Alexandra Headland Beach looking north towards Maroochydore, 1954. Image credit: Picture Sunshine Coast.
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Alexandra Headland

Origin of name

Potts Point was the name first given to the rocky headland between the estuaries of the Maroochy and Mooloolah rivers because John Potts, William Pettigrew's overseer, resided there 1880-90. It was renamed Alexandra Headland in honour of Queen Alexandra.

Early history of settlement

The area originally formed part of William Pettigrew's 330 acre property. It was purchased in 1864 in the first land sale in the Maroochy District and became Pettigrew's base during the 30 years he operated in the timber industry in the district.

The area was fenced as a paddock for the bullocks used to haul logs from Cotton tree across Potts Point to the timber depot at Mooloolah Heads (later Mooloolaba).

Pettigrew built his house 'Coolaluthin' and his overseer's house 'Wongotha' on the Headland. He established a small farm in 1867 and experimented with growing sugarcane. A small store opened between the two houses to supply the basic needs of timbergetters and early settlers.

In 1903, Thomas O'Connor purchased all of Pettigrew's land at both Maroochydore and Mooloolaba. He subdivided and sold allotments along the ocean front and Buderim Road in August 1915. At this time O'Connor renamed the area Alexandra Headland in honour of Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward Vll.

During the 1920s, local residents, particularly from Woombye and Palmwoods, built a number of seaside cottages on the Headland.

Between 1923-28, O'Connor developed Alexandra Hostel on 36 acres behind the main Alexandra Headland surfing beach. It was the first fully integrated resort complex on the Maroochy coast. This venture proved unsuccessful and it was sold to the Presbyterian Church as a youth camp and Conference Centre.

Further land sales and the subsequent improvement of transport services and roads - both to and along the coastal area - saw the continued development of Alexandra Headland as a holiday resort with all facilities, including a patrolled surfing beach on its northern edge.