Our hidden gems of Noosa (Queensland, Australia)

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever” – Jacques Cousteau

It’s been a holidaymakers paradise for well over a century, and to this day delights visitors with it’s white sand, clear crystal blue waters and surrounding native forest. Noosa, just 90 minutes north of Brisbane caters for families, retirees and honeymooners.

We have been coming to Noosa, on and off, for well over 20 years. Noosa speaks to us, in a way that many people feel about Byron Bay. It’s more than a holiday – it’s a way of life. From the beautiful postcard beaches to the hinterland, Noosa and the wider Sunshine Coast, offers so many experiences, or if you prefer, you can simply do nothing.

Here we share our hidden gems of Noosa:

Noosa Farmers Market

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Noosa Farmers market

Sunday mornings are best spent wandering the local farmers market, and talking to local producers and farmers.

A great range of fresh produce and products from around the region are on offer – local cheese, tropical fruits, artisan breads and seafood to name a few. You can enjoy an early breakfast from 7am or a more leisurely brunch, as the market is open until midday.

Noosa Australian Football Club, Weyba Road, Noosaville

Every Sunday 7am – Midday

Noosa Hot Bread Shop – Boulangerie & Patisserie

This is hands down the best French boulangerie and patisserie outside of France!

In time in Noosa over the years, we have visited many French patisseries on the coast, and nothing comes close to the Noosa Hot Bread Shop (don’t be fooled by the name!).

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Anytime is a good time for cake!

Artisan breads, delicious French pastries (you must try the Mille-Feuille), great locally roasted coffee and wonderful friendly service – make this a great mid-morning snack or brunch. This little corner of Paris is located at Noosa Junction.

Shop 5, 4 – 6 Sunshine Beach Road, Noosa Heads

Open Monday – Saturday 7am – 4pm, Sunday 7am – 2pm, except Christmas Day

Sunshine Beach

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Sunrise over Sunshine Beach

Just a few kilometres south of Noosa Heads is Sunshine Beach, with its stunning sunrises and sunsets along the white sandy beach. With a small village of boutique shops, cafes and restaurants leading down Duke Street towards the surf beach.

One of our favourite local coffee roasters, Costa Noosa Espresso, is opened daily from 6.30am, and makes a great start to the day whilst watching the sunrise over the beach. Or you can sit back on the deck under one their umbrellas enjoying the sunshine with a good book!

You will have no problem finding a a carpark at Sunshine Beach, and it’s far enough off the beaten track, that you will be amongst the locals here.

Noosaville

Ok, so this one is not really hidden, but no doubt in our minds, Noosaville is the place to be. We have stayed at Noosa Heads and Noosaville over the years, and seems the locals agree with us, Noosaville is really where it is at. Sure, the beach is at Noosa Heads and the cafe set are down on Hastings Street, but venture beyond to Noosaville and you will find a little explorer’s paradise.

This family friendly destination with affordable accommodation on the Noosa River is set amongst beautiful parklands. There is miles and miles of walking trails along the riverfront, fantastic pirate playground, free BBQs and plenty of places for picnics! Little explorers can dip their toes in the sandy riverbanks, catch their first fish or learn how to kayak!

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Gelato, made with local ingredients- delicious

Noosaville offers some of Noosa’s finest dining, with local leading lady  Maisies, a firm favourite. First opened in 1920, this steak and seafood restaurant, has been serving locals nearly a century and continues to deliver exceptional meals at reasonable prices. Some great restaurants and cafes are along Gympie Terrace, with our favourites including Grenny’s, Natural Thai Cafe and Amo Gelato Caffe.

We chose to stay at Sandy Beach Resort on the riverfront on Gympie Terrace. Self-contained townhouses, with beautiful tropical gardens, two swimming pools and spa, make this the ideal place for families to explore Noosaville.

Maisies – 247 Gympie Tce, Noosaville

Opened daily, Lunch 11.30am – 2.30pm, Dinner 5.30pm – 9.30pm

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Surfing at Little Cove, Noosa Main Beach

Little Explorer Tips:

  • Always swim between the flags at patrolled beaches
  • Parking is strictly enforced in Noosa, pay attention to car parking signs
  • Noosa Farmers Market is really popular, be prepared to wait for parking or walk
  • Noosa Heads & Noosaville is part of the UNSECO’s Noosa Biosphere which promotes harmony between nature and people ~ therefore, this is a nature lovers paradise so respect the environment.

Getting to Noosa:

You can fly to the Sunshine Coast (Maroochydore Airport), with Jetstar and Virgin Australia providing daily flights from both Melbourne and Sydney. Qantas provide daily flights from Sydney only. Air New Zealand provide seasonal flights from Auckland.

From Melbourne, it’s around 21 hours driving time via Route 39: Newell Highway and 11 hours from Sydney on the Pacific Highway (M1/A1).

There isn’t a direct rail connection to Noosa, but you can take a train from Brisbane to Nambour or Cooroy, and then connect with a local bus to Noosa Junction.

When to go:

Anytime! However, Noosa has a sub-tropical climate with average summer temperature of 28ºC and “cooling” to 20ºC during winter. Remember, as in the tropics, it can rain at anytime! But as they say in the classics “beautiful one day, perfect the next”.

Need to know more:

Check out Visit Noosa and Visit Sunshine Coast

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There is always a palm tree to take a nap under!

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