Discover why Noosa is one of the most popular holiday and honeymoon destination in Australia.
Regarded as one of Australia's most fashionable resort towns, Noosa's lush, low-rise centre backs onto pristine subtropical rainforest and the typically calm, crystalline waters of Laguna Bay. The result is a relaxed, intimate and exclusive atmosphere.
The town lies within the Noosa Biosphere Reserve, a Unesco-recognised area known for its highly diverse ecosystem.
Here you can find pristine beaches, turquoise bays, lush national parks and the fashionable tree-lined boutique shopping district of Hastings Street.
While the Noosa River and headlands of the Noosa National Park form the town's main boundaries, the residential and commercial suburbs of Noosaville, Tewantin and Noosa Junction create a continuous urban area along the river.
Noosa is actually a collection of villages each with their own unique style. There's the upmarket and beach-front Noosa Heads with Hastings Street and extending to Quamby Place; the more relaxed Noosaville fringing the Noosa River; Noosa Junction with it's buzz of bars, eateries and live music venues; and Tewantin – the administrative hub of the Noosa region.
To the southeast, Sunshine, Sunrise and Castaways beaches are all considered part of Greater Noosa.
Both Sunshine and Peregian have their own distinctive and friendly beach-side atmosphere, with boutiques, cafés, restaurants and accomodation options.
Venturing west into the Noosa hinterland brings you to country villages, such as Eumundi, where you can expect a warm welcome, laid-back atmosphere and scenic views.
If you are looking for fun and adventure, there’s plenty to do and see in Noosa. Learn to surf or try stand-up paddle-boarding, sail the sheltered waters of Laguna Bay, kayak the Noosa River Everglades, join a sunset cruise or go swimming with humpback whales in season.
Hike along a choice of cliff top and forest trails in Noosa National Park, kayak or sail along the Noosa River or just bask in the sunshine on golden sand that stretches and sparkles for kilometres.
Later indulge in a spa treatment, followed by a gourmet meal at an award-winning restaurant on Hastings Street.
Hire a kayak and paddle past multi-million-dollar canal-front homes. Then spot celebrities browsing fashionable boutiques on Hastings Street before catching some swim-time and rays on the golden sand of Main Beach.
A short stroll down the boardwalk lies the lush Noosa Spit Recreational Reserve. Along the way, look out for koalas in the treetops and watch windsurfers showing-off. Then cool-down with an ice-cream overlooking the Noosa River Mouth, with views across to Noosa North Shore and Laguna Bay.
Later, explore a choice of easy to follow trails through towering forests and native bush in Noosa National Park, with scenic views overlooking the Coral Sea. Several lesser-known trails allow you to explore Noosa Heads on foot, bike or horseback.
Hastings Street – As one of the country’s most contemporary and upmarket promenades, Hastings Street blends urban lifestyle with the beauty of nature like no other.
With its eclectic mix of bars, fine-dining restaurants, stylish fashion boutiques, unique jewellery and surf stores, the experience of meandering along Hastings Street appeals to all tastes and budgets.
Main Beach – As one of the few beaches along Australia’s eastern coastline that faces north, Noosa's Main Beach offers gentle to moderate waves which are safe for swimming all year round.
Linked by covered walkways only steps away from the boutiques, bars and restaurants of Hastings Street, the golden sands of Main Beach continue in a graceful sweep past the lush Noosa Spit Recreational Reserve to the mouth of the Noosa River.
It's easy to enjoy the view from a beach-front table at one of the several restaurants that line the Main Beach boardwalk.
Patrolled year-round by surf lifesavers, Main Beach is also a great place to take surf lessons, as there's rarely any large surf waves.
That said, Noosa offers point breaks for all levels of experience. First Point has a perfect longboard break and on a medium-sized swell it’s perfect for beginners.
Beginners can also find idyllic sheltered waters at Little Cove Beach (photo), the next point around, and a short stroll from the eastern end of Main Beach.
Experienced surfers will head further round the headland to Tea Tree Bay and Granite Bay, two of the local favourites with some of the best swells and magnificent scenery. These smaller beaches provide good surfing in the right conditions.
Renowned for longboarding, Noosa holds an annual Noosa Festival of Surfing each March, with 2021 being its 30th year running.
Noosa Spit Recreation Reserve – This pretty reserve, also known as Noosa Woods, is a waterfront parkland with a choice of easy walking and cycling trails through and around the Noosa Sound and out to the mouth of Noosa River.
The sandy beach here offers surfing, windsurfing, paddle-boarding and swimming, with parking and wash rooms available nearby.
Noosa Spit was reclaimed and planted in the 1970s to provide a larger surfing beach for Noosa and to protect the homes and canals of Noosa Sound. Since then more than 20,000 trees have been planted, maintaining the natural beauty of the area.
From Hastings Street follow Claude Batten Drive to Noosa Woods.
You can find a choice of parking locations along this narrow road, which takes you to the mouth of the Noosa River and the river bar.
Noosa Groyne beach lies to the east while the Noosa River wraps around the isthmus to the west. An off-leash dog beach faces the river.
You can also follow the paved walking trail around the Spit for almost the entire loop, or walk along the sand between the rock walls of Groyne Beach.
There are toilets, shelters and large grassed areas at Noosa Spit. It's only 2km (1.2mi) from Hastings Street to the river mouth, taking five minutes to drive or 10 minutes to walk.
Noosa Junction – Located just a short walk from Hastings Street on the other side of Noosa Hill sits The Junga – as locals call it.
This small village services the nearby residential neighbourhoods with a shopping complex and a choice of supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, bottle shops and a cinema complex. It's also on the way to Sunshine Beach.
