Category Archives: Noosa

— Noosa —

Confessions of Noosa virgin


  • The Queensland coastal town of Noosa has an altogether more authentic charm than some would have you believe. By Lara Picone (photography: Elizabeth Allnutt)

    Full disclosure: as a first-time Noosa visitor I somehow arrived without expectations and, perplexingly, without a swimming costume. But my lack of preparedness was not due to a lack of awareness.

    Over the years I have unavoidably heard numerous recounts of Noosa holidays; plus stories from a friend who spent her teens pimping ice-cream to sun-dazed tourists on Hastings Street; and the usual observations of what the region is and isn’t compared to Byron Bay and the Gold Coast.

    Before my flight, I even jumped onto TripAdvisor (yes, I know) to check out what the largely disgruntled masses had to say. Invariably, there were complaints about overpriced knick-knacks, seniors clogging up the boardwalk, and streets swollen with day-trippers, all peppered with the disclaimer: ‘…but the beach is great’.

    Given that was all I had to base an assumption on, I chose to disregard everything. All I was left with were imagined visions of fabulously kaftaned ladies sipping Veuve Clicquot at sunset, and the inability to prevent myself from pronouncing Noosa with elongated vowels. In short, I arrived a novice and was immediately and wholly surprised.

    My first thought: ‘why on earth is this my first time?’ Followed by: ‘how could anyone possibly complain about this?’ Noosa is stunning.

    Dislocate, for a moment, from preconceived notions about Hastings Street (the source of the online ire) and the idea that it’s supposedly the holiday spot of the well-to-do.

    The simple reason people wind up here on repeat is because Noosa is an indisputable natural beauty. From the gentle, protective curve of Main Beach to the incredible Noosa National Park, the river, and a collection of inviting beaches, to say Noosa offers only a one-dimensional experience is a yawning injustice.

    A region, not just a town, Noosa is about to celebrate its second birthday as a shire all on its own after a period of losing itself within the conglomerated Sunshine Coast Region.

    This reforming of Noosa Council is significant in that it means the area can more easily be regulated for sustainability and protect the reasons both locals and visitors love Noosa.

    That means low-rise buildings, no traffic lights and ongoing conservation of native flora and fauna. Having been recognised as Queensland’s first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2007, Noosa is fiercely protective of its official paradise-on-earth status.

    A sure sign that you’re in a special place is when even the locals can’t believe their good fortune. Winding through the national park as the sun pushes up from the horizon dialling up the wattage on the soft dawn light, early morning exercisers, of which there are many, wave enthusiastically as I pass.

    Their wide smiles remind me of someone who’s woken up from a great dream, only to realise the dream is their real, waking life. Later, I stop by the Visitor Centre and find myself chatting to Jenny, a volunteer who speaks of her hometown as though it were an enduring romance.

    Jenny must hand out at least 100 brochures a day, repeating the same information, and yet her eyes are ablaze with tireless passion as she speaks about the many different types of holidays to be enjoyed at Noosa.

    Indeed, Jessica Rowe, a long-time Noosa devotee and the reason I finally find myself here, had expressed exactly that sentiment as we chatted over coffee one morning (read Jessica’s story).

    “I’ve been thinking about all the different stages of my life that I’ve been here,” Jessica said before launching into a list.

    “As a single girl; coming back with my husband, Peter [Overton]; then having New Year’s Eve here with my sister and her husband; coming back pregnant, and with my daughter, Allegra, as a weeny baby; then Peter and I rented a place at the end of Hastings Street when I was pregnant with (second daughter) Giselle.

    And now we come back with the girls… It’s almost full-circle.” Jessica tallies her Noosa trips at around the 14 mark and admits she didn’t tell her daughters she was coming for the Australian Traveller photoshoot lest they get upset. They did – and rightly so.

    To smooth things over with her girls, Jessica picked up a few little gifts on Hastings Street. Strolling the shopping strip, I’m glad to have ignored the Hastings Street cynics from TripAdvisor, despite the fact they’re absolutely correct. Unless you’re in the market for a plastic beach bucket, you’re unlikely to find a bargain. And, right again, due to its location parallel with the beach, it does get busy.

    Yet, I would argue that if you’re looking for a sleepy, cheap holiday, Noosa Heads isn’t necessarily going to be your ticket. Like most towns that become popular destinations thanks to their natural attributes, Noosa is making the most of it and catering to the clientele.

