How to spend a Noosa weekend
If you’re anything like me you have probably already judged those who holiday in Noosa.
Lots of Toorak housewives wearing white linen trousers and straw sun visors, walking their small dogs past home ware stores that sell $200 candles.
Back in 1989 it was the location of my very first cappuccino (when cinnamon was still an option), where I hit Hastings Street in my new pale blue Esprit board shorts, clip on earrings and batman bandana. Before you ask, I’m not posting photos.
In my mind Noosa will be forever etched in 1990s style beachfront condominiums, throw covers for your courch (thanks Trude and Prue), and ‘new age’ Thai restaurants.
Well, news-flash for my judgmental self. It might still be slightly some of these things, but it’s a bloody great place for a short break holiday. Especially for a bunch of 30 something girlfriends (sans kids and partners), badly in need of a sun lounger or two.
Context for my foreign fan base. Noosa is a small coastal town on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, around two hours North from Brisbane and a 90 minute flight from Sydney. Due to its temperate climate, it’s a bit like the Florida of Australia, without so many elderly and alligators.
These days Noosa (pronounced Nooooose –a) is quite the scene if you are looking for a beach holiday that caters for the middle to upper class wallet.
The main action is set around the truly lovely Noosa beach, which is located in the pocket of the Noosa National Park, which offers even more great beaches and lush rainforest scenery.
Noosa is surrounded by water, with a river and coastal estuary, all providing endless excuses for billionaires to build ridiculous houses with compulsory waterfront swimming pools, and optional water slides. Even a recent Bachelor Aus contestant ‘pretended’ to live there for the cameras, it’s that palatial. In fact, I’m thinking of launching an ‘I’d swim that pool tour of Noosa’ later this summer (disclaimer; it may involve an element of trespassing, participants are liable for their own safety).
Anyway, I digress. Back to Hastings Street. This is the main drag where fairy lights fill the trees at night, in place of traffic lights, and endless ‘bijou’ boutiques and great food options are available for you. On arrival it took us a few hours to even find the beach, we were distracted by this summer’s object ‘the pineapple’(prints, tops, juices, the real thing), and an abundance of ‘resort wear’ stores, made for city dwellers, and ladies in white linen. Key tip, don’t pack a Kaftan, you’ll only end up buying 20.
So what to do in Noosa and what’s this got to do with swimming? Well, it’s pure Aussie beach holiday territory with great coffee. The main beach is lovely, calm and safe for swimming, if you want to shake it up you can walk the National Park to Sunshine Beach, aka billionaires belt. On your way you’ll pass a few more lovely beaches including a nudie one, Alexandria Beach, where a man was trying to get our attention with his guitar. No really.
We also paddle-boarded through the river. I use the term loosely, it was more like drifting, then paddling upshore at a very slow pace. Pleased to know we found out after the paddle that the area is popular with sunbasking sharks. That’s enough exercise for one day.
High end diamond – Wasabi restaurant and bar, for some amazing Japanese, incredible river views and the opportunity to experience the encyclopedic memory of a very blonde waitress, who could recite sushi ingredients like it was morse code. Impressive.
Medium flashbacker – You can’t go past the Surf Club right on Noosa beach. Excellent bucket of prawns and bubbly. We even got to spot Queensland premier Campbell Newman from our balcony. Sure, we were slightly outdone when our dinner guest turned up to say she’d spotted Kimye at Australia Zoo that day. Photos to prove. Kanye even smiled!!! Enough already!
Budget Irish traveler – Head to Noosaville for two eggs, toast and a rasher of bacon for $7.50. You won’t get that on Hastings Street. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you spot the pink Elvis.
Noosa High points: The palm trees on the beach, abundance of great avocado smash and coffee, massages on the beach, warm but not too hot. Ability to read a novel and actually finish it. Noosa take me back.
Noosa Low points: Those bloody bush turkeys, like the seagulls of Noosa. This place is also not a great place for the budget minded. Best to go with the credit card and not look back.
Best for: Those who love Kaftans, beige, and linen (always eternal).