19 Amazing Things to do in Noosa (2020 Guide)

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Don’t miss this ultimate guide to the best things to do in Noosa in Queensland, Australia!

Located on the pristine and postcard-perfect East Coast of Australia, Noosa is home to some incredible places.

The Sunshine Coast is north of Brisbane and houses tons of amazing towns along the way, Noosa being one of the most visited in the region.

This world-class surfing destination is also known for a stunning National Park, and one of the best things to do in Noosa. 

With its warm temperatures year-round, and very low quantity of rainy days, Noosa boasts of the best climates in the country.

The list of things to do in Noosa is absolutely endless in terms of options.

Don’t let that keep you from exploring one of Australia’s most gorgeous places, check out this list of 19 amazing things to do in Noosa.

READ MORE: Discover plenty of things to do in Gold Coast!

Things to Do in Noosa
Don’t miss out on the beaches when checking out the best things to do in Noosa, Australia.

19 Amazing Things to do in Noosa

Noosa is the perfect getaway for everyone – whether you’re there to hike every mile of the National Park, wanting to get a selfie with the Big Pineapple, fancy learning how to surf on one of the best beaches in the World or grabbing a drink at Noosa’s only brewery.

1) Explore Noosa National Park

One of the top things to do in Noosa and an absolute must-do is to visit Noosa National Park.

The park stretches over 4000 hectares and is split into four different sections: Emu Mountain Section, The East Weyba Section, Headland Section and Peregian Section.

There are tons of trails for you to explore within the park and all with a range of distance and difficulties.

Check out the Boiling Pot trail and walk along until Tea Tree Bay for gorgeous beach views.

Dolphin Point may bring you incredible views in addition to a great spot to watch for whales and dolphins (from June to November).

For elevated views and a bit more of a challenge, head for Tanglewood Walk, Emu Mountain or The Hawkea walk, all of which will give you breathtaking views of the hinterland.

Be sure while you’re exploring one the highlights in terms of Noosa attractions to keep your eyes peeled for the local fauna, like Koalas, dolphins and whales who take up home in the bays along the trails.

Noosa National Park
Noosa National Park

2) Get a Dose of Vitamin C

The Big Pineapple is an iconic Noosa Attraction, and possibly one of the most touristy.

Located at Nambour connection road, this roadside attraction is the perfect spot for a photo op and to stretch your legs.

Known previously as The Sunshine plantation, this was a family-owned and operated pineapple farm.

In the early 1970s, the Sunshine plantation was a classic Australian destination for families on road trips along the sunshine coast or heading South towards Brisbane.

The location was closed some years later and reopened under new ownership that wanted to add to the site and create more of an attraction.

Now the Big Pineapple is also home to a lovely cafe, a souvenir shop, a train ride for children, a treetop walk and a small zoo on site.

Visiting the Pineapple is free and visitors can even climb to the top of the giant yellow citrus fruit.

Over the years the site has also been used for music festivals and live events such as The Big Pineapple music festival.

Stop, take a selfie with the pineapple and relive some of Noosa’s iconic history.

3) Peruse the Eumundi Markets

Running twice a week since 1979, Eumundi markets are a staple event in Noosa.

On Wednesday and Saturdays, you’ll be able to stroll through the market stalls from local artisans, crafters, farmers and food stalls too.

Stop by the Art in Clay by Kiki stall to see incredible handmade pottery by a local artist.

Grab a fabulous coffee at Bean and Gone, a smoothie bowl from Flavours of Brazil or maybe stop in for lunch at Nimo’s Schnitzels.

You’ll find beautiful hand blown glass jewellery, stunning accessories from Ecoluxe, items from Nedz Sandals and so much more.

If you’re looking to spend a bit more time relaxing than shopping or eating, or maybe you need to relax after doing all of that, be sure to stop into David’s Divine Expressions for a massage.

Or pick up some locally made soaps from Oska and Willow to bring home with you.

The market also hosts live music and performers as well as special events, especially over the Christmas Holidays.

