Sometimes first impressions run skin deep and Noosa passes with flying colours. It’s no wonder the region was named Queensland’s first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, thanks to its unspoiled national parks, spectacular coastline, countless lakes and rivers, and rolling hinterland.
It’s a perfect setting for getting out and about to spot wildlife, tackle hiking trails, and trying out water sports from kayaking to stand-up paddle boarding to surfing.
While the natural landscape satisfies adventurers, Noosa’s buzzing town centre will delight foodies.
Finding a place to indulge in gourmet delights is a cinch with a host of stylish restaurants and bars.
Noosa’s local markets are also a great place to sample the local produce on offer, or head into the Hinterland where producers are touting their goods from cheese to wine to chocolate.
Of course, the shopping in Noosa is renowned for being fabulous, with boutiques in town selling one-of-a-kind fashion, homewares and art.
When you need to retreat (who doesn’t on holidays?) Noosa has many places you can completely switch off.
Unwind with a luxurious treatment at a private day spa, enjoy local musicians who regularly play around town, snuggle by the fire at a lakeside lodge or take in a performance at the theatre.
Indeed, this sophisticated beachside town has the perfect balance of nature and lifestyle, and beautiful looks to match.
6 of the best! Must-do Noosa experiences
1. Noosa’s National Parks
The Noosa National Park offers one of the most beautiful coastal scenic walks, along with a vast network of forest tracks that provide a natural habitat for some of Australia’s most treasured flora and fauna, including koalas, wallabies, echidna and more.
Within walking distance of the renowned Hastings Street, the park is an accessible and distinctive part of Noosa’s rich conservation and surfing heritage.
The famous point breaks in the park are a key reason Noosa was also recently named Australia’s newest National Surfing Reserve.
Also discover Tewantin National Park, which has some of the best mountain bike trails around and its two recreational areas have just recently undergone extensive upgrades, The Great Sandy National Park, part of the UNESCO Great Sandy Biosphere, connects with Noosa creating the only two adjoining biospheres in the world.
2. Noosa Everglades
The ‘River of Mirrors’ is an easily accessible and pristine wilderness where you can discover an ancient system of waterways with clear lakes, dark tannin waters and stunning bird and wildlife.
The Noosa Everglades, one of only two everglades systems in the world, are easily accessible with half- and full-day boat tours, or explore for yourself by kayak.
Paddle, swim, fish, camp or just sit back and relax in this pristine wilderness, home to 44 per cent of Australia’s bird species.
3. Restaurants with a view
There’s never a dull moment when you dine in Noosa.
Many of its restaurants are located beachside to take advantage of the uninterrupted ocean views including Sails, Bistro C, Season and Boardwalk Bistro.
Venture further afield to long-standing favourites Ricky’s River Bar & Restaurant and Wasabi and to Noosaville, home to spectacular river-view restaurants Noosa Boathouse, Thomas Corner Eatery, Gusto and Sirocco.
4. River SUP
Try something completely different such as stand-up paddle yoga with an easy two-hour session in the middle of Noosa River.
Noosa’s calm and safe waters are ideal to learn to stand-up paddle – it’s easy and fun for everyone, from kids to adults, even dogs!
Take a lesson with an expert or hire a board.
The whales are on their way, passing along the Noosa coastline on their annual migration and from now until November there’s plenty of opportunity to spot them on a day tour from Noosa, from beaches including Peregian, Main and Sunshine, and Noosa National Park lookouts.
6. Noosa Country
Hire a car and head for the hills for a true taste of Noosa country, or explore by foot, bike or horse with many trails traversing the hinterland villages.
Visit the Noosa Botanic Gardens on Lake Macdonald with its magnificent amphitheatre and stunning seasonal displays, or join a mountain bike tour through Tewantin National Park.
It’s an easy walk up Mt Tinbeerwah for spectacular coastal and hinterland views, or for more of a challenge, head for Mt Cooroora and Mt Coolum.
Be sure to visit intriguing villages including Eumundi, home to a creative community that hosts colourful art, design and food markets; Pomona whose Majestic Theatre is the world’s longest continuously operating silent movie theatre; and historic Cooroy, a busy creative centre with the monthly outdoor Cooroy Originals music concert.