A sparkling gem on Australia's famed Sunshine Coast, this resort town offers something for lovers of the sea, sun, and shopping. Travelers from all over the world stream in to Noosa for its beautiful protected beach and river habitats as well as its upscale dining scene.
Offering something for visitors keen on adventuring to islands and mountains as well as those hoping to relax their way through their vacation, Noosa caters to just about every appetite.
Many visitors come to Noosa each year to take advantage of wonderful tours that take travelers into mountain villages and stunning environments far from the city.
There's nothing like cruising along the full length of the Noosa River and enjoying the sights and sounds of the Everglades from on deck.
Those hoping to fish in beach, river, and open ocean environments don't have far to travel: all three are easily accessible from town.
Both surfing and kite surfing are popular pastimes in Noosa, with great waves and wind providing propulsion for both.
As one might expect from a beach town, Noosa has plenty of great seafood, freshly caught and prepared in all sorts of ways.
First established as a protected area in 1879, Noosa National Park, a nearly 9,900-acre reserve, is split into four sections: Headland, Peregian, Emu Mountain and East Weyba. The most popular park in Australia, Noosa is known for its spectacular beaches, fishing, snorkeling, surfing and rock climbing. The park is home to many native species, such as koalas, sea turtles and dolphins. The best times to visit are from September to November, when the skies are sunny and clear.
Home of the renowned Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, Australia Zoo is a 100-acre animal reserve, which first opened in 1970. The recipient of numerous awards, the zoo, owned by Irwin's widow, is known for its interactive animal displays, which include crocodile and elephant feeding. Among the animals that visitors will encounter are tigers, koalas, kangaroos, cockatoos and wombats. The zoo also offers a platinum tour, which allows guests a guided visit behind the scenes.
A suburb of Noosa, Noosaville lies on Lake Weyba, a large salt-water lake, and is known for its stingrays and flying squirrels. The community features a selection of parks, nature reserves and shopping centers, such as Noosa Civic. The area also contains a series of canals known as the Noosa Waters, which includes numerous vacation rentals, as well as fun restaurants and bars. Noosaville is especially popular with jet skiers, boaters and kayakers.
Owned by renowned chef and restaurateur Peter Kuruvita, host of the TV program "Island Feast with Peter Kuruvita," Noosa Beach House Restaurant and Bar features a delectable selection of fresh produce and seafood such as North Queensland crayfish, oysters, prawns and local barramundi, as well as designer cocktails, tasting menus and gourmet bar snacks. Overlooking the Noosa River, diners can enjoy breathtaking views of the hinterland, while sampling breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Featuring 500 stalls, which sell artwork, crafts, clothing and souvenirs, the Original Eumundi Markets, which open on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, is a showcase for local artists. Whether its sculptures, furniture, toys or jewelry, everything at the markets is handmade. Food lovers will also enjoy the bazaar's selection of seafood, pastries, breads and cheeses, which can be sampled while listening to the many musicians who perform live at the markets.
Noosa enjoys a moderate climate and the water is relatively warm year-round. Summer temperatures peak at around 90, and in winter it can dip down to about 50 at times. March, April, and May usually enjoy the best weather with relatively sunny days.
The Sunshine Coast Airport (MCY) in Maroochydore is only 15 miles away, and a bus, the 622, runs to Noosa Junction.
There is no local train station; the closest lies in Nambour but you'll need a connecting bus to reach town.
The M1 terminates in Noosa, making it easy to drive north from Brisbane, just over 90 miles away.
Greyhound buses from Cairns and Brisbane stop in Noosa several times a day. One-way tickets from Brisbane cost AU$37.
The full range of hotel price points can be found in Noosa. The Nomads Noosa Backpackers Hostel is popular with backpackers, while families often opt for the Wolngarin Holiday Resort. Luxury hotels abound and include Lookout Resort Noosa.
Main Beach - located in Noosa Heads, this is the most popular area of Noosa.
Noosaville - home to Keyser Island Conservation Park, this suburb is a calm and quiet part of Noosa.
Noosa North Shore - a bit removed from town, the North Shore offers secluded resorts and hiking.
Translink runs buses in Noosa, with routes that extend to the Noosa National Park.
There are several taxi services in town, with fares averaging just over AU$5 a mile.
It is very easy to drive in Noosa. You'll find Avis, Budget, and Thrifty outlets around town, with prices starting at around AU$25 per day.
Noosa is known for its upscale shopping. Hastings Street is home to all sorts of boutique and luxury stores, and prices can be quite high. One pair of jeans can easily cross AU$100.
Noosa has several grocers. Food is not too expensive in town, with a dozen eggs running AU$4.46 and a loaf of fresh bread costing AU$3.20.
Noosa has restaurants and cafes for every budget. The Global Bar and Cafe is a local, value option with a relaxed atmosphere. More upscale restaurants include and Cafe Le Monde. Prices at a low-key restaurant can easily total AU$20 for one person.