Noosa is the Hidden Gem of the East coast, 2 hours from Brisbane its the place for the city workers to head for some beaches, hikes and open space. Noosa is known for its beautiful Everglades, Colourful bays and sprawling beaches. The main high street is known for its designer boutiques, boho house accessories and surf shops providing a upper class Byron bay for the rich and sometimes famous. It has a relaxing atmosphere with the perfect balance of city shops and country landscapes.
I stayed in a Hostel, Noosa Nomads a 15 minute walk up the hill at Noosa Junction, full of backpackers and little more of an affordable atmosphere with beach shacks, chain restaurants and a Woolworths to buy the essentials. The hostel is known for its party atmosphere with a 7 days a week open bar. A pool for those lazy days when you just cant find the energy to walk down to the beach.
One activity I was itching to do was the day hike through the Noosa National Park, there are several different tracks I decided to do the Coastal hike all the way through to Sunshine Beach, a good 10km walk along vertical cliffs, forestry areas, beautiful beaches with insane views out to sea. It takes around 2 hours with no stopping, it took me 4 due to enjoying it with paddling in the sea to cool down as well as lunch. Here is what I saw and did;
Firstly my top things to remember
I started at my Hostel at Noosa Junction and walked down the hill to Noosa Heads, as mentioned above the high street is full of restaurants, hotels and high end boutiques for the luxury Mediterranean feel. The hotels all run along the beach front, with pools looking out onto the beautiful beach. As you walk further towards the right hand side of the beach this is where you will find the start of a pathway leading to the National Park. It became the National Park over 80 years ago, and is one of the highest visited Np’s in the country with over 1 millions visitors a year. It popular with locals and tourists alike, especially with the new broadwalk installationThe pathway runs along the rocks and ocean front, peeping through the trees at the surfers heading out for their morning waves.
It was such a clear day as a walked along here the ocean so blue, that the trees frames the view beautifully. As you gradually head away from the beach the path becomes a wooden walkway running along the Noosa cliff front which gradually starts to rise with a gradual incline. Eucalyptus trees wind in and out of the path, so look out for Koala bears, but also look out to see where if you are lucky there are sometimes dolphins playing and jumping.
After a small walk along the rocky edge, you will come to Noosa National Park, this is where you will see the options for trails and how far each of them is. There are nature trails deeper into the bush which take you back to the original starting point all colour coded as below;
You have options to choose the coastal and actually head back on the Tanglewood too so don’t worry, there are options. Its starts off towards Tea tree Bay, with huge waves and hanging trees over the ocean, its recommended not to swim here due to tides, currents and no lifeguard. You can normally see Kayakers going past in groups so give them a wave.
This then follows upto Dolphins Point, the path is small, only just big enough for people to cross which makes it very quiet and peaceful. DP is a beautiful viewing area which is found to the left of the main path. With stone seats, a little shade and views over the rocks which has waves pushing against them every minute you can see why the name came about when Dolphins were first seen jumping and playing in the Granite Bay. The other view is of the first beach within the National Park called Winch Cove. Its sheltered, quiet and popular for surfers who aren’t fazed by the walk to get here with their heavy surf board? Now that’s dedication!
Around the Bay is then a smaller beach called Picnic cove, i am sure you can guess how this got its cute name, several families were perched for the day down on this beach, with a lot less wind its perfect for a family day out away from the crowds. I stumbled across the Fairy pools on the headland close to Hells gate, when teh tide is out clear water pools are formed in the rock formations where people relax, bath and take in the views.
On the opposite side of the headland up the steady cliff edge I came to the Hells Gate, a dramatic and scary drop into a very small cove covered in crashing waves. It gets it name from the idea of the deadly waves knocking on the rock cliffs and saying the devil must live there.
From Hells Gate a few extra steps will bring beautiful views of Alexandria Bay. Its a 4km long beach, and when I arrived only a few people walking along the quiet sand, it may be due to the fact this is known as a Nudist beach? But I didn’t see any until I reached the other side. The only other option is to walk up and around the beach if you dont want to follow the coastal route.
I had some lovely lunch on the beach looking out to ocean, people watching (not the nude ones), dogs running into the waves along with their humans and children. Watching the tide come in gradually until I thought i had better set off. This is where the option to head back to Noosa Beach and the National Park car park is located along the pathway. The other option is to carry on by going up the small cliff edge towards the next headline which called Lions Rock. This place overlooks the Bay and has another dramatic drop down onto the Devils Kitchen rocks below. The rocks are amazing to look at and observe the changes in the ones close to the edge, they look a little loose!
The next part of the path is very narrow, and be careful finding it again because I did loose it for while when i headed to Lions Rock, especially with the long grass. This part of the hike I didnt see a sole until I arrived along the top where I could finally see Sunshine Beach.
After this it was steps all the way down to Sunshine Beach, definitely confirmed the way I came was the right way due to the very steap continuous steps. The beach is 12km long due to the several beaches it connects too continuously to Coolum which sets the scene for a lovely walk along the ocean where i went in to cool off before going upto the number 32 exit sign which takes you off the beach and upto Solway Drive where i caught a bus back to the Hostel in Noosa Junction.
This was a beautiful Hike, a perfect day to soak up the sun, finishes with a Gelato from the icecream van in Sunshine Beach. The beaches are so well kept, and on a clear sunny day the ocean is as blue as an emerald. I highly recommend this for anyone who loves the sea, natural scenery and walking.