    You do get the sense there is pride in its cosmopolitan offerings, from chic boutiques to incredible restaurants, and while it still attracts and welcomes a wide range of holidaymakers, you will definitely find the kaftan and Clicquot set here. After all, it is the perfect place for both.

    That’s not to say Noosa is a town without a real soul, overrun by Prue and Trude types, families in matching Crocs, and retirees with small dogs.

    This is a coastal town like any other, with a surf club at its heart and a local population going about their lives in what happens to be a very popular holiday spot.

    And that does change things a little by elevating offerings to draw crowds away from other destinations lying in wait to snare sun-seekers, such as Byron and the Gold Coast.

    So the next time I come to Noosa, I will be prepared. Not just with a more appropriately packed suitcase, but with a knowledge that I am heading to one of the east coast’s most magnificent regions.

    And if that comes with a slightly higher price tag and a swathe of people who are here for the very reason I am, then so be it. Besides, I’ll need an audience for my new kaftan.

    The details:

    Getting there: Both Virgin and Jetstar fly to Sunshine Coast Airport; Noosa is a 30-minute drive from there. Alternatively, it’s just under a two-hour drive from Brisbane.

    Staying there: Noosa offers a range of accommodation, from luxury to camping. We also found plenty of properties listed on Stayz and Airbnb. Or try one of these…

    • Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas: For self-contained, serviced apartments complete with full kitchens, Peppers is a great option for families and is just a short walk from Noosa Heads. 33A Viewland Drive, Noosa Heads
    • Seahaven Noosa: You can’t get much more Noosa than staying at this beachfront resort that overlooks Laguna Bay. A very short stroll to everything, including the much-loved Bistro C. 15 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads
    • 10 Hastings Boutique Motel and Cafe Right on the action, this cute motel offers affordable studio suites up to two-bedroom apartments. 10 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads



    The essential Noosa shopping spree 

    The Noosa restaurant list you just shouldn’t miss

    Australian Traveller magazine 66

    Enjoy this article?

    You can find it in Issue 66 along with
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    — Noosa —

    The essential Noosa shopping spree


    Think you know where to go shopping in Noosa? If you haven’t visited lately, you might not have felt the undercurrent of change muscling in on the Hastings Street stalwarts. Here are the places for required purchases. In no particular order…

    1. Noosa Cleanse Juice

    Cold-pressed juices: so Noosa. But we’re not complaining about the new Noosa Cleanse bottles lining the fridge shelves in Belmondos and Café Le Monde. With green blends, ‘spicy lemonaid’ laced with cayenne pepper, and anti-inflammatory elixirs through to chai cashew milks, the white-lidded jars have become the drink du jour amongst Noosa’s densely populated health-conscious crowd. Start the day with one and pack another in your beach bag.

    2. Coffee and cookbooks at River Read

    You know those book stores that have unique greeting cards and gift ideas that almost outshine the new tomes on the shelves? Well, River Read is one of those. While one wall shows off new releases and shiny celebrity chef cookbooks, the rest of this cute little reading nook is dedicated to second-hand books, stamps, craft and calligraphy supplies, beautiful wrapping paper and cards, and to top it all off, coffee and cakes with a cosy little outside courtyard. Kick back on a Frida Kahlo cushion with an iced mocha as you flip through Humans of New York.

    3. Afternoon on the river (BYO) with Malu Os

    Got money to bet on the best thing to do in Noosa? Put it on two hours on a little electric boat called Lady Ann. “Where’s your wine?” owner Kirsty exclaims when we first meet her. “People are so much happier after they’ve had a bottle of wine!” And as we step aboard our almost gondola-esque (but higher on the comfort and luxe factors) electric boat on the Noosa River, she’s right behind us with a ‘corcksicle’ ice stick to keep the vino cold. The best way to enjoy this kind of hospitality is to pop on your favourite playlist, steer towards your own private beach and toast to the sunset. See Malu Os

    4. Haircut at Captain Sip Sop’s

    “I couldn’t get a good haircut anywhere growing up and I was over it,” Malakai Mitchell tells me as he deftly snips, shapes and shaves a client’s hair in his retro red leather barber’s chair. Captain Sip Sop’s is part hipster barber, part ’70s surf shop housed in a nondescript shed in Noosaville. Mitchell, alongside surfboard shaper Thomas Bexon, set up shop a few years ago. With a chilled-out vibe, a skate ramp out back and clothing racks full of Deus ex Machina threads, Herschel knapsacks and Uppercut Deluxe grooming products, this is where it’s at if you want to shake up the usual ‘short back and sides’, and grab a new pair of boardshorts. There’s usually a wait-list for a Saturday appointment.

