For many years Noosa was a favourite destination for our family, whether it be for a week in school holidays or just a long weekend. It is just over an hour’s flight from Sydney. We were drawn by the exceptional natural beauty, the relaxed yet sophisticated style and plethora of restaurants, shops and spas.
This month we visited again, this time staying at Little Cove, opposite a truly stunning beach, boasting white sand and turquoise ocean, framed by pandanus trees, yet just a five minute stroll along the boardwalk to the bustling Hastings Street. Five minutes in the other direction took us to the National Park and beautiful walk along the coast line, where in addition to jaw dropping scenery, it is possible to see a range of wildlife, from koalas to dolphins and turtles.
It has probably been ten years since our last visit to this well known coastal town in Queensland and it has certainly grown and yet retained its charm. Unsurprisingly, food is always an important part of any holiday for us – revisiting some of our favourites and trying some that were new to us.
Apart from sensational food, there are endless possibilities of things to do in Noosa from swimming or surfing in the pristine ocean, walking trails, spas, markets, to visits to hinterland villages such as the picturesque Maleny and Montville if you have more time.
In the time we had, we chose to stay in closer proximity of Noosa itself.
Here are some of our top tips for those visiting for a long weekend.
Bang Bang – This incredibly popular eating establishment provides a fun and vibrant atmosphere amongst lush greenery in the heart of Noosa’s Hastings Street. And we enjoyed some of the best asian fusion dishes we’ve had, ever. We chose kingfish sashimi followed by fragrant yellow vegetable curry with roti… the cocktails were also excellent. You will need to book to get a table here – and we can’t recommend it highly enough.
Lucio’s – As huge fans of Lucio’s when it was in Paddington in Sydney (for 40 years), we had to visit again in its new location on the tranquil Noosa marina, a perfect spot to showcase the consistently delicious Italian cuisine for which Lucio is so famous. The atmosphere is sophisticated and more formal for that special occasion. For nostalgia’s sake we both ordered the signature crab noodle dish, which did not disappoint.
Sum Yung Guys – Another asian inspired gem, recommended by a friendly local who told us the story of SYG’s beginnings in a small venue in Sunshine Beach, where it quickly became almost impossible to secure a booking, necessitating large premises, now located in Noosaville. The chef, Matt Sinclair, of Masterchef fame, has created a must visit eatery which is also an experience for the senses, from the decor to the sublime flavours of the food. Again, booking is essential.
Season – This is a restaurant which is right on Noosa main beach and has an open air feel, although covered. Historically it has been a staple for us, either for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Whilst it is no longer open for breakfast, we did have an opportunity to visit for an early light dinner, which very much lived up to our recollection and expectations. The staff were as friendly and bubbly as ever.
Moon Struck – This was where we chose for our first coffee in Noosa, a local brew called ‘Dutch Courage’ and it became the only coffee place we went to! Apologies to other cafes in Noosa that may do good coffee, but we kept being drawn back to Moon Struck where we also sampled some of their delicious breakfasts, including organic home baked granola served with compote and fresh fruit. In the evening, Moon Struck transforms into a Boutique Gin and Cocktail Bar.
Blended Health Bar – We always like to find somewhere that serves a good açai bowl or superfood smoothie. Not surprisingly with Noosa’s healthy lifestyle vibe, we found Blended Health Bar, located very centrally in Hastings Street which catered exactly to this requirement, along with a range of cold pressed juices.
If you are in an airbnb, or self catering accommodation, you may wish to stay in and enjoy a home cooked meal made with the abundance of fresh and organic produce .. although more choice can be found in Noosaville, including Flannery’s Organic and Belmondo’s.
As an additional treat, we booked in a spa treatment at the idyllic and multiple award winning Balinese themed Ikatan Spa, about 15 minutes drive from Noosa Beach. Everything from the tropical gardens to the skill of the therapists and organic products used in the treatments created a blissful experience.
On a practical note, Noosa is also well service by buses and ferries, should you choose not to hire a car. You will need a ‘Go Card’ in order to catch a bus, there is no cash or card facility on the bus.