Australia’s Best Job in the World – Queensland Park Ranger winner Elisa Detrez has just finished her six-month stint travelling around, exploring our natural wonders and sharing her experiences with the rest of the world (and getting paid to do it!). Elisa loved her job so much that she will now remain a life-long tourism ambassador for Queensland. She chose to spend her first Aussie Christmas in Noosa with her family where they discovered the wonderful mix of nature, wildlife, style and good food.
Thanks to Elisa, here's a taste of her experiences during her Noosa holiday.
Enjoy the Aussie lifestyle – beach, barbecue: Noosa is right on the beach but lies also on the Noosa River. Here you have the opportunity to kayak or stand up paddle gently on the river, enjoy a barbecue or a picnic and then go for a play in the surf breaks in the afternoon in one of the beaches around the town.
Experience a laid back lifestyle centred around pristine beaches, freshwater rivers and lakes. Meet friendly people, go fishing or simply relax on the beach.
Finish the day in style by boarding the sunset ferry cruise and enjoy a perfect pre-dinner experience.
Learn to surf Noosa: One of the Australian clichés is surfing and Noosa is actually the perfect place to give it a try and stand up! Learn from a former world surf champion, Merrick Davis and you will be sure to have fun!
After your class, enjoy a beer and a nice lunch with the best beach view in town at Australian Surf Life Saving Club of the year, Noosa Heads Surf Club.
Beautiful National Park: Noosa National Park is the most popular and visited in Queensland. Follow a choice of easy and moderate tracks that take you around the headland following the coastline through rainforest and open woodlands.
Expect spectacular views from the several lookouts along the way such as Boiling Pot and Hell’s Gate. Adorable wild koalas frequent the gum trees along the walk so observe carefully and you may be lucky!
Out to sea, you could also spot rays, sea turtles, dolphins at sunset and humpback whales during their migration. A walk you will remember!
Best youth hostel in Australia: If you are a backpacker travelling the country, don’t look any further for a place to stay in Noosa, book at Halse Lodge! Only 100m from the main beach, Halse Lodge is a typical Queensland house. The staff are cheerful and here you will be warmly welcomed. Enjoy a nice dinner on the terrace or simply a fresh beer!
Shop and dine in style: To all the shopping lovers, you will adore Hastings Street! From surfers to high class clothes, it’s a pleasure to stroll around. Allow some breaks and taste the ice creams … Nitrogenie for the most curious, Gelatissimo or Copenhagen.
The street is also full of nice cafes ... on the beach, cosy or more laid back, you will find your favourite place.
Finish the day by dining out in one of the chic restaurants. Italian, seafood, Japanese, fine dining … the most difficult is to choose one!
CLICK HERE to read Elisa’s full blog about her holiday in Noosa.
My dream is that one day I will be so organised for Christmas that I can spend the last couple of days beforehand just soaking up the wonderful atmosphere in Noosa – the gorgeous weather, sparkling ocean, beautiful Christmas lights, the buzz of shopping and the sipping of cocktails to celebrate the festive season ... one day.
With summer holidays in full swing here in Noosa, there are plenty of people doing just that already and I’ll be joining them very soon. With so much outdoor fun – beaches, fishing, kayaking, surfing, stand-up paddling, kite surfing, national park walks, boating – you might wonder how you’ll fit it all in. Even with the relaxed pace, somehow you manage to find time, in between waterfront breakfasts, relaxed lunches and fine dining or fish and chips at the end of the day.
Make sure there’s still time for holiday fun with Christmas Eve carols at Peregian Beach, festive feasts on Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve fireworks at Noosa Marina – see our Noosa Festive Season Guide for a great round-up of what’s on.
There’s no need to get caught up in the big, mad Boxing Day sales – after Christmas (or even before) Noosa is the ideal place to stroll around and find fantastic last-minute gifts, stock up for next year or just to spoil yourself. Our markets from Coolum to Peregian, Noosa Marina, Eumundi and Kin Kin have an amazing range of locally-made, unique and gorgeous products.