    5. Coffee (or anything) from Belmondos

    The hottest thing in Noosa right now is nowhere near the beach. Set your GPS for the Noosaville industrial park and step into the designer warehouse known as Belmondos to trip the light organic. Slowly replacing 15,000 products on their shelves with natural and organic products, the one-stop foodie destination now consists of different ‘market stalls’. You’ll find excellent coffee at Clandestino Roasters, 22-hour fermented sourdough from Tanglewood Bakery, and a healthy organic deli full of sandwiches, salads, quiches and other goodies. Stock your holiday apartment’s kitchen or just pop in for a coffee.

    6. Nitrogenie ice-cream

    Nitrogenie attracts a curious bunch of spectators watching the girls behind the counter whip up magical cauldrons of liquid-nitrogen-powered soft serve à la Heston Blumenthal. With a long menu of flavours like Salty Caramelley Popcorn and Turkish Fairy Floss, you’ll want to pace yourself. This is basically the antithesis to the green juices from Noosa Cleanse – though we’d argue it’s worth it.

    7. Bo-ho at JOJO

    You’ll find something suitably floaty and a little bit boho at JOJO on the roundabout, and a fresh-from-the-beach look from Bow & Arrow.

    8. Alterior Motif

    But if your style is less about emulating a colourful, bedazzled lorikeet and more, say, magpie-minimal, head straight to Alterior Motif toward the Noosa Woods end of Hastings Street. A chic curation of cool and casual fashion with a few homewares thrown in, you could spend hours sheltering from the midday sun here.

    9. Noosa Longboards

    However, there are other shops worth your time, such as the iconic Noosa Longboards where you can pick up all manner of surfing related items, as well as a board to hire and a lesson to make the most of it.

    10. Signature on Hastings

    And for taking that Noosa feeling home, indulge in a little self-gifting from Signature on Hastings, a collection of homewares ranging from very-Noosa neutrals to riotous Missoni towels.

    11. Room at Seahaven

    Seahaven occupies a hefty slice of beachfront real estate and has that fresh new-house feel, having undergone a major renovation in 2013. Everything is shiny and new in these serviced apartments – the plush lounges look as if they haven’t been sat in yet. The master bedroom is concealed by modern frosted-glass sliding doors and a partition looking into the living area means you can check the surf from your bed! Wi-fi is free, the bathroom houses a bath amply big enough for two and the Appelles certified organic skin care products are divine. But the best part is being able to stroll across your ‘front yard’ onto the beachfront path.

    Australian Traveller issue 60

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    — Noosa —

    The Noosa restaurant list you just shouldn’t miss


    You can eat cheaply in Noosa or not-so-cheaply, either way, there are plenty of worthy options to lure you off your beach towel, and the produce that ends up on your plate is often locally sourced. These are Noosa’s essential eats…

    1. Bistro C

    For the most iconic Noosa dining experience, I’d send you down the boardwalk to Bistro C. There are few places on Australia’s coast where you can enjoy a well put-together meal and a glass of good wine metres from the beach. If the exclamation-inducing location isn’t enough, the chic interiors will win you over. And yes, they serve Veuve Clicquot – and Cristal, if you don’t mind.

    2. Miss Moneypenny’s

    Another place where coastal cool plays out; bar and restaurant Miss Moneypenny’s caters to a slightly younger crowd and vibes up the Noosa Woods end of Hastings Street come the weekend.

    3. Ricky’s River Bar + Restaurant

    If you’re looking for something away from main street, make your way to Ricky’s River Bar + Restaurant for elegant riverside fare like the restrained but en point gnocchi with house-made ricotta.

    4. Wasabi

    The nearby Wasabi has some incredible fish-slicing chops and is highly regarded for its omakase (chef’s choice) menu.

    5. Dumplings from Love Shack

    There’s an art to making the perfect dumpling but the man behind Love Shack Dumplings in Peregian (four beaches down from Noosa) believes there is a shortcut for everything. After inventing kitchen gadgets ‘The Rice Cube’ and ‘The Dumpling Cube’, Ross Patten decided to open up a shopfront to showcase what could be made with his products. This is a great little spot to nosh on fresh pork, chicken or vegetarian dumplings, with freshly grated ginger.

