When planning our first trip to Queensland we were missing the Brazilian warm waters so much that all we wanted was to go to a place where we could swim with freedom. To avoid the stinger season in the northern beaches, we looked south and found what would become our special place in Australia. Noosa is part of the beautiful Sunshine Coast, with a stunning National Park just beside its gracious and warm main beach. We were expecting that it was all that the place had to offer. We gladly discovered, then, that there are much more to explore. It is a pleasure to share this experience with you, so we have made a list of nine things to do in Noosa to enrich your stay and make you feel that you have to be back more and more. Certainly, it is not all, but a good beginning at least:
1. Sunset at Mount Tinbeerwah Lookout
If there is something that made we fell in love with Noosa, it is the amount of native vegetation surrounding everything. To see what we are talking about, you should go for a 360 degrees view at the Mount Tinbeerwah.
Getting there is easy by car through Cooroy-Noosa Rd, followed by a short walk in Tewantin National Park. Just be aware that there is not a big sign on the road, only a simple one indicating “Tinbeerwah Lookout”. You will then get the Mount Tinbeerwah Road until you reach the walking track. The Sunshine Coast locality map or the Tewantin National Park map are available on the Queensland’s Department of National Parks.
The walk is easy and short. 130 metres of open footpath and the first stop will give you a sample of what is coming up. The first lookout offers a lovely coast view, and you can get there even with a pram or wheelchair. For the 360 degrees view, though, you need to walk a bit further, around 300 metres, and then you will get to the highest point of the lookout.
We stopped by for the last sunset of 2015. The sky was clear and we could spot the coast, surrounded by the green hinterland and a nice view of Noosa River coming through and meeting the sea.
That is definitely a nice spot to bring your mat & Eski and just have a good time connected with nature and the magnificent views over Noosa and the Pacific Ocean.
We had fun with our cameras and took heaps of photos of the sun setting between the mountains. If you have time, get to the reserve a bit earlier to have time for a walk in the National Park. We didn’t have the time to explore the park, but it is known that there are bbq and picnic facilities, children playground, toilets, etc. Check the National Park website to plan your day and enjoy it to its fullest.
2. Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden
We found out about this park by checking hashtags on Instagram. It is incredible how we can discover good stuff by following recent posts around you! By the way, we also have an Instagram profile with good tips for you
Most of the land is a eucalyptus forest, and the area that was cleared for farming is now the home of native plants in a well-maintained garden. The place is also a delight for bird watching. There are eight walking tracks to explore the bushland; you can choose from a little 10-minute stroll to a 1-hour walk for a more immersive bushwalking experience.
We were surprised as the place had a very little amount of visitors. We wonder if people already know about this peaceful location. There is a visitor centre just beside the carpark, where we got our walk guide. They also offer guided walks, but since the map was quite clear and we enjoy discovering things by ourselves, we chose a couple of walk tracks to explore: we did the Sculpture Garden Walk (900m) and the Lagoon Walk (900m). At the end we had a little rest in the Rain Garden, having the pleasure to share the place with beautiful Kookaburras.
Do you want to discover more about Maroochy Bushland Botanic Garden? The Sunshine Coast Council website has useful information for visitors and you can download the self-guided walk map in pdf format.
3. Point Cartwright
Another point for a beautiful sunset, and another hotspot found on Instagram. I just love these kinds of profiles that look like “real people profiles”. Filled with pure experiences, these people love sharing their travel tips with other travellers just by the pleasure of doing it. When looking for things to do in Noosa, try to search key hashtags on Instagram as well. Don’t forget to include our profile in your favourites
We fitted this activity after our day trip to Brisbane. It was easy to find a parking spot close to the banks of Mooloolah River. The sun was already going down, and the place was filled with a peaceful atmosphere. We then walked to the Beacon Lighthouse Reserve towards the lighthouse. What a view from up there! Looking to the south we had the wild Kawana Beach, and further west we could admire the long and gorgeous Mooloolaba Beach. The grass area is perfect to lay down and relax.
