Noosa is easily one of Australia’s favourite holiday destinations. With its pristine beaches, iconic surf culture and subtropical climate, there is plenty to keep you busy in the summer sun.
On the water
If you’re looking to spend the summer sundrenched and submerged in emerald waters, then Noosa’s selection of spectacular beaches and waterways offer myriad ways for you to do both. Arrive early at Noosa Main Beach to watch the surfers dance across the break at First Point, or hire a board at Noosa Beach Surf Hire and get out there yourself. For beginners, Merrick’s Learn to Surf offers private classes with elite-level surfers or group classes twice daily.
For a smoother sail, glide across the Noosa River on a stand-up paddleboard or kayak, or book a private gondola to explore the channels of the river and Noosa Sound. Set aside a day to travel north of the river to the serene Noosa Everglades – one of just two everglade systems in the world. Here, you can swim in tea tree-infused waters, canoe upstream through mangroves and lilypads, or board a river cruise with Everglades Eco Safaris, stopping only to perch on the pier at Harry’s Hut for an alfresco snack.
To get acquainted with Noosa’s underwater locals, hop aboard the Noosa Ocean Rider from the marina to chase wild dolphins as they show off in their natural habitat. Alternatively, plunge into the deep azure on a snorkel adventure with Noosa Wave to meet turtles, rays and tropical fish.
For the quintessential Noosa experience, take the one-hour Noosa Ferry sunset cruise with stops in Noosa Sound, Noosaville and Tewantin, or Catalina Noosa’s Friday Night Social offers sunset river views, live music, and international street food and barbecue classics.
For land lovers who prefer to admire the sea from afar, take the 10.8-kilometre return walking track through Noosa National Park, tracing the coast through pockets of rainforest, eucalyptus trees and wildflowers with sea views of Tea Tree Bay, Granite Bay and Alexandra Bay. Stop at Boiling Pot on the way, keeping an eye out for snoozing koalas, or search for frolicking dolphins in the distance at Dolphin Point Lookout.
Discover Noosa’s enchanting hinterland on the six-hour Noosa Country Drive. This guided experience takes you through quaint Pomona, Cooroy, Kin Kin and a hodgepodge of other historic towns. Boreen Point makes for a scenic lunch break before continuing south to enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific from Mt Tinbeerwah.
For those looking to saddle up, there are two options for guided horseback riding on Noosa’s shoreline. Canter across the sandbank at Noosa North Shore with Equathon or join Noosa Horse Riding for a relaxing ride through the saltwater shallows at Lake Weyba.
Hit the shops
Take a break from the beach and head to Hastings Street for a spot of holiday shopping. You’ll find an assembly of surf style, local labels, international boutiques, designer jewellery and homemade gifts and homewares.
Foodies will love Belmondos Organic Market thanks to its huge selection of organic produce, pastries and deli delights – not to mention delicious coffee – and a little further afield, the strict ‘grow, sew, make or bake’ policy at famous Eumundi Markets (held every Wednesday and Saturday) brings a whole new meaning to ‘one of a kind’.
Sample the brews
The craft-beer scene on the Sunshine Coast is booming – so much so that Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Tours runs five tours in the region, including the Hinterland ExBeerience and Noosa Brewery Trail, which visits three breweries in Noosa and surrounds over the course of five tasty hours.
Closer to the beach, the Boiling Pot Brewing Co., Heads of Noosa Brewing Co. and Land & Sea Brewery have plenty of fresh blends for you to taste, like The Socializer Pale Ale from Land & Sea that’s brewed with all Australian ingredients. If you’re not a beer drinker, Land & Sea’s 90-minute tour includes a gin tasting at the onsite Fortune Distillery, or book in to distill your own gin or vodka at Pomona Distillery Co.
Eat like a local
From beachfront dining to destination restaurants, energetic bars and hidden gems, Noosa’s fast-evolving food scene (with a slow-food focus) has firmly put it on the foodie map. Overlooking Laguna Bay, Bistro C offers a seasonal menu inspired by fresh, local produce; think Coffin Bay oysters to start and fresh-caught seafood spaghetti for main.
For just-opened eats, head to Ze Pickle in Noosa Junction and treat yourself to one of their all-American loaded burgers. Laid-back coastal vibes mingle with international flavours at Xalapa Craft Taqueria Café where you’ll find mouthwatering Mexican-inspired dishes, and Telephone Call From Istanbul is a true Turkish delight.