Noosa National Park remains one of the most idyllic destinations, boasting waters that cast shades of turquoise amongst a backdrop of pandanus trees. With roughly 1 million visits per year, it’s no wonder this national park tops every travel goer’s list as a ticket to paradise, providing both thrill-seekers and sunbathers alike something to cherish.
Located just 160km north of Brisbane, Noosa National Park sits on the Sunshine Coast and is divided into four sections including the Headland Section, Peregian Section, Emu Mountain Section, and the East Weyba Section. Start your journey into the national park at the Headland Section at the end of Park Road.
Be sure to visit the information center where you’ll find trail maps, water, and where you can spot a koala (or two!). The most popular trail is the 5.4km Coastal Track that winds along the beach, with stopping points to view dolphins and breaching whales during their migration season from August to November. Up until Dolphin Point, the trail is paved for wheelchair and stroller access before turning into a dirt track.
Weave your way to Boiling Pot first on the trail, famous for its views of Tea Tree Bay. Then onward to Dolphin Point and Granite Bay for picturesque views and swims in delicate tidal pools more famously known as ‘fairy pools’. If you do decide to take a dip, be cautious as the beaches are not patrolled and currents can be unpredictable.
A lengthier hike of 5.2k round trip will take you to Hell’s Gate, an immense sandstone cave where you can watch for turtles that often swim in this area. Even further still, sits a more secluded Alexandria Bay, also known for its unmarked nudist beaches at the most southerly end.
Noosa National Park provides an escape for everyone seeking to experience the best of Australia’s wildlife and ocean views. With rainforests sitting at the edge of pristine beaches in one of the most accessible national parks, you’ll find yourself fully immersed in its beauty the moment you set foot on the trail.
The Noosa River connects directly to the Pacific Ocean and is one of the main attractions of the Noosa region. There are five lakes situated off the river, and it ties Noosa Heads to Noosaville. The river plays a vital role in migratory bird life, and also acts as a beautiful swimming hole and a popular location for water sports.
The river can be explored multiple ways, for a comfortable and calm approach, take a ferry from Noosaville to Hastings Street. Or for adrenaline seekers stop along the river and hire a vessel for the day. Choose from a jet ski, stand up paddle board, boat or kayak; whatever suits your adventure style.
Grab a kayak and self navigate the area and get a chance to experience the beautiful nooks and coves along with natural wildlife in the area. The river provides 40km of pristine waterways, so you can spend hours on end exploring. Pack some lunch and spend the day exploring the canals getting up close and personal with native wildlife and have the chance to swim in pristine waters.
If you prefer to leave navigating the river to the professionals, opt for one of the many river tours, which offer a more guided and in-depth exploration of the river. The cruises will take you all the way down to the river mouth and through the canal system. Here you can witness Noosa’s incredible luxury mansions and national park set on the river side by side.
For fishing enthusiasts, experience fishing safaris straight from the locals taking you upstream to the best spots in the area. The river is home to bream, whiting, trevally, mangrove jack and flathead as well as many other offshore species like black kingfish and red emperor.
The stunning Noosa River is an incredible natural attraction worth visiting while you’re in Noosaville or Noosa Heads. The river provides a choice of adventure styles; whether it’s hiring a boat, stand up paddle boarding or merely having a lazy coffee on the waterfront, take some time out to connect and experience the water.
Noosa Main Beach is the glue that binds the ocean to the town’s roots. It’s calm, clean waters are great for families and tourists to feast their eyes upon sparkling waters that practically spill out in front of Hastings Street. With such serenity at your fingertips, Noosa Main Beach is what lends a laid-back culture to the town.
Sitting right at the edge of Hastings Street, you can access Noosa Main Beach a few ways by foot, but be prepared to find parking to be a bit challenging. Although you may have to walk some distance to get through town, you'll find stops and shops along Hastings Street to pass the time while you make your way to Noosa Main Beach. For those that want to keep the momentum going, you can continue onward and upward to the Noosa Coastal Track that will take you through Noosa National Park.
Noosa Main Beach faces north and because of this, it is protected from harsh weather and large waves thanks to its location in the bay. Many families and tourists will find it is the perfect location to set up for the day, as the beaches are patrolled and the waves and currents are generally mild. Noosa Main Beach is a popular destination to learn surfing, with gentle waves that glide you along with ease, as well as board rentals and lessons available.
The beach can get crowded in the summer months, but its charm are what make all the resorts, storefronts, and restaurants part of the experience you'll have in Noosa. You can easily make a day of shopping, site-seeing, and relaxing at the beach thanks to its close proximity to everything in Noosa. If you prefer, accommodation and dining can be found at the shores of Noosa Main Beach to give you the best of everything.
