Noosa has rainforest, cosmopolitan shops and cafés, an internationally renowned dining scene and some of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast.
Noosa Beach, or Main Beach, lies on the southern shore of Laguna Bay. It’s one of the few north-facing beaches in Australia, meaning the waves are gentle year-round. The beach is patrolled by surf lifesavers 365 days a year. Throw a towel down on the clean, white sand and relax. Along the waterfront, development has been limited to low-rise buildings only. With the bright blue water and views towards the lush Noosa National Park headland, you could be forgiven for thinking you were on a tropical island.
Get active and sign up for surf lessons with one of the surf schools positioned along the beach. The gentle waves are the perfect place for beginners to find their feet. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can take on the bigger waves off the headland. The beaches off Noosa National Park are recognised as some of the best surfing spots in Australia.
Just behind Main Beach is Hastings Street, Noosa’s main thoroughfare. Stroll up and down the lively strip lined with chic boutiques, ice cream shops and restaurants. Cafés with outdoor tables are filled with well-dressed patrons hoping to be seen, although shorts and thongs are still acceptable attire near the beach.
Try seafood platters and bowls of pasta in restaurants along Hastings Street or get takeaway fish and chips and eat on the boardwalk that lines the beach. Shady trees and built-in benches make this the perfect spot to people-watch and look out to sea.
Noosa is divided into three main areas: Noosa Heads, Noosa Junction and Noosaville. Noosa Heads encompasses Hastings Street and Laguna Bay. The area around Hastings Street can be one long traffic jam on weekends and school holidays. Park in the large free carpark at the northern end of Hastings Street and get around on foot or by bicycle.
Noosa lies 160 kilometres (99.5 miles) north of Brisbane and about a 20-minute drive north of Coolum. Come by bus or hire car.