Exploring Australia is always an adventure. A visit to Queensland’s Noosa area has a little something for everyone, from bird watching to surfing, at a pace reminiscent of the Mediterranean lifestyle.
You park your car and walk through a lush forest area with a sandy path for three minutes, the sound of waves crashing in the distance. When you come out off the path, you find yourself standing on a beach that stretches as far as you can see and the coastline is filled with dunes, a patch of forest that follows the beach and seaside houses on the hills. The tide will be high and the surf crashing in, and you decide why not, it’s a perfect setting for a nice long walk along the beach and when you get too hot, you can jump into the sea and maybe catch one or two waves for a body surf whilst you’re at it.
Lay back and catch some sun, just don’t stay for too long because the UV rays here will catch you off guard and before you know it, you’re burnt. It’s an awesome feeling and being on this beach to watch the sunrise here makes you feel like you’re watching the sun rise over the planet for the very first time.
This, my friends, is Noosa, and it’s one of the trendiest, most laid back, green-thinking and scenic places in Eastern Australia. I guess you can call it an ideal area to settle down in. The main town is located in an area called Noosa Heads, and this is where the river that flows down from Lake Cootharaba meets the Coral Sea and separates the town from the National Park of Noosa North Shore. The town is basically surrounded by national parks, already giving you a clear indication of the scenic beauty that characterizes this place.
The town of Noosa Heads is a really trendy, surfer-styled and prosperous place. Health cafes are everywhere and the cuisine is varied and there is a very Mediterranean feel to the way people go about their social dining life. Properties on the market are selling for reasonable prices. The locals from all generations look happy and healthy and are all very welcoming. Noosa definitely generates a lot of its income from tourism but there’s also a little bit of a wine route along its hilly areas and several dairy farms.
Once you finds yourself in Noosa, after either driving or flying in from the Sunshine Coast, it’s very easy to get around and if you do have questions, there’s always the information centre in the centre of the town, where staff are very helpful and will go out of their way to help you find what you are looking for.
I would recommend visiting with your own vehicle, as getting a taxi or taking the local transport can prove either costly or very time-consuming. Plus with your own vehicle you can root out all that Noosa has to offer without missing anything.
If it’s 4×4 adventure you want, then all you have to do is go up to Noosa North Shore, which, as the name suggests, lies north of the Noosa River. There you will find miles and miles of beach to explore off-road but make sure you stay within the designated areas as the rest is off limits to any vehicle for conservation purposes. There are also a couple of tracks in the mountainous western region of Noosa.
There are also a number of camper van and camping sites all along the Noosa coast down to the Sunshine Coast and a couple in the Noosa North Shore area. In peak season, you should book in advance as these places do fill up fast. It is however a lovely experience to wake up in the morning and head down to the beach for a sunrise swim and then enjoy some star- gazing at night, especially in North Shore as the sites are many miles away from urban light pollution. The river itself is great for kayaking; you could either explore deep into the river mouth or go on to Noosa Heads and check out the big stingrays cruising past underneath you. Or why not use the strong winds that the river mouth generates and go for a kite surf.?
Those of you who love bird watching are also in for a treat as you can find many species of birds, including migratory species like terns, which come in from China, Alaska and the north Pacific. If you chill out on North Shore for a few hours, you can spot birds of prey such as falcons and kites. If you’re especially lucky, they will land in a trees just overhead, giving you an excellent chance to see these creatures up close.
Kangaroos and koalas can also be spotted in the national parks of Noosa, and other smaller species of wildlife can be found all over. There are many viewpoints to enjoy and all of them are worth the effort to get there. I would recommend going up the mountains such as Tinbeerwah and Cooroy, there’s also a nice coastal lookout point in the Noosa Heads national park. So if you’re heading up the East Coast of Australia, just make sure you make a bit of time for Noosa, I trust it will make time for you.
Until next time, let the world be your playground.