With a big trip planned to Europe later in the year we would have to maximise our Bank Holidays to see more of this great country. April and ANZAC day gave us an opportunity to see more of Queensland. Our destination would be Noosa although we would take different paths to get there…
John had to spend a week with work in Perth and would be arriving in Brisbane Airport on a nice comfy Qantas flight whilst Karen would have to slum it on a Tiger Flight up from Sydney. Our rendezvous was short lived as our ride was prompt. Karen had snagged a great AirBnB that included a collection and drive up to Noosa from the owner’s son. He was both charming and was well traveled so swapping stories helped the journey go faster. Our apartment was on a hill overlooking the main beach and National Park and situated in the middle of a sweet triangle between Noosa, Noosaville and Noosa Junction.
We had arrived at 9.30pm and wandered down the hill for a welcome drink and to plan out our next morning. We had hoped to not go far but a rather rude doorman at a late bar forced our hand. Not to worry Noosa has plenty of venues.
The next morning we went for a big hike in the Noosa National Park – a 4000 hectare park that is sprawled between Noosa Heads and Coolum. As we walked to the entrance of the park Karen passed the hostel that she temporarily resided in 10 years ago. That was when she was on a mad adventure with her two pals Sarah and Lori.
At the park’s entrance we got some great advice about our route and were told that we could walk all the way around to the end and finish at Peregian Beach. We were also told to be wary for two local creatures – nudists and koala bears! The track was a mixture of dirt tracks, sandy beaches and stoney paths but the one consistency was the view – stunning vistas all the way along. We even spotted some dolphins swimming near the coast at one point – Dolphin Point to be exact.
During our breakfast that morning we had been warned of the perils beyond Hell’s Gate, a terror that stalks Alexandria Bay. As our monitor paused during his delivery our minds were racing, sharks?, killer crocodiles?, hornets?, really angry possums? what could it be? As we descended down onto the beach our true terror revealed itself… nudists!! You don’t really get them in Ireland or Scotland what with the climate and all that but over in Australia they are everywhere with every major area having at least one stretch of bare faced dunes. We decided since it was such a nice day and that we were a bit ahead of our walking schedule – to go for a dip in the ocean – fully togged I must add. As the bay is fully parallel to the Coral Sea it was more windy than that at Noosa Heads so the waves were pumping.
As lunch time drew near we packed up our belongings and headed up to Lion’s Rock and Devil’s Kitchen and looked down on our final destination – Peregian Beach – Peregian being the Aboriginal word for Emu. The waves were even more tempestuous over here as there is a huge stretch of unprotected beach all the way down the Sunshine Coast. The Peregian RSL had a huge veranda overlooking the beach so we got some lunch there before jumping across to Noosaville in the local bus.
Located next to Lake Weyba and dissected by a system of canals and rivers called Noosa Waters, this suburb was a great place to visit. We explored the park that lines the waters edge and researched some restaurants for the next night. It is also the spot of The Big Pelican.
Built in 1977 as a float for the Festival of Waters Parade, the Big Pelican was the emblem of the council at that time and is actually called Percy. This little chap seems to have a chequered past but is sitting pretty outside the entrance to the Pelican Boat Hire.
That evening we decided to make use of the facilities in the apartment and have a BBQ – nothing better than that! It reminded us of our month in Western Australia when we had one most nights. As we had lunch in an RSL we had had enough stogey food so it was some protein and salad. After dinner we went for a walk down the hill to Noosa Junction, another suburb and we spent the night in the very trendy Village Bicycle – a Melbourne Laneways inspired cocktail and chill bar for some drinks.
With a big race in a matter of weeks from then, Karen had to put in a long run as part of her training plan. With the Headland walking trail fresh in her memory from the day before she went and did a morning jaunt. Meanwhile John went at a more leisurely pace and got some more photos of the surroundings as it was a cracker of a day. All those forecasts of bad weather had been forgotten! The downside to good weather is that Karen looked like a sweaty salty dog after her run. Anticipating this turn of events John had brought a change of clothes for her as Noosa is a bit classy – even at breakfast.
With no real burning desire to see any tourist sights or go on a mad full day tour we had the whole afternoon to spend at the beach. The main beach was packed but we spotted some emptiness further up Noosa Heads beach – just past the groin – so we headed up there. As we were laying our towels and getting the suncream out, Karen spotted a surfer dude renting out body boards. With pumping waves there was only one choice of action…
During our visit the day before we spotted a nice place to go for some Sundowners – The Boathouse. As we headed up to the top deck we passed an amazing wedding reception being held there. Karen and John looked at each other, ‘the road not taken’ their eyes seemed to say! It is always fascinating how a sunset can capture the imagination – each one better than the last. There have been 11680 sunsets since John was born but this one seemed to be something special, with the sun dipping below the tree line in the distance, its last vestiges of sun rays creating highways of light on the Noosa River.
Unfortunately due to a bad choice of restaurant that Sunset would be the highlight of our evening but we had a good laugh as we always do. Or it might have been nervous giggles as we would be witness to the exhausting power of a ‘Moving Day’ the next morning with a 7am bus to catch – oh the horrors!
Noosa is a great place to visit and with the rapid expansion of AirBnb and Uber it is quite a relaxing trip as well. I think we will return here after we have been a few more places.