Noosa is a world where luxury meets adventure. The outdoor climate surrounding Noosa provides tourists and locals with beaches, national parks, rivers, and the hinterland to explore, while an inviting culture surrounded by art, cafes, and markets are set to indulge the senses.
Tune into nature and unplug with adventure attractions that will take you out of the workplace and into your holiday. Explore the emerald bays of Noosa National Park by spending the morning hiking the Noosa Coastal Track. Further north, head to Noosa North Shore to take a 4WD tour of Rainbow Beach, Great Sandy National Park and Fraser Island. Have a view from above by booking in a chartered plane to view hidden lakes and waterways spill onto long stretches of beach. Take a Noosa Ferry Cruise at sunset for a relaxing evening or book a day trip with a boat cruise to search for whales, kayak in majestic waters, or delve into pristine waterways.
Diving into the culture, you’ll find theatres, galleries, and zoos to explore including the world famous Australia Zoo. Learn about the local wildlife as well as other exotic animals from Africa and South-East Asia, as well as crocodiles thanks to the likes of Steve Irwin. If marine life is more your taste, Sea Life Sunshine Coast is an aquarium and water theme park just outside of Noosa where you can play with nurse sharks, stingrays, and other sea animals. Dabble in history at the Majestic Silent Theatre in Pomona and experience original old silent films.
If it’s art you seek, look no further thanks to the thriving local art community. The Noosa Regional Gallery in Tewantin exhibits artwork that is refined and provides travellers with a historical background of the region. Otherwise, the Eumundi and Peregian Markets provide visitors with an abundance of local arts and crafts to select from.
Noosa is a melting pot of activities involving the arts, culture, and nature that surrounds the region. The attractions, sites, and markets you’ll spend time exploring keep the town alive much as they will your entire experience.
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.
Tewantin National Park is made up of diverse, subtropical rainforest with a mix of eucalyptus forest and endangered swamp stringy bark. The park is 13 square kilometres and just west of Noosa Heads, and the entrance is via Noosa-Cooroy Road.
The park has two recreational areas - Mount Tinbeerwah and Wooroi. At Wooroi you can enjoy a picnic amongst the incredible towering trees with tables and tap water available. Otherwise from Tinbeerwah Road, at the Mount Tinbeerwah day-use area you’ll have access to picnic tables and toilets. You may have some two-legged, winged friends approaching you (birdlife) but be mindful of keeping your food away from them, as feeding them can disrupt their natural habitat and potentially harm them. Mount Tinbeerwah has 130km of a sealed track which makes it accessible for wheelchairs too. Along the walk look out for native wildlife like echidnas, wallabies and wallum froglets. Listen to the sound of birdcalls and look up for eastern whip birds and black cockatoos. If you’re partial to spending the night in nature, unfortunately, camping is not allowed in Tewantin National Park. However, you can still get your fix at other nearby parks like Cooloola Recreation Area, or Great Sandy National Park.
The park is suitable for all fitness types, and the walking tracks have been graded to help identify fitness levels. The Mount Tinbeerwah Lookout track provides a great vantage point of the iconic Glass House Mountains in the distance.
For an adrenaline-boosting experience, the park has a range of mountain biking tracks (graded in levels of difficulty), horse riding tracks along with abseiling and rock climbing options too. Abseiling and rock climbing is recommended only for experienced and equipped adventurers and is accessible behind the safety fence adjacent to the Mount Tinbeerwah Lookout track. The park also has a well-known koala habitat, but you’ll have to look carefully as they're often nestled cozily into trees.
Make the most of incredible views across Noosa’s coast at Tewantin National Park, and from Mount Tinbeerwah lookout enjoy dramatic 360-degree views across the river and forest.
Lake Weyba is an incredible natural attraction and considered almost a remote, secret treasure of Noosa. It acts as an essential fish-breeding ground and is a shallow saltwater lake, just a 15-minute drive from Noosa or 5 minutes from Peregian Beach.
Spend some time by the lake and take the opportunity to reconnect with nature, make the most of bird watching or bushwalking too. The water in the lake is clear as it drains directly into Weyba Creek connecting with the Noosa River so you can swim in it. Or for something a little more hands-on, immerse yourself in the salt water with water sports like kayaking or kite surfing.
While the park has minimal walking tracks, you can still navigate the lake area easily many other ways. To take in the incredible scenery, the best way to do so is to ride a canoe or kayak and embrace the serenity, with access points from the end of Eumarella Road or Lake Weyba Drive. You won’t need to worry about falling in either due to the shallow waters of the lake averaging around 1 metre deep. Often you’ll see kangaroos basking in the sun on the edge of the shallows with bird and plant life in abundance too. For a more intense outdoor, on land experience, cycle to the western shores of Lake Weyba.
Plant life surrounding the lake includes open forest, mangroves and saltpans and the lake adjoining Noosa National Park influences the vegetation. Due to the shallow waters, only catamarans and small tinnies are recommended, as the foreshore has no formal boat access to the lake either. You can find a choice of accommodation options in the area like charming lake houses and cottages, which have been designed to blend in with the natural environment. Set up for a night or two so you can explore the surrounding area. From a lakeside picnic to a sunset stroll, take the opportunity to indulge in the serene atmosphere with the choice of beautiful accommodation options.
