Traveller: Noosa Heads a jewel of sunshine and relaxation

NOOSA Heads’ iconic main drag of Hastings Street has to be one of the most interesting and contrasting strips in Australia.

It’s where bush turkeys regularly waddle past well-heeled restaurants and retail outlets, and where wealthy diners at Parisian tables sip wine, while young families hustle past with sand bucket and towel in hand headed for the placid blue-green waters of Noosa beach.

Everyone is drawn to the leafy jewel of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast due to its stunning environment.

It’s arguably south-east Queensland’s answer to Byron Bay, but without the alternative edge.

Hastings Street is book-ended by national park and it creates a chilled and relaxed atmosphere, despite the bustle of holiday-makers, backpackers and families.

Emblazoned on the perfectly-positioned surf club are the words “welcome to Noosa, the relaxation capital of Australia.”

Reading that on the white sand of the beach and looking south towards the national park or north toward Fraser Island, truer words have never been spoken.

A hike up the coastal track in Noosa National Park to Hell’s Gate is a must. The mostly-paved track is accessible for prams and wheelchairs, but you’ll need to navigate the numerous joggers sweating it out in the Queensland humidity.

The views of the secluded beaches and rock formations are spectacular. We didn’t see any koalas on our walk, but they’re regularly spotted in the national park. Surely these koalas inhabit the most stunning real estate in the marsupial world.

Surely these koalas inhabit the most stunning real estate in the marsupial world.

After a hike you’re going to need a refill. And Noosa is ideal for any type of eating and drinking.

Among the classy eateries, there’s the frightfully popular and reasonably-priced Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co. The hip burger joint has spread across Australia, but it’s tasty roots were planted in Noosa.

Betty’s is a minimal and nostalgic take on American ‘50s food, complete with thickshakes you can almost chew. It’s popularity was apparent by the line that snaked out onto the street on a non-school holiday Monday.

Most people come to Noosa for its waterways, but away from the coast there are ample activities. The bi-weekly Eumundi Markets are renown nationally.

It’s a massive collection of food, clothing and nick-knack stalls. Unfortunately it’s former hippie vibe has been devoured by more mainstream treasures.

Another gem of the Noosa hinterland is The Spirit House, a Thai restaurant and cooking school. Set around a lagoon and lush forest, diners eat gourmet Thai massaman lamb curry or Mooloolaba king prawns while watching water dragons swim past flowering lilies.

Yes, Noosa is amazingly family friendly and relaxing. You won’t even mind all those bloody Queenslanders banging on about State Of Origin.

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