Noosa Junction has evolved as Noosa’s entertainment hub, with a range of bars, restaurants, live music, coffee shops and fashion boutiques as well as night markets.
Laguna Lookout – Set on the edge of Noosa Heads, amid towering eucalypt forest, Laguna Lookout showcases strikingly-beautiful panoramic views of Laguna Bay, Main Beach, the mouth of the Noosa River and the Noosa Hinterland.
Follow a short path through giant grey gum, pink bloodwood, ironbark and tallowwood trees to the lookout. Watch for kookaburras, lace monitors and koalas clinging to the tree trunks.
Laguna Lookout is in the Headland section of Noosa National Park. You can access Laguna Lookout from either Viewland Drive or Bayview Road from Noosa Junction. The lookout is popular and often crowded at sunset
Head to Gympie Terrace in the pretty riverside community of Noosaville for a leisurely stroll, jog or bike ride along the Noosa River.
With an abundance of shady trees and picnic benches, the grassy foreshore is the perfect place to relax anytime and especially while you watch a sunset over the Noosa River.
Noosaville is also a great spot for shopping, with boutiques offering gifts, homewares, shoes, jewellery, surf and adventure gear.
Located just inland from the river, the Noosaville Industrial Estate is home to a range of showrooms, warehouses and factory outlets selling locally made designer clothes, shoes and skincare as well as organic produce.
Hop on a tour boat for a sightseeing trip along the Noosa River or hire a pleasure craft to self-explore the waterway.
The Noosa River – Hidden waterways and riverside beaches are perfect for a quick dip, sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddling and fishing.
With seven stops between Noosa Marina and Hastings Street, the Noosa Ferry offers the most relaxing way to sit back, enjoy the passing scenery and learn more about Noosa.
Winding its way from the Great Sandy National Park, through lakes and villages, with more than 40km (24.8mi) of navigable waterways, the Noosa River is an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colour, teeming with bird and marine life.
For a memorable river adventure, explore the upper reaches of the Noosa River by houseboat, hire-boat, kayak or day cruise through Lake Cooroibah and Lake Cootharaba to Teewah landing. From there it's a 2km (1.2mi) walk to Teewah Beach.
Maps and camping permits are available from the Kinaba Island Information Centre at the northern end of Lake Cootharaba.
Mainly residential and the administrative hub of the Noosa area, this friendly town is home to the Noosa Regional Gallery and offers some of the region's best roads for cycling and running.
Located only a few minutes from Noosaville, Tewantin is the earliest settled town in the Noosa region. You can catch the Noosa Ferry to Noosa Marina, with its river-front shops and restaurants, or take a short riverside stroll to the village.
Follow the Tewantin Heritage Trail, a self-guided 2km (1.2mi) circuit trail that takes you through Tewantin town centre. Don't miss the Noosa Regional Gallery which hosts local and touring exhibitions.
Pick up a map from the tourist information and learn about the history of Tewantin from the annotations.
Or head to Tewantin National Park for some of the Sunshine Coast’s best mountain bike trails, and the Mt Tinbeerwah lookout, which is easy to access and offers panoramic coastal and hinterland views.
Tewantin National Park boasts more than 25km (15.5mi) of trails only 10km (6.2mi) west of Noosa Heads.
Later, catch the car ferry to Noosa North Shore. With 40km (24.8mi) of white sand, ancient dunes and beautiful coastline, the Noosa North Shore is the gateway to the Great Sandy National Park and the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island.
Just over the hill from Noosa Heads, lies the exclusive beach-resort town of Sunshine Beach, famous for it's surf as much as the multi-million dollar houses overlooking the Coral Sea.
Between Sunshine Beach and Peregian Beach, the 15km (9.3mi) long beach front is divided into Sunrise Beach, Castaways Beach and Marcus Beach.
Sunshine and Sunrise beaches are patrolled on weekends and during school holidays, Castaways Beach and Marcus Beach are not patrolled but are the place to go if you want plenty of space or a long walk on the sand.
The stretch around Castaways and Marcus is also a designated dog-walking beach, where you can let them off the lead, and is also popular with kite-surfers.
Sunshine Beach: With consistent pounding surf, this beautiful beach is a favourite for surfers.
Sunshine Beach Surf lifesaving club also welcomes non-members for a nominal fee.
A dog-free exercise area is located at the northern end of the beach beneath the headland.
Only 4km from Hastings Street, the small township offers a choice of friendly restaurants, bars and cafés.
Sunrise Beach: Located just south of Sunshine, this beach is patrolled on summer weekends and during peak school holiday seasons. It’s also great for fishing and surfing.
Castaways Beach: With easy access this beach is popular with local surfers. An area between Castaways Beach and Marcus Beach is a also dedicated off-leash dog area.
Marcus Beach: While there is no patrolled swimming area, this beach has popular surfing breaks and is excellent for beach fishing. Located close to Peregian, the beach offers an off-leash dog area at all times.
Peregian Beach: Located along the scenic coastal road about 10km (6.2mi) south of Sunshine Beach, Peregian is a patrolled surf beach.
Peregian has a great village feel with plenty of shops and cafés when you’ve had enough of the sand.
Coolum Beach: Coolum Beach is just 15km (9.3mi) from Sunshine Beach and boasts one of the best beach-side boardwalks on the Sunshine Coast.
Coolum is also perfectly positioned for panoramic views up and down the coast from either Point Perry or Point Arkwright Lookout – one of the best whale watching spots on the Sunshine Coast.
Discover some of South East Queensland's most picturesque coastlines.