Lake Weyba is a tranquil escape that is still well connected to Noosa Heads and the coastline, take a day trip out or spend a night or two at this incredibly peaceful lake.
Prepare yourself for Noosa Everglades, an incredibly breathtaking natural beauty and one of just two everglades systems on the planet. What’s fascinating about this natural habitat is the sparkling reflection off the water, mirroring all that surrounds it and only broken by movement as the water softly ripples away.
Choose to explore the Noosa Everglades with a guided tour or go alone on a kayak from Noosaville, Boreen Point or by foot. Set between Noosa North Shore and Rainbow Beach it is an easy drive to reach the area. Allow yourself some time to embrace your surroundings, just 40 minutes from Noosa Heads means that you can spend half a day or more uncovering the Everglades. The Noosa Everglades connect to Noosa River, and this 60-kilometre stretch of water brings a fascinating array of fauna and flora. The vast wildlife is made up of over 44% of Australia’s bird species and 700 native animals.
If you’re entering by car, arrive at the Cooloola Recreation Area car park to begin your adventure. The area allows people to camp; however you’ll need to be self-sufficient and have a permit, with no facilities available, so make sure you come prepared. Organise your permit beforehand at Queensland National Parks Booking Service. Otherwise, if you’re looking for a serviced campground stop off at Boreen Point Campground, with eight powered concrete slabbed sites along with many unpowered sites too. Here you’ll have access to kayaks, stand up paddleboards, kite surfing or boats on Lake Cootharaba.
Further north, you’ll find Harrys Hut, which is a relaxing bush retreat. The camping area has picnic tables and shelter as well as canoe access points. However, if you want to venture to Harry’s Hut, you’ll need a 4WD or to access the area by foot or kayak. Otherwise, for a catered experience, you can also opt to do an afternoon cruise along the water.
As you paddle through water lilies and soak in your surroundings be sure to stop and listen to the sounds of birdcalls echoing around you. Make the most of the Noosa Everglades with its the serene and stunning environment, just waiting to be uncovered.
Just 20-30 minutes inland of Noosa lies the Noosa Hinterland, a lush landscape of rolling hills, lakes, and mountains, ideal for a weekend of exploration. Spanning across towns of Cooroy, Pomona, Kin Kin, Eudmundi, Cooran and Doonan, there are endless markets, cafes, historic sites, and trails to wander about.
Each town within the Noosa hinterland offers a different experience, so we suggest starting at the Heart of the Hinterland, Cooroy. Explore historic pubs and cafes before making your way to the Butter Factory Arts Centre. Just outside of town, you’ll find the Noosa Botanic Gardens complete with an amphitheatre set alongside Lake McDonald. Next, continue to the town of Pomona, nestled at the foot of Mt. Coolum where you can attend the Majestic Theatre, the oldest running silent theatre, while taking in panoramic views of the hillside.
For the ambitious, Mt. Coolum offers a climbing experience for the bold, consisting of 429m high volcanic rock. Enjoy views of coastal lakes and the Great Sandy National Park at the top. Or if a relaxing walk is more your style, head to Kin Kin where you’ll find the head of the Noosa Trail Network, providing trails for horse, mountain bike, and walking. Jump start your walk with a meal in the town’s gourmet restaurants and pubs, while enjoying a vibrant local art scene.
Head to Doonan to experience the edges of the Tewantin National Park and Lake Weyba. Kayaks make for an amazing site of reflections in the water - a birdwatcher and photographer’s dream. Before leaving the Noosa Hinterland, stop in Cooran for bush walking that ends in beautiful swimming holes, perfect for an afternoon dip before completing the day with sunset views at the Cooran Tablelands Lookout.
The Noosa Hinterland is a getaway for those seeking history, arts, and a culinary experience, or for those looking for a vibrant outdoor community of bush walking and horseback riding to views of both the coast beyond and hills below. Easily packed into a day or extended into a weekend, the Noosa Hinterland is nothing short of an experience for the senses.
Picture this; sunset picnic spots, bustling restaurants, local fashion and boutiques all along a stunning river foreshore. Noosaville brings all of this, plus a laid back atmosphere combined with a charming riverside feel.
Noosaville sits between Tewantin and Noosa Heads. Just a five-minute drive from Noosa Heads otherwise for a more scenic route, take the ferry from Hasting's Street connecting the area too. The Noosa River traces its way through the town, with dining options focused around the riverfront and water activities as the main attraction.
At sunrise, make your way down to the river and watch rowers glide across the water as the birds begin to sing. Once you’ve had your coffee along the riverfront, get ready to dive into the water and hire a jet ski, kayak or boat for the day. Spend hours navigating along the glistening river or instead swim at one of the designated swimming spots. For a unique experience, opt for a sunset cruise or fully catered daytime cruise to indulge in the scenery around you too.
For the foodies, you’ll find a hub of restaurants along Gympie Terrace and Thomas Street serving up contemporary Australian fare, along with around the world cuisine. Or for a local experience, grab some fish and chips and have a picnic along the river as the sun goes down.
