Noosa is a lovely beach hamlet on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
I went there for 2 nights on my way up to Hervey Bay. I stayed in Dolphins Backpackers which was lovely. Each kitchen has 2 rooms, a living room with flatscreen tv and there is internet access in reception and a small pool.
I loved the hostel because everyone there was so friendly you couldnt be lonely. The small kitchens help you meet your room mates and the staff were just brilliant. There was a free bus into Noosa junction and the beach.
In the junction there are some surf shops, a shoe shop where I bought some new work shoes, and a huge Coles. Theres also a cinema and some places to eat.
Next to the beach there is a row of very expensive boutiques and some nice looking restaurants. I loved walking down and feeling like a rich person! Theres also a food court where you can get a cheap sandwich.
The beach is lovely but unfortunately started raining as soon as I got there. The surf didnt look great but there were a lot of people out in the water and on a hot day I can imagine its a good beach.
If you just want a few days to chill out then go to Dolphins and you will feel so relaxed afterwards!
Sunshine Coast & Noosa (Australian Day Tours)
$89 per adult
$49 per child
Infants 1-2 years $15
The exchange rate is £1 to $2.17dollars
When I was living in Brisbane we decided to take a tour to Noosa to see what it was like. At the transit centre in Brisbane out tour started. We were kind of confused as the tour was combined with the Australia Zoo tour so we got stickers to identify who was who.
While driving to Australia Zoo which was our first stop we drove past the Glass House Mountains which has been formed by volcanic activity years ago. To be honest if you blinked you would have missed them as the bus never stopped only the tour guide pointed them out they could easily be missed.
First stop where we changed buses (to a considerable smaller one) was Aussie world and Ettamogah Pub. Ettamogah pub is based on a comic strip (based in Australia so I had never heard of it.) Nevertheless it was nice to see the working pub which did have a cartoon style to it and beside it had speciality shops like a wood shop, doll shop and sweet shop. There also was Aussie world, this is a tiny theme park which to be honest isn't much to rave about. It has a few rides and a Ferris wheel. We didn't go on any of these rides, as you had to pay extra for. Our tour only entitled us to entry into the park and we opted to not pay extra to go on the rides and were glad. Maybe young children would enjoy here but teenagers and adults in my opinion would find it boring.
The second stop was Underwater World this was included in the price which I have to say was small and unimpressive. Overall it took us a hour to get round and then we were bored. As we entered there was a stingray reef and they were feeding the baby ones, which was interesting to watch. Here has rocky shore touch pools which was tiny (about 3 people could stand there at once). In the centre there is living ocean displays with some tropical fish and a Honda car with fish inside it. There was a cold water habitat, which included huge crabs. On ice was a giant squid with eyes the size of saucers. We nearly missed it as it's tucked in a room, which didn't seem to have much else in it. A small area was designated for freshwater billabongs, which included fish, small crocodiles, and different type of frogs and turtles. They didn't have much space to call their own. There were 2 very inactive otters in the otter area, which just slept, hey didn't have much energy between the two of them. A 'Seals Behaving Badly' show was available to watch while we were there, we decided to give this a miss as we had seen so many seal shows in the past. The enclosure was again small with 3 seals however they did seem happy and were playful amongst themselves. What I would call the main attraction was the underwater oceanarium, which you could go through a glass tunnel. There was lots of different fish and sharks with notices giving you information about the animals. My favourite was the turtle. I loved this animal and enjoyed watching it being fed by the divers present. It had seen rescued as a boat had hit it and its back feet were paralysed which I felt was sad but nice that the aquarium had gave him a nice safe home. Lastly there was a crawly creatures exhibit which had been heavily advertised everywhere. I didn't see what the big fuss was as there was only a few scorpio's, sea spiders and crabs. Within the aquarium there was lots of shows but as we weren't there all day we didn't have the option to see them. As we got bored we left the aquarium early and walked around the wharf and got some food.
Last stop was Noosa itself, it was a lot smaller than I imagined and to be honest there wasn't much to do about it either. We walked along the beach and you had time to swim if you had desired to do so. There were several fashion boutiques and cafes, which I think, were overpriced without reason. We browsed through some of these shops and decided things were overpriced so got bored easily. The souvenir shops had some nice things to bring home which were unique, as they had been handmade. We took a short drive around Noosa taking the scenic route home. We were informed that Noosa has 72 roundabouts and 1 traffic light, which happened to be on the water for the boats. I wouldn't of liked to have drove in that town I hate roundabouts lol! The main street is small and only 2 minutes from the beach (Hasting Street - which is portrayed as trendy).
