Noosa Heads is not usually regarded as a working man’s holiday destination. Accommodation along the beachfront off Hasting Street is the preserve of the wealthy. However, there are many activities that the “not well to do” can indulge it without costing them a “penny”. Let me tell you how.
The beach and Hasting Street are still available to all-comers who might like to walk the beach or the walkway adjacent to the beach; have a swim in the patrolled area or fish from the groyne in the middle of the beach. (Noosa Beach faces north and is a safe beach for children while still allowing swimmers to indulge in body surfing). Alternatively, one might window shop along Hasting Street, have an ice cream or a meal at the Noosa Lifesavers Club overlooking the beach.
If you like to walk, then you can take either of two directions along the beach. If you go left (west) along the beach, you will come to Noosa River mouth. This gives you a great view of The Noosa North Shore and if you look up river you see a beautiful view of the river valley and the hinterland. This area is known as The Spit. There are lots of quiet spots along the river here to sunbake and swim plus a number of walking trails. The river mouth is also a popular fishing spot.
If you go right (east) along the beach walkway, you’ll come to a path that follows the coastline to the Noosa National Park. It passes Little Cove, a great place to swim and sunbake away from the crowds of Noosa Beach. Then, you’ll pass surfers riding the waves as you go into the national park precinct. At the entrance to the park, beyond the parking areas, there is an information centre that shows maps of the various walks available from the short walks through the nearby rain forest to the much longer walks along the coastline all the ways via Alexander Bay (a nudist beach) and Devil’s Kitchen (a spectacular seascape) through to Sunshine Beach. Koalas are often seen in the gum trees above the path along the early parts of this walk. This path is mostly level walking. If you are fit and more adventurous, there are several other paths, one of which takes the walker up to the top of Noosa Hill where there is a spectacular lookout that shows the visitor views of the Noosa Valley and the mountains to the west. This lookout can be accessed by car via Viewland Road near the Noosa Hotel.
If you are a keen fisherman, there are many places in the national park where you can do rock fishing. But if beach fishing is your favourite, then Alexander Bay is worth a go as well as Sunshine Beach at the southern entrance to the park.
Sunrise and sunset can provide great photo opportunities. The best places can be the river mouth and Noosa Hill lookout especially at sunset.
Another way to enjoy the Noosa environment is to take a ferry ride from the wharf behind Hasting Street all the way up river to Tewantin and back.
A drive up river from Noosa Heads takes you through Noosaville (where you can sunbake and swim on the sandy beaches beside the river) and onto Tewantin Village. If you continue through Tewantin along the road to Cooroy you can turn off to the Mt Tinbeerwah lookout which gives you panoramic views of the Noosa River Valley and Great Sandy National Park with the ocean beyond.
Except for having an ice cream in Hasting Street or lunch at the Lifesavers’ club, all of these activities are free. All you need to do is to get yourself there to enjoy a very special place. Many of these activities can be done together in a day. If the working man can find affordable accommodation for the family away from Noosa Heads, then they can enjoy more time exploring the secrets of Noosa Heads and the Noosa River valley and come to understand why it is one of very special places in Australia.