If you haven’t visited Noosa yet, you really should. While offering swanky boutiques and indulgent resorts, the Noosa region of the Sunshine Coast is also a great location from which to launch into several adventures, and make the most of the beautiful natural surroundings. Even if you only have a few days or a weekend to spare, there are so many great things to do in Noosa, and it’s only 90 minutes from Brisbane, making it the perfect weekend getaway.
Noosa, at the northern end of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, is a popular destination for both domestic and international travellers, and with good reason; it really has something for everyone, and for every budget. Here’s what you should do in 48 hours in Noosa
Check out the view
The Noosa region is remarkably beautiful. The area’s natural environment has been protected from over development and has grown slowly around the Noosa Headland and the Noosa River. The lookout at the top of the headland hill offers a spectacular view over the beach, the river and towards the lakes upriver, and the distant peaks further north, and it makes a great morning walk. An almost 2 kilometre path winds up the hill from Little Hastings Street, offering glimpses of views along the way, encounters with brush turkeys, and if you’re lucky, you might see a koala. If you prefer to drive to the lookout, take Viewland Drive.
|Noosa Lookout, Noosa, Queensland, Australia|
Lunch at the beach
Noosa’s main beach runs from the river mouth to a little cove that backs onto Hastings Street. This stretch is lined with restaurants and cafes offering superb food in a beachside dining, a great place to enjoy a long lunch.
|Noosa Main Beach, Noosa, Queensland, Australia|
Hit the beach
Noosa’s main beach is one of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast. Have a lazy afternoon swimming and relaxing. The beach faces north, providing sheltered conditions for swimmers, and also has small breaks for surfers at the eastern end of the beach. Watersports equipment is available for hire and there are plenty of beach showers, toilets and changing facilities. A boardwalk runs the length of the beach and padanus palm-lined footpaths continue along Noosa Head, from which there are beautiful views back across the beach.
Watch the sunset
Sunsets on Noosa Main Beach take some beating. There are a few benches along the boardwalk up to the headland, which make a great spot to watch surfers catching the last waves of the day. Alternative sunset spots include the lookout and the banks of the Noosa River, where the colours and reflections can be spectacular.
|Surfers at sunset, Noosa, Queensland, Australia|
A cosmopolitan strip by day, Hastings Street is a foodie’s delight during the evenings. The streets come alive with live music and ice cream vendors cater for those with a sweet tooth. The low trees that arch across Hastings Street are also illuminated with pretty fairy lights, and if you look very closely you may see possums in the branches. Miss Moneypenny’s on Hastings Street serves delicious cocktails, and there is a huge variety of restaurants to choose from varying from smaller bistros to celebrity chef restaurants.
|Hastings Street at night, Noosa, Queensland, Australia|
Brunch by the river
Several cafes offer healthy, organic and indulgent brunches along the riverfront in Noosaville. There are also some interesting boutiques to stroll around when you’ve finished. If you're after a bit of culture, head to the Art Gallery in nearby Tewantin or the Noosa Museum in Pomona.
|Noosa River, Noosaville, Queensland, Australia|
Explore the National Park
While there is an area of national park at the western end of Noosa Main Beach, Noosa Headland is a larger area, boasting several beaches, an information centre (with cake!) and several walking paths to suit different abilities. Just 10 minutes stroll from Hastings Street, you will quickly find yourself in a quiet and secluded paradise. The coastal path leads around the headland offering beach access (it is also popular with surfers) and great views through the foliage. The national park is also home to a lot of Australia’s native wildlife, including koalas, which are frequently spotted dozing in the trees, so look up as you stroll.
|Noosa National Park, Queensland, Australia|
Mess around on the river
Hire a boat near the Big Pelican in Noosaville and spend the afternoon discovering Noosa River on your own schedule. Marvel at some of the riverside property or head upriver to the Noosa Everglades. If you’re feeling more active, you can get stand up paddleboard (SUP) lessons on the river, or hire SUPs or kayaks and explore on your own.
|Kayaks at the Noosa River, Queensland, Australia|
An evening picnic by Noosa River
Having explored the river, settle at one of the public picnic tables and barbecues on the riverbank for a leisurely dinner as the sunsets, and enjoy the colours and reflections across the river.
|Sunset at Noosa Beach, Queensland, Australia|
Tourist season aside, Noosa is a lively little spot, frequently hosting festivals and events such as Noosa Food and Wine Festival, Noosa Jazz Festival, and the Noosa Triathlon.
Noosa is just one part of the Noosa region though. If you have more time it is definitely worth venturing a little further and seeing some of the Noosa hinterland. Eumundi has a wonderful old bookstore, and a fantastic market scene (read more about the Eumundi Markets here). For gorgeous sunsets over wild, untouched beaches head east to Sunshine Beach or Sunrise Beach. For 4WD adventures head north to Rainbow Beach and the Fraser Coast is just a short trip north from Noosa.