Noosa

An Afternoon in Aussie Paradise: Exploring the Best of Noosa

Noosa, a small town along the Sunshine Coast, was one of our favourite, albeit brief, stops in Oz.

Originally planning our two month road trip around the country, Noosa wasn’t even on our radar as a place to stop.

Not because it’s not magical and worthy of a visit, but because we didn’t think we’d be in that part of Queensland.

As it would happen though, when we extended our trip to visit Byron Bay, and I decided to fly out of the Gold Coast’s airport to Singapore, we were left with three days between our time in Byron and when I departed Oz.

A friend in Brisbane convinced me to spend my last full day in Oz in her city, and with a day and a half left to plan, we took her recommendation to visit Noosa.

After visiting, it feels hard to believe we almost missed seeing this charming, coastal town.

It’s got an urban, hip vibe, and somehow manages to be upscale without overtly pretentious.

The best bits though?

Its stunning beaches and incredible national park.

Arriving in Noosa late morning, on our way up from Byron Bay, our first stop was National Park.

The National Park is so wonderful, it’s one of Australia’s most popular parks with over 1 million visitors each year.

To access the park, you can try to find parking in the lot at the base of its trail points, or park in town and walk up the hill to the park’s entrance.

Short on time, luckily, we found a space in the free parking lot.

No need for a ticket, but I’ve heard there’s a time limit (four hours). Although, not sure how they reinforce it without a ticket. When we visited, there were a few spaces in the lot- but, it’s worth noting it was the midst of Aussie winter, and mid-week.

Before you set off on your hike, stop in the Visitor Information center to see if there were any koala sightings that day.

We spent a few hours walking the coastal track- stopping at the beautiful Tea Tree Bay; meandering through fragrant eucalyptus trees, craning our necks to look for koalas; and watching the waves crash into the turquoise sea, laden with rocks.

We loved Tea Tree Bay for its tranquility, and Dolphin Point for its beautiful lookout points.

Granite Bay is another great spot to swim.

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The coastal trail is just incredible. If you have the time, walk 30-40 minutes from the parking lot to the fairy pools.

Noosa’s fairy pools are Instagram famous.

They’re a natural formation of basalt rocks and the sea. Over the years, the movement of water has created different shapes, holes and cavities in the rocks.

Swimming in the pools isn’t exactly encouraged. It’s not forbidden, but the trail also isn’t marked.

Because they’re exposed to the ocean, they can be dangerous to swim in, if the waves are high or there’s a strong tide.

Low tide (early morning, usually) is the best time to see the lower pool exposed, and also when there aren’t strong waves crashing into both pools.

Floating in these pools with saltwater milling about on a calm day seems like it’d be the most ideal way to relax.

Since the pools aren’t marked, it’s best to put ‘Fairy Pools’ into Google Maps, and use that to guide you. They’re along the coastal trail, but using Google Maps is helpful for estimating distance, and knowing when you’re about there.

On the path, you’ll notice a rocky terrace to your left side, this is where you turn left and follow a rocky, steep path down to the pools.

We were there at high tide, so they weren’t as idyllic as they normally appear on Instagram, but no less beautiful to gaze at.

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With the sun starting to set, we left the National Park to head to Noosa’s main beach. It faces north, which means it’s a lot calmer than most of Australia’s beaches.

Here, we walked down the sand until we reached the end of where the beach intersects with town.

From the moment we set foot on Hastings Street (the main road in Noosa), we knew it was trendy. There’s no shortage of alfresco restaurants, chic shops, and cool cafes.

It really is a sweet little town.

We had dinner at the Aussie equivalent of Shake Shack- Betty’s Burgers, which was absolutely delicious after an afternoon of hiking.

On this particular evening, we were treated to a spectacular sunset- the sky turned vibrant shades of pink, red and orange. Against towering palm trees, draped with Christmas lights, it was quite a sight to behold.

It felt like the most perfect ending to an incredible day.

Rounding out our time in Noosa, we drove 45 minutes south, so we’d be halfway to Brissie.

My friend had a flight in the morning, and I had plans to meet up with a friend who lived in Brissie for lunch and an afternoon of sightseeing.

Do I wish we had more time in Noosa?

Absolutely?

But, I’m grateful for the half day we had versus missing this spectacular part of Australia.

Have you ever been to Australia? Is visiting Noosa on your list of places to make it to one day? 

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