It looks like if you are in the right season, you can spot migratory whales and turtles
4. Noosa Spit
Here is another special place in Noosa. Just a few minutes driving from Noosa heads towards the end of Hastings Street, and you will get to the Noosa Spit Recreation Reserve. There are plenty of parking space, but it is challenging to find a free spot. After a couple of frustrating attempts of spending the day there, we decided to follow the other visitors’ strategy – we just stopped in a place and patiently waited for a parking space become vacant. As we were in the high season, it took us nearly 1 hour to park.
It was worth at the end. We had a nice morning picnic in front of Noosa River, a refreshing dip and, as we fought bravely for our parking spot, we decided to leave the car there and went for a walk in Hastings St for lunch.
If you like fishing or kitesurfing, this is also a good place to spend the day.
The Everglades is a geological formation that happens only in 2 places in the world: Florida and Noosa. I don’t want to sound repetitive, but this kind of thing fills my soul in a way that I feel the need to express my love for Australia. There is so much beyond Bondi Beach and the Opera House! It is so exciting to think how our discovery is just beginning! In my opinion, the Everglades should be featured on any list of things to do in Noosa.
Kayaking is definitely the best way to experience the Everglades. Mirrored waters, native vegetation, lilies everywhere… We had a great time with Kanu Kapers Australia. Kym and Vivienne are great and they will do their best to make your experience memorable. We highly recommend them whether you want a guided or self-guided kayak tour.
6. Day trip to Fraser Island
If you just need a glance of this Word Heritage Site, a day trip to Fraser Island will do the job. It is a good option if you have no time or are on a budget. The agencies that organise day trips cover all the costs that you would have if travelling by yourself: barge transfer, 4wd car/van, lunch and snacks. At the end, it is a worthwhile choice.
The downside is the same as any other guided tour: you have no autonomy to manage your time and the itinerary, but, once again, it is a good deal if you have only one day available.
There are a few options of agencies departing from Noosa and it is easy to find them online. We chose the Fraser Island Adventure Tours for our day trip. They have three different itineraries (one of them is an overnight tour) and you can choose what suits you best.
Our advice is to choose an itinerary that includes Lake Mackenzie. It was our favourite place on the island and you shouldn’t miss it.
7. Noosa National Park
Noosa National Park is the heart of Noosa and it is a mandatory item in your list of things to do in Noosa. It features breathtaking views of the coast and gives refuge to wildlife species such as cockatoos and koalas. The walk track along the coast gives access to the beaches, while the other options offer a more immersive experience inside the bush.We are working on an article about Noosa National Park as there is a lot to do and you can spend a few days exploring the park. Keep an eye on our Facebook page or subscribe to get our most recent updates.
8. Chilling out in Noosaville
Noosaville is a gem in our list of things to do in Noosa. It is a different atmosphere than Noosa Heads. More relaxing, more family friendly, you can choose one of the many options to eat and go for a walk along the banks of Noosa River. You can rent a kayak, do paddle boarding or go for a cruise on the river.
For us, animal lovers, the magical moment is the late afternoon, just before the dusk. It is the time when hundreds of rainbow lorikeets are getting together to go to bed. The noise is quite loud, but we enjoy it anyway. The moment that all of them fly at the same time is worth the wait:
9. Eumundi Markets
This is another place that deserves an article just for itself. Eumundi Markets will give you a whole morning of fun and discovery. This is by far the best markets we have visited in Australia.
The artisanal product range is huge: sculptures, toys, skincare, homewares, artworks, clothing, etc. On top of that, you’ll find an area dedicated to well-being with massage, reiki and mystical stalls. There’s always live music with talented performers.
There is so much to see (and buy) at Eumundi Markets that you should reserve a whole morning to spend over there. Stop by for breakfast, go fo a walk and in the end, you will realise it is already lunch time. The excellent food court will give you plenty of options.
Eumundi Markets is open every Wednesdays and Saturdays. They also have special events during the holiday season. Check their website for more information and our article dedicated to this amazing markets.
Amongst all places that we visited in Sunshine Coast so far, this is our list of our favourite things to do in Noosa. We hope this post will help you planning your trip. Do you have your own special place in Noosa? Please share with us =)