10 things you must do in Noosa – but you can always do more ….
If you’re lucky enough to be staying in Noosa for a couple of weeks, you’ll definitely find time for a lot more than 10 things to do, but if it’s just
a short stay or your first time here, you’ve got to start somewhere ….
WALK IN THE NOOSA NATIONAL PARK
The headland standing guard over Laguna Bay that gives Noosa Heads its name, is part of the Noosa National Park – protected from development, a sanctuary for native animals including koalas and wallabies, and one of the most beautiful and accessible walks you can do anywhere … big call, but take a look ….
The walk starts only a few minutes from the end of Hastings Street, with coastal and inland tracks – as short as you like or take a few hours. The spectacular coastal track overlooks Laguna Bay, across to Noosa North Shore and the Cooloola Sandpatch, with side tracks to secluded bays such as Tea Tree and Granite. Watch the surfing action on the points, and spot turtles, dolphins and even humpback whales (July to October).
The quieter, easy to moderate inland tracks pass through rainforest, open woodlands, heathlands and stands of hoop and kauri pine, and are home to a beautiful array of bird life.
RELAX ON A NOOSA BEACH
But which one? With more than a dozen beaches, bays and hidden coves, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to putting your toes in the sand in Noosa. First up there’s Noosa’s Main Beach, a calm, protected and patrolled stretch on one side of Hastings Street. You can learn to surf, hire beach gear, grab a cool snow cone from Hey Bill’s beach buggy, watch the surfing action and just take a dip.
Or head down the coast road just minutes from Noosa Heads for miles of open beach breaks and laidback villages from Sunshine Beach through Sunrise, Castaways, Marcus and Peregian.
Image: Sunshine Beach by Surfshots Noosa.
Hop on the car ferry across to Noosa North Shore for 40km of white sand, ancient dunes and beautiful coastline – it’s also the gateway to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island and Great Sandy National Park. Take your bike and just ride, join an electric bike tour with EcoTekk, or go beach horse riding with Equathon. There are also day tours from Noosa on comfortable 4WD buses, or tag-along 4WD tours. Vehicle and camping permits are required.
Image: Horse riding on Noosa North Shore by @jewelszee
SHOP ON HASTINGS STREET AND BEYOND
Hastings Street, with Noosa’s Main Beach on one side and an eclectic range of bars, restaurants and cafes and shops on the other, also has beautiful fashion boutiques, unique jewellery, surf stores, homewares, art, locally made beauty products, and of course souvenirs. Take a wander, even if you’ve come straight from the beach!
Image: Abby Rose in Noosa Junction
Just over the hill is Noosa Junction, or The Junga as locals call it. This energised village has creative new shops, art and photo galleries, and boutiques connected by arcades and laneways decorated with giant murals. After all that shopping, pop into one of the local bars and cafés.
Noosaville, along the river’s edge, is another great spot for shopping, with unique boutiques, gifts, homewares, shoes, jewellery, surf and adventure gear and more as you catch the river views and breezes.
Further on in the Noosaville Industrial Estate are showrooms, warehouses and factory outlets selling locally made designer clothes, shoes and skincare; homewares and furniture; recycled treasures and local organic produce. It’s thirsty work so make sure you leave time to try tasty brews at Land & Sea Brewery or the new Heads of Noosa Taproom.
Pictured: The Original Eumundi Markets
There are also great village markets right around the region – from Eumundi, Pomona and Kin Kin in the hinterland to the Noosa Farmers Markets, Peregian Beach, Noosa Junction and Noosa Marina. Each has their own great vibe and specialties, whether its fresh fruit and vegetables, hand-made fashions and art, street food or unique gifts.
DISCOVER NOOSA’S VILLAGES
‘Noosa’ is actually a collection of villages with their own style, dining, shopping and artistic flair. There’s the beachfront Noosa Heads with Hastings Street and extending to Quamby Place by the Noosa River, with restaurants, fish and chips, café and a beautiful watch boutique, Define Watches.
