SOUTH NOOSA (NOOSAVILLE & NOOSA HEADS)

The southern coast of Noosa is a striking, more than 20 km long stretch of sugary-soft sand faces the open Pacific Ocean that accommodates some of the best surf beaches in the country: Coolum Beach, Peregian Beach, Marcus Beach, Castaways Beach, Sunrise and Sunshine Beaches. These are also brilliant for windsurfing, kite-surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving.

Noosaville and Noosa Heads are the main town centres with most of the tourist attractions, accommodation, hospitality, and nightlife. There are numerous nature walks, lookouts, and beaches. The Noosa Heads National Park is just around the corner from the township.

Noosa Heads Main Beach & Little Cove

ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES IN SOUTH NOOSA

  • Noosa Spit & Noosa Main Beach – patrolled beaches, popular with families and tourists, good facilities, safe swimming, picnic spots
  • Sunshine Beach & Sunrise Beaches – open ocean beaches with consistent swells, surfing, walking, water sports
  • Noosa Visitor Centre – there are myriads tour and cruises available at the centre
  • Hastings Street Promenade –  take an almost compulsory stroll down the colourful street lined with hotels, outlets, boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and other entertainment options, great spot to spend a night at
  • Noosa Farmers Market – not far from Hastings Street there are lovely markets with local produce, and fresh seafood open every Sunday
  • Noosaville – Keyers Island Conservation Park – hire a boat, visit the island and Lake Weyba – a large saltwater tidal lake, perfect for kayaking, canoeing, boating, fishing, swimming and relaxing
  • Eumundi Markets – these almost legendary markets are an absolute must when in Noosa (it is said that they are Australia`s best artisan markets), 600 local vendors selling all kinds of unusual treasures (Wednesdays & Saturdays, 30 min drive from Noosa)
  • Peregian Beach – less busy, alternative community, organic cafes and restaurants, nice markets, good shopping, sunbaking, swimming, walking, yoga, water sports
  • Surfing – Castaway Beach, Sunrise Beach, Sunshine Beach, Marcus Beach, Alexandria Bay, Granite Bay, Tee Tree Bay, First Point (most of them are not patrolled and feature strong currents)
Noosa Spit – a perfect spot for all water sports

NOOSA HEADS NATIONAL PARK

The headland and cliffs in the national park rise to 200 m to overlook sheltered bays and enjoy splendid ocean views. The national park contains high dunes and coastal heath as well as various types of grasslands and scrub, forest, and rainforest, and the area has a large network of coastal walking tracks.

One of the tourist highlights is koala clinging to the eucalyptus trees and feeding on their leaves at a slow pace. There are several surf beaches within the park, most of them unpatrolled and defined by strong currents.

The seasonal Humpback whales can be observed from the Headlands during the wintertime. The Noosa Heads National Park is undoubtedly the major point of interest when it comes to natural beauty.  

Noosa Heads National Park, Noosa Coastal Walk

ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES IN NOOSA HEADS NATIONAL PARK

  • Noosa Hill/Laguna Lookout – the highest peak in reserve,  excellent walks (access from the Hastings Street), panoramic views, sunset watching recommended
  • Alexandria Beach – magnificent open ocean beach (clothing optional!)
  • Tee Tree Bay & Granite Bay – supreme surf beaches
  • Noosa Heads Coastal Walk – starting at the Noosa Main Beach, follow the well-marked pathway via Tea Tree Bay, Granite Bay, and Alexandria bay until you reach the Sunshine Beach. The highlights on the way are the Boiling Point, Devils Kitchen, Cook Monument, Winch Cove and Hell`s Gates (3 hrs one way)
  • Fairy Pools – look for the fairy Pools; not easy to find but a perfect hideaway! (climb down to the rocks at the Granite Bay Head when walking the Noosa Heads Coastal Trail)
  • Whale Watching (May-Nov) – observe the Humpback whales from the Dolphin Point or Hell`s gate Lookout
The Fairy Pools of Noosa, Granite Bay Head

NORTH NOOSA (TEWANTIN & NORTH SHORE)

Picturesque lakes, calm rivers, large parklands and verdant reserves but also open ocean beaches and massive dunes – these can be found in North Noosa.

All kinds of water sports are pursued upon the Noosa River and its creeks, such as kayaking, canoeing, water-skiing, jet-skiing and stand-up paddleboarding.

It is also an ideal spot for sailing, yachting, boating, fishing, swimming and relaxing. The waterways of Noosa River eventually lead to Lake Cootharaba – a recreational hotspot and the starting point to the Cooloola Great Walk.

