A small coastal town on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Noosa is a sleepy yet vibrant foodie and shopping mecca, with expansive beaches, vivid light and surfers everywhere. Only a two-hour road trip up from Brisbane (Queensland’s capital city) I descended on this sun-soaked corner of paradise by way of an Easter road trip with my bestie. We ate, photographed and wandered our way around town to curate five top things you must do in Noosa.
1. Wander Hastings Street
The main street of downtown Noosa Heads, Hastings Street runs parallel to and one street back from the beach. Think: organic eateries, ridiculously good coffee, hole-in-the-wall juice bars, art galleries and high-end boutiques (most of which are still relaxed enough to peruse through in your bikini).
I recommend propping yourself at 10 Hastings Street (eatery and boutique motel) for a chilled frappe and coffee. You’ll find pineapples on tables, juices in mason jars and food that’s definitely too pretty to eat (but you will anyway). It’s the perfect place to people watch and leisurely plan your day’s adventure.
10 Hastings Street: 10 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads
2. Noosa National Park + Hell’s Gate
Hike is not the right word to describe this oceanside forest track – it’s definitely more ‘walking trail’ – and a beautiful one at that. We took to this trail in flip flops and toting a picnic basket, and discovered granite beaches, vivid blue ocean vistas, dense scrubland with gum trees reaching high, and Pandanus aerial roots sprawled low. There was also plenty of local wildlife to meet – we cam across a goanna and koala. Keep going and you’ll soon hit Hell’s Gates, for a striking 360 degree view of the headland. It’s around a two hour round trip, not including photo stops (of which there will be many). You’ll return feeling awestruck and invigorated.
Noosa National Park, Park Road, Noosa Heads
3. Play in rock pools at Granite Bay
Sitting half way along the path to Hell’s Gate is a secluded expanse of beach with sizeable black granite boulders and crystal clear rockpools. It’s the perfect place to take an afternoon dip and cool off on your way back to Noosa. Sink into the rock pools, and watch surfers riding impressive waves out in the deep blue.
4. Gelati at Massimo’s
You can’t visit Noosa without stopping for some of this gelati – it’s just the rules. Sitting at the end of Hastings Street, backed up against the beach, Massimo’s is somewhat of a Noosa institution. There’s never not a lineup out the door, even barely after breakfast o’clock. With a changing menu of flavours such as hazelnut, blueberry yoghurt, and four varieties of chocolate, you’ll have a hard time picking your flavour. Be warned – you can’t try samples – so you’ve just got to commit. I picked coconut and pink grapefruit, my friend picked macadamia and pistachio (saw the salted caramel and thought of you, Brooke!) Creamy, fresh and very Instagramable – but be quick – it melts fast!
75 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads
5. Noosa Main Beach (and Bistro C)
Last but not least, you can’t miss the Noosa Main Beach – an expanse of white sand with gentle waves, boardwalk stretching for much of the strip, and popular for swimming all year round. You can rent kayaks for adventures, or deckchairs to relax on – or take surfing lessons if you’re game. The beach is patrolled by surf lifesavers every day of the year, making it a hot spot for families and tourists of all ages.
If you can, book ahead to dine at Bistro C while you’re there – it’s right on the beachfront and worth visiting for the view alone. Whether you decide to dine for breakfast with morning light, or dinner and some people watching, it never disappoints. We opted for brunch, and I fell for the corn cakes! The food is incredible, the staff are beautiful and the vibe is stellar but not pretentious.
Bistro C: 1/49 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads QLD 4567
Have you been to Noosa? What would you recommend for other WOW readers?