From the scenic headland at Noosa Heads, heath plains and high dunes around Lake Weyba – a large, shallow, salt-water lake in the Noosa River system – to Emu Mountain and the coastal lowlands extending south towards Coolum Beach, there's something for everyone to admire.
Noosa National Park is a wildlife sanctuary protecting stands of eucalypt forest, melaleuca wetland, colourful wallum heathland and pockets of dense vine-strewn rainforest.
Open woodlands and low wallum heath cover most of the park. Hoop and kauri pines tower above small rainforest pockets growing on sand in sheltered sites away from the sea breezes.
Look out for endangered wildlife such as the glossy black-cockatoo, ground parrot, koala, red goshawk, wallum froglet, swamp orchid and Christmas bells.
The best way to explore the national park is on foot, an easy walk from Noosa Heads. At the park entrance, an information centre offers trail maps and information on the park's flora and fauna, as well as a blackboard listing the morning's koala sightings.
The centre also sells provisions, including water, snacks and sunscreen, and the adjoining kiosk brews coffee.
Noosa Headland day-use area – Set amid towering hoop pine, blue gum, swamp mahogany, macaranga and pandanus trees, this serene and shady day-use area offers sweeping coastal views from Noosa to Cooloola.
Enjoy a picnic using the tables, barbecues, bins, drinking water and toilets provided. Wheelchair-accessible toilets are available in the day-use area.
Check out the information displays and immerse yourself in stories about the park’s features, values, history and cultural heritage.
A choice of walking trails start and finish from here, including the Palm Grove Walk, Coastal Walk, Tanglewood Walk and Noosa Hill Walk.
Parking is limited so visitors are encouraged to walk, ride or catch the bus from Noosa Heads during peak periods.
Noosa Headland day-use area is situated at the end of Park Road in Noosa Heads. You can drive to the day-use area car park or walk along the 1km scenic seaside boardwalk from Hastings Street.
You can also cycle with caution along Park Road. Bike racks are provided in the day-use area (bring own padlock).
Noosa Headland day-use area is open 24 hours a day.
Palm Grove Walk – Experience a rejuvenating rainforest escape on this short, circuit walk among lush palms, soaring pines and melodic birdsong.
Take in the sights and sounds of the forest while walking among piccabeen palms, strangler figs, tuckeroos, tulip satinwood and crow's ash. Admire the dramatic, towering hoop and kauri pines, and on the forest floor look out for fungi, mosses and insects.
This short 1.1km return walk around the valley floor starts and ends at Noosa Headland day-use area. Allow between 15 to 30 minutes to complete the walk.
Coastal Walk – The most popular trail in Noosa National Park leads you past scenic headlands overlooking rocky bays and enclosed beaches with sweeping ocean vistas across Laguna Bay to Noosa North Shore and the Cooloola Sandpatch.
The hilly coastal trail meanders past features such as Boiling Pot Lookout, Tea Tree Bay, Dolphin Point Lookout, Granite Bay and the rocky tidal pools of Fairy Pools before continuing to Hells Gate Lookout.
From Hells Gate you can return along the same route, or take the Tanglewood Track across the centre of the park back to the day-use area or continue on to Sunshine Beach.
The full 10.8km (6.7mi) return walk follows the shoreline from Noosa Headland day-use area to Sunshine Beach, taking around four hours to complete.
Along the way, try to spot koalas snoozing in the tree-tops or munching on leaves.
From several vantage points, watch out for turtles and dolphins drift and skim through the waves. Between June and November you may spot humpback whales cruising past the coastline on their way to and from northern breeding grounds.
Soak up the salty atmosphere and listen to the thunderous sounds of waves crashing ferociously into the rugged rocks at Boiling Pot, 300m one way; Dolphin Point, 1.2km one way; and Hell's Gates, 2.7km (1.6mi) one way.
The trail is paved up to Dolphin Point, with some steep gradients exceeding 1:10 (5.7 degrees) for short sections.
Between Dolphin Point and Hell's Gates the track is unsealed, with some steps and steep sections. This section is not suitable for wheelchairs or strollers.
Fairy Pools – Located on the western side of the headland at the eastern end of Granite Bay, these two natural tidal pools are the perfect spot to stop and cool-off.
Framed between basalt rocks, the pools are accessed by scrambling down rocks from the lookout. The smaller pool is only separated from the ocean at low tide but the larger pool may still be usable at high tide when the swell is smaller and fewer waves crash over the rocks.
Bring a snorkel and mask to see several kinds of coral and sponges at low tide.
A side-trail from Hell's Gates descends to Alexandria Bay Beach, a secluded clothing-optional beach. From here you can continue south and walk over the headland to Sunshine Beach.
Other more quiet inland tracks pass through rainforest, open woodlands, heathlands and stands of hoop and kauri pine. Along the way lookout for native animals including koalas and wallabies
Tea Tree Bay Beach – Framed by spiky pandanus and native bushland, Tea Tree Bay is one of Noosa's most idyllic beaches – a broad sweep of pristine white sand shelves gently into crystal clear waters.
To reach the bay, follow the coastal walking track from the Noosa National Park entrance. Note: Unlike Noosa's Main Beach, Tea Tree Bay is not patrolled.
Tanglewood Walk – This 8km (5mi) return trail takes you through forest in the middle of Noosa National Park to end near Hell's Gates.
Meander along the rainforest edge, among crows ash, small-leaved tuckeroos, and spectacular hoop and kauri pines. Listen out for the unique 'whip-cracking' calls of the eastern whipbird ringing through the forest.
Continue on to emerge in forests flourishing with pink bloodwoods, banksias, brush box, blue gums, red ironbarks, scribbly gums and grasstrees.