Actively take part in swimming, surfing, fishing, or tune into relaxation with more leisurely activities like sunbathing, sipping cocktails at the beachfront restaurants, or sauntering along the walkways that line the beach during sunrise, sunset, or any time of day for a spectacular setting.
Leave your worries and cares behind as you take in the breathtaking scenery of Noosa. It’s time to slow down and relax as you realise that you’re in paradise – and it only gets better. No visit to this beautiful area is complete without a walk along the postcard-perfect beaches, however, to get the most out of it may we recommend a leisurely stroll along the coastal track? This easy 7km return trip begins and ends on Noosa Main Beach and follows the coast, offering unrivalled views to those lucky enough to enjoy them. Discover hidden beaches and spot surfers, dolphins, turtles, and even humpback whales as you look out to the glimmering ocean; but don’t forget to look up – those fuzzy little koalas are too adorable to miss.
Just 15 minutes from Noosa Heads, Tewantin National Park offers an incredible walk up Mt Tinbeerwah. The first section of this 1km hike has pram and wheelchair access, allowing everyone to enjoy the delightful coastal views from the first lookout. Continue onwards to reach the fire tower lookout, where you will be treated to truly magnificent 360-degree views over Noosa, the pacific ocean, and the glasshouse mountains.
If you’re craving more astounding views, make your way to Mount Coolum national park to embark on the summit walk. This easy 1.6km return trip begins in the forest. As you venture to the top, take time to admire the endangered fauna species and the array of tropical birds gliding alongside. When you reach the top you will be rewarded with astounding views over the ocean and beyond as falcons fly overhead.
If you’re keen for more walking, then add Noosa National Park to your holiday bucket list. This magnificent area of outstanding natural beauty is a 15-minute walk from Hastings Street, and once in the park, you will be spoilt for choice by a large number of tempting scenic walks available, varying in distance and ranging from easy to moderate. Admire the exotic flora as you make your way through the sub-tropical rainforest, and pause to take in the unrivalled views of Noosa Beach and Sunshine Beach. Pack a picnic to enjoy in one of the many picnic areas in beautiful open woodland.
For a short, relaxing walk, look no further than Noosa River. Begin at the river mouth and wander along the winding paved footpaths, taking in the breathtaking views and local wildlife. The track will take you up to Gympie Terrace offering fun for all ages with sailboats, SUPs and much more, before leading you along the esplanade to the Tewantin Marina. On your way back make use of the free BBQs and cook some delicious dinner to enjoy whilst the sun begins to set over the beautiful scene in front of you, treating you to an exquisite view. Dip your toes into the river to cool off as you watch the rainbow lorikeets flocking to their roosting spots for the night.
With magnificent waves and a wide variety of different breaks, Noosa is home to some of the best surfing zones in Australia. It was made the 10th World Surfing Reserve in 2017 for its outstanding waves, surf spots, and surrounding environment. Surfers will delight in the stunning crystal clear water filled with marine life and surrounded by breathtaking views as far as the eye can see. From the delightful Sunshine Beach, right around the spectacular national park and as far as the North shore lies around 12km of tempting waves waiting to be surfed.
Noosa is renowned for longboarding, with some of the best longboarding breaks in the world. As a result, it has become the home of the Noosa Festival of Surfing, held annually in March to celebrate the sheer joy of longboarding. Not only that, but more recently Noosa has become the host of the World Surf League’s new event: The Noosa Longboard Open, thanks to the ideal longboarding conditions.
The open beaches are a fantastic place to start with plenty of waves for everyone. The waves are fast with lots of rips, so it’s only recommended for those who are both confident swimmers and surfers, although there are lifeguards on hand at Sunshine Beach if required.
If you venture into the beautiful Noosa National Park, not only will you find sub-tropical rainforest, open woodland, and adorable koalas, but you'll also be treated to incredible point breaks with a picturesque backdrop. It is very rocky in some areas so it’s important to be careful, but it’s worth taking some time to watch the locals first in order to safely surf in pure paradise and even spot some turtles.
Across the river from Noosa Heads lies Noosa North Shore, consisting of long stretches of white sand, dunes, and idyllic coastline. Look out for dolphins as you explore this sensational surfing spot.
Noosa is a destination that demands a spot on every surfer’s bucket list, as well as everyone who wants to learn to surf. It’s a gorgeous environment with waves to delight beginners, professionals, and everyone in between. However, it’s advisable to always check conditions on the day to ensure that you’re in the best spot for your skill level. For those who want to learn to surf or improve their skills lessons are available, and for those who need to hire a surfboard, Noosa caters to you too.
Explore the beautiful bushland and beaches of the Sunshine Coast on horseback with Equathon Horse Riding Adventures. Offering hourly, group, private, overnight and week-long adventure packages, there is a horse riding experience perfect for riders of any skill level.
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