Local designers and surf stores are in abundance, and you can find them along Gympie Terrace, Gibson Street, Thomas Street or Mary Street. Further on into the Industrial Estate discover furniture and design stores, coffee roasters and local breweries. You’ll also be able to find major shopping centres with many supermarkets in the area if you plan on staying for a while.
Noosaville acts as a central point between other areas in the region, if you’re looking for a more relaxed and local experience while being able to discover the other natural wonders that the area has to offer, then this is the place for you. Discover the mix of experiences that Noosaville brings, perfect for families and groups with its choice of self-contained holiday accommodation and water activities to explore.
The hub of Noosa, Hastings Street, is the scene to be seen. A mecca for all things draped in relaxed luxury, the street was made for pedestrians to wander in and out of boutiques and surf shops, sit for hours in cozy cafes, and soak in the views of the ocean and headland just meters away.
Known for its gastronomic fare, start your mornings on Hastings Street at the iconic Aromas cafe for a coffee and crowd watching experience before heading to Noosa’s staple, Cafe Le Monde, for breakfast. If your body is craving healthier fare, look to Vanilla Food or Coconut Head, restaurants known for whipping up plant-based eats.
Enjoy an active lifestyle by spending some time walking right to Noosa National Park, having a swim at Noosa Main Beach, or stretching your muscles at Noosa Flow for a blend of yoga and pilates. Afterwards, it won’t take long to stumble into boutiques like Alterior Motif, Signature on Hastings, and for the surfers, Noosa Longboards, for apparel and gifts that ooze a laid-back appeal. Or, you can join the locals at Noosa Farmers’ Market every Sunday from 7am to noon for fresh local produce and goods.
Find respite and partake in self-care practice by booking yourself in at the Aqua Day Spa for a facial, massage, or both (we won’t judge), before heading back to any of the incredible resorts and hotels to choose from located right on Hastings Street. Favourites include the Sheraton for villas and suites, the Mantra French Quarter for apartment-esque stays, or the Seahaven Noosa for those that want an ocean view.
A day on Hastings Street wouldn’t be complete without ending the night with a cocktail at Miss MoneyPenny’s to sit back, sip, and soak in the sounds of Noosa’s cruisy nightlife. Or head for fresh seafood or gourmet dining at restaurants like Ricky’s, Wasabi, and Sails where you can dine upon the shores of lapping waves. We dare say Hastings Street is meant to enjoy the finer things without the fuss, dripping in the Sunshine Coast’s incredible fare, accommodation, and natural beauty.
Noosa North Shore is a place where outdoor enthusiasts can rejoice. With beautiful white sand coastlines that stretch endlessly, your days will be filled with 4-wheel driving, hangliding, fishing, and surfing. Just minutes north of Noosa, there are all kind of excursions to fill your wanderlust soul.
Keep in mind, getting there will take some preparation, as only 4wd vehicles that have a permit can be given access. Apply for a permit online, or hire a 4wd rental service or guided tour prior to your trip. From there, you’ll need to catch the Noosa North Shore Car Ferry which departs at the end of Moorindil Street in Tewantin. A short 5 minute ferry ride will bring you access to stretches of beach from the mouth of the Noosa River to Double Island Point. Be wary of the tides, and only travel at low tides to avoid getting stuck.
You’ll want to stop at Coloured Sands, stacked cliffs that stand some 200 metres high stretching from Rainbow Beach all the way to Double Island Point. Spend time here to 4wd on the beach, fish, or take in the spectacular views like the Cherry Venture Shipwreck, an abandoned ship from 1973 that’s been left for onlookers to explore.
If hang gliding is on your bucket list, you can head to Carlo Sand Blow at Rainbow Beach or organise tandem hang gliding with adventure tours. For a less heart-pumping but equally venturous outing, opt for horseback riding, walking along the lighthouse of Double Island Point, or have a drink at Noosa North Shore Resort. At Double Island Point, you’ll gain access to World Heritage Site, Fraser Island, or head onward to Great Sandy National Park. Several tour guides offer excursions from Noosa North Shore to these destinations.
As a day trip or a full-weekend getaway, Noosa North Shore offers an immersion in nature like no other. With tantalizing jumps from colourful cliffs to endless exploration of the coastline amongst jaw-dropping waters, it’s easy to see the journey to get there has made Noosa North Shore a gem of the Sunshine Coast.
Feel less like a tourist and more like a local on the Sunshine Coast by spending a Sunday in Peregian Beach, located between Noosa and Coolum. This small beach village is centrally located and easy to cruise along the streets barefoot with a kind of buzzing relaxation you’re bound to find contagious.
Peregian Beach is considered by many to be a gem, and it’s easy to see why with it’s uncrowded beaches and pristine waters. Bordering the Noosa National Park on one end and Lake Weyba National Park to the east, we suggest swapping the bustling vibes of Noosa for something a little more relaxed. You can get there quickly by car, or by cycling from Noosa, taking in scenic views on a 7km paved bike path.
