There’s got to be a reason why every second person you run into in Noosa is a kiwi. When Auckland’s harsh winter cold (okay, not that cold but I’m a wimp), sniffly noses and constant downpours of rain get to you; Noosa is your ticket to paradise. We visited in early September and the weather was pretty close to perfect. Nights still tormented me of Auckland’s almost Antarctic temperature, but days were filled with sunshine and bikini weather.
Noosa definitely has a health and wellness culture; the town is hustling with surf addicts and fitness fanatics. Think yoga pants, acai bowls, insanely good coffee and countless walks in the national park. Here’s a list of things that kept me entertained for the week I spent in Noosa.
Catch a wave
From absolute kook to longboarding goddess, Noosa has the waves for you. The main beach is the most realistic option if you are renting a board. We hired some from the surf school near the river mouth and Golden Breed located in town. If you have your own I’m sure you’ll be familiar with what the National Park has to offer.
Walk the National Park
It’s just so goddamn dreamy. Some of the most picturesque views, particularly if the waves are pumping – which seems to be all the time. Would recommend parking in town and walking in, as on-site parking gets tight. For an even more insta-worthy experience, take a picnic to one of the lookout points or beaches.
I love a good weekend market and Noosa definitely lives up to the hype on that front. Most are on the weekend, we only managed to check one out – the infamous Eumundi markets. These run on Wednesday (8am-1.30pm) and Saturday from (7am-2pm). They have a huge range of food, drink, arts, and live entertainment. Others that looked worth a visit are the Noosa Farmers Market located on Weyba Road (Sundays, 7am -12pm) and Nights on Ocean located further away in Maroochydore (Every 2nd Friday night).
A trip to Sunshine Beach
The open and empty space of Sunshine Beach provides a welcome change from the crowded main beach of Noosa. The waves are bigger, currents are stronger and the people scarcer. There is a range of cafe’s minutes from the beach, be sure to check these out when you tire from the suns harsh rays.
Whilst I didn’t make the trip to Fraser Island in my week in Noosa, it sure looks like an unforgettable experience. For those who are into a more relaxed style of holiday, there are multiple places to rent sups, kayaks even small boats (which you don’t need a license for).
Coffee lovers rejoice! You’ll definitely be able to get your caffeine fix in Noosa. Some of my favorites include the t boat hire coffee shop – take away so you can enjoy your liquid cup of gold whilst wandering the Noosa river. The coffee spot in the National Park; I’m not sure if the scenery affected my taste senses but this was one of the best coffees I’ve had in my life. Grind cafe; this spot is pumping so inevitably tricky to get a table but great coffee nonetheless.
With the overwhelming amount of cute bars and restaurants offering happy hour drinks, the choice can prove challenging. Here are some that I loved. The Boat House. Its an experience in itself – head to the top level at sunset for a drink at their bar overlooking the Noosa river; bonus points if you go on a Sunday, live music is provided. The Surf Club is potentially the only reasonably priced place with a view of the main beach. We saw dolphins and surfers catching the last rays and waves of the day, all whilst sipping a well-priced gin & tonic. Make use of the beautiful Noosa river; take a picnic blanket plus your favorite bottle of wine and set up along the river’s edge for sunset. Pretty dreamy right?
There are some fantastic eateries in Noosa all complementing the seaside vibe of the town. Again the Boat House makes an appearance. It’s pretty hard to resist its breathtaking views. We were after a light tasty dinner and got just that. The fish and chip shop which backs onto the Boat House is also worth a mention. Take your fish and chips along with some wine to the river for a glamorous picnic. We tried a Thai place one night which was also delish. 10 Hastings Street Cafe offers some beautiful açai bowls and other brunch options. Aromas sits on Hasting Street and offers a unique take on a European/French dining experience; get ready for people watching. Nosh Express salad bar provides a huge range of fresh healthy options, we took ours to the beach for lunch.
We stayed at the Munna Beach apartments which were right on the riverfront. An extremely idyllic setting, I would recommend hunting for a place on the river’s edge as places in town are back from the water. If you’re not on a budget there are a range of places as you enter the national park, would recommend for those who enjoy some serenity. If you are on a budget there are a few backpacker places like Flashpackers and YHA Noosa.
The best way to get to Noosa is a direct flight to Sunshine Coast Airport, about 30 minutes away. These flights tend to be on the expensive side so we opted to fly into Brisbane Airport. From here, we hired a car and drove around 2 hours up to Noosa. There are also buses which run from Brisbane Airport to Noosa, the most cost-effective method.