Discover why Noosa is one of the most popular beachside holiday destinations in Australia.
By Kris Madden
Noosa, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, is surrounded by stunning beaches, lakes, national parks and the lush hinterland of Noosa National Park. If you are looking for adventure, there’s plenty to do. Learn to surf or try stand-up paddleboarding; sail the beautiful waters of Laguna Bay; kayak in the Noosa Everglades; join a sunset cruise or go swimming with humpback whales. For those wanting a more relaxed experience, Noosa is home to superb day spas, world-class golf courses, stylish shopping and delicious cuisine.
- Swim with humpback whales from July to October
- Visit Australia Zoo set up by Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter
- Explore Noosa’s dynamic food scene
How to get there
Noosa is located a 90-minute drive north of Brisbane. The closest airport to Noosa is the Sunshine Coast Airport which has multiple daily flights from most major Australian capital cities. Noosa lies roughly a 35-minute drive north of the airport.
Things to do and top attractions in Noosa
Eat at Noosa's best restaurants
Australian chef Peter Kuruvita’s Noosa Beach House Restaurant and Bar offers breakfast and dinners in a stylish setting. Don't miss the wild caught North Queensland crayfish. Noosa Boathouse on the Noosa River is a great place for a seafood extravaganza of oysters, prawns and local barramundi, while looking over the river and hinterland. Betty's Burgers and Concrete Co is a local favourite, serving up casual burgers and a scintillating array of desserts, such as passionfruit ginger crumble topped with vanilla custard and banana. Indulge in an after-dinner cocktail at Miss Moneypenny's, which serves up a huge array of delicious drinks.
Check into luxe Noosa accommodation
At Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, you’ll be perfectly situated in the heart of Noosa on Hastings Street with shopping, dining and Noosa’s Main Beach on your doorstep. Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas is adjacent to Noosa National Park with views across Laguna Beach. You can even charter a houseboat and stay on the Noosa River with Luxury Afloat Noosa.
Shop at the Eumundi Markets
There are plenty of one-off designer boutiques on Hastings Street, but for something different, handmade or uniquely Australian, head to the Original Eumundi Markets, which has more than 500 stalls selling artwork, craft, fashion and gifts by local designers. The markets are open Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
Visit Australia Zoo
Australia Zoo is the home of the famous Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, who sadly passed away in 2006. Along with a range of animals such as elephants and tigers, you can cuddle a koala, hand-feed kangaroos, meet talking cockatoos and waddling wombats, and learn all about crocodiles. Platinum tours include exclusive behind-the-scenes animal encounters.
Swim with the humpback whales
From July to October each year, thousands of humpback whales pass Noosa on their annual migration along the Australian coast from Antarctica. Many eco-tourism tour operators offer whale watching tours and Sunreef Mooloolaba offers the rare opportunity to swim with these majestic animals in the crystal-clear waters.
Hit the water
Noosa is a seaside town, so the opportunities to get in the water are endless. The beaches offer everything from horse riding to swimming, snorkelling and surfing. Noosa Main Beach, just steps away from Hastings Street, is patrolled by lifesavers for safe swimming all year round. Stroll along the coast to find the long stretch of Sunshine Beach. If you have a hankering to make like a local surfer, find lessons at Learn to Surf Noosa. For something a little different, paddle your way through the pristine waters of the Noosa Everglades with Kanu Kapers and Kayak Noosa, or hire a stand up paddle board from SUP Noosa and explore the stunning waterways of Lake Cootharaba or Noosa River.
Hike Noosa's best trails
Noosa National Park is ideal for walks and swimming at secluded beaches with plenty of easy to moderate walking tracks. The Coastal Track from Noosa to Dolphin Point is an easy one-kilometre (0.6-mile) walk. If you're feeling fit, continue another four kilometres (2.5 miles) to Sunshine Beach. You can catch a bus back to town if you don't want to walk. Many native animals, such as koalas, live in the park and you can often see sea turtles and dolphins swimming along the coastline. The Cooloola Walk takes you from Noosa North Shore to Rainbow Beach via wind-blown sand dunes. The best months for walking are March to May when the weather is still warm enough to swim, and September to November, when the days are sunny and clear.
Noosaville is a charming seaside village centred around the sparkling waters of the Noosa River, just a five-minute drive from Noosa Heads. Sample the diverse cuisine served at Noosaville's restaurants, such as Noosa Waterfront Restaurant and Bar overlooking the river, which serves modern Italian cuisine paired with award-winning Australian wines. Hire a jet ski or kayak to explore the river or cruise from Noosa aboard the Noosa Ferry.
Attend Noosa Food & Wine Festival
If you crave unforgettable food, mouthwatering wine and great music, then don't miss Noosa's premier food and wine festival. The Noosa Food & Wine Festival is hosted over five days, cooking up an incredible menu of beachfront brunches, celebrity chef dinners, live cooking demonstrations and parties under the stars. Visit the Festival Village to enjoy craft beer, mixologist-approved cocktails and professional chef appearances alongside live music and a buzzing atmosphere.
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