Then we got back on our small tour bus and headed back to Australia Zoo where we changed buses again and joined the Australia Zoo tour group and were taken back to Brisbane Transit Centre.
This wasn't my favourite tour as I wasn't impressed with any of the sites and was rather annoying to have to change buses. The tour didn't have anything unique or special about it. It maybe would appeal to families with small children who were wanting a day out but switching buses so frequently and sticking to times may put them off. I think this tour wasn't worth the money, as I didn't overly enjoy it. I would advise people who want to see the Sunshine Coast to hire a care and do it themselves. The tour guide was very friendly and gave your information about the places you visited and some history of areas (for example what an area was used for commercially in the past). He was willing to answer any questions you may have had and was very helpful. I just felt that the tour itself was boring and not worth the time or effort. Plus I didn't like having to move buses two times during the trip. If you were restricted for time in Australia I would advise you to give here a miss, as you aren't really missing much. It's the type of things you would do on a weekend drive at home to amuse yourself. It may be enjoyable for kids but definitely not adults.
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Noosa in that rather typical Australian way (c.f. Mission Beach, Hervey Bay et al) is made up of a series of small hamlets spread over a large geographical area. These form the focal point of what is called the Sunshine coast, an area in Queensland that stretches from Noosa nearly all the way to Brisbane. Noosa started out as a hippy commune back in the 1960's and although its laid back nature persists it now comes complete with all of lifes modern trappings. Today the resort is viewed as an expensive escape from the city but thankfully there are quite a few options for least well heeled travellers. The surf and beaches in Noosa are legendary which means that surfing and sun bathing are its chief calling cards. That said Noosa has a lot more to offer and 3 or 4 days at least are required to see it in full. ACCOMMODATION Don't expect to pick up a room as you arrive off the bus in Noosa Heads. From our experience it seems that the most convenient budget accommodation is booked out well in advance. Most places have free phone numbers so if you know when you're travelling you should make a booking. By far the most enticing place to stay (both by the look of it and lavish praise from people who've stayed there) is the YHA Halse Lodge. With its airy verandas, clean kitchen and shiny wooden floors a stay there is near idyllic. Rates are reasonable and there are both dorms and more private singles and doubles available. The lodge's main drawing point, though, is its location in Noosa Heads about 100 metres from the bus drop off point. Unfortunately the Halse Lodge is forever booked out days in advance (in summer at least). Further out in Noosa Junction, Koala's has plenty of dorms for the party animals amongst you. By all accounts the place is as lively as Noosa gets but its rooms are often stuffy and some are even windowless. Other travellers we talked to said that there
was a tarantula in the loos but whether the sighting was drink induced is open to question. Noosaville, a couple of kilometres from the centre, is all flash without any bang. Lots of cafes and river apartments but little charm. There is quite a spread of accommodation here too but its remoteness and aloofness means that you should only stay here as a last resort (!). Dolphin's in Sunshine Beach (a 5 minute ride from Noosa Heads) prides itself on its chilled out atmosphere. We stayed in a double room with a TV and video for $50 a night. The place certainly has all the ingrediants for a restful stay, the hammocks swing to reasoned tunes (Stereolab when we were there) and the sound of the table tennis out the back. With free transport to town and plenty of boogie boards Dolphin's tries its best to make your stay enjoyable. It stuck in our gut a little when they charged $5 for oldish videos but overall this was a well run if a tad inpersonal place to stay. If you have money to burn there are unlimited accommodation possibilities throughout the Noosa area. Expensive apartments line up beside the expensive shops on Hastings streets and are dotted all over the resort. Many have balconies and large living areas which would be ideal for families or scheming larger groups. BEACHES Noosa has a revered standing amongst surfers throughout Australia and beyond. The waves are undoubtedly big but the currents are a little disconcerting for those of us who are better at flapping rather than cutting through the water. As you walk gingerly towards the waves don't be too surprised to find dips and sand ridges that can easily trip the unsuspecting. The sand and waters of Noosa are well maintained and most have lifeguards during the day. The best beach can be found at Alexandra Bay which is only accessible by foot. This beach has become a naturist enclave which means that