Whatever brings you to Eumundi you’ll be sure to find everything you’re looking for and then some.

READ MORE: Plan other things to do when visiting Queensland!

4) Learn to Surf

When it comes to world-class surfing Noosa definitely takes one of the top spots in that category.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or wanting to test it out for the first time there are wave breaks for everyone.

Noosa’s Main Beach is a great spot for lessons and beginner surfers to get a feel for their surf legs.

You’ll find a fair few different outfitters offering lessons, but best to take lessons from local instructors who know these waters like the back of their hands.

If you’re a lover of longboard surfing then be sure to check out First Point by the Noosa Life Savers tower.

First Point is also a beauty spot for photographers to catch a great view too.

For more seasoned surfers, check out Nationals which is right next to the car park at the entrance of Noosa National Park.

While the surf isn’t known to get higher than 5 ft, big storms can bring big swell.

There are a lot of rocks here so it’s only recommended for the most seasoned surfer, and still with caution.

Surfing is one of the great things to do in Noosa to get a different view of the beach from out on your board too, so don’t be too upset if the sets are small.

Surfing
Surfing in Noosa

5) Visit the Heart of Noosa

Voted the best Main street in all of Australia, Noosa’s Hastings Street is noted as being the heart of things.

This is where you’ll find a ton of boutiques, cafes, restaurants, tour operators, hotels everything you could ever need in Noosa.

With the added bonus of being a stone’s throw for the beach, what more could you ever need?

Pick up some fresh fruit and veg, or snacks for a beachside picnic at the Noosa Farmers Market every Sunday.

Wander through the Noosa Regional Gallery where you’ll find art and photographs from locals in Noosa.

All of the restaurants and cafes in Noosa have a “snail of approval.”

This is the first in the program in Australia and notes that all participants with this approval provide ‘good, clean and fair food’ which is such a great thing.

Check out Nosh Express for tasty and fresh seafood dishes just steps away from the beach.

Stop into the classic Cafe the Monde which has been around for decades, treating customers to fresh delicious food and great coffee.

Or pop into Miss Moneypenny’s for a unique handcrafted cocktail in a decadent atmosphere.

Strolling along Noosa’s Hasting Street is such a great way to get a feel for the town on top of doing some real or window shopping. 

6) Stop for Photo Ops at Laguna Lookout

Grab your camera and set off for the edge of town. On the top of Noosa Hill, you’ll find the beautiful Laguna Lookout.

 This lookout is based on a large circular concrete platform right next to a small grassy hill that could be used to sit out and picnic on.

But there are not any benches or a seating area here.

From Laguna Lookout, you will be able to get sweeping views out over Noosa and all the way out to sea.

This is the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the beach below too.

On the clearest of days, you’ll even be able to see all the way out to towards the Glasshouse Mountains.

If you’re unsure what exactly you’re looking at, be sure to make reference down to the cool dial set up at the lookout which indicates what you’re looking at in what direction. 

7) A Bushwalk with a View

Mt.Tinbeerwah is just 15 minutes by car from Noosa and the perfect opportunity to tick bushwalking off your what to do in Noosa bucket list.

This is the perfect trail for those looking to get some incredible views with very little effort, or if you’re on a time crunch.

Within the Noosa hinterland, the views from the top of this trail are some of the most impressive of the Sunshine Coast.

The first portion of the trail is actually paved, making it easily accessible for all including those who may be travelling with children in pushchairs.

The trail continues on and turns a bit rockier but still manageable as you head towards the summit.

Once you reach the top you’ll have panoramic views of the Hinterland in every direction

And if you want to get even higher continue on to the fire tower where you’ll be gifted with even better views.

For those who are experienced, have the right equipment and feel up for a challenge Mt Tinbeerwah is a great spot for rock climbing and abseiling, which will give you a whole new perspective on this location.

Bush Walk
Bush Walk

8) Walk in the Gardens

With over 8 hectares of ground, the Noosa Botanic Gardens are truly a beautiful place to spend some time.