    6. Pulled pork tacos at Jimmy Fox

    Some butcher’s paper on the wall. A makeshift sign. Eco paper plates and bamboo cutlery. That’s all that’s needed, it seems, when your food is as tasty as the fare at Jimmy Fox in Noosaville with ex-Berardo’s chef Jason Cox at the helm. Located in a shopping complex across from Noosa River, this new street food café changes up the menu daily. One thing always remains, however: the gourmet burgers loaded up on house-made buns, along with great coffee and a lengthy juice and smoothie menu. The pulled pork tacos were the winner of the day. Hands down.

    7. Dinner at Beach House by Peter Kuruvita

    ‘Another day, another celebrity chef’, you might secretly think to yourself, but expect to do as we did and quickly eat your words. Chef Peter Kuruvita took over the old Cato’s Bar & Grill at the Sheraton Noosa a few years ago, and while the party still rages on downstairs, the intimate restaurant space at Beach House is elegance, Noosa-style. Hot tip: Order the seared yellow fin tuna with ruby grapefruit, sweet pork and crackling for starters and save room for the dessert tasting plate if you need a bit of cloud-like soufflé in your life.

    8. Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co

    At the lower end of the budget, is Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co. Betty’s is a bit of an institution in Noosa. It may look like a super-hip city import, but it actually began life as a tiny stall on the beach many years ago. The burgers are still cheap at $10 for a classic and the ‘concrete’, ice-cream studded with anything from Krispy Kreme doughnut to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, is irresistible.


    Australian Traveller magazine 66

    Enjoy this article?

    You can find it in Issue 66 along with
    loads of other great stories and tips.


    — Noosa —

    Not just a pretty beach – Noosa’s other side


    ***Created in partnership with our sponsor Visit Noosa***

    Noosa isn’t all just good looks, this stunning seaside region has an incredible cultural and shopping scene to boot.

    A classic seaside sojourn Sun-drenched beaches, national parks and lush countryside, a cosmopolitan lifestyle and climate that invites year-round swimming – what more do you want from a beautiful seaside break?

    From the idyllic beaches of Peregian, Sunshine and Noosa Heads to the Noosa River that winds through Noosaville and Tewantin, to nearby towns of Cooroy, Kin Kin and Pomona, there’s an array of stunning locations for holidaymakers.

    The region offers endless outdoor adventure, a delicious food and dining scene, a creative community, fabulous shopping, and a lively calendar of events, which all add up to an unforgettable holiday escape.

    More than window shopping

    Noosa is a haven for those who enjoy a little retail therapy along with their pina coladas.

    Behind the beachfront is Noosa’s fashion strip, Hastings Street, specialising in high-end designs and local labels. Be sure to check out Bow & Arrow, Local Labels, and eclectic vintage and gift store, Lamington.

    Further afield, relaxed Noosaville has a host of boutiques including stunning florist Evie Blue Flowers, The River Read Bookstore and Cafe, and luxe homewares stores Pandanus Culture and Coco & Bliss.

    At the southern end of the region, Peregian Beach bustles with interior designers, clothing and book stores – be sure to stop in at Annie’s Books, Evolve and General Officer, where you can get a hair cut along with a coffee and some threads.

    Gourmet wonders

    All that shopping has no doubt worked up an appetite, so lucky there’s a banquet of dining options to choose from.

    Stay right in town for a meal with a sea view, with a number of beachfront restaurants such as Sails Noosa, Season and Bistro C serving delicious cuisine featuring local produce.

    Head to Betty’s Burgers, a classic burger shack, then to Village Bicycle Noosa, a local bar with a relaxed, cool vibe and just-as-cool beer.

    Noosaville has some lovely options with river views, including Thomas Corner Eatery, Noosa Boathouse and Jimmy Fox for tacos, burgers and salads.

    On a health-kick? GoVegan Deli and Belmondos Organic Market are your pick. For award-winning Japanese, Wasabi is a must, with stunning views over the Noosa River.

    Or if you are looking for fresh, local produce, try Noosa’s Farmers’ Market on Sundays and the famous, diverse offerings of the Eumundi Markets, held Wednesdays and Sundays.

    Events for your diary

    From sport to music to food, glorious food, Noosa has a calendar full of exciting events. Here are our top five picks.

