Surfing the Menu: Noosa, Toowoomba, Byron Bay

Daniel Churchill and Hayden Quinn experience the far east coast of Australia, stopping off at Noosa, Toowoomba and Byron Bay to cook, eat and experience the best these places have to offer. Surfing the Menu: Noosa, Toowoomba, Byron Bay
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Surfing the Menu: Noosa, Toowoomba, Byron Bay

Daniel Churchill and Hayden Quinn experience the east coast of Australia, stopping off at Noosa, Toowoomba and Byron Bay to cook, eat, surf and experience the best these places have to offer. 


As part of the new ABC TV cooking series Surfing the Menu - Next GenerationMasterChef alumni Dan Churchill and Hayden Quinn have set off on an adventure to explore what's cooking across the east Australia. On the ultimate road trip, the boys have travelled from the west to the east coasts, discovering everything from watching humpback whales on the Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia to Sailing around the Whitsundays, Queensland. 

In this part of the series, the boys are travelling the east coast of Australia – Noosa, Toowoomba, and Byron Bay – and have shared with us their favourite experiences from each destination.  

Surfing the Menu - Next Generation Watch Dan Churchill and Hayden Quinn experience the east coast of Australia

NOOSA

"There are two things I always do when hitting Noosa… get out the paddle board, sit out on the point and share the long ride with the long boarders… seriously effortless. The other is traveling to the markets and engaging with people from all walks of life. Oh and make sure you hit up Little Cove Coffee… One of the best coffees you will have on the east coast of Australia, definitely the best one in town." – Dan Churchill

"For me Noosa is about exploring the water ways, bays and headlands, whether that is going for a surf, a run through the national park or a float down the canals on a stand up paddle board... and that post surf beer at the Noosa Surf Club over looking the water, well you cant get better than that." - Hayden Quinn

Dan catches a wave, Noosa Queensland.

Surrounded by beautiful beaches, rivers, lush hinterland and national parks, the Noosa region offers a range of activities, adventures, tours and programs as well as the perfect opportunity to relax and soak up the sun on one of the un-spoilt beaches.  As Dan and Hayden suggest, getting out on a surf or paddle board is one way to experience Noosa's beaches – like the Noosa Groyne, which is the perfect spot to learn to surf, or Sunrise and Castaways Beaches for the more confident surfer.  If getting wet doesn't appeal, spend your time on board a boutique boat, cruising down the Noosa canals on a daytime or sunset cruise.

If you want to stay on land, we suggest visiting Fraser Island. The Noosa region is the gateway to the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, part of the Great Sandy National Park. Here you will find hundreds of kilometers of white beaches, rainforest and bushland, sand dunes and freshwater lakes. There are guided day tours, 4WD tours and overnight trips are available from Noosa, or you can hire a vehicle and explore the region yourself. 

If you're visiting between August and September, you'll be holidaying with the whales. During this time, humpback whales nurture their calves in the sheltered lee of Fraser Island. This provides one of the best whale watching experiences in the world. 

Whale watching, Fraser Island, Queensland.

TOOWOOMBA

"Toowoomba has lots of awesome new foodies spots, and the most amazing street art scene I think I have seen in Australia. Not to mention, it is the gateway to Southern Queensland Country and for me I think this is one of the best things you can do in this region, go for a classic road trip! Pack the car, visit the small towns of the region, meet the people, taste the food and drink the wine." - Hayden Quinn

"Toowoomba has the farmland and rolling hills that I had never been too but always dreamt of.  Visiting the Potager Boutique Farm, Paddock to Potager is definitely a must. Fiona May, who runs and operates the farm showcases how simple it is to live off the land and is setting such an amazing example for sustainability. If you want to experience the true art of horse riding you must hit up Cobb & Co. This was the first time I had ever got up on the back of these amazing creatures and I enjoyed every second.  To top the day off you can get out the whips and have a crack (yep that was serious dad joke)."  – Dan Churchill

Dan and Hayden arrive at Paddock to Potager farm, Toowoomba Queensland.

Located 90 minutes from Brisbane, Toowoomba sits on the edge of the Great Dividing Range and as Hayden says, offers a gateway into Southern Queensland Country.

Toowoomba is fostering a blooming art scene, not only in its well curated galleries but also on the streets. Toowoomba's street art scene could soon rival Melbourne's with sprawling artworks adorning the city walls. Toowoomba now proudly hosts a street art festival called First Coat that see the walls of Toowoomba given mural makeovers from talented street artists. 

If you want to get out of the town centre and immerse yourself in nature, we suggest heading to Picnic Point lookout. Perched high on the crest of the Great Dividing Range, with panoramic views over Main Range and Lockyer Valley, this is a spectacular way to take in this part of the country. There are walking trails to nearby waterfalls and Table Top Mountain, and the lower section of the park is an ideal location for picnics.

Byron Bay

"Every single time I hit Byron I always get a lighthouse run in… the actual run itself is gorgeous, going in and out of the coastline, and once you get to the end you have this beautiful lighthouse and view to take in. Head to The Top Shop, get a coffee and a breakfast burger, sit outside on the grass with your mates and you will be sorted for the morning. If you get a chance also hit up The Farm, an amazing project by the boys from the Three Blue Ducks  for a true farm to table experience."  – Dan Churchill

"I love this place not only for its incredible vibe and youthful and eclectic feel but also for its natural beauty, the quiet, the peace and the calm you can find in the surrounding coastal national parks and inland hinterland region. If you are a bit of a daredevil and a lover of small flying aircraft, then you have to get up in one of the local gyrocopters. It's the best way to take in the region, check the surf and do a spot of whale or dolphin watching (with a side of adrenaline)." - Hayden Quinn

Dan takes a ride in a gyrocopter, Byron Bay, New South Wales.

With its beautiful beaches, unspoiled hinterland, and relaxed lifestyle, Byron Bay is the perfect place to go if you want to unwind. Water-based activities are in abundance here. Swim in the shallow tidal pools of Clarkes Beach, the protected swimming area of The Pass and the popular Main Beach. Head out on a surf board at Lennox Head Beach or try your luck at Ballina’s Lighthouse Beach

Stay on top of the water kayaking, sailing or stand up paddle-boarding, or stay on dry land and walk (or run) the coast. We suggest taking the Cape Byron walking track to experience Byron Bay's rainforests and clifftop views of the ocean.

Take in Byron bay from another angle by taking a hot air balloon or helicopter ride with Byron Bay Ballooning.

Cape Byron Lighthouse, Byron Bay New South Wales.

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