Open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week with free entry to all visitors there really is no excuse to miss out.

There is a beautiful outdoor stone amphitheatre that overlooks the water giving visitors sweeping views.

The gardens are split up into half a dozen sections to be enjoyed. Some of these include a subtropical plant section which also has several picnic areas to enjoy.

The Bush chapel section has beautiful blooms of all kinds.

While Noosa Botanic Gardens may not be as large as some of the others around the Sunshine Coast, what it lacks in acreage it makes up for in charm.

Grab a blanket and a book and sit in the sunshine for a few hours. Stop in at a cafe and get a takeaway hot drink and peruse the ground on the cooler winter days.

And be sure to keep an eye out for special events hosted here throughout the year to make your visit to the gardens even more magical.

READ MORE: Check out all the things to do in nearby Hervey Bay!

9) Find Magic at the Fairy Pools

One of the most amazing things to do in Noosa is to head off and find the Fairy Pools.

These are natural tidal rock pools created by waves eroding the basalt rock on the Noosa National Park coastline.

The waves break up against the rock filling these natural sea pools with water allowing swimmers the joy of soaking in the sea with little chance of being swept out.

That being said, it is recommended to keep an eye on the waves as the sea can change without notice.

The Fairy Pools are located in the National Park about 45 minutes from the parking lot one way.

Set out with lots of water, snacks, sunscreen & wearing good footwear as there are no facilities here and the trail is a little bit rocky.

Head out onto the Coastal track towards Hell’s Gate. Once reaching Hell’s Gate you’ll take the bend to your right, and will be off any trail.

So keep your eye out for people coming towards you as they are likely coming back from the pools.

There are just 2 Fairy Pools here so it can get quite crowded, especially during the holidays and weekends.

Also good to note that the water levels here will vary depending on the tide.

So if you really want to soak and relax, the morning low tide is what you’re after. But if you don’t mind a little wave action head out at high tide. 

10) Go Off on the Great Beach Drive

One of the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast or while visiting Noosa is taking off on a day trip on The Great Beach Drive.

This is the perfect reason to hop in the car with a cooler full of snacks and a great playlist and explore one of the most magical places in Australia.

Connecting The Gympie Region to the Sunshine Coast and Fraser Island, this road trip route takes drivers through over 200km coastline.

What makes this self-drive adventure a little different from several similar routes around the country is that you can actually drive on the beach for most of this route.

With either your own 4 wheel drive or one you’ve hired you will be able to see the Sunshine Coast in a totally different way.

You’ll dodge motorway traffic, get a chance to see whales and dolphins (in the right season) and truly get off the beaten track.

There are hotels and hostels along the way but also campground to really give you that feel of the great outdoors.

If you opt for this epic road trip you’ll be able to break it up and take as long a route or a quick day trip depending on how long you plan to be around Noosa.

Watch the sunrise over one beach and the sunset over another.

Take in the incredible views with very few other people around and marvel at the absolute beauty that this stretch of the country has to offer.

Drive a little or a lot of this track, but whatever you do the views will be worth it.

Great Beach Drive
Great Beach Drive

11) Be Mystified by Mt Coolum

Less than 30 minutes away from Noosa you’ll find the magnificent Mt. Coolum National Park.

If you don’t drive don’t worry, you can take the #620 bus from Noosa to the National park as well.

Aboriginal stories claim that once a young warrior named Coolum entered into battle with another tribesman and was killed.

He was beheaded and his body became Mt Coolum and his head floated out to sea becoming Mudjimba Island. Quite the impressive story for quite an impressive place.

Mt Coolum is dome-shaped and at 208 meters above sea level giving those who reach the tops spectacular panoramic views of the Sunshine Coast.

The main trail here is just over 1.5km (one way) up a relatively steep track, which becomes incredibly slippery when wet.

It is advised to only take on this trail when the weather is dry as this trail can become dangerous with loose rock and slippery conditions in the rain.