Look out for wildlife, including lace monitors, koalas, echidnas, red-backed fairy wrens and little wattlebirds.
Continue an extra 400m to Hell's Gate or walk a further 130m along a side trail to Alexandria Bay to the secluded clothing-optional beach. Otherwise, return via the Coastal Walk for a 7.1km (4.4mi) circuit. Allow two to three hours to complete the walk.
Noosa Hill Walk – Discover scenic forests of blue gums, ruby-sapped bloodwoods, Moreton Bay ash trees, as well as black and hickory wattles on this tranquil hillside climb through Noosa National Park.
The 2.8km (1.7mi) return walk starts at Noosa Headland day-use area and follows the northern face of Noosa Hill. A 150m detour along the main track leads to the summit.
Spy glimpses of the spectacular coastline through the tree line and look for echidnas and carpet pythons hiding in the leaf litter.
You may return along the same path to the day-use area or via a link trail to the Tanglewood Walk for a 3.7km (2.8mi) circuit walk.
Alexandria Bay Walk – This 4.2km (2.6mi) return walk winds through open eucalypt woodland and heathland to Alexandria Bay, with its long sweeping beach and surrounding rocky headland.
Along the way, wander through tall open forest, featuring pandanus palms, brush box, coastal banksia and pink bloodwoods.
Several scenic side tracks link to the Tanglewood Walk before arriving at Alexandria Bay, and you can also link to the Coastal Walk for a longer journey around Noosa's spectacular rocky coastline.
Alexandria Bay sits on the southern edge of the park's headland and is not far from Sunshine Beach. Allow up to two hours walking time.
Emu Mountain Summit Walk – This short 1.1km return hill climb through coastal heath provides uninterrupted coastal views from the summit of Emu Mountain.
Along the way, wander through colourful wildflowers and she-oaks before climbing to the top of Emu Mountain. Allow one hour walking time.
The mountain, also known as Mount Peregian (the Aboriginal word for emu), is the remnant rhyolite rock from a once-larger volcanic mass.
Views from the summit extend along the coastline from Noosa to Maroochydore, taking in the Glass House Mountains to the south-west and Mount Tuchekoi to the north-west.
Between June and November you may spot majestic humpback whales migrating along the coastal waters.
Access to the trail is from the car park on Havana Road East (near Coolum High School), Coolum Beach, around 16km (10mi) south of Noosa Heads.
Hakea Walk – Stroll through scenic heathland and eucalypt trees, on this botanical 2.4km (1.5mi) return walk in the Emu Mountain section of Noosa National Park.
Wind your way through beautiful coastal heathland fringed with paperbarks and eucalypts, including fragrant blue gums and pink bloodwoods. Spot the distinctive woody seed pods of hakea shrubs along the way.
Look out for finches in the low-lying shrubs, and honeyeaters hanging from branches to drink nectar-laden blooms.
To extend the walk, follow the signposted side track that climbs 400m to join the Emu Mountain Summit Walk. Allow one hour walking time.
Access to the trail is from the car park on Havana Road East (near Coolum High School), Coolum Beach, around 16km (10mi) south of Noosa Heads.
Formed by the passage of the Noosa River into the Cooloola region of Great Sandy National Park, the Noosa Everglades is one of only two everglade systems in the world: the other is in Florida.
Quiet, serene and full of native wildlife, the Noosa Everglades is a must-visit for visitors. The river's entire upper catchment is protected, making this one of the most pristine wetlands in the world. The waters are a known habitat of the elusive dugong, a gentle, vulnerable water mammal.
Lake Cootharaba is the gateway to both the Upper Noosa River and the Noosa Everglades. The relatively shallow lake – 5km (3.1mi) in width and 10km (6.2mi) in length – is the largest lake in the Cooloola region of Great Sandy National Park.
Here, the natural wild landscape of ancient tea tree forests and lilly pads floating in crystal, clear waters has remained unchanged for thousands of years. The ecosystem is home to more than 40 per cent of Australia’s bird species.
Discover the beauty of the Everglades by joining an eco-safari cruise for the ultimate day trip or go it alone on a self-guided kayak experience. Boats of various sizes can be hired from Tewantin and Noosaville as well as Boreen Point and Elanda Point on Lake Cootharaba.
Look out for some of the Everglades’ native residents such as pelicans, cormorants, eagles, osprey, and the rare jabiru and glossy black cockatoo are all found here.
Located around 20km (12.4mi) north of Noosa Heads, the sleepy hamlet of Boreen Point sits on Lake Cootharaba's western shore and is home to one of Queensland's oldest and most atmospheric pubs, the Apollonian Hotel.
Soak up coastal views on a 4WD-drive adventure from Noosa North Shore along Teewah Beach to Double Island Point, and then along Rainbow Beach to the small township of the same name.
The 60km (37mi) one-way Cooloola beach drive is part of the Great Beach Drive – a spectacular coastal touring route linking Noosa and Hervey Bay – and is accessible to 4WDs with a vehicle permit only, available from www.npsr.qld.gov.au.
Allow one hour 30 minutes to drive the entire length, however with several campsites along the route this a multi-day camping favourite.
Note: A camping permit is required. Capacity is limited, so book early to avoid disappointment during peak periods. Rangers may visit camps during the day to check permits and answer questions.
Cooloola Recreation Area – Extending from Lake Cootharaba north to Rainbow Beach, the Cooloola Recreation Area of Great Sandy National Park covers an area of around 540km² (208mi²).
Here you can experience long beaches backed by high sand dunes, tranquil waterways, wildflower heaths, freshwater lakes, woodlands and forests – a vital refuge for coastal wildlife.
