Think Noosa, think nautical but nice. Think nefarious lunches, naughty shopping sprees and nifty resorts. Think Noosa, and also think National Park, nature, and an all-new attitude. Christine Retschlag explores 7 great new natural Noosa experiences.
1. Bike On Australia
This company has 300 bicycles in its arsenal and you’ll find all types of rides, depending on your preference. Bike On will deliver your hire bike right to your accommodation and encourage you to take advantage of the hundreds of safe bike paths around Noosa. If you’re into mountain biking, you can join them on a guided or self-guided mountain bike tour through Tewantin National Park, which boasts 25km of trails.
2. Kanu Kapers
If paddling rather than pedaling is more your thing, join a guided or self-guided tour of the Noosa Everglades with Kanu Kapers. This company has been running for the past 15 years and knows every section of this beautiful stretch of water, one of only two everglades in the world (the other is in Florida). A staggering 44 percent of Australia’s native bird population either lives or visits the everglades, which is also full of fish and interesting flora. Check out the River of Mirrors for its incredible reflections.
3. Noosa Eco Cruise
The Noosa River is considered one of the cleanest in Queensland and comes replete with a minus-A rating (they say it’s impossible to get an A). Take a Noosa Eco Cruise with the company, which runs the Noosa Ferry and learn all about this body of water, as well as how Noosa has strict building laws which protect its natural habitat. You’ll glide past pelicans, and a host of fishermen, paddle boarders, sailors and swimmers on this body of water, and learn about the importance of mangroves on the eco system.
4. Providore on Hastings
Those fine folk at Netanya Noosa have just opened Noosa’s only deli. And this one comes with a delicious twist. Providore on Hastings stocks and supports locally-sourced produce so you dine on the likes of Little Cove coffee, Eumundi beef and Kenilworth cheese among a range of gourmet groceries and for a true taste of the Sunshine Coast here.
5. Belmondos Organic Market
To meet the friendly faces behind some of Noosa’s local produce, head out to Belmondos at Noosaville. This organic market is home to 8 shopkeepers who are dedicated to providing a European-style market experience with a Noosa flavour. Originally established to supply local restaurants with great product, it’s now a tourist destination for those wishing to indulge in local flavours.
6. Locale Noosa
Tucked away in a quiet corner of Hastings Street, as if the location of this restaurant wasn’t good enough, the food is sublime. This Italian restaurant uses the best, fresh local ingredients and combines them with special overseas products. Think Mooloolaba king prawns, locally-grown zucchini flowers, Fraser Island spanner crab and Gympie free-range pork.
Just a few doors up from Locale, you’ll stumble across the hole-in-the-wall establishment that is CocoWhip. While there are many places to feast on ice-cream along Hastings Street, what makes this place different is it claims to be the world’s first vegan and bio-fermented coconut soft serve. While it’s a bit of an acquired taste, you can walk away feeling smug that it’s not ice cream as you know it.
Tourism Noosa: www.visitNoosa.com.au
Christine Retschlag is an award-winning Australian travel writer who has worked in newspapers, magazines and online for the past 27 years in Australia, Hong Kong, London and Singapore. In 2006, she won the Australian Travel Writer of the Year award for Best Trade Story as well as the Jack Butters Memorial Award for Travel Writing Excellence. In 2007 she won Best Australian Story over 1000 words and in 2014 won Best Food Travel Story. In 2016 she was named a Finalist for Best Travel Writer at the AFTA national awards; as well as a Finalist in the Brisbane Festival Gender Gaze photographic exhibition.
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