Is Noosa, Australia the Best Place in the World? I’m Your Travel Guide, You Decide

Noosa, Australia Travel Guide

Looking for a Noosa travel guide? I scoured the world for 20 years looking for the perfect beach, climate and lifestyle before moving to Noosa in Queensland, Australia and I’ve been living in Noosa for five years now.

We all know there’s no such thing as perfect, but Noosa is the perfect place for me and my family right now.

It’s also a prime holiday destination and a popular place for rich and famous Australians and expats to move to or vacation in. Richard Branson is the most well known home owner (he owns Makepeace Island in the Noosa River) along with many Aussie glitterati like tennis player Pat Rafter.

But what’s Noosa like for people like me and you whose pockets aren’t quite that deep?

We have three kids aged six, ten and thirteen and are lucky to be able to live just about anywhere we want because we work from home.

Jobs are hard to come by in Noosa so you need to be self-sufficient if you’d like to actually move here.

What I like about Noosa is you don’t have to be rich to enjoy it. When you live somewhere which is warm all year round (the average annual temperature is 25°C or 77°F), with endless beaches and waterways on your doorstep, there are plenty of ways to have fun, even if you don’t have much cash to splash around.

So today I’m going to be your Noosa travel guide today and take you on a mini tour.

Welcome to Noosa, probably the best place in Australia, possibly the best travel destination in the world!

Noosa Travel Guide – Day One

If you’ve been stuck on a plane for hours on the way to Australia from overseas, or you’re flying in to Noosa from out of state what you need is a walk in Noosa’s iconic National Park. There’s nothing I like more than a long hike so I hope you’re up for it.

Noosa, Australia, travel guide

Sunrise Beach, Noosa

We’ll start from my house in Sunrise Beach and walk 3o minutes along the beach to Sunshine Beach and then into Noosa National Park.

No need to hurry, we’ve got all day and I’ve packed a picnic. As long as you’ve got your hat, swimmies and plenty of sunscreen we can’t go wrong.

The walk starts to get exciting as we walk up the steps at the end of Sunshine beach. When we get to the top of the  cliff we’ll stop a while to catch our breath and enjoy the views our to see and back to Mount Coolum.

We’ll walk on to the Devil’s Kitchen for even better views out to sea where we can watch for dolphins any time, or whales spouting and breaching out as sea between March and November.

Noosa, Australia travel guide, Noosa National Park

Noosa National Park – Watching for whales at the Devil’s Kitchen

From there it’s all down hill to Alexandria Bay, Noosa’s unofficial nude beach. If you want to frolic naked you can but I’m over that and prefer to keep my gaze firmly out to sea. So let’s press on past Granite Bay to Tea Tree Bay watching out for koalas on the way.

Noosa, Australa koala

Wild Noosa Koala

We’ll stop at Tea Tree Bay for our picnic lunch under a tree.

You might be a bit weary by now so you can crash out here or we’ll press on to Noosa Main Beach for a swim between the flags and a well-earned siesta on the beach.

As day turns to night we’ll grab a drink at one of the beachside restaurants and watch the sunset over Laguna Bay.

We may as well treat ourselves to a meal at one of the restaurants on Hastings Street afterwards. We deserve it don’t we?

Bliss. After all that sea, sun and fresh air I know we’re going to sleep well tonight.

Noosa Travel Guide – Day Two

Let’s head inland today to the Sunshine Coast hinterland. On Wednesday or Saturday we can visit the Eumundi markets where you can pick up some souvenirs and enjoy some local food for lunch.

Noosa, Australia, travel guide

Exploring the Eumundi markets

Then let’s stop for a short walk at Mount Tinbeerwah  to enjoy the views back to Noosa.

In the afternoon we’ll head to the Noosa River where we can lounge under a tree watching the river, world and pelicans go by. It’s one of my favourite spots and if you’ve got any extra energy you can have a lovely walk or use the riverside exercise machines to keep in shape.

Noosa Australia travel guides

Twilight at the Noosa River

At twilight we’ll have a drink and order fish and chips eaten while the noisy parrots swarm back to roost in the trees and, as night falls, the sky fills with fruit bats.

Noosa Travel Guide – Day Three

Time for something a bit more adventurous. The ocean’s blue and warm year round so it’s time to get wet. Or at least get out on the water.

We could go sailing, kayaking or even kite surfing. There’s stand up paddle-boarding, body boarding or a relaxing cruise with Noosa Dream Boats.

Noosa, Australia, travel guide

Noosa Stand Up Paddleboarding with Donna Lee Halkett


Noosa Australia travel guide

Noosa Dream Boats

If you can stay longer we’ll do them all but today let’s go surfing.

If you’ve never tried surfing before we’ll go to Coolum where the lovely team at Coolum Surf School will have you up and surfing in no time. Yes, even if you think you’ll never stand up on a surf board I promise you will.