There are no bridges crossing the north side of the Noosa River, instead, access is via the Noosa North Shore Ferry, located at the northern end of Moorindil Street in Tewantin.
Note: Payment is in cash only. You’ll also need to purchase a permit to drive onto the sand of the Cooloola Recreation Area.
Once across the Noosa River, it's around 7km (4.3mi) by way of Maximillian Road, Beach Road and the Wilderness Track to the 4WD-accessible third beach cutting. You must enter and exit the beach via this sand track.
About halfway along Teewah Beach, you’ll pass the 200m-high sand cliffs of the Great Sandy National Park. The sand cliffs are in a range of colours, created through natural combinations of iron oxide and vegetable dyes.
At Double Island Point, a 1.1km walking trail leads up to Double Island Point Lighthouse which dates back to 1884 with panoramic ocean views.
From June to October, this is a prime spot for spotting migrating humpback whales.
Before reaching the lighthouse, the Leisha Track links Teewah Beach and Rainbow Beach by cutting across the ‘neck’ of Double Island Point, bypassing the rocky headland and leading to the edge of a large tidal lake on Rainbow Beach.
From here you can continue to drive along Rainbow Beach to the town of Rainbow Beach passing spectacular coloured cliffs made of ancient, richly oxidised sands.
You can access Cooloola beach drive in the south via Noosa North Shore and in the north at Rainbow Beach. You need a high-clearance 4WD to drive on Cooloola's beaches.
Vehicle access and camping permits are available from the Manta Ray barge office, Shell service station, Rainbow Beach caravan park (BP service station) and the Rainbow Beach Tourist Information Centre at the northern end of the drive.
At the southern end, permits are available at the Great Sandy Information Centre, located near the Noosa River ferry on Moorindil Street.
Display the vehicle permit on your windscreen before driving in the recreation area. All vehicles must be registered, drivers must be licensed and all Queensland road rules apply, even on beaches.
Note: Tides play a significant part in successfully travelling up to Double Island Point. Ideally, you’ll want to travel up the length of Teewah Beach on a falling tide as the sand will be wet, smooth and hard.
Driving back to Noosa the same way is the preferred option, leaving Double Island Point no later than two to three hours after the tide turns and begins to rise again.
Getting the tides right is critical as the high-tide sea water comes right up to the dunes on Rainbow Beach. Get it wrong, and your car will more than likely end up on the Wall of Shame.
You’ll need to drive the length of Rainbow Beach no later than two hours after low tide. Or, to bypass Rainbow Beach entirely, you can head inland from Teewah Beach to Rainbow Beach township on Freshwater Road and Telegraph Track.
Alternatively, you can drive to Rainbow Beach and back to Noosa again on the same day, using sealed roads back to Noosa from Rainbow Beach town.
As a final note, you’ll need to drop your tyres down to around 18psi to drive on the sand. There is a service station where you can air up again at Rainbow Beach for no charge (buying some fuel or grabbing a snack appreciated).
If you’re travelling south, you can air up for a small fee at the car wash station at Noosa North Shore. If you’d like to give your under body an automated wash, you’ll find wash stations at both Noosa North Shore and Rainbow Beach.
In addition to 4WD tracks, there are also several excellent walking and horse-riding trails in Cooloola Recreation Area, including the Cooloola Great Walk.
Cooloola Great Walk – Experience the very best of Cooloola on this multi-day hike through massive sand dunes, hidden rainforests, inland lakes, coastal woodland and heath-clad plains.
The 102km (63mi) Great Walk links Noosa North Shore in the south with Rainbow Beach in the north, and usually takes around five days to complete.
Along the way, climb over vast sandblows, walk around lakes and along sandy beaches with sweeping views of the Cooloola coastline. Glimpse snakes, skinks, lizards, emus and echidnas.
Overnight campsites are located at Brahminy, Dutgee, Litoria and Kauri.
Day 1: Noosa North Shore Track Entrance To Brahminy Walkers’ Camp – Walk through plains of colourful wildflowers (late winter to spring), then hike along the Teewah Beach highway.
For sweeping coastal views take a short detour up Mount Seawah before reaching Brahminy Walkers’ Camp in time to enjoy the sunset over Lake Cootharaba.
Allow around six hours of walking time for this 17.3km (10.7mi) walk.
Day 2: Brahminy Walkers’ Camp To Dutgee Walkers’ Camp – This section is one of the most challenging days of the hike taking around seven hours to complete the 20.3km (12.6mi) day-hike.
Enjoy coastal views from the sandy track, then the refreshing coolness of the rainforest before crossing the soft sand of the Cooloola Sand Patch.
After which it’s all downhill to camp alongside the Noosa Everglades. Cool off with a dip in the river at Dutgee Walkers’ Camp.
Day 3: Dutgee Walkers’ Camp To Litoria Walkers’ Camp – Leaving the Noosa River, day three takes you through open timbered forests of predominantly blackbutt and coastal wattle.
Expect a number of challenging steep sections, with multiple elevation changes of between 100-150m on this 14.8km (9mi) hike before reaching Litoria Walkers’ Camp. Allow around five and a half hours walking time.
Day 4: Litoria Walkers’ Camp To Kauri Walkers’ Camp – At 20.5km (12.7mi) this is the longest day of the hike taking around seven hours of walking time, much of which is spent in rainforest.
The trail leads past strangler figs and gigantic kauri pines to Kauri Walkers’ Camp.
Day 5: Kauri Walkers’ Camp To Carlo Car Park Track Entrance – The 15.2km (9.4mi) trail leads through rainforest to Lake Poona, at 160m above sea level the highest lake in Cooloola, and on to Carlo Sandblow, from where you can enjoy panoramic views along Rainbow Beach.
