Imagine gourmet restaurants preparing local ingredients next to relaxed cafés where you can while away the hours. Add cocktail bars, beach bars and surf clubs. Now surround them with immaculate beaches, national parks, reserves and a pristine river. Does such a place exist?
Thankfully it does and you’ll find it on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, 90 minutes in the car from Brisbane. Welcome to Noosa!
Noosa, or more accurately, Noosa Shire covers 867 square kilometres from the coast to the hinterland. Quaint towns dotted throughout showcase locally farmed produce in restaurants, cafés, wineries, breweries, farmers markets and roadside stalls.
Surfing, abseiling and rock climbing enthusiasts favour the area, while nature lovers are satisfied hiking national parks and reserves. Affectionately referred to as “Melbourne in shorts”, Noosa presents sophistication without an attitude. If you’re a Noosa novice, the perfect place to begin exploring is Hastings Street, the main drag.
#eat & #drink
Café Le Monde has been serving breakfast, lunch and dinner from its French Quarter location since 1986. Grab a heart starter from 6 am, fresh seafood for lunch, or head in on Thursdays at 5 pm for an hour of oysters at a buck a shuck. Live music from Thursday to Sunday, El Capitano Pizzeria & Bar upstairs and Coconut Head all-plant-supa-food-bar have every taste and idiosyncrasy covered.
Across the road, with one of the best views of Noosa Main Beach, Sails offers coffee, muffins and bircher to take to the beach. A lazy lunch at Sails will quickly settle you into the Noosa groove or reserve a table for cocktails and dinner. Sails have one of the largest wine cellars in Australia. Pair that with their fabulous seasonal menu and it may have you perusing real estate.
Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club has a million dollar view of Main Beach and Laguna Bay. The weekend breakfast menu covers hearty post-surf options along with lighter gluten-free alternatives. The lunch and dinner menu’s well priced local seafood sharing platters sit alongside plenty of pub grub options. Grab a seat on the deck and polish off a bucket of Mooloolaba King prawns with an ice cold beer.
A visit to Hastings Street is incomplete without breakfast at Aromas. Sought after coffee & cold pressed juices are availed from 6 am with breakfast served from 7 am, lunch from midday and the dinner menu begins from 5 pm. Fully licenced, Aromas is a Noosa institution.
Sri Lankan chef, author and TV presenter, Peter Kuruvita’s Noosa Beach House at the Sofitel is both casual bar and restaurant. The bar, where the Bloody Maries are excellent and the people-watching addictive, has a menu covering local seafood, salads, burgers and a great range of appetisers. In the restaurant, the same local produce becomes a reflection of Peter’s Sri Lankan grandmother and 30 years of his personal culinary evolution.
From breakfast until well past sunset Miss Moneypennys serves regional goodies with a twist. Don’t miss the cocktails, there are more than 30 to choose from. For something a little different, check out the Martini Project offering tinctures to take your martini to the next level.
Fortunately, Noosa is made up of almost 40% National Parks, Conservation Reserves, State Forests and other protected land so, with all the wonderful #eat & #drink venues, there’s a good chance you’ll need to get active.
Main Beach and dog-friendly Sunshine Beach can be incorporated into a hike through the National Park. A steep climb to get the heart pumping is almost forgotten on reaching scenic lookouts across Granite Bay from Winch Cove and Fairy Pools. Other photo opportunity rest stops include Hells Gates, Alexandria Bay and Devil’s Kitchen. Take the downhill path and cool off in the rolling waves of Sunshine Beach.
At the opposite end of Main Beach explore the Noosa Spit Reserve and Noosa Botanic Gardens. Take your pup to the Noosa River dog beach for a paddle or follow the path and enjoy the pristine waters where the river meets the sea.
If you prefer something more leisurely jump on a River Cruise. Gondolas depart from behind the Sofitel and can either be catered or used as transport to some fab Noosa River Restaurants. (Ricky’s Restaurant & Bar, Wasabi and The Boathouse to name a few). BYO your favourite adult beverage and Gondolas of Noosa will supply glasses, ice and an ice bucket.
Hastings Street could be described as a relaxed open air mall. If you’re looking for a designer outfit, need a pair of jeans or simply forgot your thongs (they’re flip flops to the uninitiated), it won’t take long to find what you need. Newsagencies, bookstores, surf gear and footwear, Hastings Street provides excellent retail therapy.
For spectacular deals, check out our personalised accommodation booking page right here! There’s no need to leave our site. Simply enter Noosa, start sliding and the perfect accommodation will be offered live. Hotels, B&Bs, serviced apartments; they’re there for the taking.
“Melbourne in Shorts”: it’s a place we love….