Behind Noosa’s well-known coastline is the stunning Noosa countryside, waiting to be explored. Dotted with country villages, each offers something a little different to the next, making it the perfect road trip.
The dappled sunlit roads lead you to acres of National Park to uncover, celebrated foodie haunts, waterholes, scenic trails and so much more.The townships are many, including Doonan to Eumundi, Cooroy and Pomona, out to Kin Kin and Cooran, and right up to the edge of the Mary Valley.
Enjoy this taste of the hinterland, and we have no doubt you will uncover more local gems as you go.
6AM - Mountain Views
A short 15-minute drive from Noosa Heads takes you to Mt Tinbeerwah. The rewarding 1km stroll from the carpark to the peak provides stunning 360 degree views across Noosa’s coastline and out to the hinterland. Sunrise casts a golden glow and bright start to the day. For the late risers, catch the sunset on Grab Rock's afternoon abseil or rock-climbing session.
While in Mt Tinbeerwah, a visit to Phillips Gallery is a must (by appointment). The Phillips family opened the gallery to showcase world-famous art pieces from pop rock art legend, Peter Phillips. Shortly after opening, they started a touring business, Art Tours Noosa, to showcase the abundant underground artists that reside in the Noosa region.
9am - Eumundi Markets
Continue on to the township of Eumundi, made famous for its Wednesday and Saturday morning ‘The Original Eumundi Markets’. The motto of Make it, Bake it, Sew it or Grow it is the ethos of delivering locally made and sourced products. With over 600 stalls to explore, and many under the shade of magnificent memorial fig trees, the markets are well worth the drive.
On non-market days, Eumundi offers a fantastic playground for kids at Dick Caplick Park and an array of galleries, cafes, pubs, boutiques and unique artisans. The Imperial Hotel is a great spot for lunch with regular live music from local and national touring acts.
12pm - Cooroy
Cooroy is fast becoming a local hotspot, offering the perfect mix of nature chill and chic activities. First stop is lunch at Copperhead Brewery, providing quality food and small batch beers. For the beer aficionado, you can only taste their craft beers at the premises and all beers are preservative free, 100% pure and unfiltered.
Spend the afternoon strolling around this charming hinterland town, as there are numerous boutiques, homewares, galleries, gifts, antiques and vintage treasures. The Cooroy Mill Place Precinct is worth visiting, home to the Butter Factory Arts Centre, ceramics workshop, a state-of-the-art library, Cooroora Woodworkers and historic Lower Mill Site with an interpretive walk through restored boilers and kilns – it even has its own ghost!
3pm - Noosa Botanic Gardens
Yes, Noosa has its own Botanic Gardens located on the shores of Lake Macdonald. A Greek-style amphitheatre on the waterfront is a venue for opera, live music and festivals. Pack a picnic and stroll through the native and exotic gardens that attract birds galore.
5pm - Stay the night under the stars
The Noosa hinterland offers a range of cosy B&Bs, glamping, cabins and campsites dotted throughout the countryside. Fall asleep under a starry night sky and wake to kangaroos at your doorstep. Alaya Verde is the perfect luxury couple’s retreat, or Habitat Noosa offers a range of lakeside glamping tents that suit most budgets.
10am - Pomona
If you are up for a challenge, head to the quaint town of Pomona and climb to the top of Mt Cooroora. Home of the annual King of the Mountain Festival, the hike takes you 439m to the summit. Once at the top you are rewarded with sweeping 360-degree views, including coastal lakes and the high dunes of Cooloola Recreation Area. This is not for the faint-hearted.
A number of other walking trails are suited to various fitness levels including shared trails at the base of the mountain for walkers, horse riders and mountain bike riders. Be prepared with a hat, water and sunscreen!
12pm - Pomona Gin Distilling Co
Lunch is sorted at the Pomona Distilling Co., located in the original Pomona Bakery which dates from the early 1900s. Walk through the large railway sleeper door, pass through the rustic bistro area and out onto the back deck. Choose from a selection of native botanical gins including Pomona Pink Gin, Pomona Blue Pea Flower Gin, a standard gin and vodka, or create your own in a gin masterclass.
2pm - Noosa Trail Network
Explore hinterland villages that are dotted around the Noosa Trail Network. Discover various terrains on foot, bike and horseback that vary in difficulty and fitness levels. The trails are well sign-posted and include picnic shelters, water tanks, interpretative signs and scenic lookouts. Discover the hinterland trails HERE.
Once you have explored, visit one of the local villages for a well-earned rest. Boreen Point is a small township on Lake Cootharaba, a perfect setting for sailing, kayaking and spotting an array of native wildlife including kangaroos and birds. The historic Apollonian Hotel is a popular stop for an afternoon refreshment with a huge lawn area for the kids to run around.
Cooran village offers hinterland tranquillity and a quirky collection of artisan outlets, vintage wares and eateries. Create your own tasting trail visiting Bonsai Brewery, Amrita Park Meadery, Dingo Creek Vineyard and Cooloola Berries for strawberry picking. Continue to Kin Kin, stopping at the Kin Kin General Store, home of Black Ant Gourmet. Relax on the wraparound veranda and dine on ethically grown, local produce with more than half of the ingredients sourced within the region. The coffee and desserts are amazing and it’s open every day for breakfast and lunch.
5pm - Glamp time
Spend the night at Noosa Tablelands Escape, relaxing in your ensuited eco tent with free-standing bath and private viewing deck over stunning countryside.
*Visit Noosa recommends checking opening times and making bookings to avoid disappointment.