Allow five hours of walking time to complete day five.
You have the choice of two access points to begin the Cooloola Great Walk: the southern entrance on Noosa North Shore via Tewantin; and the northern entrance from Carlo Sandblow car park at Rainbow Beach.
Overnight parking is available in Tewantin and Rainbow Beach townships, but not at the walk entry points so it's best to get dropped off or take a taxi. As a one-way walk, you may also need to think about your return transport options.
Coloured Sands – Discover an ever-changing ‘art gallery’ in the naturally-sculpted cliffs of coloured sands framing Rainbow Beach on this 8km return walk.
The spectacularly-eroded cliff lines of swirling coloured sands begin just south of Rainbow Beach township.
Here, wind and rain are constantly re-sculpting cliffs of coloured sands often creating magical ‘earthy’ rainbows by the mixing of sands of different colours.
Over thousands of years, iron-rich minerals have stained the sand with a complex array of yellow, brown and red hues, while pure white sand has been leached of all nutrients.
The cliffs extend along the beach to Double Island Point so you can walk as far as you wish before retracing your steps to Rainbow Beach township.
You can also stop along sections of this walk on the Cooloola Beach drive, between Double Island Point and Rainbow Beach.
Allow three hours to complete the return walk and enjoy the spectacle.
Carlo Sandblow – Explore this unique 'moonscape' of windblown sand covering more than 15ha, with panoramic views overlooking the coastline from Double Island Point to Inskip Peninsula and the southern tip of Fraser Island.
Follow the 2.8km (1.7mi) one-way trail through eucalypt forest and rainforest to reach Carlo Sandblow, part of the huge accumulation of windblown sand known as the Cooloola Sandmass.
From the top of the sandblow, enjoy stunning 180-degree views over Rainbow Beach, the Coloured Sands, Double Island Point, Fraser Island and Inskip Peninsula.
For a shorter walk, start from the Carlo Sandblow car park instead of walking from the Rainbow Beach Information Centre.
The walk is in the northern section of Cooloola, just south of Rainbow Beach township, and ends in a different spot to the start.
Cooloola Sandpatch – Discover one of Cooloola’s iconic natural wonders, a 2km-long sandblow on a towering sandmass with panoramic views over the upper Noosa River.
This 12km (7.4mi) return walk in the southern part of Cooloola takes around five hours to complete from Campsite Three on the upper Noosa River to the northern end of the Cooloola Sandpatch, returning via the same path.
The walk follows the Cooloola Great Walk, meandering through coastal heath along a low sandy ridge then clambering up the steep but shaded sides of the Cooloola Sandmass. The trail passes through blackbutt and scribbly gum forests and woodlands with an understorey of grass-trees.
After reaching the edge of the 2km-long Cooloola Sandpatch, take a moment or two to enjoy panoramic views back over the upper Noosa River catchment, including Lake Cooloola, Lake Como and Lake Cootharaba.
You can also access this walk via canoe or kayak from Elanda Point or boat from Boreen Point boat ramp.
From Elanda Point, paddle 19.2km (12mi) across Lake Cootharaba to Campsite Three on the Upper Noosa River. This should take around three hours 40 minutes.
Along the way, stay close to the shore line while paddling northwards across Lake Cootharaba Plan to cross the lake early in the morning when conditions are likely to be calm.
From Boreen Point boat ramp, it's around 22km (13mi) to Campsite Three, taking around one hour 45 minutes.
Cooloola Way 4WD Track – This challenging 30km (18.6mi) one-way track along Cooloola’s western boundary is perfect for 4WD vehicles as well as trail bikes.
Linking Cooloola’s southern access with Rainbow Beach road in the north the trail leads through tall pine plantations, scribbly gum woodlands and low heathlands dotted in spring wildflowers. Along the way enjoy glimpses of the scenic Cooloola Sandmass to the east.
The track is frequently wet and boggy, and sometimes flooded – when conditions are poor, you’re best to take the safer route along inland roads farther west.
Cooloola Way connects connects the Kin Kin-Wolvi Road in the south of Cooloola with Rainbow Beach Road in the north. The start-off point is different to the finish point; allow one hour driving time.
Note: You need a high clearance 4WD to access Cooloola Way. Vehicle access permits are not required but may be required if you plan to traverse beaches and other inland tracks within the Cooloola Recreation Area.
Cooloola wilderness trail – Explore the remote and serene landscapes of Cooloola's wetlands on this 48km (30mi)-long inland hike, camping under starry skies along the way.
Here, over several days walking you can experience riverine rainforests, tall eucalypt forests, drier woodlands and heathlands in Cooloola's inland wilderness along the upper Noosa River.
Discover remote waterholes, scribbly gum woodland and rainforest-fringed creeks. During spring, an abundance of wildflowers attract native bees, birds, bats and gliders.
Along the trail, listen for the songs of noisy friarbirds and ‘popping corn’ sounds of yellow-tailed black cockatoos crunching seeds. In the early mornings and late afternoons, listen to an orchestra of frog calls from the reed-lined riverbank.
Camp overnight at Fig Tree Point, Harrys, Wandi waterhole or Neebs waterhole camping sites.
The start-off point is different to the finish point. Allow three to five days to complete the walk.
Cooloola Wilderness Trail is located in Cooloola Recreation Area in Great Sandy National Park between Noosa Heads and Rainbow Beach, around 240km (150mi) north of Brisbane.
The trail extends from Elanda Point, via Tewantin in the southern part of Cooloola, to Rainbow Beach Road in the north.
