ABOUT 1925: People boarding the river boats, Favourite and Vera, at Cotton Tree jetty.
ABOUT 1925: People boarding the river boats, Favourite and Vera, at Cotton Tree jetty.

Coast has been the place to go for a holiday since 1880s

WITH thousands flocking to the Sunshine Coast for their annual holidays, we are reminded how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful location.

These days our mode of transport to reach our holiday destinations can vary - whether it be by car, train or plane to name a few.

Did you know back in 1888 there was a weekly steamer that would make its way from Brisbane to the Coast with holiday makers wanting to escape city life to camp and fish?

ABOUT 1948: Burgess family from Glasshouse Mountains camping at Maroochydore.
ABOUT 1948: Burgess family from Glasshouse Mountains camping at Maroochydore.

In the 1880s the lower stretches of the Maroochy River became a place for relaxation.

On the southern bank at its mouth, where the Cotton Tree Caravan Park is today, an 88-hectare wharf and water reserve was gazetted in 1873.

Holiday-makers informally camped on the reserve among the native cotton trees.

The Salvation Army established this idyllic area as a well-known resort location and the first reported camp site was in 1896, when more than 200 people stayed on the reserve.

The camp site provided a range of religious and leisure activities for local settlers and South Sea Islanders working on sugar cane farms at nearby Buderim.

The Cotton Tree Caravan Park is reported to be the oldest camping ground in Queensland and was heritage-listed by the State Government in 2009 to "preserve the importance of this great Aussie holiday tradition".

The Cotton Tree Caravan Park remains a popular destination, especially over traditional holiday periods.


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