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How to Spend a Weekend in Noosa

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Noosa is the beloved gem of the Sunshine Coast. Located just two hours’ drive from Brisbane, the holiday hotspot is renowned for its laidback lifestyle, treasure trove of boutiques, eateries and bars, and endless stretches of white sands and turquoise waters. A famed holiday spot for Australians and tourists alike, there are plenty of things to do around Noosa. The perfect destination for a long weekend getaway, here is just an idea of the activities you might add to your next Noosa weekend itinerary.

Friday

When flying into the Sunshine Coast, Noosa is just a 40-minute drive from the airport. Make your way into the city on a shuttle or public bus, or pick up a rental car to give you extra freedom to get around while you’re away.

Welcome to your weekend in Noosa! Like many travel destinations around Australia, the food and drink culture is thriving with colourful and flavourful fusions.

Get your first introduction into the Noosa food scene by stopping in at the tropical paradise of El Capitano Pizzeria & Bar, one of the trendiest pizza spots in Noosa Heads. Using beautiful Italian ingredients and offering an entire bar of salumi and mozzarella options, El Capitano is a must-visit for those fond of la dolce vita. There are vegan-friendly and gluten-free options, and sweet-tooths will find it hard to say no to capping the night off with one of the wickedly indulgent gelato sundaes – chocolate with cacao crumb, lemon sorbet with smashed meringue, or hazelnut rocher with hazelnut praline.

Hot tip: Make sure to wash your pizza picks down with a tipple from the Tiki menu; these libations take cues from the flavours of the tropics. You’ll be dreaming of pineapples and palm trees long after you’ve left El Capitano’s island-inspired paradise! 

Saturday

Whether you’re a solo traveller looking for a day of outdoor thrills, on the hunt for a fun-filled couples’ day out, or are wanting ideas for things to do in Noosa with kids; your first full day in this Sunshine Coast haven is packed with activities that make the most of Noosa’s beaches, boutiques and restaurants.

Saturday Morning:

Surf’s up, water-babies! Noosa’s stunning coastline is the perfect spot to relax with a book, take a dip, soak up the sun, or even play a bit of volleyball. However, for those feeling a little more adventurous, hiring a surfboard or stand-up paddleboard is a great way to experience the Noosa’s sparkling waters.

Channel your inner Mick Fanning with Merrick’s Learn to Surf lessons. Taught by surf professionals, this is a great activity for all ages and abilities. Focusing firstly on safety and proper form, the team at Merrick’s help new surfers build their confidence before getting out into the water to hang ten. After just one lesson, you’ll no doubt to be eager to catch a break again soon!

For those looking to cruise along the coast at a slower pace, SUP Noosa is a fun, easy-to-learn paddleboard option. But be sure to prepare those abdominal muscles – balancing on a board can be a little tricky at first and is a workout for the core. If you’ve got a little more expertise, yoga paddleboarding takes the meaning of balance to the next level. Try to tackle a simple downward dog or master a headstand!

Hastings Street is your next stop. This promenade is a hive of boutiques, shops, eateries and bars, all offering surfy vibes that will make you want to move to Noosa Heads in an instant. For fashion lovers, Bellissima Boutique is a must-visit, along with locally-made minimalist jeweller Bernadette Tuffley. Take a break from your retail therapy pursuits and explorations for a crispy halloumi taco, classic beef burger, or gravy-topped poutine at Village Bicycle, one of Hastings Street’s buzzing watering-holes.

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Our instructors doing what they do best 🙌🏼

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Saturday Afternoon:

The Noosa Everglades is a tropical wetland located just outside the main township of Noosa Heads. The natural wonder has earned a name as the ‘River of Mirrors’ thanks to its serene stillness and reflective, opaque appearance. The Everglades is a must-see for all visitors to Noosa. Opt-in for the ultimate adventure with Everglades Eco Safaris. With guided commentary on surrounding nature, expert-led walks, swimming stops and lunch included, this is a great way to spend the day exploring the Sunshine Coast’s great outdoors.

