Visit Noosa ~ Exploring the jewel of Queensland's Sunshine Coast
Noosa is one of my favourite places in Queensland. Maybe because it reminds me a little bit of home. Beautiful beaches, sunsets over the bay and mountains, good surf, beautiful headlands and bushwalks, marine life and wildlife galore, some of the yummiest cafes and restaurants and of course lots of holiday accommodation for all budgets.
There’s so much to see and do in Noosa, from walking the National Park, exploring the hinterland, surfing, paddle boarding, jet skiing, sailing, boat cruises, fishing, 4WDing, exploring Noosa north shore, horse rides, skydiving, swimming, yoga, massages, shopping, eating and did I mention just relaxing?
Whether you are after an adventure filled holiday or just a weekend away to relax, Noosa really does have it all. It’s great for families, couples, friends and singles. With so many accommodation options and budgets to choose from you won’t be disappointed.
Here are my recommendations on where to stay, what to do and where to eat. Enjoy :)
Mantra French Quarter
Each time I’ve stayed at Noosa I have stayed at Mantra French Quarter on Hastings Street. This place is in a perfect location right on the main street of Noosa, yet tucked away in the corner away from any noise. The beach is directly across the road, you have all the cafes, bars and restaurants at your doorstep and the start of the boardwalk into Noosa National Park is right outside the front door. It has everything you need, a big lagoon swimming pool, 2 spas and kids pool, restaurant, foxtel with free movies and all apartments are self contained.
Sunshine Beach is on the southern side of Noosa National Park and is renowned for it’s surf, beautiful beaches, cafes and restaurants. It’s also the starting point to access the southern end of Noosa National Park. It has some beautiful vantage points from the viewing platforms.
Noosa National Park
With over 4000 hectares of National Park to explore, and kilometers of walking tracks, the Noosa National Park is a must visit, and hard to miss when you visit Noosa. The Headlands section of the park meanders around the coasts edge past beautiful swimming beaches and rock pools, through rainforest and eucalypt forest. It’s home to numerous species of wildlife such as a large population of koalas (make sure you look up when walking around the park, you’re bound to see one), short-nosed bandicoots, common ringtail possums, brushtail possums and Birds such as the eastern ground parrot, glossy black cockatoo, eastern yellow robin, rufous fantail, satin bowerbird and crimson rosella. During whale watching season it’s the perfect place to watch humpback whales. It’s also one of my favourite places to watch sunrise and sunset and makes for some pretty beautiful photos.
Little Cove Beach
Little Cove Beach is located a short 5 minutes walk north east of Noosa Main Beach. It’s one of Noosas most popular swimming beaches due to it’s calm waters and picturesque scenery. perfect for paddle boarding, swimming, kayaking and just lazing the day away.
A drive upto the north end of Hastings Street and to the mouth of the Noosa River is a must when visiting Noosa. It’s a great place for a swim just inside the river mouth on one of the sandy beaches, a place to sit and watch the world go by, a fish or a float or a walk out to the rock wall for a view across Noosa Main Beach and the National Park.
This is one of Noosa and Australia’s best kept secrets. Best explored by canoe, kayak or boat cruise, the upper reaches of the Noosa River and the Noosa Everglades represent an ancient waterway that has existed unchanged for thousands of years. With endless kilometers of lakes and wetlands to explore, it’s a refuge for plants, birds and animals, some endangered. When there is no wind the lakes and wetlands become mirrors, with the most beautiful reflections.
We hired a Canoe from Kanu Kapers and took a drive upto Harry’s Hut at the southern end of the Cooloola Recreation Area, the southern section of the Great Sandy National Park. Harry’s Hut is a beautiful spot to launch the canoe or kayak from, with a little jetty to launch from. It also has a large camping area and day use area. We paddled the canoe for about an hour through the river and wetlands, there was no one else on the river and the sound of just the birds and nature was beautiful!
Kanu Kapers Australia offers half, one, two and three day guided and self guided tours in their easy to paddle and stable sea kayaks. The ladies who run the business are lovely and knowledgeable and I couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
Noosa Ferry ~ sunset cruise
A sunset cruise on the Noosa River is a pretty special way to see the waterways around Noosa. We took a cruise with Noosa Ferry Sunset Cruise, Paul our captain was knowledgeable and a good laugh. It’s BYO drinks and they supply the glassware, have a champas or beer as you watch the sunset from the back of the boat. Perfection!
