Author: The Way To Wherever
If you’re after coastal living, clean environments, white sand beaches, seasonal food and boutique accommodations, you’ll find Noosa, Queensland the place to be.
Noosa is a coastal beach town just north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast, boasting not only beautiful beaches but a bustling main street, eco-diverse woodlands right on the coastline and one of the world’s only two everglades systems.
We spent three days exploring this Queensland gem in June and below we’re sharing how to get the most out of your trip to Noosa!
The Noosa Shire is located approximately 2 hours north of Brisbane and stretches for 870 square kilometres, from the pristine beaches of Peregian up to the unique biosphere of the Everglades.
The Shire is easily accessed by car via the M1 (Bruce Highway). Greyhound Australia bus services run from Brisbane CBD direct to Noosa Junction which takes 2 hours with prices starting from around $30. If travelling from Sunshine Coast Airport, you can get Translink Bus 622 to Noosa Junction with tickets costing around $6. There are also private taxis and rideshare options available from the airport, as well as rental car availability.
Noosa Heads is about 20 minutes off the motorway, exiting at Eumundi, and it is here that you’ll find many beach or riverfront accommodation options, and the best places to eat in this foodie-favourite town.
Kayak the Noosa Everglades
One of the most unique experiences on offer here is kayaking through the Noosa Everglades. An everglade is a wet, low-lying region with branching waterways often known for its pristine water, abundant wildlife and unique beauty. The water of the Noosa Everglades is stained a beautiful rich red from the Melaleuca and with pristine weather conditions, the water will often be crystal clear and a great spot for a swim on a warm Queensland day.
Vivienne and her team share a huge amount of knowledge on the conditions and wildlife found in the Noosa Everglade system, which is home to over 40% of Australia’s bird species. They also have quite a few recommendations in the region for lovers of hiking, kayaking and bush-trekking.
We enjoyed an incredible ‘1 Day Truly Sustainable Noosa Everglades Self Guided Kayak Adventure’ offered by Kanu Kapers which took us on a 6-hour adventure over the magnificent lakes and winding narrows of the Upper Noosa River. Bring your own food to enjoy a picnic at one of the picturesque stops like Fig Tree Point or Harry’s Hut, and prepare for a leisurely but somewhat physical experience, as you row up to 21 kilometres return on this incredible self paced day trip.
Explore Noosa National Park
Within walking distance of Noosa’s popular main strip, Hastings Street, lies the rich ecosystem of Noosa National Park, filled to its edges with Australian native flora and fauna and incredible coastal views.
4-hour free parking is available in the day-use area which is where four of five Noosa National Park walks head off from. There are three walks (Palm Grove, Tanglewood and Noosa Hill) that head off through the parks dense bushland with opportunities to see native species such as Koalas, Black Cockatoos and even Echidnas if you’re lucky.
But with only three days in Noosa, we’d recommend the Coastal Walk for the best coastline views and the chance to soak in some glorious hidden headland beaches. You may even spot some marine life from various viewpoints including dolphins year-round and whales during migration season from July to October.
Stop in Tea Tree Bay, descend to Hell’s Gates and enjoy views of the expansive Alexandria Bay from the comfortable hiking paths that follow the coastline for 10.8 kilometres return.
Note: Current track maintenance restricts access to a portion of the Coastal Walk including Hell’s Gates. The track will reopen around the end of August 2022.
Hit the Beach / Shops
The heart of Noosa Heads, Hastings Street, runs parallel to Main Beach. Boutique stores, cafes and luxury beachside dining offer some of the Sunshine Coasts' best holiday experiences, right across from its most popular beach.
Noosa Main Beach features a great beginner surf break for those looking to give it a go, and with its pristine white sand and patrolled swim area, it’s a great one-size-fits-all to spend a sunny weekend!
Just past the mouth of the Noosa River, the picture-perfect coastline continues for miles into Great Sandy National park and if sunrises are your thing, watching the sun come up above the headlands from Main Beach is pretty special.
Noosa is jam packed with hundreds of dining options, from casual eats, to long lunches, and sunset drinks. Wander along Noosa Junction, Hastings Street and Main Beach waterfront for some of the best choices.
If river-front dining & sunset drinks call your name, the Noosa Boathouse should be at the top of your list. Offering a chic rooftop bar and fresh seafood focused menu, the views and service combined make this a wonderful night out on the Noosa River. Be sure to get up to the rooftop Sunset Bar after 4pm to watch as the sun dips below the Hinterland, and move downstairs to enjoy dinner while the sunset glow shimmers off the river in front of you.
Our recommendations: Garlic & Herb Ciabatta, 350g Nolan’s Private Selection Rump, and Fish & Chips.
Location: 194 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville
Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co.
A now iconic Australian burger shack offering fresh burgers and delicious thick shakes, Betty’s began from a single Noosa establishment in 2014. This is a great spot to grab a casual bite out or set up an Instagrammable beach picnic, with options for everyone.
Our recommendations: Betty’s Double and Spicy Chicken, with a side of French Fries
Location: 2/50 Hastings St, Noosa Heads
This gem in the Noosa Junction is not to be missed! Somedays Pizza offers delicious Italian classics with a twist, focusing on sourcing their fresh ingredients from Australian & Italian farmers for a mouth-watering high quality dining experience.
Our recommendations: Wood-Fired Organic Bread (do not skip this!), Picante Eddy & Maialona
Location: Shop 2/3 Sunshine Beach Rd, Noosa Heads
Larder & Baked
A great little find in Noosa Junction offering fresh sandwiches, baked goods, and classic breakfast options for breakfast and lunch. Noosa Junction is packed with boutique shops, beachy brands and wellness centres, so stop in at Larder & Baked to fuel up before a big morning exploring this hub.
Our recommendations: Egg and Bacon Baguette & Sausage and Soft Egg Scramble on Milk Bun
Location: Shop 1/29 Sunshine Beach Rd, Noosa Heads
Noosa has accommodation options for every budget ranging from backpacker lodges to luxurious holiday homes, camping sites to beach front apartments, and everything in between. For a comprehensive overview of all accommodation options, check out Visit Noosa’s Stay recommendations.
Budget-Conscious, Boutique Acommodation
On our trip to Noosa, we stayed at the newly developed budget-fusion accommodation, Bounce Noosa, which offers luxurious shared rooms as well as deluxe ensuite privates. Featuring a heated pool and outdoor bar (with welcome drink included!), this accommodation offers a resort style experience without breaking the bank.
Beach-Front Resort Living
If beach-front accommodation is what you’re after, look no further than the many fantastic digs tucked along Hastings Street. Check out popular accommodations such as Tingirana Noosa and Hotel Laguna for stylish accommodation choices for those chasing a beach view.
Camping & Caravanning
There are around 10 campsites in the Noosa area which offers great cheaper accommodation for those living on the road or after a weekend camping experience. Rooftop tents, caravans, camper vans or cabin living, there are plenty of options available.
This also gives you the option to explore beyond the Noosa Heads area and experience a taste of the hinterland with some camping options available more rurally.
If you’ve made it down here, thank you so much for reading!
Have you been to Noosa?! It is seriously a highlight of Queensland & Australia, if you’ve been or have even more great suggestions to add to this itinerary, let us know below!