Noosa has got to be one of the most beautiful and scenic areas along the east coast. It has everything needed for a carefree lifestyle. I once asked a tour guide why they called this region of coastline the Hinterland. He didn’t know, but simply explained it refers to the beach being one side, and an area of conifer plantations and grassland behind it. As we were driving along, my mind was suddenly cast back to year 9 German lessons at school. “Hinter” means behind in German! Clearly, multiple nationalities contributed to the history of this recent nation.
Approaching the town on the Greyhound bus passes acres of pine tree plantations across an almost flat landscape. The town seems to be divided into several districts, the main two being Noosa Heads (alongside the beach), and Noosaville (the main part of the town), all of which are worth spending a few day on foot just having a look.
I only spent a few days in Noosa, so really got just a snippet of the place. The first day, I enjoyed an amazing walk along the coastal national park. From my hostel, I could walk down the hill to Sunshine Beach, the largest stretch of sand in the area. The sun’s heat was relentless even though I started early in the day, I knew I wouldn’t get far without several bottles of water in my rucksack. I walked the length of the beach, mainly sticking to the grassy dunes towards the rear of the beach. It was a lot easier to walk in sandals rather than “treading sand” where everyone else sits and swims. I didn’t encounter any snakes.
The beach leads to a pathway up a steep hill. From here, the trial meanders a course around the clifftops with views that would suit any postcard or holiday brochure. At one point, I just sat for a while on a rocky outcrop, only to be rewarded by the sight of a pod of dolphins right up close to the shore. These marine mammals are known regulars around here, unfazed by the odd speedboat. The area of Lion Rock leads round to Alexandria Bay, the second largest beach surrounding the national park. It’s a nudist beach as well.
The track continues on the other end, heading up a gravel track lined with trees and the occasional goanna strutting across my field of view. Scrub turkeys and other wild birds constantly rustle and bob about in the undergrowth. The viewing area at Hell’s Gate is another excellent place for spotting both dolphins and humpback whales. The coastal walk follows through Picnic Cove, and Winch Cove, zigzagging it way to Dolphin Point, before levelling off at Tea tree Bay and Boiling Point. The water is aqua-marine, the trial overhanging with palms, there is a definite tropical feel here.
Many surfers use these smaller beaches to cruise the milder waves and practice their stuff. Frankly, it’s a place for all to enjoy the views and wallow about. In these areas, it is possible to spot wild koalas. Just look up for the sight of anything grey and fluffy, moulded into the nook of a tree branch. Or, just look for a crowd with cameras!
Another place, I wished I’d stayed longer. Never say “never”.