Join this vibrant, family-friendly community by walking about the town, dancing in the village square, or going for a swim on their patrolled beaches. We suggest heading to Peregian Beach on the 1st or 3rd Sunday of every month to take advantage of one, two, or dare we say both, of the town’s main events. The first are the Peregian Beach Markets on Kingfisher Drive. Stock up on crafts and local art, fresh produce and fare to pack a picnic for the day. Stay a bit longer and enjoy the Peregian Originals, a concert in the park from 1 to 4pm. You won’t find any covers here, as artists are encouraged to perform their original songs and tunes.
Eat like a local at Periwinkle Cafe, or scoop up some delectable pastries from Le Bon Delice. Or you can play gardener for a day and check out Veggie Village, a community garden filled with organic produce. If you want to do more than take in the view, Peregian Beach also provides access to Emu Mountain from Havana Road.
Peregian Beach consists of a strong patchwork of an eclectic community, filled with plenty of artists, vintage shops, and markets to captivate your attention. With just a stone's throw from Noosa, be sure to add this place to your Sunshine Coast itinerary for an authentic afternoon.
Nestled at the south end of Noosa National Park sits Sunshine Beach, a small, good-vibes-only suburb of Noosa that spills out to a long, 3km stretch of white sand beach. Come for the surf, but stay for an extended coffee break and get ready to embrace the slow life.
For surfers, Sunshine Beach is a little secret with plenty of beach breaks and minimal crowds that almost guarantee you’ll catch a wave in the right conditions (best at high tide). The beaches in this area are patrolled, keeping peace of mind in tact when you go for a surf or swim, but do keep in mind rips can be strong within the area. For those that like to fish, the shoreline offers deep longshore troughs for the perfect cast.
Sunshine Beach is an access point for the Noosa Coastal Track in Noosa National Park. With a steep staircase, get ready to feel the burn as you hike up to the top to enjoy the cliffs of the park and continue onwards to Alexandria Bay, or head all the way to Noosa. Buses provide a shuttle between Noosa and Sunshine Beach regularly, which you can find at the Sunshine Beach Surf Club.
After a morning spent by the water, explore the shops located on Duke Street. Head to Costa Noosa for freshly roasted coffee, que in the state of bliss, as you sip your latte with your favourite book in hand. Pop into artisanal shops, boutiques, and surf-catered stores along the way. For a leisure afternoon, pick up some fresh goods at the bakery, deli, or general store and head back down to the shores of Sunshine Beach for a picnic.
Spend the evening watching expansive views the Pacific with an ice cold beer in hand at the Sunshine Beach Surf Club’s beer garden. For dinner, join Masterchef Australia runner-up Matt Sinclair at his crowd favourite restaurant, Sum Yung Guys for a mouth-watering dining experience. Tucked away from the noise of Noosa, Sunshine Beach is a cup of respite for the soul, with an effortless style you’re bound to be charmed by its spell.
They say things look better up above, and a trip to Noosa wouldn’t be complete without heading to the hilltop for breathtaking views at Laguna Lookout. Imagine this: sweeping panoramic views of the Noosa hinterland, the sparkling ocean, and the Glasshouse Mountains off to the distance. While most tourists flock to Laguna Lookout for sunset, we think it looks stunning at any time of day. Whether it’s five minutes or a few hours, this place is bound to leave an imprint on your time spent in Noosa.
You can access Laguna Lookout one of two ways. The easiest and most accessible route is taking a short, 5 minute drive from Noosa directly to the lookout via Viewland Drive. There is a carpark located right at the end of the street, ideal for those with large families, or anyone wanting to snap a quick picture before continuing on their journey. The second route can be taken walking from the centre of town up a 1.3km round trip path. The path is well-maintained, but not sealed in all spots.
When you reach the top of the hill, you’ll find the lookout point constructed of two, large concrete circles that are fenced in. The pavement makes it so that they are both wheelchair and pram accessible. At the center, use the dial to navigate the various mountains and geographical features that stand before you. Come prepared, as there aren’t any chairs, tables or toilets within the vicinity.
The spot is, however, ideal for a picnic thanks to a grassy hillside that sits alongside the lookout. Grab takeaway, a blanket, and a bottle of wine for a spectacular setting during the afternoon or sunset. At sunset crowds can overwhelm the area during high season, but with views as gorgeous as they are, it won’t disappoint.
All the way up top you’ll soak in sights of waterways below, the hinterland, and mountains that tower above. While looking up, some have been known to sight a koala or two. Perhaps the pinnacle of a trip to Noosa, you’ll want to stop and see Laguna Lookout.
There is nothing short of an abundance of nature within the Sunshine Coast, and it’s best explored within the Great Sandy National Park. With options of walking or driving, a terrain of rolling sand dunes in pastel hues await you amongst intriguing forests and wetlands coupled with long stretches of beaches. Ideal for camping, the Great Sandy National Park is a place to truly get away.
The Great Sandy National Park is made up of two sections: the Cooloola Area which is accessible from Noosa, and the Rainbow Beach Area that sits in the north. You can access the park with a 2WD vehicle in sections like Elanda Point, Boreen Point, and Bymien. However, a more suitable option that lends to further exploration is with a 4WD vehicle (with high clearance) to be accessed through Teewah Beach, Freshwater Road, Cooloola Way, and Poverty Point Road. In most cases, you’ll need a driving permit issued so check in advance before heading out.
