Things to Do in Noosa, Queensland

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We lived on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland for 18 months back in 2006-07, in Mooloolaba, which is only a 40-minute drive from Noosa.

But we only visited Noosa once or twice and could never quite get why it was one of Australia’s, and the world’s, most sought-after holiday destinations.

Maybe because we only walked up and down Hastings Street, which was always crowded on the weekends and parking a headache, and we never explored the rest of the town and surrounding natural environment.

We could tell Noosa was stylish and Hastings street trendy with its alfresco restaurants and chic cafe scene, and we’d heard about the surrounding beaches and national park. But, you know, we were happy with our lot in Moolooaba.

However, we finally gave Noosa another chance and stayed for three nights on our trip around Australia.

Whilst our stay was brief, we now get it. We now understand why celebrities and others rave about it so much and if you visit you’ll probably be singing its praises too!

Things to do in Noosa, Sunshine Coast

1. Noosa National Park

Noosa National Park, Queensland, Australia

It’s the National Park that elevated Noosa to a place that’s worth visiting for me. Before I discovered that, I thought Noosa was overhyped and overpriced.

We spent a morning walking the coastal track within the National Park from the surf club to Tea Tree Bay where I plonked on the sand and said, “Ah now I get it.”

It’s a really beautiful walk and if you crane your neck on your hike, you might just spot a koala or two – Noosa National Park is a favoured home of theirs.

Noosa National Park, Queensland, Australia

Noosa National Park, Queensland, Australia

Noosa National Park, Queensland, Australia

Noosa National Park, Queensland, Australia

Noosa National Park, Queensland, Australia

Noosa National Park, Queensland, Australia

Noosa National Park, Queensland, Australia

On another day, we walked into Noosa National Park from the opposite entrance at Sunshine Beach, a short dfrom form Noosa, with sweeping views down the coast. And we saw our first whale for the season breaching just off shore.

Noosa National Park, Queensland, Australia

Noosa National Park, Queensland, Australia

Noosa National Park, Queensland, Australia

Noosa National Park, Queensland, Australia

2. Noosa Main Beach

Noos Beach, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Noosa is a world famous surfing destination, and Main Beach right in town is a favourite spot for locals to surf the clean waves, and for beginners to get a surfing lesson. Or, take out a paddle-board or boogie board.

Noosa Main Beach is one of the only north-facing beaches on the east coast of Australia, and becasue it’s sheltered with gentle waves it makes for a family friendly beach. The water is clear at a nice temperature, and the sand clean and soft.

The boardwalk running along the beach is swept clean everyday and as far as town beaches go, this is up there with the best – the type of beach Australia is famous for!

Noos Beach, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Noos Beach, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

3. Sunset in Noosa

Noosa Beach, Queensland, Australia

We didn’t get a brilliant sunset whilst there, too clouded over, much but we walked up the beach a little away from the surf club end and out on the rock wall and watched the surfers catch their final wave of the day.

There are much less people up this end and a quiet spot for the kids to play in the sand.

Noosa Beach, Queensland, Australia

4. Sunday Noosa Farmers Markets

The absolute best smoothie, we’ve ever had was at the Sunday Farmer’s Market in Noosa from the store The Sunflower Hotel.

I can still taste it and Caz yearns to have just one more sip of her heavenly Mother Nature – mint, cacao, banana, maca, medjool dates topped with cacao nibs. It’s a meal in itself.

Noosa Farmers Market, Queensland, Australia

And when I say smoothies, I’m talking bursting with colour, trumped up with vibrant energy and full of nourishing superfoods. The Sunflower Hotel is THE destination. I’ve been disappointed with every smoothie I’ve had since this one.

Noosa Farmers Market, Queensland, Australia

The markets are a great place to get your fresh fruit and veg, just bear in mind you are in Noosa so prices might not be your typical farmer’s market prices.

5. Where to eat & drink in Noosa

There is a huge variety of cafes and restaurants to eat at in Noosa. It is a tad on the expensive side so beware.