The walk starts off in gorgeous forestland and the whole park is fantastic for some Noosa Sightseeing including bird-watching.

Whales have also been known to be spotted out at sea during the migration season too.

Keep on the track and watch the vegetation turn from the lush forest to short shrubs as you make your way to the summit.

The trail may be tough but the views are the best reward you could hope for. 

READ MORE: Plan your trip to Australia with our Australia Travel Guide!

12) Get Out to The Glades

The Noosa River is located in South East Queensland, and breaks off into many different lakes and finally into the ocean.

Hidden within the Great Sandy National Park, you’ll find the Noosa Everglades

One of the top things to do in Noosa is to explore them by kayak.

The Everglades are a tropical wetland system and 1 of only 2 in the world and make up an incredibly diverse ecosystem housing 40% of Australia’s bird species.

While you can experience the everglades by boat, to truly get an up-close experience set off in a kayak.

With a few different tour operators running excursions to this part of Noosa you’ll be able to join in on a trip with a knowledgeable guide who will take you out into the Everglades while teaching you the basic skills for getting out on the river.

Stop by Harry’s hut for a swim and a picnic. Paddle in and out of the smaller islands that exist on the River and get a real sense for just how beautiful a place Noosa really is. 

Kayaking the Everglades
Kayaking the Everglades

13) Visit Land & Sea Brewery

Noosa’s first and original craft brewery offers an incredible range of locally crafted beers that are inspired by the gorgeous slice of paradise that is Noosa.

The brewery owners have committed to creating not only a beautiful welcoming space but also one that is eco-friendly.

They have installed 80 solar panels that power the entire brewhouse as well as setting up a water tank that feeds right into their own irrigation system.

A local business run by locals, supported by locals (and tourists) and use local fresh ingredients in their brewhouse and their restaurant.

Tours last about 90 minutes and include a paddle (flight) of beers as well as spirits from the distillery owned by Land & Sea as well.

Operated by locals with a passion for brewing and distilling guests will be taken through all the processes it takes to create the beers or spirits we all love so much.

If a tour isn’t on your Noosa activities list then stop in and check out the shop for beers to takeaway or grab a flight and a snack in the restaurant.

They even have a fun dog menu so that no one is left out of the brewery experience!

  • Location: 19 Venture Drive, Noosa 4566
  • Hours for tours: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 11:30 am – 1 pm
  • Tickets: $40.00 USD/person

14) Take on “A-Bay” Walk

On the eastern side of Noosa town and the national park lies the Alexandria Bay walk.

Known also as A-Bay by the locals, the trail will take you about 3km one way along a gorgeous stretch of golden beach.

While mostly sandy, Alexandria Bay walk winds through beautiful eucalyptus forests, along the coastline, up and down along ridges past countless viewpoints to stop, relax and take photos.

The beach at Alexandria Bay is quite remote, and the perfect place to escape the potentially crowded beaches, especially during the holidays.

Pack enough water, food and sunscreen to get you through the day as the remoteness of this bay doesn’t bring any amenities with it.

This is a great break for surfers as well and you are able to drive up to Sunshine beach and walk about 20 minutes down to the bay with your board.

Keep in mind there are no lifesaving towers here so be mindful of the sea.

15) Cruise the River

One of the most iconic things to do in Noosa is to set out on a cruise along the river.

No matter what your budget is or what sort of experience you’re looking for there are countless opportunities to get the experience of which you’re hoping.

Set out on a daytime cruise along the river as the boat captain points out beautiful islands and local fauna hanging out in the trees.

Or maybe you’re looking for a unique night out. Instead of taking to the bars or clubs in the town, set out for a night on the river with a sunset cruise.

Float down the river as you watch the sunset and see Noosa come to life as the skies change colours.

Sign up for a lunch or dinner cruise to celebrate a special occasion or a fun day time adventure.

Heading to Noosa for a birthday party, bachelor/bachelorette party or maybe just an end of school bash?