Noosa Australia Travel Guide

Coolum surf school keeping an eye on the waves

In the evening we’ll go to one of Noosa’s best restaurants. My faves are Wasabi in Quamby place for exquisite Japanese and the River Cottage Restaurant near Gympie Terrace for sublime classic Australian fare.

The other option is to pick up a few kilos of big Australian banana prawns, fire up the barbie and stay home. You’re the guest so I’ll let you choose.

Either way your tour of Noosa will be one you’ll remember for 2o years. Probably more.

What do you think? Does Noosa sound like the best place in the world to you or have you got somewhere else in mind? Where would you get your Noosa travel guide to take you?

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  1. John October 20, 2011 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Check out South Australia, most relaxing place in Aus.

  2. leon Noone October 21, 2011 at 12:17 am - Reply

    G’Day Annabel,
    Noosa’s great; but it lacks a harbour and an Opera House It’s also become a little bit frantic compared with 30 years ago. Hawks Nest is more my speed.


    • Annabel Candy October 21, 2011 at 5:39 am - Reply

      Hi Leon,

      Lol, ooooh, I need to find out where Hawks Nest is. I’m in Melbourne right now so Noosa seems very chilled in comparison!

    • lara dunston June 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm - Reply

      Love Hawks Nest – used to go there as a kid with the grandparents. Agree, Sydney is the most breathtaking city in the world but as a low-key escape from city life in Australia, I’m going to have to opt for somewhere like Broome or Margaret River in WA or one of those sleeping Eyre Peninsula towns in South Australia. I prefer the quieter states.

  3. Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living October 21, 2011 at 12:52 am - Reply

    Thanks for the guide through Noosa. It reminds me a little of Laguna Beach and southern California beaches, where I live now, only I’m 7 miles away from the beach. Your post comes at the right time as my husband and I are always talking about where we can move to next. We looked up the immigration laws and realize the only way for us at this point would be to invest a ton of money into a business, which we don’t have. We also need to research areas that are more affordable than Noosa, and quite frankly, I don’t mind tropical, so that would be further north. I am throwing ideas out as I write, since I haven’t researched where exactly Noosa is on the coast. Is it between Sydney and Brisbane? My husband is an attorney, so no jobs for him, although there is a demand for film and video, and that’s his passion. As far as me, I have a degree in Environmental Science, and speak fluent French. But that wouldn’t help to get a job in Australia, especially not at our age. If only I could be under 30, I could get a one-year work visa. I also have a British passport, which doesn’t help either. Any suggestions anyone? Of course, we plan on checking out various parts, once we’ve done our research first. Perhaps we could be neighbors?

    • Annabel Candy October 21, 2011 at 5:42 am - Reply

      Hi Sonia,

      Thinking about all this. Noosa is 90 mins drive north of Brisbane. Would love to see you there. Getting residency is hard but let’s think how it can be done. Definitely come visit first so you can see if you like it. I wonder if Darwin would interest you? I haven’t been yet but it sounds fun for adventurous types like you:)

      • Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living October 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm

        Funny you should mention Darwin because a FB friend, Peter lives there and we talk all the time. Why do you think Darwin? I’m just curious.

      • lara dunston June 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm

        Darwin is brilliant. If I was to return to live in Australia, I’d probably opt for somewhere like Darwin. Love the tropical life, the laidback vibe, the indigenous culture and art, the Asian community there (brilliant Asian food and markets), and its proximity to Asia, as well as magic spots like Kakadu National Park.

    • Vitold October 30, 2011 at 9:28 am - Reply

      Hi Sonia ,
      Noosa is 2 hours north of Brisbane by highway . Cheers

  4. Joyce October 21, 2011 at 1:01 am - Reply

    Hi Annabel,

    Interesting post. It sounds like you’ve found a piece of paradise. I could certainly get used to the weather. Lucky you!

  5. Dave Doolin October 21, 2011 at 1:42 am - Reply

    Looks like California, even with the euclyptus trees (which are pests here, totally fire hazards). Just need some of those peculiar critters to round it out. Except for the snake, you can keep Mr. Taipan. We’ll enjoy him where he belongs.

  6. Debra Eve | Later Bloomer October 21, 2011 at 1:46 am - Reply

    Dave and Sonia are right, it does look like California, but far less crowded. Makes me want to hop on the next Qantas flight out of LAX! Maybe you should consider holding a travel writers’ retreat :)

    • Annabel Candy October 24, 2011 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      Hi Debra, well, if it would allow me to meet you in person it would be worth it:) I’d love to meet all my readers and take our writing to the next level. Qantas are the best. Glad to hear you’ll be flying with them;)

      • Vitold October 30, 2011 at 9:31 am

        Hi Annabel ,
        From 29 Oct Qantas has grounded all its flights around the world .

