Mother Nature may not solve all of my problems and dilemmas, but she certainly warms my soul. After a date with Mother Nature, I know everything will be ok.
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Lets flashback two years ago- August 2014. Patty and I had just arrived to Australia for an adventure down under. We flew into the Gold Coast and stayed a few days to check it out. Patty said it was too much like Honolulu, so he didn’t want to live there. We then went to Brisbane where we picked up a camper van. This would be the beginning of our “adventure to find a place to live”. After living in Auckland, New Zealand for a year, Brisbane was definitely out- No more cities for my beach boy. We drove North towards The Sunshine Coast region. It sounded so tropical and wonderful. Surely we would find a place to settle down here. We were running on very minimal money, so this adventure did not last very long. We found ourselves driving through a beach town called Noosa– located at the very North end of The Sunshine Coast. Patty was instantly in love with it… I mean in a matter of 10 seconds he made up his mind that this would be our home. Ironically enough, he applied for a job at the only 5 star hotel around- and they hired him! We conveniently ran out of money anyway… So hello Noosa…. You are now our new home!
If you mention Noosa to anyone that you meet in Australia, they will suddenly have a euphoric expression and instantly say “OH my gosh… Nooooooossssaaaaa. I loooooooooove Nooooooosaaaaa!” It’s one of the top holiday destinations in the country and for very good reason! Nestled right next to the iconic Noosa National Park and numerous beaches to choose from. Noosa Main Beach is the most popular beach for tourists because it’s conveniently located right next to the main street- Hastings Street. Hastings Street offers many mouth watering restaurants, clothing shops, coffee shops, ice cream shops, you name it. The average person that comes on holiday to Noosa will usually grab a coffee from one of the many coffee shops on Hastings Street, walk the beach for sunrise or go for a morning run through the national park, grab the family and head to Main Beach, spend the day there soaking up Vitamin D and basking in the crystal clear water, get some fish and chips for takeaway and eat on the boardwalk, take a stroll through the national park, watch the sunset on Main Beach, and end their day with an expensive dinner on Hastings Street and a mouthwatering gelato. I generally know this because I occasionally nanny for various families that come up here from Melbourne and Sydney, and they pretty much do this to a T. Every single one of them! It’s the perfect place for families to bring their kids.
Noosa National Park in particular is an extremely popular tourist destination. The park offers two main entrances (main entrance via Hastings Street and the other via Sunshine Beach). Most people start their exploration via Hastings Street entrance. There are five walking tracks to choose from: Palm Grove Circuit, Tanglewood Track, Noosa Hill Track, Coastal Track, and Alexandria Bay Track. The last two are the most popular tracks- especially the Coastal Track. This track in particular literally takes you along the entire coastline of the national park. Little Cove, Laguna Bay, and Tea Tree Bay are very popular “secluded” beaches to hike to. When the waves are good, I can guarantee you that the water will be full of surfers battling over each wave, the coastal track will be filled with surfers running to get there and of course tourists snapping photos. Tea Tree Bay is home to the famous “Tea Tree Koala”. If you look up in the trees, you’re guaranteed to see this same koala that sleeps there every day. He’s so precious!!!
Towards the end of the coastal track, just before Hells Gate, there’s a VERY popular rock pool- aka The Fairy Pool, located down the hill. It’s a great place to hang out and go for a swim, but because it’s become so popular, you may have to wait your turn for awhile. If rock pools are your thing and you don’t feel like sharing (like me) then continue on your venture through the park and keep your eye out for other pools along the way. Some are not as easily accessible as this one, but I promise it’s worth it. If you continue on to Alexandria Bay (which you definitely should) you will see a giant stretch of “untouched” beach. I say untouched because in comparison to Main Beach, this beach does not have many people. Also be aware that you may see a few sausages and clams sunbathing in the sand dunes and going for a swim. Yes, this is a naked beach! 🙂
Continue on the trail past Alexandria Bay and you will reach my favourite spot: Devil’s Kitchen. In the winter months it’s a very lush and grassy cliff overlooking the turquoise water down below. As it gets hotter though, the grass gets very dried up and not so pretty and lush, but that’s fine! Not many people come to this spot so it’s a great place to hang a hammock and enjoy some solitude!
Continue on heading towards Sunshine Beach and you will notice a very small beach down below. We call it “Secret Beach”. I can imagine some people walk right past it without ever noticing it. The only reason it’s taken us so long to finally explore this beach, is the very SNAKEY path you have to hike down in order to get to it. That’s one giant perk to sticking to the Coastal Trail. Because it’s so heavily populated, the chances of seeing a snake are very minimal. As for the rest of the trails… well you better stomp your feet bloody hard and hope the snakes slither off. We finally explored secret beach because we had our fearless friend Andrew with us. 🙂 This heavenly little beach truly feels like you are on a deserted island far, far away from everything. Crystal clear waters, perfect trees to hang a hammock, and various little rock pools. How could you not love this spot??
Once back on the trail, continue towards Sunshine beach and you will reach the epic view of The Sunshine Coast. This giant stretch of beach is absolutely incredible. You can see all the way to the beach town called Coolum Beach. Descend down a giant set of stairs (some crazy people run these everyday!) and you will reach the end of the Noosa National Park. Although there’s still one more gem in the park, but you have to go a different way to access it. As you walk towards the water you will see a makeshift trail along the rocks heading back to the national park. If you follow that trail up the hill, you will reach a grassy area. Continue walking until you’re looking over a small cliff edge and you will see an incredible sea cave! You have to be very cautious “rock climbing” down to it, but it’s well worth it! I am literally obsessed with this cave! There’s another sea cave right around the corner (in between this cave and Secret Beach) although this one is only accessible during low tide. (Haven’t made it to the other cave yet, so I have no pictures to show for the second one).
Sunshine Beach is technically a “suburb” of Noosa but it has its own village of options. A surf club, a few restaurants and bars to choose from, a general store, hair salon, bakery, etc. You literally do not need to leave Sunshine Beach. It’s a little slice of paradise because it’s right next to the national park and beaches, but it’s away from all of the hustle and bustle of tourists in Noosa. Real Estate in Sunshine Beach is a competitive bitch (well all of Noosa really, but especially here) but luckily we found a townhouse available here. We are so happy to call this home.
(I’ll do a post on Sunshine Beach at a later date) 😉
This incredible national park has literally been our backyard for the past two years and there are STILL hidden gems to be found.
If you haven’t already been here, I highly recommend to add this slice of paradise to your list.
Thanks for reading! 🙂