Image: Peregian Beach Village by Paul Smith Images
And the seaside cool of Peregian Beach and Sunshine Beach with their boutiques, cafés and restaurants. Noosaville and Tewantin are on the river’s edge – catch a ferry and end up at Noosa Marina with restaurant, cafes, a bar, beautiful ice-cream, gift shops, a day spa and Sunday markets.
Noosa Junction, mentioned above, is also a great place for music, movies and live entertainment at The J.
Further on in the Noosa hinterland are country villages where you can expect a warm welcome, laidback atmosphere, beautiful views and hidden treasures – just take a ……
NOOSA COUNTRY DRIVE
Only about 30 minutes from the beach, the Noosa hinterland is a patchwork of lakes, lookouts and scenic trails where you can cycle, walk or even ride a horse.
Image: Beautiful Noosa country views by Bilby The Bus
There are cafes, galleries, farm gates, blacksmith’s gardens and markets, and you can stay in lakefront cottages, B&Bs, health retreats or glamp under Noosa’s starry skies. Or travel further on to the beautiful Mary Valley. See noosacountrydrive.com.au
DISCOVER THE NOOSA EVERGLADES
Canoe or cruise through the stunning Noosa Everglades, one of only two everglades systems in the world. It’s an ancient system of waterways with clear lakes and dark tannin waters that provide stunning mirrored reflections – and you can even cool off with a swim.
Image: Noosa Everglades by Paul Smith Images
WINE AND DINE
You may have already picked up that we love our food here in Noosa, and we’re blessed with plenty of fresh, local produce; award-winning restaurants with stunning views; cool bars and breweries; cafes for all tastes that serve up locally roasted coffees; great fish & chips; or pack a picnic hamper and find a beautiful spot by the river.
Image: Breakfast at Cafe Le Monde, by @Jewelszee
RIDE THE NOOSA RIVER
Winding its way from the Great Sandy National Park, through lakes and villages, the Noosa River is an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colour, teeming with bird and marine life. And there are so many ways to ride the river!
Catch the Noosa Ferry with 7 stops between Noosa Marina and Hastings Street for the most relaxing way to sit back and enjoy the passing scenery and learn more about Noosa – it’s also a great way to arrive at your favourite riverside restaurant.
Hire a pontoon or quiet electric boat, take a fishing or crabbing tour, be transported to another time on-board Noosa Dreamboats’ 1940s-style power boat, or another place with the Noosa Gondola.
Hire a stand-up paddle board or Nauticycle Noosa’s floating bikes, float around in an electric-powered ‘donut’, and a sunset cruise is a must with either Noosa River & Canal Cruises, MV Noosa Queen or on the Noosa Ferry.
SEE NOOSA FROM THE AIR
To really appreciate the full beauty of this stunning region – and to see how the ocean, lakes, river, National Parks, forests, mountains and low-impact development intertwine, get on-board a scenic flight with the Recreational Flying Co, Paradise Seaplanes, Ghost Air, Helitec or Air Fraser Island.
Image: The view with Paradise Seaplanes, by Photo Bohemian
There are also incredible views of the nearby Coloured Sands, Fraser Island and Noosa Everglades, or amazing tours to whisk you to a nearby vineyard or mountain-top for an amazing, romantic picnic.
BE PAMPERED, NOOSA-STYLE
We’re not called the Relaxation Capital of Australia for no reason! From pampering to Pilates, beach massages to body wraps, and a flotation Dreampod to Roman-style baths, Noosa days spas, massage rooms and healing retreats will wrap you in relaxation. There are classes by the river or on the beach, and in serene studios, spa treatments for couples or parties, tranquil spa gardens that evoke a Balinese village, and traditional therapies from the world’s ancient cultures – Noosa is a world of wellness!
To find out more about any of these Noosa experiences, or to book, see visitnoosa.com.au or contact the Noosa Visitor Information Centre on 1 3000 NOOSA or firstname.lastname@example.org
Main image: Noosa Main Beach by Jesse Linderman