Hot tip: If you’re wanting to explore the Everglades at your own leisure, check out Kanu Kapers for self-guided kayak tours.

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Join us for an epic adventure through only 1 of 2 everglade systems in the world😱 ⁠ ⁠ This once in a lifetime experience is best done on our Cruise ‘n’ Canoe tour, offering a relaxing journey through the Everglade system on our specialised vessel🚤 followed by canoeing through the Tea Tree infused waters🙌⁠ ⁠ Photo via @photobohemian⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ ⁠ ⁠ #pictureperfect #evergladesecosafaris #noosaeverglades #evergladesecocamp #seeaustralia #visitnoosa #canoefun #naturephotography #naturelovers #paradise #canoe #naturesbeauty #everglades #evergladesnationalpark #noosaeverglades #australiaseverglades #conservation #thisisqueensland #adventuretime #adventurequeensland #backpacknoosa #visitsunshinecoast #ecotour #ecofriendly #instatravel #adventureqld #aussiesofinstagram

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Saturday Night:

The Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club is the heart and soul of Noosa Heads, and the perfect spot to settle in for a night of quality local talent. With its classic pub-style menu, wide range of beers on tap and regular live music slots, it’s a guaranteed great night out. Grab a seat by the window to take in the hive of activity out on the beach and look out over the beautiful views of the coastline.

Sunday

From beach yoga to catching a glimpse of ocean wildlife, there are plenty of things to do in Noosa Heads on a Sunday that may have you booking your next visit before you’ve even boarded the plane for your flight home.

Sunday Morning:

The natural rock pools at Noosa Heads are a 45-minute walk or five-minute drive from Hastings Street. Set an alarm early and head out in time to catch the pastel-streaked sunrise. The pools are situated along the coast of Noosa National Park and are made up of rugged rockfaces, formed over millions of years. It is now a stunning attraction for visitors to Noosa.

As the tide comes in, the pools fill with ocean water, making for ideal swimming spots at dawn when it’s low tide. Catching the sun coming up will be a definite highlight for your weekend trip.

Hot tip: If you’ve got time, opt for the walk to the pools. The trails along Noosa’s coastline are rocky but paved, and this time of day means you might just have these walkways all to yourself.

Want to spend your Sunday morning not waking before dawn? Happening at 9.30 am every morning, Noosa Beach Yoga is held on the sand at Noosa Main Beach. Suitable for beginners through to advanced yogis, this beachside class is one not to be missed for those wanting to start their Sunday feeling Zen.

If you practised your best yoga moves on the paddleboards on Saturday morning, you can perfect them with a local qualified instructor. Get your stretch on, yogis!

Reward yourself for your active Sunday morning at Jungle and Co. The menu here is stacked with delicious options, allowing this healthy hotspot to offer a refreshing take on the weekend brunch. From its ‘Healthy Gut’ focused menu of DIY plant-based bowls, to its skin and gut-healing drinks menu, you’ll feel a rejuvenating health kick to boost your Sunday.

Sunday Afternoon:

Whale watching is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of nature’s largest creatures in their natural habitat. Catch a boat out with Noosa Wave and roam among the giants. Spotting a whale in the wild may just be one of your most memorable experiences in Noosa.

Sunday Night:

After your action-packed weekend in Noosa, there’s just enough time to squeeze in a visit to one of Noosa’s trendiest restaurants, Paradise Arcade. Offering mouthwatering margaritas, tacos and burritos with a modern surfy twist, you can tap into your inner Frida Kahlo while tucking into fresh California-meets-Mexico cuisine.

There is no shortage of things to do in Noosa Heads. No matter if you’re keen to get to Noosa sooner rather than later, or you’re thinking about a getaway later in the year, you can compare a range of cheap flights and hotel stays with Webjet.

Hero image: Noosa. Credit: Hongsik park | CC BY-ND 2.0

Alex is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. Having written across fashion, travel, advertising, music, and politics, she loves experiencing all that the world has to offer and sharing it through storytelling. Originally from New Zealand, Alex has travelled the globe, settling (for now) in Melbourne.

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