Explore Great Sandy National Park on foot with walking trails like the Melaleuca Circuit, or spend several days along the Cooloola Wilderness Trail where you can hike and camp along the way. If you want to cover a larger area, use a 4WD vehicle alongside trails and beaches that will take you through forests, heathlands, and towering sand cliffs. Check for permit restrictions on some trails, and be aware of restricted areas.
Camp in areas found at Harry’s, Freshwater, and Fig Tree Point. There are information centres at Tewantin and Rainbow Beach that can provide you with various trails and permit requirements. The park also has some of the best canoeing in Australia, where you can travel up the Noosa River and within its tributaries. You can hire a boat in Tewantin, Noosa, Boreen Point, or Elanda Point.
Spend a day or several in the Great Sandy National Park for a true escape from it all. Its undisturbed waters and awe-inspiring views will have you paying more attention to the fish, birds, whales and wildlife. It’s bound to leave an impression on solo travelers, families, and couples alike.
A short 1km hike along a well-maintained walking track will lead you to 360-degree views of the entire Noosa region, hinterland, and the Pacific Ocean at the top of Mount Tinbeerwah. More than just a hike, Mt. Tinbeerwah offers a playground for any outdoor hobbyist involved in hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and horse riding.
Just a short drive from Noosa, you'll quickly feel immersed in nature taking the Cooroy-Noosa Road for about 6km before turning onto Mount Tinbeerwah Road. At the end of the road, you'll find a carpark lined with granite boulders that will serve as a starting point for the activity of your choice.
For hikers, the Mount Tinbeerwah Lookout Track is an openly exposed trail that's relatively easy to climb. It is also accessible to prams and wheelchairs, with a fenced area along the trail ideal for hiking with young children. Without many facilities in the area, be prepared with water and if you like, a picnic you can enjoy at the top or head further to a fire tower lookout for incredible views.
Mountain bikers can select from trails ranging from easy to difficult on Mt. Tinbeerwah and the Wooroi day use area. As some trails are often shared with hikers it will be important to pay attention to signs, maps, and directional paths you can find at the Parkyn's Hut Information Centre in Tewantin. Horseback riding is also permitted on similar firebreak trails and internal roads.
Rock climbers and abseilers will find several anchors and access points on Mt. Tewantin. Climbers must stay behind the safety fence that is adjacent to the lookout track. As with most climbing rules, it's important to never go alone and follow all safety precautions in the area. Campers will find campgrounds in several of the national parks nearby, or can opt to stay in Tewantin or Noosa.
Whether your adventurous spirit ranges from mild to dare-devilish, Mt. Tinbeerwah can satiate most of your outdoor recreational needs. The views alone will make you feel exhilarated at any point of the day, no matter how you chose to get there.
Creativity is what defines the Noosa Region, making way for private and public art galleries that are spread across the bustling streets and markets. Wandering through Noosa, you'll find a multitude of art galleries to suit everything from fine art to local artisans specialising in ceramics, jewellery, and prints. With a climate that supports the arts, integrating art galleries into your stay will become somewhat of a natural pastime.
Perhaps the most well-known art gallery in the area is the Noosa Regional Art Gallery that overlooks the river in Tewantin. Serving as the epitome of local art, they have been supporting local artists and artisans with a range of exhibitions and a gift shop since 1981. As a hub for Australian art, adding this gallery to your list is a lesson in history and culture, just as it is leisure.
For something entirely unique, making a trip to Buderim to see Art Nuvo is a must. Locally curated art sits in a refined gallery amongst the valley. There are other small galleries along the region that you'll find, just pay attention to hours of operation, as many will be closed on Sundays or Mondays. If you’d like your art served with a side of spectacular views of Lake Baroon, visit The Secret Gallery in Montville for an artistic side of the hinterland.
In Noosa, head to Hearts and Minds on Hastings Street for art in forms of the contemporary, jewellery, furniture and pottery. Take part in your own version of an art crawl thanks to the large number of commercial galleries that wind in and out of Hastings Street. The Eumundi Markets held every Wednesday and Saturday morning hosts local artisans and their crafts for truly unique trinkets, gifts, and pieces that embody the spirit of the area.
Art inspired by its location, its roots, and its environment is at the very heart of the culture that Noosa gives, and a trip there wouldn’t be complete without partaking in its relics. Peruse many of the art galleries in the area for an experience that may spark creativity even within yourself.
Over 40 km of sweeping sand beaches create the foundation upon which dazzling pastel coloured cliffs, sand dunes, lakes, and rainforests make up Fraser Island. Take respite in a wide range of accommodation options, including any of the eight campgrounds or various resorts along the island.
To get there, you can take a barge from Inskip Point or River Heads, or fly in on a small plane through Air Fraser Island. On the ferry, you can pay an additional fee to take a 4WD vehicle on Fraser Island, but permits may apply. Pay close attention to seasonal pricing and timetables that are subject to change.