disconcerting eyes are thrown at the more modest amongst us. Quite how these people negotiate the stinger infested waters is something that is hard to contemplate but I guess a good tan acts affords a little protection. The water at Alexandra Bay is clear, blue and quite warm. Most of the time the shore is close to deserted and is perfect for a day's seclusion from the world. The surrounding scenary is spectacular with the broad rock formations acting as a good barrier from the Pacific's wrath. Bringing a water bottle is essential if you are visiting this beach as the nearest supply is a couple of kilometres away. Sunshine Beach is among the best places to surf in Australia. The waves are huge and for the inexperienced they can be a little overbearing. The stinger (deadly Jellyfish) problem is a lot less obvious than at Alexandra Bay but many surfers still wear wet suits for protection. We had no problems at all so it is just a matter of luck. This beach stretches for a couple of kilometres and is much quieter than Main Beach. There is a lifeguard on duty during office hours (??) and the safety flags demonstrate where it is safest to swim. Noosa's most accessible beach is somewhat disapppointingly called Main Beach and is only metres from the solubrious Hastings Street. Despite its lazy title the beach boasts a fine stretch of sand and although the waves never quite match those on Sunshine Beach surfers still find comfort in the fact that the crowded beach will give them plenty of spectators. There are plenty of places you can rent boards if you feel like becoming a showoff yourself! One small drawback (at least in summertime when we were there) to frolicing in the water is the presence of smaller jellyfish known as Bluebottles. They are so called because of their navy stinger that trails behind them. Luckily we avoided coming into contact with them but Alexand
ra Bay in particular had dozens of dead one washed up on its shore. Thankfully these jellyfish are more an annoyance than dangerous, the sting is painful but there are no long term effects. Watching from the shore it is sometimes comical (sorry) to see swimmers react to everything from seaweed to other swimmers as if it was a stinger. ATTRACTIONS Apart from Noosa's excellent beaches there are lots of other activities that enhance a stay there. The Noosa National Park may be small but it contains several excellent paths that traverse the wonderfully scenic environment. If you are staying in Sunshine Beach there are entry points from Parkledge road and the beach. To fully appreciate the trails you need a couple of days and although many of the walks are shaded a water supply is essential. Highlights on the way include Dolphin Point, Devils Gate and the quaint Noosa Hill. The latter is topped by Eculyptus trees which means that it is an excellent place to spot Koala Bears. Seeing these undescribably cute animals in the wild is a rare treat and we were lucky enough to have a few minutes with one of them. As we made our way down from the hill a furry ball stared at us from a few yards away. Instead of scarpering he merely looked away and began to doze off (Koala's sleep an average of 20 hours a day, nearly more than us backpackers!) Situated off in the sticks near a small town called Beerwah Steve Irwin's Australian Zoo is a major draw. Getting there is awkward but from Noosa it couldn't be easier. At least 3 times a day there is a courtesy bus from Noosa Junction straight to the Zoo's front doors. Entry to the Zoo is $16 and it is worth every cent. You might even get to see madcap Steve! The Australian Zoo differs from other animal parks because it operates under the theme 'Conservation Through Exciting Education' which means that you get up close t
o the animals and there are about a dozen demonstrations throughout the day that inform visitors about various animals. Feeding a Kangaroo, watching a 7 foot crocodile being fed by a trained hand and holding a Koala Bear are just some of the many highlights. Frasier Islands main entry point is at Hervey Bay but getting to the worlds largest sand island is not too difficult from Noosa. This spectacular island is over 100 Kilometres long and houses the most spectacular scenary imaginable. Most operaters offer camping safari's that are self drive but if you find the notion of taking on a 4 wheel drive too much driver guides are available. Prices range from $120 to $300 depending on the length of your stay. We paid $225 for an all inclusive 2 night/3 day tour. In Hervey Bay Fraser Escape! are the most popular operators although the hostel they run is well below par. Highlights on Frasier include Lake McKensie, a crystal clear stretch of water banked by fluffy white sand. Indian Head gives panormic views of the islands long beaches and the ocean below just teams with manta rays, sharks and dolphins. Then there's the elegant Eli Creek which is a natural waterway that resembles a minature lazy river. EATING OUT Bay Village Shopping Centre on Hastings Street has a small but inexpensive food court. Particulary good value is China Kitchen where a large chinese meal costs only $8. You can also find an ice-cream parlour, a deli and a pasta bar there. Upstairs Michali's restaurant is a little more upmarket and you can avoid having to share your table. Hastings Street is awash with expensive eateries. Shiny wooden floors are complemented by austere yet perfectly formed tables and a menu that would lighten your pocket more than it fills your stomach. Yes you've guessed it we didn't dine here but the homemade tomato sandwiches we ate in our room were just as appetising
