Now free from the shackles of university, I have taken a much needed holiday. The location of choice is Noosa, a popular and beautiful sea side located on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Sitting on the mouth of a river at the northernmost edge of the Sunshine Coast, Noosa enjoys a much less developed and natural feeling compared to busier seaside locations, due in part to buildings restrictions and the surrounding national park that prevents Noosa from becoming too overdeveloped.
Noosa is like a home away from home for myself as I’ve been holidaying there quite literally since I was born (my first trip to Noosa was when I was 8 months old). Noosa is also the ancestral home for a part of my family stretching back to the 1800s, so the area means a lot to me.
It’s not just my connection to Noosa that makes me love it so much; it’s Noosa’s sub-tropical, laid back atmosphere. While made up of a number of suburbs, I tend to break down Noosa into three areas- Noosa Heads, Noosaville and Noosa Northshore.
Here is a helpful map from my hotel room
Noosa Heads is what most people think of when they hear Noosa. Nestled in between the headland, the ocean and the river, Noosa Heads is a fashionable yet naturally astounding place. One of its main features is the famous Hastings Street- a stretch of road displaying the finest capitalism has to offer- and by that I mean its selection of pricey and exclusive boutique stores. While my Hastings Street shopping experience is usually restricted to my beloved souvenir stores (I have more keyrings and fridge magnets than I care to admit), it is certainly a must do if you’re into shopping, especially surf brands.
The second feature of Noosa Heads and by far my favourite is Noosa Main Beach. A strip of warm sand stretching from the headland to the river mouth, this beach is a favoured swimming spot due to its protected waters and gentle waves. Unlike other Australia beaches, Noosa’s Main Beach seems to have found perfect balance of natural beauty and holiday developments. You can enjoy the clear blue water with the forested headland and ocean beyond without skimping on the holiday luxuries such as lifeguard patrols, beach-side cafes and surf gear hire. There are few places in Australia that I have been that I adore as much as Noosa main beach, and no matter how many times I go there I always think how amazing it looks.
The second section of Noosa is Noosaville, situated a little ways down the river from Noosa Heads, is where I stay on my Noosa holidays. Noosaville is much quieter and relaxed than the popular Noosa Heads. Just as the crashing surf reflects the surfer atmosphere of Noosa Heads, the slower flowing Noosa River reflects the laid back nature of Noosaville. While also lined with hotels, cafes and restaurants, Noosaville is more content to lay back and watch the boats float by than splash in the surf. The river offers a calm place to swim, as well as ample boating opportunities. My family brings our boat up here to Noosaville, allowing me to explore more of the river than most- from the ancient everglades to the ever shifting sand banks and islets of the river’s mouth. Noosaville is the perfect place for relaxation- just imagine it: no loud music, no busy streets…just the sound of boats, gulls and the ambling flow of the river.
I can’t say much about Noosa Northshore since its been many, many years since I’ve been there, but its an important member of my Noosa triumvirate. This area encompasses the land north of the Noosa River and marks the beginning of the Great Sandy National Park. I sometimes get to experience the tip of this natural wonder when we pull the boat up on its shore. Asides from a few homes, a caravan park and a pub, Noosa Northsore is nothing but untouched bushland and beach for kilometers. Since access is pretty much restricted to those with boats and four wheel drives, spending time on Noosa Northshore is like spending time on a desert island. Just you, the beach and sea. And of course the many avid fisherman and four wheel drivers you’ll have to avoid.
The mouth of the Noosa River. To the right is the bottom of Noosa Heads, to the left is the North Shore.
All in all, words cannot really describe how I feel about Noosa. To me, its the optimal holiday destination. Along with what I’ve mentioned, there are dozens of other experiences to be found around Noosa- with Fraser Island (the world’s largest sand island) not too far north and the beautiful hinterland not to far west, there are many more wonders to be discovered beyond Noosa’s blue shores. So no matter how many holidays I find myself enjoying in the future, I think the winds will always blow me back to Noosa.