Noosa Heads is a busy pocket of the Sunshine Coast which prides itself on its national parks, inviting beaches and European feel. A strange combination of the best nature can offer and man-made holiday luxuries, it attracts more than 1.5 million visitors a year.
The main drag of Hastings Street squeezes numerous galleries, al fresco restaurants with atmospheric firesticks and French-sounding names, jewellers and upmarket fashion boutiques between the inevitable ice-creameries (including gelato bars), jeanswear outlets and souvenir shops. Although palm trees provide shade from the beating sun, there’s always a welcome cafe chair within walking distance, positioned street-side so you can crowd-watch in true Parisian style.
An eclectic mix of visitors takes advantage of all-day breakfasts, lattés and fresh juices after wandering out from their beachside lodges or nearby rented apartments.
Hastings Street is just a jump away from the patrolled Main Beach which is protected from the southerly winds, and so is favoured by those who prefer a more relaxed, non-sand-in-the-eye bathing experience.
Sunshine Beach is a short drive from Noosa Heads proper and is popular with surfers due to its exposure to the Pacific Ocean. Noosa’s attractions also extend inland, with the Noosa River offering both a relaxing setting for a picnic, or the opportunity to don a skipper’s cap and get out on the water. Several boat hire operators are located on the river at Gympie Terrace, next to a plethora of enticing restaurants.
If you like to explore on foot, you’re in luck. The main attraction of Noosa Heads is Noosa National Park, which boasts south-east Queensland’s only stretch of undisturbed, rocky coastline.
Covering 2,280 hectares, the park stretches south to Coolum, and offers visitors a variety of walks, spots of tropical rainforest, a variety of wildlife and even the opportunity to go naked.
There are also several festivals that take over the township during the year, including the Noosa Jazz Festival (September), but if you prefer a quieter pace, the area offers several art galleries with changing exhibitions of local artists.
An absolute must for those willing to venture a little further out is the Majestic Theatre in Pomona, about a half-hour drive west of Noosa.
Built in 1921, it is the world’s oldest, authentic silent movie theatre. It screens the classic, Son of the Sheik, with Hollywood legend Rudolph Valentino, every Thursday at 8.30pm. Phone (07) 5485 2330 for details.
FAST FACTS
Noosa Heads is a two-hour hop north from Brisbane via the Bruce Highway.
There are plenty of accommodation options available including hotel suites, an ocean view apartment at Sunshine Beach or a house on the Hastings River. To make a booking contact Accom Noosa on FREECALL 1800 072 078 or visit www.accomnoosa.com.au.
FLY TO NOOSA
To get to Noosa talk to Flight Centre Taylor Square, 8255 9988, or Darlinghurst, 9331 0993, or visit www.flightcentre.com.au.

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