Found on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is the impossibly beautiful Noosa, a contiguous blend of golden beaches, idyllic rivers, majestic forests, and an effortlessly cool coastal town. This eclectic mix plays host to the perfect weekend getaway for Brisbanites, luring visitors north for a short taste of chic beach life. Whether it be catching a wave, some rays on the sand, or a beer on Hastings Street, Noosa’s palette of paradise won’t fail to deliver a much-needed refreshment to the weekly cycle.
At A Glance
Best time to go: Summer- anytime between October and March is prime.
How to get there: Approximately 2 hours north of Brisbane on the M1.
The accommodation options at Noosa are vast – there’s no shortage of luxury abodes within a stone’s throw of the Pacific Ocean. Its popularity as a beach holiday destination has ensured a plethora of quality hotels, resorts, and apartments, each commensurate with the aesthetic of the area. Most establishments take a notably ‘beach vibe’ approach – capturing the laidback coastal life with a seal of sophistication. There’s a stay for every budget – these are our top picks to save you the hassle of wading through booking websites every day in your lunch break.
Luxury – Peppers Noosa Resort and Villas
Peppers Noosa is nestled on a hillside in the serenity of the Noosa National Park, complementing the forest and making you feel as though you’re in a treehouse. Breathtaking views over town and the ocean, and a five-minute walk to the Noosa main street make Peppers hard to fault.
The villas are spread over two or three levels and define self-contained luxury, featuring a pleasing colour scheme of greys, whites and woods. If you’re too lazy to walk down to the beach, there are three pools, not including the private pools found at select villas. These guys nail the luxury-by-the-sea criteria and stand out from the crowd. Check out the Four Bedroom Grande Villa for further convincing.
Mid-Range – 10 Hastings Street
This boutique hotel is situated slap bang in the middle of Noosa Heads. In the immediate area are some of the best eateries and shops in town, and across the road you’ll find the main swimming beach. The accommodation is modern and quirky, with all the necessary comforts to keep you satisfied.
Budget – Noosa YHA
The YHA wins the price competition and takes the cake for the social component too – it’s a local and foreign favourite for weekend drinks. The hostel is a five minute walk to the beach, all the basics are taken care of and it’s a cut above the other budget options.
The culinary world of Noosa is influenced by rich and whole farm flavours from the hinterland, tossed in with seafood roots of the ocean on which it sits. You’ll have no trouble finding some edible wizardry – just follow your nose (or go to the below eateries).
This place makes for a truly rounded dining experience of ultra-high quality. It provides modern Italian cuisine with an unbeatable absolute riverfront setting. The team’s service is top-notch under the stewardship of manager Andrea Ravezzani. Menus are curated to flow with the seasons and the food is abundant in creativity and flavour. Try the duck breast medallion, liquorice and cocoa soil main dish.
Surrounded by lush gardens, Locale Ristorante & Bar is nestled in a protected corner of Hastings Street. Its menu features quality handmade pasta, stone fired pizzas, traditional cicchetti, and a delicious a la carte menu. Look out for their Aperitivo Hour; perfect for afternoon sessions. You can catch a large stone fired Italian pizza and a glass of wine or beer for just $25.
Our top pick for a later dinner that meanders into drinks and beyond. The cocktail selection is plush and nearly as long as the restaurant’s list of awards. The Supper Club takes place from 9pm on Saturdays and is the perfect spot to park up with some luscious eats and drinks.
Take advantage of Noosa’s natural assets in the outdoors. This is a weekend best spent enjoying a repertoire including forests, golf courses, rivers and beaches. Warm weather nine months of the year means there’s no excuses.
Noosa National Park
Noosa’s natural drawcard, encompassing over 4,000 hectares of coastal forest and beaches. The park’s walking tracks follow the shoreline, traversing idyllic bays and dramatic rocky peninsulas. Follow the track to Fairy Pools, a group of secluded natural rock pools found on the far eastern point of Granite Bay. Look out for dolphins and whales, who are regular fixtures in the view from your spot in the pools. For those who brought their surfboards and are looking for some shade, Tea Tree Bay has a ripper break that sucks bone-dry off the rocks. Bring provisions for extended periods in the greenroom.
The Glasshouse Mountains
Found halfway between Brisbane and Noosa, the Glasshouse Mountains offer an exhilarating break from driving. Choose between Mount Beerwah and Mount Tibrogargan, boasting summits of 556 and 364 metres, respectively. The trails are steep and require rock scrambling at stages, but are worth the sweeping views of the Sunshine Coast to the east and the hinterland to the west.
Noosa Springs Golf Course is a treat for any player: the championship course comprises 6,180 metres of superb holes, kept in immaculate condition and playable year-round thanks to the subtropical climate. It was designed with the intention of “a strategic layout that offers the full gamut of hole lengths and shot values”. Get yourself a six-pack from the roving drinks cart and try not to lose too many balls.
Complementing the Golf Course and just as spectacular is the Spa. It’s a fine place to end your weekend with a bit of pampering before the arduous journey home. Treat yourself to their signature massage or zone out in the flotation pool – packed with a metric ton of minerals and designed in a similar fashion to a sensory deprivation chamber.