As one of the most popular holiday destinations in Australia, you won’t be trying to find things to do in Noosa. Expect knock out beaches, crystal clear water, plenty of breweries, gorgeous hinterland drives and so much more, you’ll have an action-packed holiday in Noosa.
Luckily for you, we moved just down the road from Noosa a few months back and have been able to explore the area really well. If you’re wondering what to do in Noosa, look no further. Let’s get into it!
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Where Is Noosa?
Noosa is a 1h45m drive north of Brisbane in the Sunshine Coast. Given the proximity, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular day trips from Brisbane. Even though we live about a 30min drive from Noosa currently, it’s the type of place even we would book a hotel and stay here for the weekend because it really is that nice.
If you’re flying, you’ll need to fly into Sunshine Coast Airport which is located in Mudjimba which is a 30-minute drive from Noosa (book a shared taxi from the airport here). You’ll find plenty of restaurants, supermarkets and bars in Noosa so you won’t need to leave it if you don’t want to. We do recommend hiring a car as there is a lot to see on the Sunshine Coast.
Alternatively, you can jump on plenty of tours and support local tourism if you prefer which we’ll mention in this post.
Coming from Brisbane? Check out this day trip tour which will also swing by the amazing Glass House Mountains too.
What Makes Noosa So Special?
I must admit, when we first came to Noosa, we loved the holiday vibe but it rained quite a bit so we didn’t get to see it in all its glory. But, since moving to Sunshine Coast, it’s a place we’ve just fallen head over heels for.
There’s something quite special about this slice of paradise that we hope you love it just as much as we do. The landscape really reminds me of 1770 (about a 5hr drive north) which is where we used to live (read our Agnes Water & 1770 Guide here). If you took a drone shot of both places, they’d look really similar. It’s no surprise 1770 has been tipped as the next Noosa for about the last 20 years or so!
The beaches are amazing in Noosa, the holiday vibe is like no other place (in Queensland) which makes me see why it’s always being told that it’s the posher version of Byron Bay. I think it’s kinda right in a weird way even if Noosa attracts everyone from backpackers, surfers and posh people. It all works which is endearing.
The main strip is called Hastings Street which reminds me of a beach version of Mosman in Sydney but with cafes spilling out onto the street.
It’s also worth noting that Noosa Hinterland is a bit of a special gem to consider checking out which we’ll mention more in this post too.
If you’re coming to Noosa on holiday, we 100% recommend checking out some of the following tours so you can get to know the area really well. There is much more to the Sunshine Coast than Noosa beach as these tours will give you some amazing insights into what the Sunshine Coast has to offer.
1. Noosa Everglades Tour
You can’t come to Noosa and not experience the unique Noosa Everglades! Jump on this day trip down the Noosa River and you’ll stop off at multiple lookouts and have a two-course lunch!
Or spend the afternoon on this easy-going tour with a glass of sparkling in one hand as you learn all about the Noosa wildlife.
2. Do A Legendary Noosa Skydive
Get your heart pumping and tick off a bucket list item and do a skydive in Noosa! You’ll be able to see the beautiful Sunshine Coast from above and enjoy the views out to the gorgeous coastline as you land on the stunning Coolum Beach!
Finally learn to surf on the iconic Noosa Main Beach and learn from some of the best surfing legends in town. This two-hour surfing lesson, you’ll learn the basics and will be guaranteed to stand by the end of it!
Enjoy a cruise up the Noosa River before embarking on an adventure to go dolphin watching! This is an affordable family-friendly activity that includes visiting iconic Noosa attractions such as Hells Gates.
6. Discover The Hidden Gem Of Double Island Point!
Not heard of Double Island Point? As one of the hidden gems of Noosa, escape the crowds and jump on a 4×4 tour to this beautiful part of the Great Sandy National Park.
We’re keen to jump on these tours and see this hidden gem soon!
7. The Great Beach Drive
If you don’t fancy doing one of the tours we mentioned earlier in this post or you have a 4×4, then you must do the Great Beach Drive up to Great Sandy National Park!
Finishing with what’s known as one of the best drives in Australia is a 280km long stretch of sand to drive from Noosa to Rainbow Beach.
If driving yourself is out of the question, jump onto a tour and experience one of the most beautiful drives in Australia. If you’re visiting during May-November, you’ll probably see a lot of whales as they pass by during their migration.
While it’s a given to walk up and down the famous Hastings Street in Noosa, get out and about and explore the many things to do Noosa we know you’ll love!
8. Hike In Noosa National Park!
Did you know Noosa National Park is the most popular national park in Australia? Pre-Covid, it was seeing over one million visitors a year! To be honest, it doesn’t surprise me because this park is truly what makes Noosa feel very special. So, if you’re looking for things to do in Noosa, this should be up there as one of the main highlights to visit.
