About Noosa beaches
Blessed with picturesque waterways, pristine beaches and tranquil natural beauty, Noosa is famous for its beautiful setting. It has long attracted wealthy holidaymakers, and several millionaires have second homes in Noosa Sound (in 2003 Sir Richard Branson purchased Makepeace Island on the upper Noosa River for a ‘staff retreat and training centre’). With riverside restaurants, 5-star accommodation, tree-lined streets, upmarket shops and galleries, cultural and sporting events aplenty, a relaxed atmosphere and lots of attractions nearby, Noosa’s appeal is obvious. Hastings Street, the resort’s main artery, is a colourful mix of restaurants, bars, ice creameries, boutiques and art galleries.
Noosa is one of the best surfing locations in the world. The Noosa Festival of Surfing takes place every year in March, and there are plenty of surfing schools. Noosa’s Main Beach on Laguna Bay is one of the few north-facing beaches along Australia’s coastline. It is safe for swimming all year round. In Noosa National Park, Tea Tree Bay and Granite Bay are smaller beaches with good surfing. On Alexandria Bay, around the headland, clothes are optional: this is one of the nicer sandy beaches in Noosa, and it doesn’t get as busy as Main Beach in peak season. Further south, Sunshine Beach is the best surf beach in the area.
Beyond the beach:
Explore Noosa National Park, the most visited national park in Australia. Several tracks take in different terrains, from rainforest to eucalyptus woodlands, and there are fantastic views to be had from various lookouts. You may get a chance to spot a koala or two as well. A river cruise is a popular way to discover the area and the nearby ‘Noosa Everglades’.
In Noosa, a camel safari is a popular option with children of all ages. And there are plenty of attractions a short drive away to keep the kids occupied. Underwater World (Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba) (www.underwaterworld.com.au) is Queensland’s largest aquarium, featuring over 25,000 sea creatures, including sharks and seals. Aussie World (73 Frizzo Road, Palmview Bruce Highway) is home to over 30 rides and attractions. And Australia Zoo (Glasshouse Mountains Tourist Route, Beerwah) (www.australiazoo.com.au), the brainchild of the late Steve Irwin aka ‘The Crocodile Hunter’, boasts 50 acres of pristine bush and houses over 750 wildlife species, several of them endangered.
To the north lie the Teewah Coloured Sands, where shades of red, ochre and cream are layered in the sand dunes and cliffs. Spectacular ocean views reward those climbing the Red Canyon Dunes. Further north still is Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island, a great fun day out. Check out Seventy-Five Mile Beach, an actual highway that runs up the surf side of the island, and the Maheno wreck, or take a dip in one of the fresh water lakes. You might even spot a dingo (several roam the island) or catch a glimpse of a humpback whale between August and October. The island is home to no fewer than 354 species of birds, making it a real birdwatcher’s paradise.