Travel // Noosa, QLD

February 21, 2018

The final destination on our Australian adventure... tropical Noosa in Queensland. As I've mentioned before, we hadn't planned to visit Noosa originally, instead we'd have had a whole week to really 'live' in Byron Bay. But after talking to lots of people who had recently been to Australia, they all said that we absolutely couldn't miss Noosa and how it would feel a bit more up-market than hippy Byron. A true holiday destination. I must admit, we were slightly worried the whole time that we'd made the right decision and even the day we were leaving Byron I was hoping that it would live up to expectations because I'd have quite happily had a few more days in that dreamy town. But rest assured, Noosa ended up being a real highlight of the trip and the perfect way to end our time Down Under.

// In short, don't miss;
  • Walking through the National Park on one of the labelled trails. You can try to spot koalas up in the trees, dolphins and even snakes. We saw a deadly brown snake slither across the path in front of us! But luckily there were lots of people around and it disappeared as fast as we saw it. 
  • Walking on the boardwalk between Hastings street and the national park, surrounded by jungley trees and lots of quieter little bays to spend a morning on the sand. 
  • As well as walking up that way to the right, it’s also pretty to go left as you look at the sea from the main beach to walk to the spit head and back along a shaded path to Hastings street. 
  • The river areas. The whole area is surrounded by water, we loved the bbqs by the water and watching all the paddle boarders, kayakers and boats. If we’d have had more time we would have hired a self drive boat which looked like so much fun. 
  • El Capitan pizza on Hastings Street. The best pizza we have ever ever eaten, get the one with shrimp and preserved lemon. Sounds odd but it blew us away. 
  • Betty’s burgers. A fun spot, an Australian version of Shake Shack with great burgers and frozen custards. 
  • Coconut heads on Hastings street, an all natural plant based bar for coco whip {my new addiction}. 
  • Gelatissimo or Massimo’s both on Hastings street for gelato. 
  • And finally so many people had recommended Bistro C, a restaurant right on the sand for breakfast/lunch/dinner but book in advance, it’s a super popular spot and we were sad to miss out due to it being booked out for a wedding. 
  • The Noosa farmers market on a Sunday morning was the best we visited during our trip. Go early it’s on between 7am-noon. 
  • If you have time, Sunshine beach is a lovely smaller version of Noosa too and the Emmundi hinterland reminded us of Byron’s Bangalow.

Noosa was around a 3 hour drive north, past Brisbane, where you cross over into Queensland from New South Wales and despite staying on the same longitude {wait, or latitude? It's been a while since my A level geography days...} you're in another time zone & gain an hour.

Despite finding accommodation fairly last minute, because we were just outside the peak season {all the schools went back at the start of Feb} we managed to find a really amazing Airbnb on a resort for under £100 a night {here - ps get £25 off your first trip with this}. It was an apartment with two terraces, a choice of four pools and a really central location to explore all of Noosa {crucially it also had a washing machine for getting everything washed before heading home!}. 

We decided that we wouldn't overschedule our last few days, instead just wanting to really relax before the fast imposing return to England. Having the pools, and just being in Noosa in general definitely felt more like a resort/holiday kind of place compared to the rest of our trip so far. It's a really popular place for Australians themselves to come and stay for holidays or long weekends away, especially as it's tropical through the Winter compared to a lot of the rest of the country. 

We made sure to spend a few afternoons by the pool on the resort soaking up the sunshine. It was definitely the hottest & most humid place of the trip and by the last day it was actually almost too much!

We still had a few places that we really wanted to visit on our trip though so our first stop was Noosa National Park.

Where we spotted my dream VW camper! That mustard yellow, heart eyes.

Noosa is spread out across quite a big area, there's Noosa Heads which is the main part with the main beach, Hasting's Street and the National Park, then there's Noosaville & Noosa North Shore. The whole area is surrounded by water with lots of inlets and luxury homes on the river. As such, you end up driving on the same main roads as you have to keep crossing the river.

We really loved the national park & the views out through the eucalyptus trees down to the bays below. You can see dolphins & koalas, along with snakes & lots of spiders. This was the only place where we saw spiders almost everywhere and a deadly brown snake crossed the path just before us!

But don't let that put you off. It's a beautiful park with a few different walking trails. We went early but even then it was very humid early on and you're encouraged to take bottles of water as the end of the park is very remote.

Looking back at my photos, most seem to be just of the sand through the trees! I guess that sums up Noosa, really beautiful beaches - some of the best in Queensland, and tropical yukkas aplenty.

There's a boardwalk that runs all the way from the park to Hasting's Street and I loved walking along this until I saw justttt how many spiders were above us at some points!

The main beach felt like we were in the Indian Ocean or somewhere, and we loved the fact that there were beach bistros right on the sand {which is unusual for Australia} and Hasting's Street running right behind it - again if you want an ice cream near the beach anywhere else we visited, you'd have a long trip to find one.

We ended up preferring Little Cove beach for time spent on the sand, it was a lot quieter than the main stretch.

I posted this shade on my Instagram stories, we'd bought it before our trip {online here} for the main reason that my husband always need shade on the beach & this is portable for even hand luggage {for easyjet beach trips this summer} compared to an umbrella. You fill the bags up with sand/stones from the beach to weight it down & it's SPF 50 with lots of shade. We used it a lot during the trip & even though it is a little pricey, it should last with the reinforced corners.

Hasting's Street is a must visit for fancy shops, gelato bars, a huge choice of restaurants & not forgetting Cocowhip from Coconutheads. It felt quite European and at night it's lit up with fairy lights. Again, quite different to the rest of Australia we'd seen so far.

We had the best burgers from Betty's Burgers {we were starving after a long trek through the national park} and I'm going all out to say the best pizza we've EVER had from El Capitano next door on our last night.

As well as the beaches, the river areas are a beautiful oasis with so many people out on boats, paddleboarding or kayaking. 

It felt a lot like Florida {but without the alligators!} and the houses here are seriously smart.

There's another cafe/restaurant strip by the river and especially at weekends the area comes alive with families having BBQs and picnics on the grass here.

We'd read about the famous Eumundi markets, up in the Noosa hinterland, and decided to visit early on Saturday morning. It was worth the drive to see the town {which really reminded us of Bangalow} but I expect the market used to be better before it got too commercial. I bought a print from a lovely calligrapher there and there were lots of interesting crafts but overall, not exactly what we were looking for.

The Noosa farmer's market on the other hand, on a Sunday morning, was probably the best market we visited on the whole trip. Such a fun relaxed buzzy vibe there too.

We decided we needed one more Aussie BBQ before we left so we went to the river where Ben cooked us up a feast {that's one thing I miss about coming home is not having time to both go to the supermarket again and cooking together most of the time}. 

We then walked to the left {the other side to the national park} as it was such a beautiful evening. We were going to reallly miss these evening beach walks.

And finding cool cars with surfboards on!

We explored Sunshine Beach a little on our last day before one last stop at Hasting's Street for one last cocowhip and *that* pizza before we had to leave for the airport.

How could our trip be over already?! Like a scene from a movie though, the minute we drove out of Noosa, the sun disappeared and we drove through a dramatic thunder storm the whole way to the airport. It was like Australia was telling us it was time to leave. The lightning carried on the whole drive, I hadn't seen a storm like it in years.

And just like that, we were on our way back home!

Thank you for following along with this Australian travelogue series, back to interiors/general chat again soon!

R <3 xx 

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