The first annual Noosa Classic Gran Fondo cycling event takes riders through Noosa's villages and countryside on Sunday 26 August, showcasing brilliant cycling and the laidback lifestyle Noosa is renowned for. Nat Bromhead from Bicycling Australia has been testing the routes, coffees and fun along the way. Read on for his suggestions...
The Noosa Classic course traces the best cycling roads of the region - from the shores of Lake Cootharaba to the stunning Noosa hinterland. Make your choice from three courses:
Image: Noosa Classic
Registration will be available on the weekend of 25-26 August at the event village in Read Park, 2 Poinciana Ave (cnr Goodwin St), Tewantin, on Saturday 25 August from 1-4pm and Sunday 26 August from 5.30-6.30am.
There'll also be plenty of activity at the village on Sunday from 10am-4pm with live music, food and drink stalls, local produce and wares, massage tent, children’s activities, a cycling expo and chill-out zone. Stay and watch as riders cross the finish line throughout the day.
Other than the cycling, what's on offer?
For those heading north for the Noosa Classic the region has onemajor problem … How to pick just 10 of the literally hundreds of things to see and do in this incredibly diverse region.
Image: Noosa Classic
Blessed with year-round sunshine, Noosa is absolutely spoiled with good weather. It seems there is endless day after sunny day to make the most of this natural playground. Think we’re talking it up? Click on the current forecast and outlook and see for yourself.
With the Noosa Classic taking place on August 26, we think it makes total sense to stay a little longer. With that in mind here are 10 things to see and do when here for the major cycling event.
Learn to Surf
Noosa is known throughout the world as a legendary surf spot, there are options for everyone from junior through to seniors on 10-foot + longboards. Noosa’s Main Beach is perfect for learners with several local businesses offer ‘learn to surf’ classes as well as board hire. Some offer deals such as two-hour lessons in the morning then board hire for the rest of the day. Wet suits are available butchances are you won’t need one.
Image: Stand-up paddling on the Noosa River - Paul Smith Images
Hire a SUP
You don’t have to look far for water sports hire operators in Noosa – right on Main Beach and all along the river at Noosaville you can hire a stand up paddleboard and enjoy exploring the river or calm and scenic Laguna Bay for the morning or day. Caution – highly addictive!
Explore the River
The Noosa River defines the region. Weaving from a tiny freshwater stream way up in the Everglades, the river makes its way down through Lake Cootharaba (a small boat sailors Mecca) through Lake Cooroibah, down through Noosaville and eventually outinto sparkling Laguna Bay.
Image: Noosa River boating - @jbath7
Several operators offer river cruises and boat hire options – a trip to Noosa is not complete
without a trip on the Noosa Ferry or hiring an old-school putt putt boat.
Kayak the Everglades
Still on the water – Noosa’s Everglades offer a fascinating insight into the history, wildlife, and unspoilt natural beauty of the region. You will simply not believe you’re just 2 hours from the major capital city of Brisbane.
Various tour companies provide guided and self-guided kayak tours of the mirror-like upper Noosa River.
Image: Kayak the Noosa Everglades
Eat, Drink and Shop
Hastings Street is one of the nation’s most famous shopping strips but there’s way more to the beachside boulevard than retail outlets. Bars, cafes and restaurants abound – from completely casual barefoot options right through to white linen silver service. Make sure you also visit Noosa Junction, Noosaville, Sunshine Beach, Noosa Sound, Noosa Civic and Tewantin. Literally everywhere you ride or drive you’ll come across cool little cafes, amazing restaurants and fantastic bars.
Walk the National Park
Noosa is blessed to have a stunning national park right on its doorstep – yes the Noosa National Park starts just a few hundred metres from the hustleand bustle of Hastings Street. A visit to the region is not complete without an early morning or late afternoon walk out to the end of Noosa Headland.
Tip – take a camera … the views are mind-blowing!
Image: Noosa National Park - @Jewelszee
Local fishing charter operators offer daily trips to the Noosa River, Laguna Bay and the productive offshore reefs. There are also blue water fishing options with some fantastic mackerel and black kingfish plus black marlin in season!
See Noosa from Another Perspective
See Noosa from a 500 horsepower jetboat ride on a one-hour ocean adventure with the Noosa Thriller.
Other than a high adrenaline ride you’ll see the stunning Noosa Headland and world renowned Noosa National Park.
Visit Fraser Island
How often do you have the chance to visit the world’s largest sand island? Not often, we’re guessing. While in Noosa why not hop aboard one of the many four-wheel-drive tour bus operators that offer a 1-day trip to
the renowned and World Heritage-listed Fraser Island? The adventure begins with a crossing of the Noosa River by car ferry then 80km drive along the beach on the Noosa North Shore. An incredible experience!
For more of Nat's adventures in Noosa, see his article on A day cycling the stunning Noosa region, or 10 things to see and do in Noosa.
Or see more information on the Noosa Classic cycling event.
Main image courtesy of Noosa Classic