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Maroochydore has it all

Just weeks out from the Christmas and New Year holiday I was determined to take our family of five on a beach holiday. Of course all the cabins, motels and hotels up and down the Sunshine Coast were booked except for an apartment in The Sebel resort in Maroochydore. Without hesitation I booked the two-bedroom fully contained apartment for seven nights and was not disappointed in the amenities; there was even a spa bath.

The Sebel has a spa pool and two pools, one of which is child-friendly and ankle-deep. Also on the rooftop is another spa pool, communal barbecue facilities and picnic seats as well as breathtaking views at sunset.

Ideally located in the heart of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore is about 70 minutes from Brisbane and two-hours from the Gold Coast. This lazy beachside town is also home to the Sunshine Plaza, a shopping centre so big it almost deserves its own postcode!

With a patrolled beach nearby, the Maroochy River just a short stroll away and Underwater World Sea life just 10 minutes away in Mooloolaba, the hardest part of our holiday was deciding what NOT to do.

1. The Maroochy River.

As safe as houses for young kids, this river is great for toddlers to play at ankle depth or for older kids to jump in their kayaks and paddle across to the sandy mudflat when the tide is out. A spectacular sight is the tens of thousands of soldier crabs that scuttle underground as soon as anything approaches them.

2. Cotton Tree beach.

Located where the river mouth meets the ocean, this hidden gem is perfect for kids who like to catch a few waves on their body board. The little beach has been created by the addition of nearby sandbanks and is a haven for those learning to surf or use their stand up paddle board in waves. It has also gorgeous, clean sand for the kids to play with.

3. Bike or scooter along beachfront footpaths.

As well as tiring out the kids so they fall asleep early and you get some peace and quiet, the walking/bike path along the waterfront is always a hive of activity and quite the place to people watch.

4. Point Cartwright Lighthouse and lookout.

It's just a short and scenic drive to this point and the coastal views are stunning. The kids will love stumbling across a few bush turkeys and butterflies during the short walk around the lighthouse. We had a picnic overlooking the beach and watched surfers below get tossed around by the waves.

5. Visit wharf at Mooloolaba.

My kids are fascinating with fishing and got to watch a few boaties through a line out when we visited the wharf. Smaller kids also get a kick out of seeing boats, and on Friday nights there are twilight markets packed with local produce and handcrafted goodies.

Emily Toxward - Have A Laugh On Me
When she’s not wrangling her three children, aged 3, 5 and 6, Gold Coaster and professional writer Emily Toxward juggles work, cooking for fussy children and parent helping at school. Escaping to the beach is her idea of paradise and writing about the trials and tribulations of life in an honest and often humorous way is her way of staying sane!

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