    1. Noosa Festival of Surfing, March
    The world’s biggest longboard surfing event is held at First Point, Noosa Heads.

    2. Noosa Food & Wine 2016, May
    Food and wine lovers will descend on Noosa from May 20 to 22 for Noosa Food & Wine 2016 to discover new flavours, great Australian wines, artisan foods and the finest Queensland produce with 50 of Australia’s leading chefs and producers. Events will take place on Noosa main beach, along the beautiful Noosa River and hinterland, and at celebrity chef lunches and dinners at local restaurants.

    3. Noosa Ultimate Sports Festival, May
    Swim Noosa, Cycle Noosa or Run Noosa in this two-day, multi-sport festival with an event and distance for the whole family – and it’s fun to just watch!

    4. Noosa Long Weekend Festival, July
    Warm up with 10 days and nights of music, dance, theatre, literature, forums, food, supper clubs, workshops and visual arts. Queensland Ballet will return for this year’s festival.

    5. Noosa International Rugby 7s, October
    If you love your rugby union, the Noosa International Rugby 7s Festival is an action-packed, two-day event with teams from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and more playing in over 100 short, sharp matches.

    6. Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival, October
    Celebrate healthy lifestyles and fitness in Noosa’s beautiful surrounds over five days with running, swimming and cycling events, culminating in the Noosa Tri, one of the largest triathalon events in the world.

    How to get there

    Sunshine Coast Airport is 30 minutes’ drive from Noosa and has direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne with most major airlines, along with seasonal flights to and from New Zealand. Contact via 1 3000 NOOSA (66672) or see

    Australian Traveller issue 67

    Enjoy this article?

    You can find it in Issue 67 along with
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    — Noosa —

    Jessica Rowe’s 5 Noosa essentials


    When our cover girl Jessica Rowe’s in Noosa, she simply has to do these…

    1. Brekkie at child-friendly Aromas Noosa for the best coffee and smiliest service.

    2. A window shop along Hastings Street, where I always do more than just window shop! I love quirky, colourful curios and always find something at Uncle George. Plus I somehow manage to find a great cossie at Waterlily.

    3. Fabulous food at Thomas Corner Eatery Noosaville, Noosaville. The service is sensational and it’s ideal for a long, lazy lunch. And if you’ve got room, Amo Gelato next door is sooooo good.

    4. A magical place to watch the sunset is Rickys River Bar + Restaurant at Noosa Heads. There’s also a park next to the outdoor tables, so the kids can run around while you grab some peace!

    5. Kabanas – Beach Burgers & Fish n Chips on Hastings Street, Noosa Heads is great for some takeaway fish and chips. Bring a picnic rug and sit on the grass near the boardwalk on the beach for an early dinner.


    MORE… Jessica Rowe – Candid confessions of and ‘over-sharer’

    Australian Traveller magazine 66

    Enjoy this article?

    You can find it in Issue 66 along with
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    — Noosa —

    Ultimate Family Escapes: Noosa


    ***Created in partnership with our sponsor Visit Noosa***

    You can’t help but fall in love with Noosa – relaxing at beautiful beaches, boating on the river or jumping head-first into a new adventure.

    Noosa is one of Australia’s favourite beach holiday destinations with accommodation for all budgets, from riverfront camping to five-star beachfront, family-friendly apartments, hinterland B&Bs – even houseboats!

    The whole family can learn to stand-up paddle along Noosa’s river, try surfing at calm Noosa Main Beach or learn to sail.

    Explore bays and rock pools along Noosa National Park’s coastal tracks – you might even spot a dolphin, turtles or wallabies.

    Australia Zoo, Aussie World, Underwater World SeaLife Aquarium and Big Kart Track are within easy reach, or discover the beautiful Noosa Everglades and World Heritage-listed Fraser Island.

    A Noosa holiday will leave memories the whole family will treasure.


    Phone: 1 3000 NOOSA

    Australian Traveller Issue 65

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    — Noosa —

    100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #52 enjoy a Noosa beach holiday, Qld


    Score: 8.18

    Noosa has a “hard-to-beat combo of subtropical beach perfection and foodie heaven in a natural paradise”, according to Kerry Heaney, who wonders if life gets any better than watching the sun set on one of Noosa’s many beaches, cocktail in hand, the promise of dinner ahead. “Not on my watch,” she concludes. More info: Visit Noosa

    One more reason to go: A spot of Noosa news: yet another brilliant Hastings Street renovation has seen a tired old stay transformed into a modern, bright, beachfront item on our to-stay list. From $175 a night, Seahaven is not crazy expensive, either.

