Well known for its lush green landscape, enchanting towns, world-class dining destinations and scenic hiking trails, we can see why Noosa has attracted artistic talent from around the world. The region’s dazzling art scene has plenty to offer, from behind-the-scenes studio tours and craft workshops to gorgeous galleries and pop-art exhibitions. Whether you’re an art aficionado or just want to explore the region through a new lens, we have put together a jam-packed list of must-visit galleries and art havens to check out whilst you’re holidaying in the hidden cultural oasis that is Noosa.
Take a guided tour of Noosa’s most-respected artists’ studios and galleries
Noosa is home to such a large and bustling art scene that sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start – that’s why taking a guided tour makes things so much easier. Locally owned and operated in the heart of the Noosa Hinterland, Art Tours Noosa is an exclusively art-focused tour that takes you behind-the-scenes of some of the Sunshine Coast’s most well-known artists’ studios and galleries. You can choose from half-day tours, art afternoons and completely private tours that will take you to galleries and industrial art centres sprawled across Hastings Street all the way to the top of the hinterland. Plus, you don’t need to don the designated driver hat, meaning you can happily sip on complimentary drinks from award-winning wineries and brewers whilst you take in some pretty glorious views of Noosa Hinterland’s rolling green hills from the back seat – winning!
Gaze at awe-inspiring exhibitions at Noosa Regional Gallery
No Noosa arts trail is complete without a trip to the Noosa Regional Gallery, the region’s major public arts space. This riverside location is home to pieces and exhibitions from a wide range of local, national and international artists, featuring large open rooms that house different works by painters, sculptors, photographers and more. If you really want to delve deeper into Noosa’s vibrant art scene, Noosa Regional Gallery also hosts a biannual green art event, Floating Land, which features sculptural installations across a range of natural sites – from the middle of bushland to the rocky outcrops of the Noosa National Park. Earning an environmentally friendly tick of approval, these projects and installations are created to leave no trace at the end of the event.
DIY pottery at The Butter Factory Arts Centre
Found in the Noosa Hinterland town of Cooroy, The Butter Factory Arts Centre is a creative hub that hosts eye-catching art exhibitions from local and touring artists, workshops and events. Built in 1930, The Cooroy Butter Factory has a rich history of producing – you guessed it – butter. After the building ceased trading in 1975, the space was purchased in 1991 to be used as a home to the arts. This historical locale is the perfect pit-stop to gander local art, channel Demi Moore in Ghost at the gallery’s pottery studio or grab some goodies from the artist-run cooperative gift shop, which stocks handmade pottery, jewellery, cards and much more.
Fill up on some tasty tucker and discover local makers at the markets
If you’re looking to nab some locally made artisan treats, look no further than Eumundi Markets – the biggest (and arguably the best) art and craft market around. Running every Wednesday and Saturday, the Eumundi Markets play host to a roster of talented local creatives and their treasure trove of creations. You’ll find handcrafted furniture, homewares, artworks, ceramics, fashion and jewellery, as well as fresh produce and gourmet delights (hello, hickory-roasted macadamias!). When you need a shopping break, grab a brew from the Green Iguana Coffee Lounge, indulge in a massage or treat your ears to some live tunes. After more market goodness? Head to Noosa Heads for the Noosa Farmers Market, which happens every Sunday. These markets deliver goodies from local makers, fresh food, sublime coffee and you might even score an art piece or two.
Uncover hidden gems at Pomona Railway Station Gallery
Set amongst thriving greenery in the quaint town of Pomona, the Pomona Rail Station Art Gallery is chock-full of dazzling creative works by local artists. This community favourite first opened in March 2001, after the rail station buildings were acquired from Queensland Rail. Through the many efforts of hardworking locals, the buildings were transformed into a local art gallery and garden, which today is staffed entirely by knowledgeable volunteers. After you’ve received your dose of cultural goodness from this gorgeous little gallery, stroll on over to nearby cafe Spilldebeans for coffee and a pastry before you set off exploring again!
Go inside the artist’s studio
Want to experience something truly special? Noosa Open Studios is an annual art trail where gifted local artists open the doors to their studios and display their work in a more intimate setting than usual. Running from October 9–18, this art trail lets you delve into artists’ creative processes, see work that might not ordinarily be on display and gives you the chance to invest in a piece for your home. This year, you can be inspired by 98 painters, ceramicists and mixed-media artists whilst discovering back roads and hidden picturesque gems found in the Noosa Hinterland.