Noosa as a Holiday Destination
Noosa Heads, in Queensland, has one of Australia’s best family beaches. Facing north, it is more like an ocean cul-de-sac, with gentler surf conditions than might be found on the more open beaches. Accessed from the famous Hastings Street shopping strip, where you’ll find beach fashion boutiques, fine art galleries, and popular restaurants, the beach is fronted by holiday apartments and penthouses that are the antithesis of backpacker accommodation. But a stroll along the shaded pavements is a chance to pick up on some of the classy vibe that Noosa is famous for.
Noosa’s Best Attraction
Noosa’s most notable landmark is the Noosa National Park, Queensland’s most popular natural destination. Be sure to walk the well-formed track with its magnificent ocean and bushland views, past secluded sandy, sheltered beaches, to Hells Gates, the dramatic rocky outcrop. From here you can descend into Alexandria Bay, with its clothing-optional beach. While you can start from the Park carpark, an alternative is to begin from the eastern end of Main Beach and follow the boardwalk along Little Cove and enter the Park this way.
Noosa For The Backpacker
Considering that Queensland’s top backpacker locations are Cairns, Airlie Beach, Gold Coast and Brisbane, it would be fair to say that Noosa is not a major destination for young travellers. Trumped in visitor numbers by the vibrant and new-age Byron Bay, just a few hours drive to the south, many time-poor backpackers rush past Noosa on their way to the popular northern destinations. While both Byron and Noosa have their similarities, the latter offers a more diverse array of attractions and less crowds and traffic chaos that is the hallmark of a visit to Byron Bay.
Both resort towns have been popular for a couple of generations, first as casual surfing destinations and later with the gentrified young in their older years. But lack of town planning has long destroyed the ambience of Byron Bay, while Noosa has stuck to a plan of low-density development, self-contained suburbs, and beautifully landscaped roadways conjoined by dozens of roundabouts. And Noosa’s big plus is a beautiful river system that, while developed in part as canal estates, retains its major waterways for marine life and visitor recreation, has been rated as one of Queensland’s cleanest rivers.