    Plan your Great Australian Holiday with our sponsors Discovery Holiday Parks

    Discovery Holiday Parks


    Back to the 100
    AT issue 56

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    — Noosa —

    Hanging where the Noosa locals hang out


    Australian Traveller readers rated Noosa as the Best Summer Holiday experience this year in our Readers’ Choice Awards. Here are a handful of ideas that will help you ease into the distinctive Noosa vibe.

    Recline, re-wine on the river

    Laid-back venues for grown-up drinks with water views – now that is Noosa chic. Rickys offers great seasonal food, and is a superb place for a sunset glass of vino. The Boathouse  also has a grand aspect over the Noosa River while in the evenings Wasabi is a stylish place to watch the fishies swim.

    Noosaville revival

    While Hastings Streetis the slick heart of Noosa, there is plenty happening elsewhere. Head to Noosaville for must-stop shops such as Coco & BlissThe White HousePandanus Culture; and even browse books while you sip on an espresso at The River Read, one of Australia’s top 10 bookstore cafes.

    Beach House & day spa

    Sheraton Noosa received a $10-million makeover during the year (no longer the ‘coral pink palace’); the highlight of which is the Noosa Beach House, by chef Peter Kuruvita. It’s got a chilled atmosphere and fresh fare on the all-day lunch menu, as well as bar snacks and cocktails as the sun goes down. While you’re at the Sheraton, you can mull over the 60 treatments available at the Aqua Day Spa too.

    Stand up & paddle

    There’s only one way to get around Noosa’s waterways or ocean breaks (well, if you are feeling energetic) – the paddle board. A gaggle of companies offer hire/class packages including Noosa Stand Up Paddle, Kayak Noosa and Stand Up Paddle and Surf

    Food trail: From farm to graze

    Noosa is about the holistic food experience, a snapshot of which can be glimpsed on Noosa’s gourmet food trail.  Visit a producer, such as Noosa Reds or Maleny Dairies, have the producer come to you at the weekend farmers’ market, or be spoiled for choice at top restaurants such as Berardos in Noosa itself or award-winning Asian cuisine at Embassy XO at Sunshine Beach.


    For more information, see Visit Noosa.

    See other summer holiday destinations: Same old Christmas beach holiday? Not any more…


    — Noosa —

    92: Canoe through the Noosa Everglades (Qld)


    Florida’s not the only place with everglades. The Cooloola Recreation Area of the Great Sandy National Park in Queensland is home to its own version of these vast waterways and wetlands, which are perfect for kayaking and canoeing, either at your own pace or on a guided tour.

    Part of the 150,000-hectare Noosa Biosphere Reserve, the everglades are heaving with interesting ecosystems to explore as you paddle your way along the waters. They provide safe haven for many species, from inland dolphins to dugongs and sea turtles, mangrove-dwelling butterflies and migratory shorebirds.

    Try these

    Noosa Everglades Discovery 07 5449 0393;

    Kanu Kapers 07 5485 3328;

    Lake Escapades 07 5641 4473;


    91<< Under-the-sea aquariums          Aboriginal art in Esperance (WA)>> 93

    Back to 101 Unforgettable Coastal Experiences

    Australian Traveller issue 54

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    — Noosa —

    2013 Readers’ Choice Awards: Best Summer Holiday – Noosa


    The title may have remained on Queensland’s coastline, but it has travelled 220 kilometres north of 2012 winner, the Gold Coast.

    Situated at the northern reaches of the Sunshine Coast, surrounded by azure waters and sub-tropical hinterland, Noosa delivers the best of summer in one.

    Many of you gushed about its “pristine beaches” and “beautiful national park with great walking tracks”, as well as its “first-class dining” and “sophisticated vibe”. Of course, Noosa’s appeal doesn’t end at Hastings Street –there’s also a smattering of charming enclaves nearby such as Sunshine Beach, which according to one reader, “reminds me of those classic beach holidays I grew up with”.

    From snorkelling and paddle boarding, to spas, shopping and award-winning degustations, there’s not much Noosa doesn’t master. It is, as yet another reader wrote, “the perfect mix of beach and lifestyle”. See


    Despite being bumped out of first place this year, the buzzing Gold Coast is still a favourite, as is repeat-finalist Byron Bay, for its “beautiful beaches, excellent food and great nightlife”. In fourth was Sydney with its “countless beaches and NYE fireworks”, followed by Hobart, loved for the “electric Taste Festival” and “ideal weather”.