There are private charter cruises that can be hired out for you and only you to enjoy. Celebrate a milestone or just a regular Thursday evening, it’s totally up to you.

No matter what option you choose guests will be treated to stunning views from several different kinds of watercraft and truly get to experience Noosa in a new way.

16) Backbends on the Beach

Picture this: the sun is rising over crystal clear waters, you’ll hear the sound of crashing waves and feel the sun on your face as you breathe deeply.

This is the incredible sensation you’ll get from doing yoga on Noosa Main beach.

With Noosa Beach Yoga you’ll be able to practice with them on the beach daily at 9:30 am.

No need to bring your own mat as they are provided by the instructors putting on the classes.

There is no need to be a professional yogi either, each class is aimed to help beginners and also caters to those who are a little bit more advanced.

All people of all ages are welcome to try these classes, and children are welcome to attend.

Start your day off with a relaxed practice in one of the most beautiful settings and end it all off with a post-yoga swim, and be sure to keep your eyes out for dolphins in the early morning surf.

If you find yourself up before the sun and don’t want to wait until the class starts why not just take your towel down to the beach and do a DIY flow practice on your own?

Or maybe you prefer sunset to sunrise, there are no set rules or times when it comes to yoga. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

Yoga on The Beach
Yoga on The Beach

17) Take the Plunge

Fall in love with Noosa in a whole new way, by literally freefalling from a plane!

 The team at Noosa Skydive have been doing this for years and have only the most experienced and knowledgeable crew to help you chuck yourself out of a perfectly good plane all in the spirit of fun.

Joking aside, this is one of the best ways to get a totally new and fun take on this beautiful slice of the Sunshine Coast.

Choose from tandem skydives that will take up to 10,000 or 15,000 feet above Noosa and the surround sunshine coast or even a fabulous night jump from 10,000 feet.

You’ll freefall for an insane 60 seconds before you float for just under 10 minutes under your parachute while taking in the amazing views.

Whether you’re an “I want to skydive in every city in the world” kind of person or an “I’m terrified but this is cool, I hope I don’t blackout” kind of person the team at Noosa Skydive will cater to your every need and give you the best experience possible.

18) Trade the in Beach for the Lake

While it’s hard to find many people who would trade a beach day for anything else, if you want to slow things down a little bit then checking out Currimundi Lake should be on your list of things to do in Noosa.

Winner of the 2004 award for Queensland’s cleanest beach this beautiful spot is perfect for a day soaking and playing in the water.

This natural lake is connected to a massive stretch of a surf beach so you have the best of both worlds.

Although the surf can be a bit rough for swimming on the beachside of Currumundi.

Pack a picnic, grab the lounge chairs, a good book and head out for the day.

If you have a kayak or a paddleboard this is a great place to take them out and try to do some fishing or bird watching from the water too.

Several trails run along the lakeside for those who may want a bit more activity in a day at the lake.

And with great facilities and lots of parking, it’s a great little escape from the hustle and bustle of the main beaches.

19) Channel Your Inner Irwin at Australia Zoo

CRIKEY! Chances are if you grew up in the late ’80s/early ’90s you’ll know exactly who said that.

The man who possibly made that word iconic was none other than the late Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter.

He was a conservationist, animal activist and obsessed with the wildlife of the World.

Australia Zoo was opened by Steve Irwin’s parents and left to him after their passing.

The brilliant team of conservationists at the zoo pride themselves on having created a space for all sorts of different animals.

And on the 1,000-acre site, there is also a wildlife hospital that assists in the care and rehabilitation of animals who have been found injured in the wild.

The zoo itself is set up more like a home away from home for the animals and an educational centre for visitors.

It is broken up in sections that include: Africa, The Crocoseum, and Dinosaurs just to name a few.

Get a first-hand look at crocodile feedings, a bird of prey show, or set your sights on the koalas and kangaroos.

After 40 years and multiple awards won, the Irwin Family has created a safe space for not only their animals but for visitors to learn more about all sorts of creatures big and small.

