Stretching 60-kilometres along Queensland’s beautiful coastline, the Sunshine Coast is packed full of things to see and do. And at the centre of it all, is the laid-back town of Noosa.
Known for its swanky esplanade and long golden beach, this is one destination that deserves a look in.
The visitor numbers to this region are staggering, with around 3.5 million tourists flocking to the small coastal town annually. And while the beautiful beach is a major draw, there are countless attractions and activities to enjoy, making this a year-round destination for family fun or a romantic getaway.
The heartbeat of Noosa is Hastings Street, and at only 600 metres along, you’ll want to swap your car keys for a good pair of walking shoes.
Walk out of any of the Hastings Street hotels or resorts, and it’s all laid for the Noosa visitor. Boutique shops, casual cafes and burger joints, even fine dining restaurants add up to a full day of entertainment. Add to this one of Queensland’s favourite beaches and a national park, and it’s easy to see why Noosa is a crowd favourite.
Noosa is a place any shopper will appreciate. Not only do the peaceful tree-lined streets feature top name brand stores, but there are plenty of local retailers who have added to the plentiful retail mix.
Names like Ralph Lauren, Rodd and Gun, Witchery and Gazman, sit next to fashionable independent stores and day spas.
For something special, drop by Pearls for Girls (Shop 15 Bay Village 18 Hastings St) for unique white and silver pearls from Broome, and black pearls imported from Tahiti, woven into unique and interesting custom designed jewellery.
For sun seekers, the main attraction is Main Beach. Even for those who don’t care to change into swimmers, the convenient boardwalk allows for full beach enjoyment. Visitors can enjoy the view on a beach walk, or even bring a picnic lunch and admire the view from the picnic tables.
For the more adventurous, Main Beach offers all kinds of fun. For waves of differing sizes, surfers will enjoy the fringe break points. Newbies to the sport can take a beach lesson, while standup paddle boarding and kayaking are also available.
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A true highlight of the region is the easy-grade coastal bush walk that stretches through Noosa National Park. The five walking trails range from a short one kilometre return, to an eleven-kilometre park tour. With the jagged coastline on one side, and the lush forest on the other, this spectacular walk never gets old.
If you can take your eyes off the stunning coastline, you may just find a koala up in the trees. Check the blackboard at the trail entry for the latest sightings and locations of the day.
Tracks are well maintained and are of an easy grade for all. A small portion of the coastal trail is even wheelchair accessible. Be sure to take water with you and watch for the dolphins or whales when in season.
After a full day of shopping and hiking, what could be better than a big meal? Just one more reason to visit, Noosa is a foodie paradise too.
For a breakfast with a view, stop by Season Restaurant (25 Hastings Street – seasonrestaurant.com.au) for freshly prepared seasonal menus. Try the in-house cured whiskey salmon with avocado and feta smash on sourdough, matched with one of their home-made muffins. Delicious!
If you prefer to go casual, try Cafe Le Monde (52 Hastings Street – cafelemonde.com.au) for salads, steaks and local seafood. Don’t let the casual atmosphere fool you though, the food here is divine. The in-house tea smoked salmon nicoise salad is a real treat and oysters delivered daily are available from midday, until sold out.
Next door is Betty’s Burgers (50 Hastings Street – bettysburgers.com.au). Fast becoming one of Southeast Queensland’s most popular burger joints, Betty’s Burgers offers several different combos.
For dessert, try one of their famous concretes, a thick mix of chocolate or vanilla custard ice-cream, mixed in your favourite toppings. The Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake ($8) with vanilla custard, lemon curd, lemon zest, raspberries, New York cheesecake and biscuit crumble is simply to die for.
When the sun goes down, Hastings Street turns on the style with first rate dining options. On the sophisticated fine dining side, try Noosa Beach House by Peter Kuruvita (16 Hastings Street –noosabeachhousepk.com.au), and Miss Moneypenny’s (6 Hastings Street – missmoneypennysnoosa.com).
Part of the Sheraton Hotel, Noosa Beach House offers a casual bar and restaurant that overlooks Hastings Street, and just a few steps behind the bar, acclaimed Chef Peter Kuruvita gets down to serious business. The deconstructed snapper Sri Lankan curry with condiments was simply incredible.
Down the road, Miss Moneypenny’s is stylish and comfortable with an extensive wine list and fantastic cocktail options. The pork belly was one of the best I’ve had, as was the seared duck breast with root vegetables. Both were perfectly cooked, flavourful and simply delicious!
For dessert, the macadamia and nougat semifreddo was smooth and creamy, while the 70 per cent dark chocolate and orange mousse pot, with a ginger soil, provided the perfect treat for any chocolate lover.
Whatever your taste or flavour, Hastings Street has many food and entertainment options to keep every traveller satisfied.