There are plenty of tracks to keep you busy throughout your holiday to Noosa! If you’re not lucky enough to get a parking space in the car park, you’ll have to walk up the hill from Noosa Main Beach to get here. But, that’s OK because the walk along the boardwalk is beautiful and doesn’t take as long as you think it would.
And if you can’t find parking at all, start your hike from the other side on Sunshine Beach and park up there instead. Sunshine Beach is lovely which we will talk more about in this post.
When you reach Noosa National Park (from the Noosa side), you’ll see a small cafe to grab a coffee and toilet facilities. There are a few toilets stops in the park if you need to go as well.
There are plenty of walking tracks to go on in this park that you can wear trainers as most of it is paved up until Dolphin Point.
Although we went on a cloudy day, we could easily see how beautiful Noosa National Park would be in the Sunshine. It was busy but not hectic and it didn’t feel like a conga line during our hike. We can easily say Noosa National Park is one of the best things to do at Noosa. If you’re staying out of town in Glass House Mountains or in Mooloolaba, make the effort to come here even if it’s just for the national park.
We couldn’t believe how beautiful Noosa National Park is and how accessible it is being just a stones throw from the busyness of Hastings Street.
9. Get your Insta photo at Fairy Pools
When we visited Noosa National Park, we specifically went to find the Insta famous Fairy Pools. I know we’ve all seen those photos of the girl floating effortlessly in the crystal clear turquoise rock pool that has probably seen more people flocking to this park because of it. To get to Noosa Fairy Pool, it takes 1 hour to walk to there from the main car park. We timed it on our Garmin 235 watch and whilst we did walk slowly, we stopped to take photos and film footage. It could therefore take a lot quicker to get there.
Make sure you time it with the tides like you need to with the Figure 8 Pool in Sydney if you actually want to swim in it.
When we visited, it was cloudy so when we got there, we couldn’t see what the fuss was all about and unfortunately it didn’t look as romantic as we’d seen in the photos. I’m sure on a sunny day, it would look totally different. The walk though is beautiful and absolutely worth going on.
We loved all of the beaches we came across on the walk and loved watching all of the surfers catching the waves.
Make sure you look up when walking in Noosa National Park as you might get lucky and spot some Koalas like we did hanging out in the eucalyptus trees.
10. Visit Eumundi Markets
Hailed as the biggest markets on the Sunshine Coast, it would be wrong if you missed out on the Eumundi Markets. Held on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, this is THE market to buy gifts from local businesses. It’s a beautiful market which usually has excellent musicians playing here. The food stands are really good too and it’s the perfect place to grab brekkie. We usually come here to buy presents for friends and family, but be warned – you could spend hours here as it’s massive! FYI – there is a car park but it costs $7 at the time of writing.
11. Noosa Farmers Market
OK, so Noosa Farmers Markets are slightly different to Eumundi Markets. Noosa Farmers Market is smaller and although they have a lot of stores selling local produce, I have always felt like it’s more of a market to go and eat breakfast or lunch at. The food looks amazing here, and I’ll try it all next time for sure!
If you’re looking to buy more local produce, we definitely recommend going to Yandina Markets or Kawana Markets a little further down the coast. We go to Yandina Markets every single Saturday without fail!
FYI – Noosa Farmers Market and Kawana Markets don’t allow dogs in them 🙁
12. Find A Collectable At El Badi
El Badi is one of our favourite shops in the whole of the Sunshine Coast! Think rare Indian and Asian antiques, vintage Moroccan rugs, vintage fashion, gorgeous vintage chesterfield sofas and so many more to die for one-off pieces! They’ve also got another store (but much smaller) in Mooloolaba and Collective Haus in Yandina too. We regularly visit all three shops because we love them so much!
13. And Alabaster Trader
We love Alabaster Trader which is another amazing homewares shop that sells Indian antique furniture. They sell massive Indian mirrors which have been on our wish list forever! It’s a beautiful shop which you should just wander in and check out!
14. Coastal Vintage
OK last one, but Coastal Vintage is just around the corner from Alabaster Trader which sells awesome antique boat themed home decor pieces. It’s an amazing shop you should go and see for yourself. When we buy a house, we’ll be stocking up from there pronto!
Now we’ve taken you through the best things to do in Noosa, let’s talk about the beaches to explore! We personally think Noosa has the best beaches in Sunshine Coast. Honestly, you won’t find better! The water is crystal clear turquoise and the sand is beautifully white and soft. It must be home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia if we’re being honest with you!
15. Tee Tree Bay
My absolute favourite beach in Sunshine Coast is Tree-Tree Bay in Noosa National Park. This beach is spectacular and feels like you’re a world away from the rest of Noosa. It’s a must-visit but it does take about 30 minutes to walk to.