We only tried a couple, but you can check out our Facebook fan suggestions at the bottom of this post for more eating suggestions.

6. Cafe Le Monde

Stylish, yet casual, Cafe Le Monde is a local favourite and came highly recommended. Caz enjoyed a nice quinoa salad although would have loved more quinoa. Big tick for the coffee too!

Cafe Le Mond, Noosa, Queensland, Australia

7. 10 Hastings Street Cafe

Recommended by our followers on Facebook, 10 Hastings Street Cafe is a casual, funky cafe at the quieter end of Hastings Street good for breakfast or lunch with a friendly vibe and well priced meals for Noosa.

Give the smoothies a try, and the soy latte was memorable too!

Noosa Cafe, Queensland

8. Noosa Surf club

Hard to beat the views over Main Beach, Noosa Surf Club is like most surf clubs relaxed and family friendly, and good for lunch and dinner, or breakfast on the weekends!

Not fine dining but possibly the cheapest water view place you’ll eat at in Noosa, it has your typical surf club decor and our kids always love getting the kiddies activity bags with their meals.

9. Wonderland Espresso Bar

For great coffee, go and see Henry from Wonderland Espresso Bar, the mobile coffee entrepreneur positioned on the street at the driveway entrance to the Mantra French Quarter Hotel (15 Noosa Drive).

He’s a young guy with a passion for making coffee. Grab one to go or pull up a milk crate.

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If you plan your Noosa visit for May, you could even take in the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival which is now in its twelfth year, and one of Australia’s premier food, wine and lifestyle event.

Whilst in Noosa, we took a quick drive around to Noosaville which was bigger than I expected, and other nearby towns at this end of the sunny coast worth a drive are Coolum and Peregian Beach.

Tips from our Facebook community

We love to ask our Facebook followers for suggestions on things to do when we visit a town. This is what they said about Noosa:

  • Marlies Hartingferry at sunset, Eumundi Markets on Wednesday and Saturday, kayaking, Noosa Everglades, rent a bike or scooter. Oh and eat at the Noosa Beach Hous!
  • Sally Wilson – my fave holiday place! For a nice meal out with kids, I love Rickys or Wood Fire Grill on Noosa Sound. They’re right on the river and next to a little playground so the kids can play while you wait for your meal. On Hastings St, Bistro C for amazing breakfasts, Miss Moneypenny’s for a cocktail, and Cafe La Monde is always a family fave. The surf club is great for casual family meals and it’s right on the beach. At Noosaville I love Thomas Corner Eatery. If you want a fancy adult’s only dinner I’d recommend Berardo’s or Sails (both on Hastings St) or Wasabi at Noosa Sound. And my kids love to catch the ferry on the Noosa River!
  • Dionne TannerIf you’re walking around Noosa definitely hit up Massimo’s Gelateria in Noosa Heads, love the rocher flavour! Also, if you want to drive for food, check out a cooking class or just go eat at Spirit House in Yandina.
  • Erica WildeyWalk along the wooden path that runs on the beach. They also have lots of amazing sand castle makers that put tea lights in these sandcastles. And they really look like ‘castles’
  • Shandelle Kenane – Head to nitro genie in Hastings street, go on a sunset river cruise, dinner at Bombay Bliss in Tewantin or if you have a 4wd spend a day on Noosa north shore.
  • Budget Travel TalkPeregian Beach is our fave. Has a Sunday Market on the Beach front near the Surf Club too. Yandina has a nice local market and good healthy cafes.
  • Celeste MitchellGo to burger bar in Noosaville. Order the Dutch Oven!

Where to Stay in Noosa

Thanks to our partnership with Mantra Hotels, we stayed at the Mantra French Quarter which has prime positioning on Hastings Street with easy access to the cafe scene, the National Park and a stumble across the road from the beach.

We especially loved the tropical pool area and when we weren’t playing at the beach the girls loved this pool and the heated kid-friendly wading area.

