Guide to Family Friendly Holidays in Noosa

Noosa is a mecca for family fun, bursting with kid-friendly activities to make lifelong memories. We're blessed with safe waterways, easy bike paths, beautiful walking trails, playgrounds, barbecue and picnic areas and glorious sandy beaches.

From the fresh water of the Noosa Everglades in the upper reaches of the river, deep in the Noosa Country, the river becomes saltwater as it winds its way through the lakes of Cootharaba, Cooroibah and Doonella, past the villages of Tewantin, Noosaville and Noosa Sound, feeding from Lake Weyba and its tranquil creek, and out to Laguna Bay.

The lively communities that have built up along the river’s edge each have their own special vibe – from the laidback sailing village of Boreen Point on Lake Cootharaba; to Tewantin town’s historical trails and waterfront marina dining, shopping and boat tours and hire; the lively river and foreshore fun in Noosaville, a family holiday favourite; and the wonderful restaurants and holiday accommodation of Noosa Sound which are an easy walk to Noosa Heads and the beach.

A long-time favourite holiday spot, especially for families, Noosaville is just a few minutes from Noosa’s Main Beach, and has accommodation for all budgets, from riverfront camping to family-friendly apartments, large holiday homes and houseboats. The river is the beating heart of Noosaville, with 2km of beautiful grassy parkland that lines the river’s edge.

A locals’ favourite for a sunset picnic, there’s also plenty of room for barbecues and kicking a footy, riding a bike or scooter the whole way along the flat path (hire a bike from Bike On, Eco Noosa River Adventures or an electric one from EcoTekk Noosa) and walking the dog – and make sure you stop for a photo with the Big Pelican which has even appeared in an episode of Bluey! Pirates Playground is another favourite with the kids.

Bring your fishing gear and throw in a line from the water’s edge – you might even catch your own dinner. Local fishing tackle shops can let you in on the best spots to try.

You can also hire a little boat from one of the jetties along the river (T Boats, Pelican Boats, O Boats, U Drive Boat Hire or Noosa Boat Hire) and take yourself out for a day fishing on the river, or join a fishing charter and let the experts take you to the best spots. Noosa Fishing and Crab Adventures will even cook your catch onboard, while Noosa River Fishing Safaris can show you the secret spots. You can also head out on the open sea with Deep Sea Fishing Co or Noosa Charters.

Now, back to cycling ON the river …. Imagine joining a bicycle and a boat – welcome to Nauticycles (pictured)! This is a unique, fun way for the whole family to explore the river and its birdlife and beaches at your own pace, stopping wherever you like. Hire a Nauticycle from 30 mins to 2 hours from Eco Noosa River Adventures who also have stand-up paddleboards and electric boats for hire.

The calm Noosa River is ideal for stand-up paddling, a gentle and serene way to exercise and see the sights - and Noosa Standup Paddle have classes for all ages, guided tours or hire a board. Take yourself off to explore the quieter waterways and canals – Weyba Creek, just behind Noosa Parade in Noosa Heads is a hidden spot where you’ll see beautiful birdlife, fish, stingrays and the sunset flurry of a local bat colony.

Sit back and let someone else do the hard work on a boat or ferry cruise along the river – you’ll learn about the beautiful environment, wildlife and history of this gorgeous waterway. Many of the cruises leave from the jetties in Noosaville or Noosa Marina, just a few minutes away in Tewantin.

Unwind and relax with Seawind Charters' Noosa River History Cruise while learning about the early history of the Noosa River.

A few minutes upstream is Tewantin where the Noosa Marina is a hub of waterfront activity, with family-friendly restaurants, cafes, shops and boat tours. It’s the home of the Noosa Ferry and the M.V Noosa Queen (pictured) – both offer spectacular sunset cruises.

RoundAboat Noosa, a donut-shaped electric boat that is fun for everyone is also at the Marina – you can hire this BBQ boat that seats up to 10 people and potter around the river. You don’t need a boat licence to drive it, and you can pull up along the river, have a picnic, take a dip or just take in the beauty and wildlife around. They’ll even provide the esky, BBQ essentials and cutlery - you just bring the food and drinks.

Further upstream, take the family on a once-in-a-lifetime kayaking adventure through the ancient Noosa Everglades – from a half-day paddle to 3 nights’ camping by the shores of this wilderness. Read about the Noosa Everglades here.

So whether your family is the sit-back-and-relax type or you’re on the go from sun-up to sun-down, the Noosa River and its nearby spaces have got your kind of holiday adventure covered!