It doesn't matter how many times I head down the hill on Noosa Drive towards the ocean, I still get a little shiver of excitement every time. This very special part of the world has achieved international recognition for its unique environment and I am privileged to be able to dip my toes into it on a regular basis.
Here are ten of my favourite Noosa pastimes.
1. Although it’s always tempting to sleep in, I don't like to waste a moment of the day when I wake up in Noosa. The best way to start is in the coffee queue at Sails on Hastings Street and then a stroll along the winding boardwalk to the National Park, koala spotting along the way.
Depending on my mood and energy level, I continue the walk through the park to enjoy the beachside views. Some like to run it. You can pick up a coffee at the information hut in the national park as well.
2. After a bit of exercise there's nothing like a big breakie at Aromas and a spot of people watching. With the chairs and tables mainly facing the street it's hard to miss the passing parade unless, of course, you are distracted by the great breakfast. Check the counter for fresh coconut milk straight from the coconut.
3. Hastings Street is always worth a wander to check out what's new and funky and look for seriously good sale racks. My wardrobe is peppered with Noosa bargains that have become old faves.
4. When it comes to lunch I'm still happy to be in Hastings Street with a leisurely lunch at Bistro C or Season in mind. There’s something special about dining with a view of beach and surf.
5. The latest taste sensation on Hastings Street is where I like to head after lunch for a sweet treat. I'm addicted to Nitrogeni's Salty Caramelly Popcorn and Lemon Meringue flavours.
6. My one attempt at learning to surf was not what you would call successful but I'm keen to have another go with a world surfing champion at Noosa Learn To Surf. No cameras please.
7. Browsing the Noosa Farmers Markets is a quick way to stock up on fabulous local produce and make some new finds. From fabulous French pastries to fresh sugar cane juice, you'll find more than enough to excite your palate here. It's on every Sunday morning, 7am – 12 noon.
8. Gympie Terrace in Noosaville is another favourite haunt. There are plenty of spots along the Noosa River bank where you can sit and watch the view. Sunsets are particularly nice. Gympie Terrace and Thomas Street are both filled with an interesting mix of cafes, restaurants, homewards shops and boutiques making a perfect destination both night and day.
9. Cooroy is the Noosa area’s best kept secret. Just a scenic short 22 km drive from Noosa it has the best French patisserie and Thai restaurant. Take your appetite with you to visit Dhom’s Kitchen but be sure to book ahead as their traditional Thai fare is widely popular. Maison de Provence serves equally excellent pastries, macarons and coffee. Be adventurous and try the snails too.
10 There are many ways to cruise the Noosa River and I suggest you try all of them. From a swish speed wooden boat , to the sunset ferry cruise, all are deeply relaxing and rewarding. You can also try your hand at kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding in the river.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Tourism Noosa but the feelings are all my own.