Mantra Hotel Noosa, Queensland, Australia

Mantra Hotel Noosa, Queensland, Australia

It was more than comfortable, we weren’t huge on the green decor but very chic none the less. Rooms come in 1 and 2 bedroom apartments, there’s 24 hour reception, complimentary in-house movies, and under-cover parking (a godsend in Noosa).

Mantra Noosa,

Mantra Noosa

Mantra Hotel Noosa, Queensland, Australia

Plan Your Trip in Noosa

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Have you visited Noosa? Share any of your tips for things to do in Noosa in the comments below!

24 thoughts on “Things to Do in Noosa, Queensland”

  1. I feel exactly the same as you! I don’t understand how Hastings Street is supposedly one of the main drawcards when the National Park easily outdoes it!

    I enjoy Noosa from a natural / wildlife perspective and so do the guests I take there. The Pandanus / Paperbark forests are beautiful and unusual, the Koalas are easy to spot and the Bottlenose Dolphins are always fun to watch as they frolic off the headlands. My favourite find though was a Hebrew Cone shell at Teatree Bay while snorkeling. This beautifully-patterned shell was used as jewellery thousands of years ago in the middle east – and there it is in the crystal clear waters off Noosa!

  2. Hey, so glad you enjoyed Noosa second time around. We’re currently stationed in Sunshine Beach, Noosa while we save for our next trip and love the start of the National Park being only a few minutes from our door. So glad you got to the Farmers Market too – those smoothies are INCREDIBLE and the best I’ve ever had. We’re currently making our way through the whole list!

  3. Great round-up of Noosa. I have spent many weekends staying in Noosaville on the river attending Surf Carnival on Noosa’s main beach. I love the place. Like you say, there is more to it than just Hastings Street. 🙂

  4. I have to agree, 10 Hastings Street Cafe was such a favourite of mine in Noosa! It was recommended by my friend who lives in Noosa and I’m so glad I tried it out. I might have become a little bit obsessed with their banana bread and the smoothies there were delicious!

  5. Hi Caz and Craig,
    Shaun and I from http://www.norrisaroundaustralia.com are heading to Noosa for a trip in coming months so thank you for the tips. We have avoided Noosa for similar reasons; over-crowding and trendy scene. If you’ve checked out our adventures on our website you’d see it’s clearly not our scene. However, recently people have been commenting and writing about the natural beauty of the Noosa region so we are really looking forward to the natural aspects and a good coffee. 😉
    Thanks again. We love following your blog!

  6. Carolyn Whitehouse

    Thanks for this information about Noosa. We are a US family (2 adults and 2 boys ages 10 and 13) planning a trip to the East Coast of Australia for March/April. Finding all your posts very helpful for figuring out some great places to visit!

  7. Hi Caz & Craig, great post… we have just booked our holiday for 2017… heading to Sunshine Beach and sharing a gorgeous house right on the beach with our friends… can’t wait. We are even more excited after reading this post… I can’t wait to go for walks in the Noosa National Park. We are staying right near the Sunshine Beach Surf Club too so I reckon we will be set. 🙂

    1. Hey Miss Chardy!! You’ll have such a great time. Sunshine Beach is lovely and the park is just divine. We’ll be posting another couple of posts on the Sunshine Coast in the next month. If you have a car and you get the chance head up to the hinterland – you’ll love it! There’s a winery Flame Hill and I think you’ll love the town of Maleny – so cute and great shops. Here’s a post with more info https://www.ytravelblog.com/sunshine-coast-hinterland-couples/

  8. I love Noosa! One of my favourite spots. We live in the Gold Coast Hinterland and so rarely head up to the Sunshine Coast but whenever do go there, I never want to leave!!! It’s so beautiful. Agreed there are two parts to Noosa: there is the touristy part but the natural part off the beaten track is absolutely breathtaking. I love Noosa National Park. It looks like you had a lovely trip!

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