    See the full Readers’ Choice Awards winners’ list.

    Haven’t booked your summer holiday yet? You’re not alone; bookings increase by a whopping 43% the week post-Christmas Day, compared to the week prior.

    Australian Traveller issue 54

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    — Noosa —

    5 must-stops on Noosa’s gourmet food trail


    The population of Noosa are discerning about their food, demanding only the best, according to chef Peter Kuruvita, who runs the Beach House Restaurant in the Sunshine Coast hamlet. Within minutes of the town centre, there are some seriously decadent foodie institutions, which embrace the farm-to-fork philosophy. Here are five that are worth dragging your tastebuds away from the beach for.

    1. See where it all begins, visit a grower: Tony Meijer, grower at Noosa Reds, proudly shows you around his macadamia-nut powered greenhouses. All the tomatoes are ripened on the vine and then supplied to many restaurants around the Sunshine Coast. Tony is a purist, never picking the tomatoes green – don’t even joke about putting his produce in the fridge either. Contact: Tony (07) 5449 1668 or

    2. The gourmet’s warehouse: If for nothing else, if you are in need of a quality coffee, head to Belmondos Whole Foods. The roasters use fine Arabica grounds and specialise in cold drip coffee. And the milk for your latte is sourced locally from the nearby Maleny Dairies. Oh, and it’s not just about the coffee, Belmondos is a virtual gourmet food warehouse with shelves and shelves of oils, cured meats, olives et al.

    3. River-front dining: There are several quality restaurants on Noosa’s main strip, Hastings Street, but food in Noosa is certainly not all just about the beachfront. A short ferry ride up the river drops you off at Rickys, an elegant river-bank restaurant and bar with a view good enough to eat. Executive chef Glenn Bowman specialises in fresh; his delicate tuna sashimi just one example of his care and attention.

    4. Buy your own from those who grow their own: If you are in Noosa on a Sunday, drag yourself out of bed for the best produce in the region at the Noosa Farmers’ Market. Obviously it’s not supermarket prices here, but it’s worth paying a little more for the wide range of produce (and gourmet fare), much of which ends up in Noosa’s eateries. They are held at The Noosa Australian Rules Football Club between 7am and 12pm.

    5. Spoiled for choice on Hastings Street: There is a fine selection of restaurants on the main strip, but one of the best has to be Berardo’s. The Uber-white interior signals fine dining, giving it a ‘somewhere-else-besides-Noosa’ ambiance, but the atmosphere is as casual and no need for black tie here. French chef Geoffroy Marcq, who has cooked in two-Michelin-star kitchens, utterly embraces the fresh Noosa produce as well.

    — Noosa —

    Sheraton Noosa refurb more than all-white


    Well, Noosa never left, but her most iconic hotel, Sheraton Noosa, had begun to look like she needed a holiday.

    Now, after a year-long $10 million renovation, the peach-coloured walls that earned the ‘Pink Palace’ moniker have been replaced with white… and wait, there’s more.

    New-look, ‘Noosa inspired’ interiors now come with bright airy spaces, light wooden furnishings and a cream and grey décor punctuated by splashes of orange.

    And of course, the pièce de résistance required of every luxury hotel – a celebrity-chef-led restaurant – marks the centrepiece of the whole operation. Noosa Beach House is a seafood-centric restaurant by chef Peter Kuruvita.

    The conference facilities receive digital refreshment and the lobby entrance and poolside fittings have been altered to suit the new look.

    For more information see

    — Noosa —

    Kuruvita’s new Beach House adds to Noosa’s sea of choice


    Adding to the bevy of restaurants on Noosa’s iconic Hastings Street is the Noosa Beach House – the latest venture by eminent chef-restaurateur-TV presenter-and-author, Peter Kuruvita.

    Designed as a seaside haven, the restaurant promises a chilled atmosphere and fresh fare on the all-day lunch menu, as well as bar snacks and cocktails as the sun goes down.

    The menu focuses on fresh seafood, served up by a team lead by head chef Katie McKay.

    Issue 51

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    — Noosa —

    Noosa. What To Expect.


    n. A stylish pocket of sunshine, pandanus palms and sophisticated boutiques.
    adj. Defined by a unique mixture of sand, big-city service and small-town ease.
    v. To escape to coastal bliss…


    when to go

    Noosa is an all-star performer. Summer wins gold for sunshine and heat, but any time of year is worthy of podium position for warm days, balmy breezes and a calendar full of local festivities.

    who you’ll find here

    Melbourne’s elite have long escaped here, but you can expect a modern pick-and-mix these days: wealthy retirees, cashed-up surfers, cocooning couples and chic young families.