! ENTERTAINMENT Noosa pales in comparison with Airlie Beach, Cairns and Brisbane in terms of nightlife but if you are determined enough you can still have a ball. There are quite a few happy hours taking place as the sun goes down, many have half priced cocktails which are tempting after a days self-baking on the beach. You'll find a heap of places on Hastings Street and its environs although prices (even during happy hours) tend to be a little steep. From a backpacker's point of view Koala's is where a lot of the action takes place. Although the accommodation is a little basic their nightly entertainment is among the best in town. Each Wednesday night there is live music laid on and there is usually no cover charge. Somewhat annoyingly everything closes down at midnight so the happy hours which kick in at 4:30 are well populated. Rolling Rock in the Bay Village Shopping Centre is a swanky joint that insists on neat dress. Despite this there are a some good drink deals that you would expect to find in more downmarket establishments. Pots of beer (noncy looking vessels you wouldn't be seen dead holding back home) and basics (regular spirits like vodka) go for $3 right up to the 3am closing time. Noosa 5 Cinema is located on Sunshine Beach Road in Noosa Junction. Showing up to 12 films a day it is a comfortable place that has special prices ($8) for VIP card holders. As with most cinema's in Oz, Tuesday is budget day with pre 6pm prices all day. For a guide to what's on in Noosa there is a supplement with the free Noosa News paper that is helpful. Other freebies like the Brisbane produced Rave is a good read with a review section and comprehensive entertainment guide. THE REST Noosa isin't exactly overflowing with internet options and rates are above average. The cheapest price can be found in the sur
f shop at the end of Noosa Drive onto Sunshoine Beach Road. Here the very quick connections somewhat balance the $4 an hour charges. There are a few other internet resources on Sunshine Beach Road but the rates are prohibitive for those on a budget. Noosa is a mini-mecca for anyone looking to stock up on branded gear. Hastings Street near the main beach is lined with glossy shopfronts and spartan shelves (why do expensive clothes need to be stacked detached?). The only shopping most backpackers will do in Noosa will be for food and the best option by far is Coles which is just around the corner from Sunshine Beach Road. Most hostels in Noosa offer a courtesy shuttle bus to town. The state run Sunbus service is another option for getting around. The standard fare is a little pricey at nearly $2 from Sunshine Beach to Noosa Heads (it's only a couple of kilometres). Noosa Heads is on most of the popular bus routes (McCafferty's/Greyhound, Premier) and makes a pleasant stopoff on the backpacker trail. While nightowls might be disappointed most will be entranced by the natural terrain and wildlife that abounds on the towns doorstep. Imagine all those dreams you've been having of the ultimate getaway and you have Noosa in a nutshell.
After blowing the cobwebs off my thinking cap and carefully attaching it to my head, it came to me to do abit of updating on some of my former more, urgh..not so hot op’s (com’on work with me people, most of those op’s written whilst still on training wheels, we’ve all wished we could have put lay to rest at the bottom of the Thames)..although a tempting thought, I collected my thoughts and decided it would be better to show the Dooyoo bunch what I am made of (besides the sugar, spice and all other things nice) I thought it about time I update this particular one and introduce you to a revised, refreshed and clean shaven op on...Noosa-Australia, or otherwise known to me as home sweet home. Right then, so first things first hey?! I can practically hear your brain cells bouncing off the inside of your skulls, wondering just where exactly is Noosa in that big beautiful piece of land known as down under (umpteen times the size of the UK mind you)..ok ok close the windows before my tickets fly off right ?! Noosa is pin pointed within the Sunshine Coast on the South East oceanic frontier of Queensland, Australia. Noosa’s crisp white sandy beaches are fortunate enough to have the luke-warm waters of the South Pacific Ocean lap gently onto shorelines up and down the coast. The closest International Airport is Brisbane, which is approximately a 90 minute drive South of Noosa, and there is also an internal local landing strip, The Sunshine Coast Airport situated about 20 minutes drive from Noosa. Again you must all be pondering, “what is so special about this place”? Is it as upmarket and bustling as say Melbourne, or is it as layback and grungy as say, Byron Bay, or is it a similar mix of city and sea as say the Goldy (Gold Coast) ?? Well to be honest in it’s own unique manner it couldn’t possibly be compared with any of them. Noosa has it’s own personal corresp