Located just a 30 minutes walk from Hastings Street, or a 5 minute drive, Laguna Lookout is a must visit at sunset. It’s panoramic views look out over Noosas rivers, canals, beaches and hinterland. There is often Koalas in the trees at the lookout, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled.
Noosaville is located on the Noosa river and is a hub for holiday accomodation, cafes, restaurants, bars, boutiques and waterfront parklands lined with palm trees and jettys. It’s the start off point for many water based activities such as sailing, jet skiing and kayaking.
Luxe Escapes Noosa
As per the Luxe Escapes Noosa website “A Luxe Escape is for those who are looking for an authentic and exclusive lifestyle experience in Noosa. Our Luxury Escapes and Experiences take you beyond the Main beach to enjoy the best hidden secrets Noosa has to offer. Whether it be a fine dining experience with chauffeur, an indulgent romantic weekend away or an adventurous Paddle Board Experience along Noosa's hidden groves.”
I’ve been lucky enough to experience two Luxe Escapes on my visits to Noosa. Kelly who runs Luxe Escapes is an experienced personal trainer, lifestyle coach and yoga instructor, not only that, she is one of loveliest people you will ever meet and makes you feel so welcome and comfortable. I got to experience a sunrise Yoga session on Little Cove Beach, just the two of us, followed by an intimate healthy breakfast on the beach. She uses locally sourced products from the local farmers markets and believe me it’s delicious! Check out Luxe Escapes website for more about the experiences she offers.
Where to eat:
Located on the Noosa River (and when I say on, I actually mean the restaurant is situated ontop of the water), you walk the short jetty onto the Boathouse, which is a Bistro, Bar and Events venue. With beautiful views over the river, you can sit back and sip on a cocktail whiles watching the boats sails past. Serving up some of the yummiest seafood in Noosa, and a modern Australian menu, it really is one of the best places to eat.
A must try is the Baked wild caught Scallops, with sea urchin butter & sweet & sour apples. I wasn’t sure at first but they were absolutely delicious. For desert I would highly recommend the Eton Mess – vanilla cream, meringue with Queensland Mango – we shared one and I wish I had’ve ordered one all to myself!
Noosa Heads Surf Club
Located on Hastings Street right on Noosa Main Beach, the Surf Club Restaurant offers beachfront dining with an extensive a la carte menu overlooking Noosa’s famous Main Beach. A perfect place for people watching and just to kick back and relax. They also have live music certain nights of the week, check out their website for more.
Zachary’s Gourmet Pizza Bar
There are three locations to choose from, Hastings Street, Noosaville and Zac’s Gourmet Burgers on Hastings Street. They have an extensive range of classic and gourmet pizzas, pastas, salads, anti-pasta and light snacks with gluten free and vegetarian options (and obviously burgers at their Burger Bar).
I would recommend ordering the Hoisin Duck Pizza it’s one of the tastiest pizzas I’ve ever eaten.
You cannot come to Noosa without eating at Betty’s Burgers. I would actually drive all the way to Noosa just to eat one of their burgers and concretes (desserts), but lucky for me they have one closer to home.. two on the Gold Coast, one in Melbourne and a Sydney store opening soon… I’m hoping they open one in Byron soon!
I had the Chicken Burger both times I’ve been, it was so good the first time I couldn’t stay away. Make sure you get their Betty’s special sauce to dip your chips in.. yum! For dessert you must have one of their concretes – rich & creamy custard icecream combined with some of Betty’s favourite recipes. I had the Lemon Rasperry Cheescake – vanilla custard, lemon curd, lemon zest, raspberries, New York Cheesecake and graham crumble, it was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. I almost went back for more the second night we were there. I loved it so much I’ve added a link to the menu below.. how good does the Hot Fudge Doughnut Concrete sound?
This is a healthy treats bar on Hastings Street in Noosa. They do Bowls, Smoothies and Coffee. Their Acai Bowl and Smoothies are some of the best I’ve tasted in Noosa.
This is a superfood, raw bar on Hastings St, specialising in plant based, vegan, clean foods. They offer smoothies, bowls, raw cakes, salads, lunches, treats & snacks. I had their Acai Bowl (as I love Acia Bowls and eat them whenever I have a trip away), it was healthy and delicious.
I hope you enjoyed my Noosa Blog. Check out my Noosa Portfolio for more photos of Noosa and surrounds.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.
Disclaimer - All photos in this Blog Post were taken and edited by myself. This stay in Noosa was in partnership with Visit Noosa. All opinions are my own, honest and unbiased.