16. Noosa Main Beach
You can’t come to Noosa and not sit on Noosa Main Beach! If it’s super busy, just head down to the end of the beach as it’s much quieter. Be warned though, there’s a beach behind Noosa on the way to Noosa National Park called Little Cove Beach but if it’s looking busy in Noosa, it will be hard to get a spot on this one. Trust me, we’ve tried to squeeze onto this small beach and wish we just sat on the main beach instead because it was so busy!
17. Dog-Friendly Sunshine Beach
If you have your pooch with you, go to Sunshine Beach which is a dog friendly beach in Noosa! We’ve taken our pup there and she just loves it!
18. River Entrance Beach
If you’re looking for the perfect beach for kids, go to the River Entrance Beach at the end of Noosa which is home to flat water in the estuary.
19. Swim at Harry’s Hut (4×4)
If you’ve got a 4×4, go check out the secret swimming hole called Harry’s Hut which also has a campground up in Boreen Point. When we eventually get a 4×4, we’ll go and check it out for sure!
20. Other Sunshine Coast Beaches To Consider
If you’re looking to venture around the Sunshine Coast, we recommend going to First Bay in Coolum which is a beautiful little beach to escape the crowds.
Mudjimba Beach is also a stunning quiet wild beach to spend time on and we love Moffat Beach in Caloundra. Both beaches are dog friendly too! Don’t forget to visit Mooloolaba Beach as well which is a beautiful beach and our local one (not dog friendly).
21. Explore The Noosa Breweries!
Did you know there are 21 Sunshine Coast breweries to discover? The most famous brewery in Noosa is the Heads of Noosa brewery, but you’ll also find Land & Sea, Boiling Pot and The Brew Store all around the corner from it. I can confirm Steve’s go-to beer at the moment is Heads Of Noosa, and I suppose like most men, he’s super picky about his beer!
We also love the Noosa Hinterland Brewing in Cooran which is a gorgeous brewery run by a friendly family. The ploughmans lunch is definitely worth it! Don’t forget to visit Copperhead in the nearby Cooroy as well.
More Things To Do Near Noosa
There are so many amazing things to do in Sunshine Coast which is why we ended up moving here! With loads of villages, hikes and wonderful places to visit, you’re in for an action packed holiday!
22. Noosa Hinterland
We just love the Noosa Hinterland which came to us as a surprise as we didn’t even know it was a thing until we moved to Sunshine Coast! When visiting Noosa, go check out the beautiful town of Pomona which is home to Saturday morning markets, a fantastic pub called Pomona Distilling Co and the nearby town of Cooran which is home to Noosa Hinterland Brewing Co. Both pubs are worth the trip out to from Noosa alone.
23. Check Out Maleny
We just love the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, especially the town of Maleny. Located on the top of the Blackall Range, you’ll see amazing views out to the coast and out to the incredible Glasshouse Mountains which is something everyone needs to see when visiting Sunshine Coast!
With a couple of sweet swimming holes such as Kondalilla Falls which we’ve written about, the fantastic live music and food at Maleny Lane and lots of local produce to indulge in (Maleny chocolate is a winner!), it’s no wonder Maleny is a go-to day trip from Brisbane!
A bit further out from Eumundi will bring you to the small town of Kenilworth. While it might be famous for the 1kg doughnuts, there’s so much more to this beautiful place than you might know. Home to incredible national parks, swimming holes and of course the drool-worthy Kenilworth Dairies (we are *slightly* obsessed with the chocolate mousse!), you’ll find plenty to do here for a day trip from Noosa.
We haven’t eaten out at a lot of places in Noosa yet but we have a list! We have eaten at Jungle & Co which is Australia’s first gut health cafe which is great! We also eat at Olakino for acai as well! Places we’re looking to visit include Bistro C, Sum Young Guys, Sails and Light Years.
Looking For Noosa Accommodation?
If you’re looking for Noosa accommodation, here’s our top picks!
Don’t miss out on Fraser Island or some of the hidden gems up north like Agnes Water & 1770 which is where we used to live. It’s similar to Noosa but like 30 years ago pre development. This hidden paradise is home to stunning secluded beaches and access to the Great Barrier Reef Island – Lady Musgrave Island which is a must visit!
If you’re heading south of Sunshine Coast, we recommend staying in Gold Coast Hinterland. Man, there are some unbelievable hikes and places to visit in this area. Funny how I used to think Gold Coast was about Surfers Paradise but I was wrong! Go do the Toolona Creek Circuit or Box Forest Circuit in Lamington National Park.
Do The Falls Drive through Main Range National Park and witness a couple of epic waterfalls without much walking involved.