onding blend of elaborate chic Cosmo funk with a splash of sophistication yet maintains its casual atmospheric surroundings. It is considered as one of Australia’s most alluring holiday havens as it demonstrates a general mix of sea, sand, serenity and nature all rolled into one-although still unfamiliar to many international visitors. The town is famous for its crisp golden sunny skies, endless stretches of powdery white sandy beaches and its eye catching backdrop formed from the National Parks and surrounding Hinterland and of course its year round warm temperatures, which make for a long idle holiday or a brief weekend break (for locals of course). There are a few main beaches which are becoming very popular with the passing-by tourist, such as Noosa Main Beach, Alexandria Bay (or A Bay to the locals) Sunshine and Sunrise Beaches, together with plenty more picture perfect coves, bays and swimming spots. Noosa Main Beach is ideal for those who like the still waters (although can get abit rough when the swell is up) and have children, although if your looking for abit of wake-me-up-action and consider yourself abit of a surfer then I recommend Sunshine Beach or follow the crowds of crew with boards under one arm and a cake of Mrs Palmers wax in the other hand through the National Park to Ti-Tree when the swell is pumping..although a word of strong advise, don’t go dropping in on any of the local’s or you may just find you’ve been invited to a BBQ...only thing is, it won’t be a prawn they’ll be throwing on..it’ll be YOU, so I hope you like Tomato Sauce.lol :o) In the centre of Noosa you’ll find the quaint town of Noosa Heads and Hastings Street, which is set on the fringe of the towns National Park. Hastings Street boasts plenty of stylish shops, trendy street-side cafes and many fine restaurants serving everything from fresh seafood to Tapas. oh and keep your eyes peeled, you never
know who you might walk past, the likes of Tom and Nicole (yessss I do know they are history, so what, they are still famous) Bono, Michael Douglas, Chris Isaac and plenty of world famous surfers such as Kelly Slater (yes this is a male you twits..um does Baywatch ring a bell anyone,he’s actually offered to buy me a drink but that’s another story on its own) Tom Carroll and Sunny Garcia have all graced the town at some point not to mention plenty of other high-flyers,so it can’t be too bad hey ?! A hop skip and a jump up from Hastings Street is Noosa River and Noosaville. A vastly blooming little community riddled with more delicious restaurants, wine bars and cafes and an abundance of holiday accommodation too (can’t have you sleeping up the trees with all the snakes and spiders can we :o) tee hee hee hee). Marooned along the shores of the river you’ll see fishing boats, house boats and other flashing sailing boats together with early bird rowers and swimmers. This part of the river is popular for summer BBQ’s, fish and chips under the Palm Tree’s, daily cruises and U-Hires for reasonable prices that can also lead to a scenic journey up the Everglades. Go West (urgh horrible vision of super ugly Pet Shop Boys upon saying that..gag) along the river and you’ll pass through the urban town of Tewantin which hosts the Noosa Regional Gallery and numerous pubs, and members clubs, close by you’ll also find Harbour Town, propped up over Noosa River which is also another peaceful place to kick back and enjoy a cool drink and a snack/meal. ..hold on, we’re heading back to Noosa/Hastings Street..woosh Accommodation throughout Noosa spans from plenty of Backpacker hostels such as the popular Koala Bar to motels, beach houses, apartments and to the 5 star luxury resorts/hotels with sea views to get you dribbling in awe. Along Hastings Street you’ll also find o
ver 40 restaurants, many bars and a few clubs all at affordable prices to suit all budgets (oh and be sure to pop into Café Terrazzo or my boyfriends parents will kill me for not mentioning it) The popular shopping hot spots range from the tightest budget to the more elaborate bank balances. Hastings Street is reasonably priced depending on what shop your partner lets you float into, with its trendy boutiques, funky surf shops, tourist shops, internet cafes and much more to keep you spending away and helping our economy..lol If you head up to the town of Eumundi, North West of Noosa Heads you will discover a historic little town so completely different to the modern design of Noosa Heads, although it is a buzzing little town complete with it’s famous markets held every Wednesday and Saturday selling everything from leather wear/goods, ceramics, chutneys and other eccentric looking gourmet mixtures, jewellery, fruit and veg and much more. And of course if your heading to Noosa it’s always smart to check the high and low seasons. As far as I’m aware around early April to mid September (excluding school holidays) is still relatively active although considered the low season, December to March is considered the high/holiday season which is always a hype of activity. Noosa’s Geographical Highlights would have to be: ·Glorious sun drenched surf/swim beaches ·The North Shore (best experienced and accessed by a 4 wheel drive hired around town) ·Fraser Island (the largest sand island in the world) ·Noosa River ·Everglades ·National Parks ·Hinterland-Montville and Malany ·And the Glasshouse Mountains So I hope you all made it this far, sorry its so long just hard to cut info out as it all deserves a mention, I hope at some point in your lives you get to experience Noosa and if not I hope this op has helped you escape if only by day dream for a few hundred seconds..so wakey wa
key chop chop back to work now and back to reality :o)
Noosa is located on the Sunshine Coast in South East Queensland, Australia. It is bounded by Maroochy Shire in the south, and Cooloola Shire in the North. The name Noosa comes from the Aboriginal word for shadow or shadey place.