Noosa Is The Ultimate Coastal Destination To Chase The Sun
Summer’s over, but you can always chase the sun to Noosa. At this time of year, tours are less crowded, restaurants can have cheaper dining specials and hotels are less expensive by up to 50 percent. All this and your more likely than not to bask in Queensland sunshine most days.
Whether you prefer horse riding along the beach, jet-boating around Noosa’s stunning coastline, eating your way up and down Hastings Street or hitting the trails in Noosa National Park, there’s tonnes to do in the cooler months.
You can fly directly into nearby Sunshine Coast Airport, so there’s never been a better time to pack your bags, minus the swimmers. Here are some of the best things to do during Noosa, even when it’s not summer.
Whale and dolphin season is coming up
Chill and thrill is the way to go in Noosa, and Noosa Oceanrider lets you do both. This powerful boat offers tours around Noosa National Park’s coastal headland, from adrenaline-packed wave jumping adventures to a serene dolphin spotting trip.
Dolphins may be the way to go if it’s chilly – you’re sure to stay dry on this tour. Cruise down the Noosa River to the Noosa bar, and on to Alexandria Bay, a prime spot for dolphins. Along with playful dolphins, you get a side order of whales in winter as they travel past Noosa on their way to and from Hervey Bay.
Dolphin Safari tours are $49 for adults and depart daily. Wear moisturiser, sunscreen and lip balm, as it can get windy on the water, and pants – you’ll be straddling the seat like a saddle.
One of the best ways to discover Noosa’s food scene is by signing up for a hands-on cooking class at The Cooking School Noosa. You’ll meet the locals, enjoy a stellar three course meal (cooked by you), a glass of wine or two and learn new skills.
The school’s recipe book, packed with tasty recipes to recreate back home, is the ultimate souvenir. Classes include everything from Classic French to Dumplings and Buns, and Artisanal Bread Making. However, the best class for travellers is the Noosa Regional Experience, which focusses on the area’s famous produce.
Classes start at $140 and include all instruction and ingredients, wine or beer, and an apron and recipe book you can take with you.
Explore by boat
The Noosa Everglades, a series of freshwater tidal parklands covering 150,000 hectares, are world-famous for their natural beauty and wildlife. Explore them on a kayak tour with Kanu Kapers Australia.
When you’re gliding through the clear waters of Lake Cootharaba, marvelling at the mighty wingspan of square-tailed kites wheeling overhead, it is hard to believe busy Hastings Street is only a short drive away. Kayaks come equipped with eskies and laminated maps with reference photos to assist the navigationally challenged.
Prices start at $99 for a one day self-guided tour. Bring enough food and water for the day, sunscreen, a hat and zip lock bags to keep your stuff dry.
Shop big on market days
Visit the Original Eumundi Markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays for fresh produce and varied-quality arts and crafts. It’s easy to spend a whole morning browsing at this eclectic outdoor market where everything is locally made.
If the weather’s good (and it usually is) Eumundi is the perfect spot to pick up supplies for a picnic lunch. Delicious food stalls, talented musicians and friendly stall owners complete the package of an ideal market visit.
Ride a trusty steed along the beach
Breathe in the fresh tang of salt water and listen to the waves as you ride along Teewah Beach, surrounded by Noosa’s bush-fringed North Shore, on an Equathon horse riding adventure. Whether you’re a nervous first-timer or an experienced rider, these tours can be tailored to suit.
Highlights include recreating your own Hollywood moment by riding through the waves, and a gallop along the beach for more confident riders.
One-hour private beach rides cost $125 per person and depart at 9.30am, 11.30am and 1pm.
Drink and dine (fave cool-weather activities)
This city has loads of great drinking and dining options and, really, what else is best to do during Noosa in winter? From the cute beach shack ambience of Betty’s Burgers to the lively vibe of El Capitano which serves some of the best pizzas around, there’s plenty to choose from. Chill-out tunes and a general cool vide come together at Miss Moneypenny’s, a cocktail lounge and restaurant that embraces Noosa’s tropical lifestyle.
Bistro C is one of Noosa’s most romantic spots to watch the sun go down. Make sure to save time to head to Sum Yung Guys, one of the Sunshine Coast’s hottest restaurants, for Gangnam-style beef, mandarin-cured swordfish, or sticky XO beef cheek with crispy noodles.
Oh, and for the perfect addition to your getaway to Noosa in winter, make sure you check out this bakery slinging incredible coffee or milkshakes inside doughnuts.