    …and who you won’t

    Party animals. Noosa is all about relaxing, unwinding, small bars and beautiful bites.

    the dress code

    Byron Bay for grown-ups: relaxed but sophisticated, coastal but urbane. Pack a silk maxi dress, day-to-night sandals and plenty of white.

    local eats

    Restaurants are big on local produce, especially seafood (and seaviews). For both, head to Rickys River Bar + Restaurant overlooking Noosa River, or Season on Main Beach. Embassy XO in Sunshine Beach serves
    award-winning Asian cuisine.

    whet your appetite

    Few things in life are better than a shoreside sunset with a beverage, and Sunset Bar (atop The Boathouse in Noosaville) offers just that. Head to Marble Bar at Sunshine Beach for delicious cocktails with tapas to match; while Bistro C on Hastings Street makes a mean espresso martini.

    shop ‘til you stop

    The best boutiques are hidden from popular Hastings Street. Head to Gympie Terrace in Noosaville to fill your bag with stylish homewares, handmade cards, scented candles, soft furnishings, modern artwork, giftware and all things beautiful (and expensive).


    The best picks here are light, bright and modern: upper-mid-range options like the newly-refurbished RACV Resort, Fairshore Apartments and Outrigger on Little Hastings are well appointed and well located. As always, anything with the word ‘luxury’ in its name probably isn’t.

    don’t forget to pack

    Sneakers – the area is just as stunning on land as it is on water. Many walking tracks (for various ages and fitness levels) thread through Noosa National Park – most with ocean views too. Of course.

    Enjoy this article?

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    — Noosa —

    Noosa Home Swap

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • JUNE 23, 2011

    Home swaps sound great in theory, but unless you’re good friends with the family you’re swapping with you’d be forgiven for feeling a little uncomfortable about how it would work in reality – you’ve got to trust someone with your possessions, after all.
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    — Noosa —

    Affordable Summer Holidays: Maleny


    AT’s guide to the best cheap accommodation for summer and Christmas holidays
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    — Noosa —

    Gourmet Experience #098 Graze your way through Eumundi Markets


    With around 500 stalls, huge swathes of which are devoted to feeding hungry browsers, one of the more delightful aspects of the Eumundi Markets is its emphasis on “try before you buy” . . . so, really, you can be chock full of freshly roasted chestnuts, Japanese pancakes, peanut brittle and delicious homemade lemonade before you’ve even decided what’s for lunch.

    Each year around June the entire town goes bananas for the Eumundi Food Fest, an absolute must-do for lovers of farmers’ markets, cook-offs, tastings and more.

    The culinary selection is vast: Spanish tapas; French soups; homemade ginger beer; organic breads and conserves; Tibetan momos; Dutch poffertjes (right next to the delicious homemade lemonade); Bavarian bratwurst (right opposite the delicious Dutch poffertjes); award-winning Noosa Chilli (more free tastings, if you dare); organic samosas; mango licks; weird curly fries on sticks; stinky cheeses; cold meats – in fact, one of Eumundi’s most celebrated culinary sons would have to be Russian sausage genius David Kasmaroski, whose now-famous Eumundi Smokehouse meats had their humble beginnings here just over a decade ago.

    Bush foods master Peter Wolfe runs free cooking classes each Wednesday in the produce precinct, drawing upon both his vast knowledge and the superb selection of fresh materials available right there on the day. Having celebrated its 30th birthday in 2009, like a fine wine these markets appear to be getting better with age.

    Where: 76 Memorial Drive, Eumundi, Qld. Open Wed and Sat year round, Thurs evenings Dec-Jan.

    Did you know: Each year around June the entire town goes bananas for the Eumundi Food Fest, an absolute must-do for lovers of farmers’ markets, cook-offs, tastings and more.


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    — Noosa —

    Queensland Villa 519


    Australian Traveller Magazine’s 100 Great Australian Holiday Homes Continue reading


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    — Noosa —



    Australian Traveller Magazine’s 100 Great Australian Holiday Homes Continue reading


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    — Noosa —

    The Angkasa Holiday House


    Australian Traveller Magazine’s 100 Great Australian Holiday Homes Continue reading


    Enjoy this article?

    You can find it in Issue 29 along with
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