View the island by land in a self-guided 4WD tour, or select from any of the various guided excursions that several tour companies will offer. Drive 75 Mile Beach alongside the thundering coast that stretches endlessly, paying attention to the tides and allowing for pit stops along the way. You'll embark on an exploration of rainforests, mangroves, and sand dunes that sit at the edge of coastal waters.
Inland you can explore Lake Mckenzie, a lake made entirely of rainwater surrounded by fine, white sand. Eli Creek is a popular destination for swimming in its clear waters. You’ll find Lake Wabby at the edge of Hammerstone Sandblow as the deepest lake on the island. If you’re strictly coastal, head to the bubbling Champagne Pools for an afternoon soak.
Take an aerial tour by plane to view the island and its forests, lakes, and sand dunes from above. Or opt for the ocean, and take a cruise or boat tour that will take you to some of the best whale watching. For the adventurous, take a tour at night navigating with the dingoes.
Fraser Island is a place that brings you back in touch with nature at a level of comfort thanks to the various rangers, resorts, and campgrounds that are there to guide you along the way. As the world’s largest sand island comprised of one of the most unique terrains, it's one that both locals and tourists will find a treasure to be cherished.
While Noosa may generate marvel in the eyes of tourists, the same feeling is held in the hearts of surfers that flock here every year due to its surf culture. Surfing used to be bound to Noosa Main Beach, but once surfers of the culture's founding generation began exploring the area, they found endless waves and formed a community which has subsequently led to Noosa being named as part of the World’s Surfing Reserve in March of 2017.
The surfing community within Noosa has done its due diligence to protect the waves and environment through efforts to minimise coastal development and increase the expansion of Noosa National Park. Noosa was selected as the 10th World Surfing Reserve by Save the Waves, an organisation dedicated to preserving some the best surf breaks in the world.
Noosa consists of several point breaks, including First Point and Likewise Johnsons, also known as "Little Cove". Breaks like these are ideal for those learning to surf but proceed with caution, as they sit on very shallow sand breaks that can create a heavy, hollow wave during low tide.
The preservation of the environment surrounding these surf breaks is the main reason behind the selection of Noosa as a world-class surf reserve, as three of Noosa's most prestigious waves are within the national park itself. These breaks include Boiling Point, Granite Bay, and Tea Tree Bay that can provide something for all surfers. Generations of surfers have played a large part in protecting these areas and including them as part of Noosa National Park.
The surfing season is best from December to May, which coincides with the cyclone season, but you will generally find something to surf there year round. However, the region can experience “dry” swells during late winter or early spring. In March, the Noosa Festival of Surfing takes place every year, bringing together surfers from all around the world to this special destination. Whether you're an avid surfer or an admirer of its culture, travelling to Noosa means travelling to the heart of a vibrant surf culture for generations to come.
Whether you’re heading to Noosa from Brisbane, or en route back home the other way, making a stop at Peregian Markets will leave your bags filled to the brim and a memory of the strong network that make up the town of Peregian Beach. For incredibly local fare, the Peregian Markets have been around welcoming locals and tourists into their community with goods, crafts, and festivities for families and individuals travelling through.
The Peregian Markets take place every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. In months with five Sundays, an extra market will be held during the summer months. Reserved for early or late mornings, be sure to get there between 7 am and 12:30 pm. Centrally located, the market is held within the square of Kingfisher Park. Before you head to the markets, head to a cafe down the road for breakfast, or take a quick swim in the waters of Peregian Beach.
If you decide to stay longer, you can make a day out of the markets as they transition into “Peregian Originals” a traditional concert. This longstanding event challenges local musicians to showcase their newest tunes with only original songs and lyrics. This is a popular excursion for families that want to settle down in the park, bringing a blanket and picnic goods purchased from the markets.
The Peregian Markets are a truly local affair, with stalls and vendors showcasing upcycled or handmade goods tailored to their own flair. Find any number of fashionable streetwear, pottery, artwork, jewellery, and gifts. Local organic produce, and homemade pastries, bread, and pickled sauerkraut and other creations are commonly found to stock your pantry or find the perfect condiment you didn’t know you needed.
As the market is right in town, you can extend your shopping experience into the boutiques, shops, and cafes in Peregian Beach. Nibble on homemade goods found at the market or pop into a gourmet inspired cafe for the ultimate breakfast or late lunch. Tourists often blend right in with the local community, as its thriving markets embrace lively energy that's bound to be contagious.
If an extended stay in Noosa is in order, make sure you reserve and organise morning for a trip to the famous Eumundi Markets. Humming with local activity, spend the day with the sounds live music while you shop specially curated and crafted artisanal products in pure Australiana goodness. Have an early breakfast or late lunch while you wander from stall to stall, until you find the perfect thing (we promise it won’t be hard!).
Located 20 km east of Noosa, a short drive just 20-30 minutes will take you straight to the markets. You may get lucky and find public parking, or pay a $5 parking fee to enter the market’s carpark on Memorial Drive. A local bus also operates regularly and is a 45-minute ride if you’ve arrived in Noosa without a vehicle. The Eumundi Markets take place every Wednesday from 8 am to 1:30 pm or Saturday from 7 am to 2 pm. Upon arrival, we suggest grabbing your morning coffee and a bite to eat at any number of the food stalls within the market itself. There is a wide variety of local and internationally inspired cuisines including those with Italian, French, and Turkish influences.
