Make your way through dense sub-tropical rainforests and trademark farmland to the aptly named Sunshine Coast. With postcard-like beaches complete with swaying palm trees, hot white sand and rolling surf, Noosa is pure bliss wrapped in that laid-back Queensland spirit. The scent of sea breeze and surrounding bushland gives the perfect ambience to romantic retreats and honeymoons. But don't worry, Noosa has plenty more to give – the combination of beach and hinterland makes it an ideal destination for family holidays and relaxing weekends too!
Besides the obvious attraction, the glorious beaches, there are many other things to do in Noosa. After you have enjoyed a lazy breakfast, take a cruise down the Noosa River for afternoon tea in lush surrounds. Heading inland you will stumble through the quaint towns of Montville and Maleny. Misty winding roads take you through the hinterland's scenic towns en route to the Glass House Mountains where you can taste local wine and cheese, watch local sculptors at work and take in spectacular panoramic views at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve. A number of eco tours are available around the Noosa area which include more adventurous activities such as 4x4 safaris and hand-feeding dolphins.
A handful of Noosa restaurants have been given the seal of approval by the Australian Good Food Guide. What they all have in common is an emphasis on fresh, local seafood. Tuna sashimi, spanner crab spaghetti and pan-seared scallops are just a taste of what is on offer at Noosa's popular foodie haunts – most have an open atmosphere to take full advantage of the beachside breeze. If swanky sit-down isn't your style, tuck into a bucket of fresh prawns, indulge with local Moreton Bay bugs or opt for the classic fish of the day. There are plenty of options if you are not a seafood fan including Italian, Indian and Japanese eateries lining the main road (Hastings Street).
Where to Stay
Noosa is filled with suites, villas and apartments galore thanks to a roaring tourism trade where even fellow Australians migrate north during the cooler months. Hostels and lodges are located within close proximity to the town for budget stays. Beach houses, from luxury to family-friendly, are also available. Bigger names such as Sheraton and Sebel have staked out prime position on the beachfront and include everything you would expect – spa baths, spacious balconies and kitchenettes. Book flights to Noosa during off peak times to escape the rush and have your pick of Noosa Resorts.
Noosa is at the heart of a rich and diverse agricultural region. From the coast to the hinterland, gourmet dairy products, wines, smoked meats, tropical fruits and nuts are produced in abundance. You can find such local delicacies at the nearby Eumundi markets (about half an hour's drive inland). The markets are a mass of hundreds of stalls offering everything from organic skincare to spelt breads and freshly brewed ginger beer. They are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays and are a worthwhile trip. You could just as easily spend a day wandering down Noosa's Hastings Street where fashion, jewellery, homewares and artwork fill the shops along the tree-lined promenade.
Noosa like a Local
Noosa is divided into three main areas – Noosa Heads, where you will find resorts and the main beach, Noosaville, quieter and further up the river, and Noosa Junction which is the business district. Tick 'learn to surf' off your bucket list with a lesson from local instructors – be sure to check surf conditions on the day and stay between the red and yellow flags. Swap your pumps for a pair of flip-flops, embrace the sand between your toes and breathe in the sweet stickiness of the coastal air with a sunrise yoga session.