The waters of Cotton Tree become a favourite swimming spot for holiday makers. This lead to the start of surf lifesaving in the area.
A life saving tradition begins
The beaches and waterways of Maroochydore became popular areas for outdoor recreation. The increase in visitors and the growing concern for beach safety led to the formation of the Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) in 1916.
Surf life saving developed into both a community service and sporting event. Cotton Tree lagoon was utilised as a training area for the development of life saving skills. The lagoon provided this function up until 1981, when the Cotton Tree Aquatic Centre was built.
On Sunday mornings, members of the Maroochydore SLSC would use the lagoon to practise their skills before going to the open beach for surf training.
A holiday splash
Towards the end of the 1800s, Maroochydore and Cotton Tree were becoming popular tourist destinations for holiday makers from local areas such as Buderim, Nambour and the Blackall Range. The waters at Cotton Tree were referred to as the ‘Swimming pool’ or ‘Cotton Tree Lagoon’.
The calmer waters offered a safe place to swim and play. During the late 1940s, a diving board and slippery slide were built. Swimming lessons were held as part of the holiday activities available at Cotton Tree.
Download the Black Swan swimming pool heritage sign displayed in the Black Swan Park.
Holiday makers aboard river boats watching a swimming carnival during the Christmas holidays, Cotton Tree, 1920
Holidaymakers at the jetty and camping grounds, Cotton Tree, 1920s
Aerial view of Cotton Tree showing the Esplanade and camping ground at the mouth of the Maroochy River, ca 1924
The 'Swimming Pool' at Cotton Tree, ca 1935
Bathers at the 'swimming pool' in the Maroochy River, Cotton Tree, January 1948
The 'swimming pool' at Cotton Tree, 1950