  7. Looks like a perfectly nice paradise! We have an embarrassment of choices in a couple of years and it keeps me awake because I don’t know what to choose! I’d love to live in a place with a food and wine culture, a sidewalk cafe culture, but not too upscale or richie. Having lived in 3rd world countries for years, we’re more comfortable when things are slightly anarchistic ;)

    • Annabel Candy October 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      Hi Miss Footloose,

      I know what you mean. If there was one thing I could change about Australia it would be less rules and regulations!

  8. Andy MacGregor October 21, 2011 at 3:31 am - Reply

    My mums house in South Goa takes some beating…. the beach is a 2 mniute walk through the palm groves and is 8K long…. the food in every beach shack is amazing…. and its still sooooo cheap to live there. Reminds me of the awesome holiday we all shared in Kerala back in the day. Andy

    • Annabel Candy October 21, 2011 at 5:44 am - Reply

      Hi Andy,

      I never made it to Goa. Might have to go visit your mum sometime;) Cheap helps a lot!

  9. barbara October 21, 2011 at 3:36 am - Reply

    Oh how fortunate you are to live in that paradise Annabel. I would love the weather. Since we are planning to close down our beach house this weekend this made me wish it was in a more temperate climate. If I ever get to Australia I am coming to visit you!

  10. Sandra / Always Well Within October 21, 2011 at 4:23 am - Reply

    Looks so lovely, Annabel. Seems like a very low key lifestyle. I love Hawai’i, which has many of the same qualities. It would be difficult to chose between the too. Noosa sounds quite perfect.

    • Annabel Candy October 21, 2011 at 5:45 am - Reply

      Hi Sandra,

      You know I’m coming to visit you in Hawai’i one day don’t you?! I’ve never been but think of it as beautiful as New Zealand but with hotter weather:)

  11. Cate October 21, 2011 at 5:48 am - Reply

    Hi Annabel,
    I think the telling phrase in your post is ‘the perfect place for me and my family right now’ – I’m there too, but I’m miles from my beloved sea, high in the hills and surrounded by bush. For now this is our perfect place… sublime, but so different to yours.
    Our eldest made the trek north and lives in Brisbane now – her fave spot a bit further north is Maleny, followed closely by Caloundra…. I’m pretty sure she would agree with you re ‘perfect place’, and who knows, I might join her one day.
    Those long hikes and beautiful beaches sound pretty perfect.

    • Annabel Candy October 24, 2011 at 1:24 pm - Reply

      Hi Cate, fingers crossed and if you do visit you have to come to say gidday:) Maleny is further south but inland slightly in the hinterland which is also stunning.

  12. Penelope J. October 21, 2011 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Sounds like you found a paradise on earth to live in. It also sounds a bit like Southern California except without the koalas. Hikes, beautiful beaches, surfing, rivers, national parks, etc. Great that your kids are growing up in a wonderful place like Noosa. On the other hand, don’t you ever miss the English mist and rain? Not even a little bit?

    • Annabel Candy October 24, 2011 at 1:26 pm - Reply

      Hi Penelope,

      Oh I’m bad I don’t miss much about England at all except cheap flights to Europe and easy holidays in France!

  13. Anthea October 21, 2011 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    A travel writers’ retreat is a GREAT idea. (Late Bloomer’s suggestion).
    I enjoyed the virtual tour of Noosa and know that you kid us not Annabel. Australia really does have some amazing attributes.

  14. David #inoosa October 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    No doubt about it – Noosa is the best. Add the fact that there are no crocs, great surf, low population, great schools, great public transport and low crime rates.
    Noosa is lifestyle choice 101. There are some sacrifices about living here… but i can’t think of them!

    • Annabel Candy October 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm - Reply

      Hi David,

      Lol, great to see you here and lovely to meet another Noosa fan. Well, it can be hard to find interesting work here but if you have your own business and can work from anywhere you’re sorted:)

  15. Lisa Wood October 23, 2011 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    We love the sunshine coast! We love the beaches, the sun, the lifestyle and the relaxed feeling that is here!

    Thanks for your noosa australia travel guide.


  16. Aria October 25, 2011 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    Ooof! That was a good dose of homesickness! I am currently a passionate and proud New Yorker, but I consider the northern end of the Sunshine Coast to be absolutely sacred. I grew up in Tuchekoi, went to Sunshine Beach State School, stayed with my grandparents in Tewantin and Eumundi and listened to my dad play music all over! Australian’s are the luckiest people on the planet, and beautiful Noosa is testament to that. Thanks for sharing your home!

  17. Tracey March 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Agree in triplicate. Noosa is gorgeous. There’s something for everyone and we get up there as much as we can. I keep trying to talk hubby into consultancy so we can base ourselves up there. Lucky Candys.

  18. Working Nomad May 14, 2012 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    I only spent a few days passing through Noosa back in 2005 and loved it and always considered it a place I could stay long term. Just a shame that the visa for living in Australia is so tough to get, especially if you have a nomad’s work history!

  19. Marilyn April 7, 2018 at 3:32 am - Reply

    Very interested about Noosa, would appreciate if I could get a magazine, telling u about it more. Thank u looking forward to that.

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