Noosa is paradise found.
Noosa is a place in which I lost count of how many times I said, “this is the perfect temperature.” The air, the water, the vibes – all were absolutely spot on perfection. It’s a place where you pick up the local real estate advertisements and think, “this is a place where I might just stay.”
The beach enclave of Noosa Heads is located in Australia on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. You can fly directly into the Sunshine Coast Airport or Brisbane is about 90 minutes away.
Noosa is known as a top destination for holidaymakers because of its multitude of beautiful beaches, waterways, delicious restaurants and shopping.
Throw in the National Park that caps the southern of town like a crown jewel and Noosa is the perfect place for a getaway.
For me, the best part was all the water! Lakes, canals, bays, rivers and the ocean flank nearly every part of Noosa.
You know the old saying, where there’s water, there must be waves! Noosa is a renowned longboarding haven and this weekend we watched some of the world’s best loggers at the Noosa Longboard Festival. After watching some heats, I hiked out to the National Park and caught a few waves of my own at Little Cove, Tea Tree Beach and Granite Bay.
Noosa is a great place to visit for a few days or a few weeks and here are some of the highlights I know you will love!
Day 1 –
Walk the Noosa National Park:
We fortunate enough to stay at an Air BnB at Little Cove, which is near the start of the National Park. When you enter the park, a small kiosk awaits you with information, water, snacks and a great coffee for your adventure. The park boasts several trails of varying degrees of difficulty including an entirely coastal walk and a longer bush-coast loop. We really enjoyed doing the loop through the bush that came out at Devil’s Gate and return along the seaside. It was a great way to get the lay of the land and check out all the surf spots.
Surf and Chill at Tea Tree Beach
Tea Tree Beach is the first beach you will walk past along the coastal trail and it is one of the most beautiful. Everyone loves posting up here for the afternoon, catching a few long rights and sinking a few afternoon beers. When the swell gets bigger, this is a short board-able wave with a hairy take off behind the rocks.
Lunch at Cafe Le Monde
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks – all can be had at Cafe Le Monde – which seemed to be a hub of action in downtown Noosa Heads. We enjoyed a late lunch of Happy Hour oysters and salads that was delish. At night, we watched live bands while the boys shared a tower of beer!
Dinner at El Capitan
Just above the Cafe Le Monde epicenter, there is a nautical-themed little pizza place called El Capitan that serves up handmade organic fermented sourdough pizzas with the yummiest toppings. Think lamb and goat cheese and truffles! Also try the deep fried, pork-stuffed olives! Yum!
Day 2 –
Gone Country at Eumundi Markets
On our second day, we headed out to the cute, country town of Eumundi to check out their world famous markets. The Eumundi Markets are called “World Famous” for a reason. A massive collection of handmade crafts, foods and gift vendors are sprawled out over several city blocks. We had an amazing lunch of spinach and feta roti with dahl and spicy pork dumplings and picked up some goat’s milk brie and an array of olives for the next day’s picnic.
Whip ‘n Coco at Coconut Head
We only needed to walk past this place once to know we had to go here. Coconut Head is a small stall in a hip little shipping container on Hastings Street near Cafe Du Monde. They serve coconut milk ice cream and organic, healthy toppings that was just amazing and healthy. We had a couple of banana splits with coconut whip ice cream, banana, brownie and chocolate sauce – all gluten free and dairy free.
Surf Granite Bay and Swim in Fairy Pools
After lunch and Coconut Head, I once again got my trek on and went out into the Noosa National Park to surf Granite Bay. Located about a 30 minute walk from Little Cove, past Tea Tree Beach, is Granite Bay. Granite Bay is a long right that reels across a little bay and into an even bigger one. I borrowed a 6’10” Josh Hall surfboards fish that worked perfectly for the 3ft conditions and got a wave from the top of the point all the way through the sections and into the bay. A ride that lasted at least 200 metres. Needless to say, I paddled back out with a smile from ear to ear. Trees line the bay so you can hang out in the shade in between surfs!
At the top of the point, the rocks create two “Fairy Pools” – natural swimming pools that are over 6ft deep in parts. Little tropical fish darted around the pools as tourists splashed and took pictures. The Fairy Pools are a great place to cool off after the long dusty walk from town.
Dinner at Locale
For dinner, we booked in at Locale, also on Hastings Street, which is know to be one of the best fine dining experiences in Noosa. We feasted on raw scallop takaki, crab risotto and burrata cheese and that was only the appetizers. For dinner the lamb stole the show. We had excellent service and a bit of teasing from the waitstaff. One of the Americans (the land of unlimited free bread) in our group was so perplexed at being asked if she wanted a “bread roll” and the waiter brought her a bread roll with a note indicating that it was indeed a “bread roll.” Quite funny. This was an excellent meal that I recommend for a special night or when you are trying to impress a special someone.
Day 3 –
Visit Beaches South of Noosa with a Picnic of Eumundi Goodies
On our third and final day we decided to explore the beaches south of Noosa from Sunrise to Coolum. We stopped a few places along the way but eventually settled at the south end of Point Arkwright because it blocked the prevailing North Eastern. We set up camp, surfed and ate cheese and olives from the bounty we brought back from the Eumundi Markets.
Plan a Trip to Double Island or Hang Out at the Spit
That afternoon we hung out on the spit at the end of town and basically just floated around. However, many of our friends rented 4×4 SUVs and drove over to Double Island. This is going to be an annual trip so next year we will definitely head to Double Island because no Aussie Holiday is complete without driving on an open beach. You could also rent a powerboat quite cheaply in Noosaville and check out the bay and spit by boat!
Late Lunch at Noosa Boathouse
After all that swimming, we were hungry for some seafood and headed to the Noosa Boathouse. Naturally, we couldn’t pass up the seafood tower that came with a complimentary bottle of Sav Blanc. No disappointment here. Oysters, prawns, flathead and the amazing Morton Bay Bugs (like lobster but sweeter and more tender) stacked high to the sky. We had an amazing meal with a nice view of all the boat activity and a glass of wine to cap off the perfect weekend.
What to pack:
- Longboard or fish – you’ll need extra foam to get the longest waves.
- Walking shoes & comfy flip flops – we walked over 15km the first day so this is a must!
- Surf suit & natural sunscreen (we love Little Urchin) – this is the Sunny Coast after all so expect the sun to be out and firing.
- Cute, easy dresses for a night on the town – think beachy florals and comfortable rompers, no jacket required!
Noosa is Paradise
Like I said before, this place is just magical. From the cute town to the plenitude of amazing beaches, Noosa checks all the boxes especially if you are lover of perfect waves, fun sized surf-crafts and gourmet dining. Check. Check. Check.
Being the Noosa Longboard Festival added a fun-filled air and laid-back vibe to the weekend. I would highly recommend visiting Noosa anytime, but especially during the Festival!