After you’ve had some morning fuel, you can begin perusing the vendors' items ranging from local art and pottery to hand-crafted furniture, locally designed labels, vintage clothing, jewellery, and skin care creams and soaps made from native ingredients. Pick up artisanal cheeses, olives, pastries, and bread at any number of food stalls. You can take a break at any massage stations, meditational music stands, or have your palm read instead. Otherwise, skip to the beat and join in dancing, singing, or simply listening to the whatever musicians are playing that morning.
Bring your family and friends to join in on the festive markets that take place no matter the weather. Dogs are also permitted on leash, with shade in abundance on a hot day. With items and experiences from normal to odd, the Eumundi Markets celebrate local authenticity unlike any other and will make for a memorable morning with remarkable goods.
Little Cove brings a leafy retreat tucked away from Noosa Head's vibrant atmosphere. This small cove sits just five minutes on foot away from Noosa Main Beach yet brings an entirely different atmosphere.
Little Cove's stretch of sand meets the pristine water of Laguna Bay creating a small inlet. Visit during low tide when the sun-bleached sand is out on show. As when the high tide comes, the water extends right up to the track leaving little room to walk.
During low tide, stretch out a towel onto the pristine sand and enjoy a dip in the crystal clear shallow water. Being an un-patrolled beach, always take necessary precautions. After you have had a dip in the water and enjoyed the serenity of Little Cove; continue walking along the path through Noosa National Park. Experience the stunning views across the water and lush natural forest surrounding with several lookouts on the walk including Boiling Pot Lookout and Dolphin Point Lookout to relish in. Further on, you will pass by the Fairy Pools and Hell's Gate too. Loop back around and head back to Little Cove to retreat at this quiet paradise.
As you watch the waves roll into Little Cove, make the most of the tropical feel with lush trees surrounding, birds call in the distance, and nature encompassing you.
Double Island Point is a paradise and a perfect escape to spend some time reconnecting with nature and the unspoilt wilderness of Australia’s east coast. This headland sits north of Noosa and is part of the Great Sandy National Park. Named by Captain Cook in 1770 due to its figure; on the point, a lighthouse stands with the lighthouse keeper’s cottage sitting below.
The waves bring surfers from across the east coast, and it is also a diving hot spot. Set south of Rainbow Beach, it has been rated one of the top ten dive spots in Australia; home to mackerel, leopard sharks, manta rays and grey nurse sharks.
Camping options nearby include Teewah Beach, which is the best place to set up, just off Noosa River Ferry access. With no accommodation or camping options on Double Island Point, you will need a four-wheel-drive (4WD) to access the stretch. Within Coolala Recreation area there are also other camping sites to stay at too. At low tide, Double Island Point can be reached by 4WD from Noosa or Rainbow Beach. Before you can drive along the sand, you will need a beach-driving permit from Queensland Parks. Be sure to double-check the tide times because when high tide approaches, the shore is no longer accessible by car. Double Island point has no food or water facilities, therefore when visiting for the day, come prepared.
Lake Cootharaba forms part of the Noosa River system, linking to the Everglades and the Great Sandy National Park. The lake draws travellers and locals in each year to indulge in its beautiful surroundings. It is the perfect place to set up camp for a couple of nights, take a day trip fishing or sailing.
Begin your adventure on kayak or canoe to navigate the intricacies of the lake. Or why not go sailing or kite surfing to glide away and relax amongst the wilderness? The lake welcomes yachting and windsurfing competitions each year due to its convenient setup too. Lake Cootharaba connects to the Noosa Everglades. It is an access point to explore just one of two everglades in the world. The wetlands are a unique natural wonder to explore.
To access the lake, take a four-wheel drive and set up your campsite nearby, with barbecue and toilet facilities available. In the area, there is a mountain bike trail, an RV park, as well as showers and wheelchair access too. To the southeast of the lake is Noosa North Shore, with Cootharaba in the west. Lake Cootharaba's water is shallow, and it stretches out to about 10 kilometres in length. The Kabi Kabi people; traditional owners of the land, used the lake to catch stingrays, fish and sand crabs, making up an essential part of their diet.
The natural, untouched environment is an opportunity to reconnect with the landscape, and the lake itself provides a choice of activities to explore.
Step into a coastal paradise, filled with dark, rugged rocks framing the turquoise water as it glitters under the sunlight; the Noosa Fairy Pools.
If you haven't already noticed the images of these natural pools flooded across Instagram, then visit them for yourself to see what the fuss is about. Set within Noosa National Park, the fairy pools are the park's most unique and not-so-secret natural wonder.
The pools have formed from the natural erosion of the waves, and to reach them, you will find them tucked away along the Coastal Track. Enter the park from the Noosa Main Beach carpark and along the trail just after Picnic Cove, you will see a park bench overlooking the incredible view. To the right of it, is a sign in place with a rugged trail tucked in behind it leading down to the water. The pools are easy to miss because the path down the rock face is subtle. The Noosa Fairy Pools are not advertised by the national park, so keep an eye out for the park bench and look down for the glistening water. Allocate about half a day to explore the fairy pools, and try to visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
The Noosa Fairy Pools provide ample photo opportunities, and it is no wonder why this little oasis has become an Instagram sensation.
