Ahh, beautiful Noosa. Tropical Pandanus trees, pristine waters and longboard waves for days. Noosa is filled with beautiful attractions and packed with activities to fill your time. However, for James and myself living the van life we’d gotten accustomed to enjoying the destinations we visited without the crowds, something hard to escape in Noosa. So, with the help of a lovely friend, we found out how to explore Noosa like a local.
The Coastal Walk
While this is one of the main attractions, the locals still do this walk, daily. The walk stretches along the coastline of Noosa. It features a long, wooden boardwalk which winds around some smaller beaches all the way to a place we love to visit: the dramatically named, Hell’s Gates. The ocean crashes pretty fiercely into the cliffside here. It is also an absolutely perfect location for whale watching and dolphin spotting.
If you want to miss the crowds, do this walk first thing in the morning, just after sunrise. It’s also extremely beautiful at this time.
For a day of swimming and sunbaking, the locals know Little Cove is the place to go. Skip the Main Beach and head around one beach further via the Coastal Walk. Even though it’s only one beach over, it is noticeably quieter.
Tea Tree Bay
If you continue further around from Little Cove, you will come to Tea Tree Bay. This little beach was one of our favourites. Again, because the beach is further around the Coastal Walk, there is less of a crowd. This is a great little spot for catching a right-hand wave (predominantly malibu).
It’s also another great spot for dolphin sightings! Late one afternoon we sat up on the rocks right near the surf break. After a little while, we saw two dolphins swim up to two surfers here and interact with them. It was such a beautiful moment to witness, and one we hear isn’t too rare around here.
Spend the day at Sunshine Beach
Sunshine Beach usually picks up the southerly swell, so this is the beach for short boarders. We loved this beach as it has a similar vibe to where we are from on the Northern Beaches in Sydney. It’s safe to say this soon became one of our favourites.
We were lucky here, and scored a park on The Esplanade almost daily. It’s a great spot to park as it has a staircase all the way down to the beach, as well as a beach shower to wash off after a long day in the ocean!
Sunset at Sunshine Beach Surf Club
The afternoon is the perfect time to pop over to Sunshine Beach Surf Club for a couple of drinks. You can sit outside and enjoy a magnificent view. There is a nice, laid-back vibe here which we really enjoyed. They also have dinner specials, ideal if you’re travelling on a budget!
Take your pup for a run around at North Sunshine
All of the locals take their dogs for a run around at North Sunshine Beach, making it the perfect place for your furry friend to interact with other dogs! It’s really beautiful here just after sunrise. There is a really long set of stairs at the northern end of the beach, which from the top, offers amazing views of the whole coast! They also connect to the Coastal Walk.
BBQ at Noosa River
If you fancy a bit of quiet time, head down to the river. It’s situated about 10 minutes from the main street of Noosa. We loved the river as it was extremely calming. It doesn’t get too busy, plus there are also public BBQs available to use. It’s a great spot for a cook up!
Where to stay
While there are a few caravan parks to choose from in Noosa, we couldn’t go past Noosa Holiday Park. Full of palm trees throughout, we couldn’t help but think we’d just popped up the coast to Palm Cove! Another major plus of this caravan park was the lush green grass the powered and unpowered sites were situated on. We love a grassy campsite, it means no dusty feet after showers!
The park was completely booked when we visited. However, if we had to choose 3 words to describe it, they would be, nice, quiet and relaxing. There seemed to be a lot of “grey nomads” who all knew each other.
Everyone was friendly and keen to chat, sharing their adventures and tips for life on the road in Australia! We’ll be travelling back through Noosa in a couple of months and will definitely be returning here!