Itineraries for Your Trip to Noosa & Sunshine Coast

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1 Day in Noosa for First Timers

Curated by Leah Still JollLeah Still Joll is a freelance writer based in San Francisco with a specialty in travel writing. Her favorite destinations include Maui, Sayulita, the Northern California coast, Paris, Morocco, Indonesia, and Western Australia.

The town of Noosa Heads, aka Noosa, offers plenty to fill up a day, with an enviable location two hours north of Brisbane on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and surrounded by beaches, lakes, and national parks. Here are a few ways to spend 24 hours in this idyllic Australian resort town.


Spend the morning visiting a popular wildlife site or other attraction outside Noosa. Explore Noosa National Park, just outside of town; see tigers, giraffes, and other animals at the Australia Zoo, home of the late Steve Irwin (known as “The Crocodile Hunter”); explore marine life at SEA LIFE® Sunshine Coast Aquarium; or go shopping for locally made jewelry, ceramics, art, and more at the Eumundi Markets. Avoid waiting in lines for admission by purchasing tickets in advance where possible. Round-trip transportation from Noosa may be available.


Blessed by Mother Nature, Noosa offers a wealth of recreational opportunities on the water and the sand. Live like a local for a couple of hours with a surfing lesson on the beach, or opt for a stand-up paddleboard or water-bike adventure for an easier experience. If you’d rather relax, take a cruise on the Noosa Everglades or the Noosa River, which runs through town connecting the Pacific Ocean to Lake Cootharaba. Alternatively, take to the skies on a seaplane flight for bird’s-eye views of the coastline and the turquoise waters of the Sunshine Coast.


Running parallel to Main Beach, Hastings Street is Noosa’s main drag, lined with eateries and chic boutiques. Head here after your action-packed day for drinks, a sunset stroll along the beachfront Parade, and dinner at one of the many restaurants and cafés, some of which provide oceanside seating or views. You also can head out to sea on an evening cruise to watch the sunset from the water before returning to Hastings Street to enjoy the rest of your night.

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