Granite Bay sits within the stunning Noosa National Park. The walk to Granite Bay takes off from Hastings Street and will bring you along an incredible coastal track; with views across the glistening water and thick forest backing off the coastline. Along the walk, pass by Laguna Bay and Tea Tree Bay, eventually reaching Granite Bay. The walk is considered easy to moderate and will take you through the scenic rainforest.
Granite Bay sits on a point and is accessible by a walking track, often getting medium swell, making surfers flock to the area. On any given day, watch surfers swimming out to make the most of the swell, and if you pay attention to the water, you may even spot turtles and dolphins playing. In the winter months from July to October, look out for humpback whales migrating too.
What’s unique about the bay is that the sand is also covered in large granite pebbles with boulders on the bay. Much like many of Noosa’s little beaches and coves, at high tide, the shore begins to disappear. The walking track sits above the beach, showcasing incredible views across the water. There are also many other walking tracks nearby, great for a picnic or a relaxing pit stop. This isolated beach can be dangerous for swimming, and just like the other surrounding stretches, it is un-patrolled.
Listen for the echoes of the beautiful birdlife and look out for native trees. To reach Granite Bay, enjoy the gorgeous walk to experience some of Noosa’s best natural wonders.
Visit Alexandria Bay for a quiet retreat and less populated beach day, away from the busy atmosphere of Noosa Main Beach. Alexandria Bay (known as “A-Bay” by the locals) is a three-kilometre walk taking you past Hell’s Gates, in Noosa National Park. You can expect on most days, that beachgoers at Alexandria Bay will be wearing little to no swimmers. Yes, you read that correctly, A-Bay is somewhat of a nudist beach, yet in an unofficial sense. So do not be surprised if you see locals without their swimmers on, relaxing out in the sun. The remote location makes it the perfect place to retreat and soak up the serenity. With no amenities nearby, be sure to pack water and food for the day, while the closest toilets are near Tea Tree Bay. This unpatrolled beach is excellent for a quick dip, but take precaution due to strong potential currents.
From McAnally Drive near Sunshine Beach, the walk is about 20-minutes to Alexandria Bay or walk from Noosa Heads for the full trek through the park. Set on the eastern side of Noosa National Park, there are multiple entry points, but each requires a short walk to access the beach. After a long walk from Noosa Heads, A-Bay will be a shining beacon, and for surfers, you can even make the most of the consistent beach break.
So why not pack a picnic and enjoy the beautiful golden sands and ample sunshine at Alexandria Bay?
Tea Tree Bay is just a short 20-minute walk from Laguna Bay on the Coastal Track within Noosa National Park. This quiet bay brings out the parks serenity and natural landscape, with pandanus trees lining the beach and flat rocks to lie on.
Relax on the sand and step away from the busy atmosphere of Hastings Street. With toilet facilities nearby, bring some snacks and water, and you can easily spend the day here. This is the only beach in the national park with facilities close by, so if you are planning a day by the water, consider Tea Tree Bay. At low tide, wander through the little rock pools forming, and look out for crabs and fish hiding between them.
Tea Tree Bay is an unpatrolled beach, therefore, swim with extreme caution. Known for steady currents and rips, pay and attention and try not to go out too far into the water. For the surfers, Rocky Point nearby is a surfing hotspot, best for more experienced surfers due to the conditions. Tea Tree Bay makes up one of four bays within Noosa National Park. The walking tracks on the journey will take you on a scenic trail along the coastline with beautiful lookouts, including Boiling Pot and Dolphin Point. Tea Tree Bay is the first bay you will pass by on the Coastal Walk, and while it is still within minutes of Noosa Main Beach, it is a quiet pocket worth exploring, tucked away from the bustle of Hastings Street.
Every Sunday morning, watch the Noosa Farmer's Market come to life with local artisan products and seasonal produce on display. Enjoy the decadent food and local harvest, all while supporting the community.
The choice of stalls will leave you struggling to decide where to begin. Choose from organic produce, fresh juices, marinades and sauces, skincare, olives and tapenades, herbs, freshly caught seafood, bread that is still warm and cheeses to tantalise your tastebuds. Spend the morning at the markets and begin your experience enjoying breakfast at one of the local stalls. Next, a bit of shopping is in order; pick up some organic fruits and vegetables or make the most of the handcrafted products. Whether you're looking to pick up dinner tonight or purchase gifts to bring back home, you will find something to suit. After shopping, it's time for a caffeine fix with some of the region's most impressive coffee on offer.
The Noosa Farmers Markets have an ever-changing list of stalls and are considered one of the best markets on the Sunshine Coast. During your stay in Noosa, be sure to check out the markets and arrive with an empty stomach to make the most of the incredible food on offer. The markets showcase some of Queensland's finest produce like pawpaw, mangoes and avocados. Kids are also well catered for, with live entertainment and a jumping castle.
A visit to the Noosa Farmer's Markets is a decadent and enjoyable experience worth adding to your schedule during your time in Noosa.