Camping permits and other information are available from the Great Sandy Information Centre, located near the Noosa River ferry on Moorindil Street in Tewantin.
At Rainbow Beach, permits are available from the Manta Ray barge office, Shell service station, Rainbow Beach caravan park (BP service station) or the Rainbow Beach Tourist Information Centre.
Double Island Point lighthouse walk – Discover panoramic views from the historic Double Island Point lighthouse built in 1884 and still standing tall on the headland against a backdrop of low wind-stunted pandanus and coastal banksia.
A short, but steep 2.2km (1.5mi) return trail leads to the lighthouse, with wonderful 360-degree views from Fraser Island and Rainbow Beach to Noosa on a clear day.
Lookout for dolphins, marine turtles and manta rays in the waters off the headland, and migrating humpback whales during the cooler months.
Allow one hour to complete the return walk, which is accessed from the Cooloola Beach drive between Noosa North Shore and Rainbow Beach.
The walk starts at a locked gate at the southern beach of the Double Island Point headland. An 800m side trail branches off from the walk to the northern beach of the Double Island Point headland. You need a high-clearance 4WD to access the walk.
Double Island Point walk – Set out early to explore Cooloola’s scenic coast on this 30km (18.6mi) day-long hike from Rainbow Beach to Double Island Point.
Follow the old lighthouse telegraph line along the high coastal dunes — you'll notice old telegraph posts still standing among the tall blackbutt trees.
Splash in the calm lagoon at the base of Double Island Point headland and watch surfers at the base of the headland catching long, rolling waves.
Then climb the steep track to the lighthouse and enjoy a picnic lunch while enjoying at sweeping views over the ocean and coast to the north and south.
Double Island Point walk is in the northern part of Cooloola and extends along the high dunes from Rainbow Beach to Double Island point.
The long walk starts from the QPWS Information Centre on the right hand side of Rainbow Beach Road as you enter Rainbow Beach township.
Allow 11 hours to complete the hike. Start and finish points are the same, and walkers are advised to return via the same path.
Teewah Beach walk – Follow this 4km (2.4mi) return trail from Lake Cootharaba to Teewah Beach through coastal heath, paperbark swamp and scribbly gum woodland, with scenic views south towards Noosa Heads.
For an additional 4km return walk or cycle, follow the side track uphill to Mount Seawah and be rewarded by spectacular views from the summit overlooking the river, lakes the coastline towards Noosa Heads.
Teewah Landing is accessible by canoe from Elanda Point or by boat from Boreen Point.
This return walk should take around one hour 30 minutes to complete. The walk starts from Teewah landing in Lake Cootharaba to Teewah Beach. Walkers are advised to return via the same path. Teewah Beach is also accessible via the Cooloola Beach drive.
Explore the Noosa Hinterland along the Noosa Trail Network, a series of scenic trails that meander through country villages, mountain lookouts and national parks.
Situated around 30 minutes from Noosa Heads, the Noosa hinterland is a patchwork of lakes, lookouts, scenic trails and quaint country towns waiting to be experienced on foot, horseback or bike.
Along the way discover the villages of Eumundi, Pomona, Cooran and Kin Kin. Here you can find cafés, galleries, farm gates, blacksmith’s gardens and markets. Accommodation options include lake-front cottages, B&Bs, health retreats and glamping under starry skies.
There are also great village markets right around the region – from Eumundi, Pomona and Kin Kin in the hinterland to the Noosa Farmers Markets, Peregian Beach, Noosa Junction and Noosa Marina. Each has their own great vibe and specialties, whether its fresh fruit and vegetables, hand-made fashions and art, street food or unique gifts.
Eumundi Markets – Located just 21km (13mi) from Hastings Street lies the quaint country town of Eumundi.
Normally a quiet place, the town comes alive with every Saturday and Wednesday morning with the Eumundi Markets, the biggest and arguably best artisan market you’ll find in the region.
Here you’ll find a staggering array of boutique stalls selling a variety of handicrafts and all manner of bricabrac. It’s a melting pot of local ingenuity with over 350 stall holders coming back week after week.
Magnificent poinciana trees and large fig trees providing ample shade while you peruse the wares of this captivating market.
Noosa Botanical Gardens – Explore meandering paths past beautiful garden displays, with picnic seats and gazebos positioned around the gardens to offer stunning views across Lake MacDonald.
The gardens are home to exotic plant species, tropical plants and a lily pond. A unique feature inside the gardens is the Greek-style amphitheatre, which plays host to numerous events held throughout the year.
Noosa Botanical Gardens is located on the edge of Lake MacDonald and near the village of Cooroy, around 30-minutes drive from Noosa Heads. Entry to the gardens is free.
From sport to music to food, glorious food, Noosa has a calendar full of exciting events, including the following picks…
Noosa Summer Swim – February: Enjoy a huge weekend of sun, surf and ocean swims, with events and a range of distances for every ability.
Runaway Noosa Marathon – May: Escape to Noosa for a fun run or the full Marathon. This premium running experience offers a choice of five race distances.
Noosa Food & Wine Festival – Celebrate great Australian food, wine and lifestyle with some of Australia’s favourite chefs, foodies and winemakers in May.
Noosa Alive – July: Noosa's regional arts and culture festival offers performances in dance, music, visual arts, film, literature and theatre.
Noosa International Film Festival – October: See new release Australian and international feature length films and high-quality short films, along with inspirational workshops and talks with leading industry experts.
Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival – October/November: Celebrate healthy lifestyles and fitness in Noosa over five days, with running, swimming and cycling events, culminating in the Noosa Tri – one of the the world’s largest triathlon event.
