Noosa Everglades

22 Feb 2021

There’s an ancient world of water, wilderness and wonder, just 40 minutes from the holiday hub of Noosa Heads – a unique environment relatively untouched that you can easily explore in a half day (or stay longer) … welcome to the Noosa Everglades, one of only two everglades systems on Earth and the only one where you can swim (the other one has alligators!).

Experience breathtaking beauty, flora, fauna and tranquillity as you glide through the pristine waters of the Noosa Everglades in the upper reaches of the Noosa River – on a guided or self-guided kayak tour or in your own boat.

This unique environment, known as the River of Mirrors because of the amazing reflections in the water, is relatively untouched and is one of Australia’s most diverse ecosystems.

It's a photographer’s dream, a bird watcher’s paradise and a nature lover’s ultimate escape.

Flowing on from the sea, the Noosa River winds up through Noosaville, Tewantin and Boreen Point, through the Noosa lakes system and into the Great Sandy National Park, transitioning from saltwater to freshwater and forming the Noosa Everglades.

Kanu Kapers, an eco-certified business owned and operated by world champion kayaker Vivienne Golding and her team at Boreen Point, on the shores of Lake Cootharaba, can take you on a 1-day guided tour that includes paddling on a kayak through the Noosa Everglades, lunch and a swim. Or hire their kayaks and take yourselves on a one-day or 3-day self-guided tour where you can camp beside the waters of the Noosa Everglades and explore more of this wilderness on foot.

If you have your own boat, head into the upper reaches of the Noosa River and through the lakes system.


  • 65% of the waterway’s catchment is in National Park
  • It stretches across 2 globally recognised UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, the Noosa and Great Sandy
  • More than 40% of Australia's bird species are found here.
  • Eastern grey kangaroos, echidnas, koalas and a variety of other Australian wildlife live here
  • Dark tannins from the native tea trees stain the water, giving it a mirror-like surface