The epitome of coastal chic, and a welcome alternative to the more crowded beach cities such as Gold Coast, Noosa has a star quality all its own. Like any A-lister worth their salt, Noosa knows how to show off those natural good looks to full advantage – chic restaurants beckon and local markets and cute boutiques hold the promise of the perfect holiday memento, all stretching along a pristine beach filled with ridiculously good-looking surfers. Not all of the ‘beautiful people’ wearing dark sunglasses in Noosa are celebrities, but don’t be surprised if you spot one.
The sophisticated café and shopping strip of Hastings Street offers great views; start your day with a hearty breakfast at aromas noosa (so hip they’ve eschewed capital letters in their name), be dazzled with breathtaking beach views at Bistro C and Season or revel in the superb people watching at Miss Moneypenny’s, a funky restaurant and cocktail bar where chill-out tunes and a hip clientele come together to create an exciting vibe.
But if you want to eat like a local, head to the deck of the surf club at the northern end of the main beach, aptly named Sunshine Beach, a favourite spot for avid surfers. And if you want to work off some of that excellent dining, you can also do some kayaking or stand-up paddling and explore the pristine waterways. Those who prefer to recline in quiet comfort can still explore the waterways with Malu Os Eco Boat Hire, the cleanest and greenest way to enjoy the beauty of the Noosa River. The electric boats are quiet and non-polluting; the ideal way to explore one of Australia’s most diverse waterways without leaving an impact.
Mornings are the best limes to go for a stroll down the famous Noosa National Park Coastal Track, keeping an eye out for koalas overhead and dolphins in the sparkling ocean below. Plunging into the crystal clear waters of Little Cove or Laguna Bay on the return journey is pure bliss, and stop at the curiously named Hell’s Gates. There are tons of secluded little beached notched into the coast that make for a great little resting spot.
Wildlife fans will want to discover the Noosa Biosphere Reserve, a spectacular series of freshwater tidal parklands covering 150,000 hectares. Noosa Everglades Discovery runs serene boat tours where the dark tannin-stained water acts like a mirror, reflecting the beauty of the surrounding bush. There’s usually a midway stop where the captain will unpack a picnic basket to fix your munchies (and where the only loo stop will be, so be sure to make full use of that). A hungry goanna or two may wander up to your picnic site, but be sure not to feed them any junk food!
For the aquatic at heart, Noosa is a great place for you to get up close and personal with one of the world’s most gentle sea creatures, the humpback whale. The ‘Swim with Whales’ experience with Sunreef is suitable for all; don’t your sense of adventure is greater than your swimming ability, simply grab hold of the line attached to the boat and float alongside these beautiful marine mammals.