Noosa offers an ever-growing range of luxurious accommodation options for couples celebrating a honeymoon or romantic getaway including the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas and the RACV Noosa Resort.
You can even charter a houseboat and stay on the Noosa River with Luxury Afloat Noosa.
Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort
Location: 14 - 16 Hastings Street, Noosa
Prices: from AUD370 per double room
Description: Get the celebrity treatment with world-class service at Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, which features a central location on Hastings Street, just 1.6km (1mi) from Noosa National Park. Each studio provides a private balcony with views of either Noosa Village, the resort’s pool, Noosa River or the beautiful Laguna Bay. Studios include a flat-screen TV with cable channels and kitchenette with fridge and tea/coffee making facilities. The hotel offers an on-site restaurant, a day spa and a heated outdoor pool. Contemporary cuisine can be enjoyed at Noosa Beach House Peter Kuruvita.
RACV Noosa Resort
Location: 94 Noosa Drive, Noosa
Prices: from AUD331 per double room
Description: This 5-star family-friendly resort is located just three minutes-drive from Hastings Street. Nestled between the iconic Hastings Street and the pristine Noosa Hinterland, RACV Noosa Resort offers a choice of modern appointed suites or 1, 2 and 3-bedroom fully self-contained apartments and 3-bedroom private precinct villas, which include either a rooftop spa or plunge pool. For those who want an exclusive, luxury experience, the 3-bedroom Enclave Luxury Villas are available. All apartments include prestigious fittings and fixtures throughout, including kitchen facilities with European appliances and stone bench tops. The Resort offers a luxurious day spa with 6 treatment rooms, a heated lagoon swimming pool with man-made beach entry, heated pool with 2 water slides and a splash park, outdoor heated spa, heated toddler’s pool, restaurant and sunset bar with wood-fired pizza. At RACV Noosa Resort there is also a fitness centre, flood-lit tennis court, playground and bike hire. A 24-hour reception, in room dining and a free hourly courtesy bus to Main Beach/Hastings Street are available. Free WiFi, wheelchair access facilities, in-house/DVD movies and complimentary car parking are all included.
Peppers Noosa Resort and Villas
Location: 33A Viewland Drive, Noosa
Prices: from AUD189 per double room
Description: The 5-star Peppers Noosa Resort and Villas offers luxurious accommodations with a private balcony. Located next Noosa National Park just a 500m walk from Laguna Bay beach, Peppers Noosa Resort and Villas offers free transfers to and from Hastings Street. Each of the air-conditioned apartments and villas feature a lounge area, a fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities. All include a dining setting and a lounge area with cable TV. Some villas offer views over Laguna Bay and exclusive access to a private pool. The day spa offers massages, facials, manicures and pedicures. View Restaurant features a relaxing and welcoming environment, and an extensive international menu. Free on-site car parking and a 24/7 reception desk are also provided. The resort offers a restaurant, a bar, two swimming pools, a fitness centre, a games room, and a day spa. Free WiFi is available in all areas.
Location: 25 Hastings Street, Noosa
Prices: from AUD272 per double room
Description: Located directly on Hastings Street opposite Noosa Beach, Tingirana Noosa features an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. It offers self-contained accommodations with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen cable TV. The air-conditioned apartments feature a kitchenette or kitchen with a microwave and a refrigerator. Each apartment provides bathrobes, a hair dryer and free toiletries. Some apartments offer a private balcony overlooking the beach and pool.
Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about hotels in Noosa at TripAdvisor.
Noosa is located on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast around 136km (85mi) north of Brisbane, the state's capital.
By car, Noosa is around one hour 30-minutes north of Brisbane via the Bruce Highway and Eumundi-Noosa Road. From the north, Noosa is around one hour south of Gympie.
By rail, a frequent train service operates from Brisbane to Gympie with stops at Nambour and Cooroy, where Sunbus collects passengers heading to Noosa. For rail and bus timetables visit translink.com.au.
By bus, Greyhound Australia operates an extensive bus network with Noosa a popular stop for many travellers. For schedules and rates check out greyhound.com.au.
By air, the Sunshine Coast Airport is the closest airport to Noosa, and offers direct daily flights from Sydney and Melbourne with Jetstar and Virgin Australia, as well as connecting services from all major Australian capital cities.
Noosa is a 35-minute drive north of the airport. There are plenty of transport options from the airport including rental cars, taxis, bus transfers, public buses and hotel shuttles.
The most convenient route to Noosa, from overseas or interstate, is by air to Brisbane Airport (BNE), located about 12km (7.4mi) northeast of Brisbane city centre.
There are several bus services, private transfers and hire car options from Brisbane Airport to Noosa.
More information on How to get to Brisbane…
Anytime. Noosa is known for its mild climate with an average annual temperature of 25°C (77°F).
The summer average temperature from December to February is 27°C (80°F). January to March has high humidity and brings the occasional shower.
The autumn months of March, April and May enjoy warm weather with humid conditions at around 74 per cent. Although temperatures are slightly cooler, the weather is still warm enough to swim.
Winter, from June to August, is the coolest time of the year, with an average temperature of 20°C (68°F).
Spring, from September to November, brings clear skies, minimal rainfall, warm temperatures and the perfect weather for enjoying the beaches and national parks.
Water temperature ranges from 19°C (66°F) in winter to 25°C (77°F) in summer.
High season: December to January and March to April are Noosa's top holiday season when bookings should be made in advance.
Shoulder season: October to December, February to March.
Low season: April to September.
Holiday periods are typically based around school holidays, with availability and prices fluctuating accordingly.
Latest update: Noosa, Sunshine Coast: 13 December, 2020
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