- Start: Noosa National Park Day Use Area
- Distance: 10.7km
- Grade: Moderate
History of the Headland
The awe-inspiring Noosa Headland section of Noosa National Park is considered one of Australia’s most visited national parks. It is known for its sweeping views across several bays and beaches, Laguna Bay, Little Cove, Tea Tree, Granite, and Alexandria Bay. The waters below the coastal walk are teeming with life, such as turtles, dolphins and baitfish. We are fortunate to have such a protected national park, and had it not been for some tenacious locals, there could have been a road running straight through it, from Noosa Heads to Sunshine Beach.
The Noosa Parks Development Association was created in 1962 and led by a passionate Dr Arthur Harrold, ultimately putting a stop to the road. The scenery could have been quite different today; a road, high rise resorts, our beloved lowland rainforest would have been swapped for a concrete jungle. But, boy, are we glad the local voices were listened to! Another genius move, in 1966, by the Noosa Parks Development Association, was to lobby for the introduction of Koalas into the eucalypt forests of the park. These koalas made themselves at home and are now a huge hit with tourists on the Noosa Coastal Walk.
Where to Start and Vantage Points of Noosa Coastal Walk
Starting at Noosa National Park Day Use Area, the coastal track, as the name suggests, hugs the coast and gives you spectacular views from the best vantage points. The first section of the walk is paved, making it suitable for wheelchairs, prams and strollers. The first place for a photo opportunity is Boiling Pot, formally known as the Witches Cauldron; on a day with surf, the hollow in the granite below looks like a bubbling pan on the boil. You will often see surfers jumping off the rocks here into the ocean to catch some breaks.
Next along this well-maintained part of the track, you will journey past Tea Tree Bay known for its surf breaks, rock pools and tranquillity. It’s hard to imagine completing this walk with bays this splendid; it seems a shame not to stop for a quick dip, although it should be noted this is an un-patrolled beach! Dolphin Point is where the paved section ends, so it’s a good spot for a rest before things get a bit more challenging. People with strollers that have large wheels may continue, but it is certainly unsuitable for wheelchairs.
From Dolphin Point, it’s onto Granite Bay, passing Winch Cove. There is beach access all the way along this coastal track, but some paths may be very steep. Keep following the path to North Head, and below Hells gate, the scenery here becomes more wild and rugged with cliffs dropping into the ocean below and waves crashing against them. You must be careful here as there are exposed clifftop areas; keep hold of your kids and hats! Some choose to turn round at this point and go back the way they came or pick to walk the inland Tanglewood track.
For the more avid walker, carry on down onto Alexandria Bay, a local nudist, un-patrolled, and much more secluded beach. This part of the walk is less populated; you will find that the rest of the coastal walk can be busy at certain times of day, and you have to duck and weave to complete it. Enjoy the remoteness of Alexandria Bay while you can.
Refreshments are in order.
The final piece of the coastal walk is a climb over a rocky outcrop known as Devil’s Kitchen and then down some steep steps to the stunning Sunshine Beach. It would be rude not to get some refreshments from the Sunshine Beach Surf Club after this walk; you deserve it. From here, you may wish to get the bus or an uber back to Noosa Heads to save your tired legs. This is probably one of the most popular walks in the Noosa area due to the beautiful views all along the track. We highly recommend this if you are visiting Noosa.