Sunshine Coast: family fun in Noosa

It’s the resort town just an hour and a half north of Brisbane, with clean beaches, rugged coastline, tangled rainforest and a sunny vibe. We’d heard such great things about Noosa, we wondered if it could possibly live up to the hype. I’m pleased to say, it did.

Things to do:

There’s heaps to keep both kids and adults entertained in Noosa. The first thing you’re probably going to want to do is take a stroll down the main street, Hastings Street. Noosa has that relaxed holiday vibe just floating around in the air, and Hastings street is one of the best places to soak it up. There are heaps of restaurants, bars, take away places and cute little shops that you can spend hours popping in and out of.

Beach:

Hastings street runs parallel to the main Noosa beach, which for a town beach, is surprisingly clean and beautiful. It gets some pretty big waves at times, but there are plenty of surf lifesavers around to keep an eye on things. The beach is absolutely packed during the peak times, but it’s still really pleasant to sit down there at sunset and take in nature’s entertainment, as well as some good old fashioned people watching.

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For some quieter alternatives, you can take a walk down the coast, where you can find some beautiful little bays with far fewer people.

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Hiking:

Noosa sits right on the edge of the national park, so another favourite pastime of ours was hiking the different trails, most of which start at the main car park.

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The Coastal track, as the name suggests, mostly hugs the coastline, and takes you past some stunning bays. if you're like us, you'll be tempted to stop at each one of them for a dip.

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There are several look out points on the way, and we hiked to Dolphin Point to take in the views from the rocks.

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There was heaps of wildlife to see on the way, including koalas and goannas on land, and turtles in the ocean. It really is a spectacular piece of coastline, and the bush changes constantly, from shrubs to denser trees to tea trees.

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On another hike, we took the Palm Grove Circuit, which is only about a kilometre inland from the main carpark. On the day we went, we were the only ones using the trail, so the forest was quiet and cool, and we saw heaps of different birds and insects along the way.

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Yoga and massage:

After all that hiking, we decided a yoga class and massage were in order, so we went along to Santushi yoga on Hastings street. They have a tiny little open air studio, where you can do your vinyasas with the sounds of Hastings street life going on below. They also offer a good, relaxing massage service, which can iron out any left over tension.

Markets:

Just a short bus ride from Noosa are the famous Eumundi Markets, which are open on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

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These are without question the best markets I’ve ever been to. There is so much colour, noise, food, music and all sorts of things you didn’t know you needed until you saw them. The markets are huge, and on the day we went, were bustling with people which made it a really fun and lively day out.

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We also visited the Noosa farmer’s markets, which are open on Sundays, and are held on the football oval about a 10 minute drive out of town. There was heaps of local produce, and lots of really good things to eat!

Hinterland:

Other than Eumundi, there are several other little towns surrounding Noosa that are worth a visit. We took a day trip, driving through the forest, along dirt tracks, over creeks and up the winding road to the Tinbeerwah lookout point near Tewantin.

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There are also heaps of hiking trails in the area, and we chose one of the shorter ones, the Cudgerie Loop. Most of the walk was really pretty, with some great scenery, although its proximity to the main highway for some of the walk made it a somewhat less than serene experience!

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On the way back, we stopped by the Noosa botanical gardens, which were really interesting, and we went through the names and descriptions of lots of the plants. There’s also an amphitheatre which revealed some lovely views over lake MacDonald.

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Fraser Island:

For a day trip, we chose to fork out the money for the family to visit Fraser Island. It was a fantastic experience, and well worth the money. For the full story on Fraser Island, click here. The absolute highlights of the day were Lake McKenzie, a huge freshwater lake with the most incredible colour water I’ve ever seen…

#nofilter

#nofilter

 …and Wanggoolba Creek, which had water so clear, it was practically invisible…

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The trip certainly made us wish we were staying on the island for a while, and we will definitely be back for another, longer, trip.

Eating out:

The only let down on this holiday for us was the food, especially the fish and chips from Nosh Express (way over priced and average), and Zachary’s pizza, which was probably one of the least tasty pizzas we’ve ever had. The Boathouse in Noosaville was another huge disappointment, and it was such a shame the food didn’t live up to its fantastic location. It would be a nice place to go for a drink though!

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The only place we ate that we felt had fantastic food, an amazing setting and was great value was the surf club. It was down to earth, tasty food, immaculate views over the ocean and a fantastic vibe. Make sure you put it top of your list on your next visit to Noosa!

Overall, we absolutely loved Noosa. It has such a great vibe which, even when it’s packed with people, is laid back and friendly. It’s definitely a place we’d return to again for a relaxing family holiday.

Notes: We never travel with the kids without insurance. For this trip, we used Australian based insurer FastCover, and you can get a quote for a policy here: https://fastcover.com.au/ref?id=Wafaraway