in the central business district. It is home to the Sunshine Plaza shopping centre and the Sunshine Coast's major bus interchange for TransLink services on Sunshine Coast. Maroochydore is also a venue of major surf sport carnivals, and is a popular holiday point from which to travel the rest of Queensland.
The name Maroochydore comes from the Aboriginal indigenous Yuggera language word 'Muru-kutchi', meaning red-bill: the name of the black swan, commonly seen in the area.
The town of Maroochydore was subdivided from the Cotton Tree reserve by Surveyor Thomas O'Connor in 1903. The land was acquired from William Pettigrew who had a timber depot at what is now Wharf St.
View of Maroochydore
Andrew Petrie during his 1842 exploration of the coast gave the name Maroochydore to the area. It was derived from the word "murukutchi-dha" in the language of the Brisbane River Aboriginal people who accompanied Petrie on his exploration. It literally means "the place of the red bills" that is the black swans.
Governor Gipps, stimulated by Petrie's exploration, proposed the Bunya Proclamation of 1842. This prevented settlement or the granting of cattle or timber licenses in the Bunya Country which covered much of the Maroochy district. The Proclamation lapsed, attracting Tom Petrie to explore the coastal area for timber resources in 1862.
Due to the perilous nature of the Maroochy River bar it proved too hazardous for shipping. In 1864, Brisbane sawmill owner, William Pettigrew, established a depot and wharf at Mooloolaba (née Mooloolah Heads).
Twenty years on, in 1884, Pettigrew transferred his activities to Maroochydore. The area appears to have been mainly used for grazing cattle and has a landing place for timber rafted down the River. That same year, Pettigrew built the first house at Maroochydore. The house was occupied by an employee, Hamilton Muirhead. Pettigrew opened a sawmill on the riverbank in 1891, it was at this time a post office was opened too. Pettigrew continued to run his steamers "Tadorna Radja" and "Tarshaw" in the Maroochy River. The "Gneering" which had also serviced the river had been wrecked on the Maroochy River bar. The steamer was towed to Goat Island and left there as a wreck.
In 1898, Pettigrew closed his mill and went into voluntary liquidation. The mill was reopened and operated by James Campbell & Sons until 1903. The town of Maroochydore still did not exist throughout this time, however, for several years hinterland residents had visited the area for holidays and fishing trips.
Thomas O'Connor, a surveyor, purchased all of Pettigrew's land in the Marrochydore area in 1903. The land was subdivided and portioned into allotments. The first land sale was held in July 1908. This marked the beginning of the development of Maroochydore as a seaside resort.
Maroochydore as we know today began to emerge in 1912. This emergence began with opening of the first Coastal hotel and a regular mail boat service to Yandina. Following this, in 1917, a boat and tram service operated to Nambour. In 1916, one of Queensland's first surf life saving clubs was formed at Maroochydore. By 1920, the permanent population reached seventy and during the following decade it had grown enough to necessitate schools, churches, business houses, a post office and a bitumen main road.
Maroochydore Post Office opened on 4 October 1922 (a receiving office had been open from 1891 until 1898, and from 1916).
Horton Park Golf Club is in Maroochydore. The club will be relocating to Bli Bli in May,2015 and changing names to Maroochy River Golf Club.
Maroochydore is not strictly defined, but the boundary used by Sunshine Coast Regional Council (formerly the Maroochy Shire) includes a region from the southern boundary of Sunshine Coast Airport to the Mooloolah River at Mooloolaba and Kawana Way. This corresponds to the historic Australian Bureau of Statistics urban centres of Maroochydore–Mooloolaba and Mudjimba. The central business district (CBD) for the area is located on Horton Parade, Maroochydore.
The Maroochydore urban centre consists of Alexandra Headland, part of Bli Bli, Buderim (section within about one km of Sunshine Motorway), Cotton Tree (Australia Post 4558), Kuluin, Maroochydore, Maroochy Waters, Maroochy River,Mooloolaba, Mountain Creek, Mudjimba, Pacific Paradise and Twin Waters
The current ASGC, applicable to the 2001 and 2006 censuses, has placed all of Buderim and Mountain Creek under the Buderim SLA.
Maroochy Waters is a waterfront, residential estate located in Maroochydore adjacent to the Maroochy River in Queensland, Australia. It is one of the last canal projects to be built in Queensland with direct access to river system and Coral Sea. Sunshine Coast Region Council has an annual dredging program to replenish the sand beaches.
The canals plus all infrastructure were built in three stages. These were the late 1970s, mid 1980s and early 1990s. The deep water canal plays a role in flood relief and the land is higher than Maroochydore CBD which has recorded floods in the last 30 years. The canal's main reach, which extends for more than one km was the training ground for 1992 Olympic K-1 1000 m gold medalist Clint Robinson.