  • Location: 1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah 4519
  • Hours: 9 am – 5 pm Daily
  • Tickets: $40.00 USD/adult and $25.00 USD/children
Australia Zoo
Australia Zoo

Noosa Travel Guide

Now that you know what to do in Noosa, we want to help you make your other plans as well by sharing the best accommodations and places to eat in the area.

Best Accommodation – Where to Stay in Noosa

The list of what to do in Noosa varies almost as much as the accommodation does.

From beachfront villas overlooking the ocean to budget-friendly backpackers.

Whatever you’re looking for in terms of a place to lay your head after a day of Noosa sightseeing and no matter your budget you’ll find it and so much more.

The Best Hostel in Noosa – Flashpackers Noosa

Flashpackers Noosa is a backpacker’s dream, all on a budget. Everything you’ve ever said you would want in a hostel, they offer. 

2 pillows-check! A gorgeous swimming pool for when you just can’t make it to the beach? Check! Beautiful dorms & fabulous showers? Check and check!

On top of all of that Flashpackers Noosa hosts multiple events throughout the week including free wine and cheese nights, free sausage sizzle & a movie night!

So much for so little money, you’ll be wondering when you can go back and visit before you’ve even checked out.

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Noosa – Noosa International Resort

Just minutes from Noosa Main Beach and the vibrant buzz of Hastings street you’ll find the Noosa International Resort.

This property boasts not only hotel rooms but resort apartment-style accommodations perfect for those looking for a little more space or even a big group travelling together.

Being a few minute’s walk from the beach and Noosa National Park is ideal, but this property offers some fantastic bonuses to its guests.

The hotel has 2 pools, 3 spas, a steam room, and a fantastic staff standing by to book you in on any tour you have your eye on.

With views overlooking Noosa, you’ll be hard-pressed to step foot offsite but the staff will urge you to take part in all the amazing Noosa activities on offer.

Best Luxury Hotel in Noosa – Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas

If you’re looking for a bit of luxury on your trip to the sunshine coast look no further than Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas.

This resort should be at the top of your list of what to do in Noosa for the views alone. Guests have the option to choose from resort-style accommodations or private villas onsite.

The resort-style option offers guests penthouse or apartment layouts with fully equipped kitchens and perfect for multiple people travelling together.

While the private villa option gives a little more privacy with the added features of a personal concierge, complimentary transfers into town and a multi-level layout.

On top of all of that guests can relax in the day spa, dine in the world-class VIEW restaurant and take in the views from the infinity pool overlooking Noosa.

Best Restaurants in Noosa

One of the best parts about travelling around Noosa is finding all the best places to eat!

Budget – Halse Lodge

Halse Lodge, while part of the YHA Halse Lodge hostel is a restaurant open to the public.

Try the fish & chips with a cold pint on the side and soak in the atmosphere of this Queensland heritage building.

Mid-Range – Bistro C

Soak up the view of Noosa’s Laguna Bay while enjoying a meal at Bistro C.

With a menu inspired and packed with local produce from around the country and the state.

With extensive options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a brilliant cocktail list to match.

Luxury – SAILS

Located right off of The Parade with a view of Noosa Main Beach, is the divine SAILS Noosa. A staple in the Noosa food scene since they opened the doors in 1994.

With a varied menu including local and beautiful seafood dishes, a chocolate pavlova to die for and even a takeaway coffee cart set up for those on the go.

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

About the author

Laura Oxley

Hi, I'm Laura Oxley of She Who Wanders, a Canadian content creator who is the resident Canada travel expert at NOMADasaurus, along with tonnes of incredible experience with exploring Australia. My travel experiences have taken me to the volcanoes of Central America, the waterfalls of Hawaii, the castles of England, the beaches of Australia and Middle Earth to name a few. In addition to writing for NOMADasaurus, my work can be found published on Contiki, Women Who Explore, Penguin & Pia and Buzzfeed.

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