Culgoa Point, Noosa River

Tewantin is the gateway to most the lakes and giant dunes in the Great Sandy National Park and Fraser Island. Besides, it is a charming little town with a friendly pedestrian zone, a good range of shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Noosa Marina is one of the most bustling areas in the town filled with good vibes and friendly hospitality. The Sunday markets shouldn`t be missed out, for the delicious specialities, local art, and handicraft on the boardwalk.

Tewantin National Park is crisscrossed with walking and cycling trails and well-known for the short but steep climb to Mt Tinbeerwah (265 m). There are two lookouts offering 360-degree panoramic views. Abseiling and rock climbing are popular activities in the area as well.

Tewantin, North Noosa

ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES IN NORTH NOOSA

  • Noosa River – water sports (kayaking, canoeing, water-skiing, jet-skiing and stand-up paddleboarding, sailing, yachting, boating, fishing, swimming)
  • Lake Cootharaba – upstream the Noosa River there is a huge lake ideal for recreation (kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, boating, fishing, swimming), good camping at Elanda Point & Boreen Point
  • Cooloola Great Walk  – a popular coastal walk leading from Lake Cootharaba/Harry`s Hut to the Rainbow Beach (Great Sandy NP, 4-5 days to complete), for more information visit https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/great-walks-cooloola/
  • Tewantin – Memorial Park, Visitor Information Centre (various tours can be booked, boat hire, cruises, etc.)
  • Noosa Marina Sunday Market – art, craft and local produce market has an idyllic setting on the deck and overlooking the Noosa River 
  • Tewantin National Park – great walking tracks, horse riding and cycling trails, rock climbing, abseiling, hiking Mt Tinbeerwah (500 m return)
  • Great Sandy National Park/Fraser Island – take a ferry or a day tour to the world`s largest sand island
  • Noosa Hinterland – take a day-break from the beach and explore Eumundi, Pomona, Cooroy, Cooraan and Kin Kin have splendid cafes & restaurants, quirky bars, craft breweries, vintage shops, lovely farms, fresh food markets and plenty of bush walks

Noosa`s Hinterland is ideal for a quiet day if one needs a little break from the beach crowds

TOP 5 NATURE WALKS IN NOOSA

1.Hastings Street to Noosa Spit – walk down the Hastings Street to  Noosa Botanic Gardens until you reach the spit (Noosa River Mouth), return via the Spit and Main Beach (nice  evening walk)

2.Noosa Hill/Laguna Lookout – the highest peak in reserve, a short but steep climb (access from the Hastings Street), panoramic views, sunset watching recommended

3.Noosa Heads Coastal Walk – starting at the Noosa Main Beach, follow the well-marked pathway via Tea Tree Bay, Granite Bay, and Alexandria bay until you reach the Sunshine Beach. The highlights on the way are the Boiling Point, Devils Kitchen, Cook Monument, Fairy Pools, Winch Cove and Hells Gates (3 hrs one way)

4.Tawentin National Park – great walking tracks, horse riding and cycling trails, rock climbing, abseiling, hiking Mt Tinbeerwah (500 m return).There are two lookouts offering 360-degree panoramic views 5.Cooloola Great Walk  – a popular coastal walk leading from Lake Cootharaba/Harry`s Hut to the Rainbow Beach (Great Sandy NP, 4-5 days to complete), for more information visit https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/great-walks-cooloola/

Noosa`s Laguna Lookout connects to the Noosa Heads Coastal Walk

TRAVEL TIPS

  • If travelling from Brisbane by your own or hired vehicle the way to see the highlights of the Sunshine Coast is to take the Scenic Ocean Drive, starting in Caloundra and ending in Noosa (55 km)
  • Noosa comprises of Noosaville, Noosa Heads, Tewantin, Noosa Waters, and Northside. There is a public ferry that operates between all of them. Using the ferry is a wonderful way to explore Noosa`s waterways, ports, and marinas
  • From Tewantin, you can take a vehicular ferry to the Great Sandy National Park and Fraser Island. Otherwise, you can book a day tour at the Visitor Centre or Marina
Noosa is best to visit outside of the peak season and school holidays

WHEN TO TRAVEL

Noosa is a much-adored vacation spot for both Australians and foreigners, and the prices reflect that especially the peak season is very busy. Therefore, try to avoid the summer school holiday (Dec-Feb).

The region enjoys pleasant weather all year round, and even if you travel outside the summer season, you will not miss out on anything. The whale watching season is between May and November.

HOW TO GET THERE

Fly to Brisbane, hire a vehicle (4WD recommended) and drive to Noosa via the Scenic Ocean Drive (2 hrs)

Otherwise, fly directly to the Sunshine Coast and drive to Noosa (50 km)

For all flights visit www.momondo.com or www.skyscanner.com

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Eva Bodova

Eva Bodova

Saturday 19 September 2020

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