Hastings Street is renowned for its unique stores with gifts, jewellery and designs, including Hearts and Mind Art; Jive Art and Design; gorgeous jewellery from Armano Collections, Secrets Shhh and Pearls for Girls; or browse the books at Mary Ryan Bookstore Noosa.
Venture to Noosaville where you can spend the day looking through riverfront gift shops, boutiques and more along Gympie Tce and Thomas Street, including Coco & Bliss, or the Gateway Drive precinct with designer outlets including Spoilt where there are amazing bargains on jewellery, accessories and fashion.
Noosa Junction, just over the hill from Hastings Street is another favourite for locals with great boutiques and something different such as beautiful beachy gifts and shell art workshops at Tres Noosa, and gorgeous collectibles at George Magasic Antiques. If you love shells, make sure you track down The Big Shell, a treasure trove of shells and gifts in Gympie Street, Tewantin.
There’s also plenty of great surf gear from surf shops around Noosa including Classic Malibu, Golden Breed, Noosa Longboards and Noosa Surf Works.
While you’re at the markets in Eumundi, make sure you explore the wonderful, eclectic shops including Berkelouw Books in the main street before a refreshing drink or meal at the Imperial Hotel or Bohemian Bungalow.
And the best thing about shopping anywhere around Noosa, apart from the beautiful buys to take home, is that no matter where you are there’s always a great coffee or cocktail nearby to help restore your energy.
We wish all our visitors and Noosa lovers a happy and safe Christmas and holiday season.
Do you still do the Christmas countdown? I can’t avoid it at home with the kids reminding me twice a day for at least 2 months, and while I love Christmas (just a big kid at heart), the countdown is a scary reminder of what still has to be done... Christmas tree, decorations, presents, keeping the chocolate advent calendar out of the dog’s reach – so much to think about and do – but it’s all great fun, isn’t it?
I especially love Christmas lunch – well, I love the idea of Christmas lunch and an even better idea than doing all the preparation and cleaning up yourself is getting someone else to do all the hard work. Christmas lunches and dinners are so popular in Noosa with amazing temptations on offer – from Christmas buffet breakfasts to scrumptious 4-course lunches, seafood buffets and French champagne and truffles.
Check out the Noosa Festive Season Guide 2012-13 with more than 60 restaurants listing their festive fare from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day. There are also dozens of Christmas, New Year and holiday events and activities – where to see New Year’s Eve fireworks, opening times for major attractions, and ideas to keep the kids entertained when they’re not at the beach.
If you love singing along to Christmas carols, head to the Tewantin Christmas Carnival this Sunday; Noosa Chorale’s Christmas Cheer concerts this weekend; Coolum Christmas in the park on December 15; Christmas carols in Noosa Junction on December 21; the Peregian Beach Surf Club Nippers Christmas Eve carols; Carols on the River at Noosaville Lions Park on December 23; or an evening of carols at Palmer Coolum Resort on Christmas Eve.
Then on New Year’s Eve there are events all over town from the gypsy-fuelled ska surf rock of Caravana Sun at Noosa Heads Surf Club; to scrumptious dinners at Trios or The River Deck at Noosa Marina, Tewantin (where you get the bonus of amazing views of fireworks over the river at 9pm and midnight); Sheraton Noosa’s New Year’s Eve gala celebrations; and one of the coolest shows in town, the Cool Town Ball with Tijuana Cartel and Cheap Fakes at Coolum Civic Centre. And for something completely different, a New Year's Eve Everglades tour with champagne lunch from Kanu Kapers.
Other New Year’s Eve fireworks will be in front of Sunshine Beach Surf Club (9pm); Palmer Coolum Resort (9pm); Coolum fireworks in Tickle Park (8pm and midnight); and New Year’s Eve flares at Lake Cootharaba (8.45pm and midnight).
Then there’s all the fun for the kids – ride the train with Santa at The Ginger Factory; free moonlight movies at the Eumundi Markets Summer Nights every Friday from 5-9pm, along with a flea circus and magic show, music, Christmas carols and of course the unique market stalls; an Elfish Christmas children’s show at the Majestic Theatre, Pomona; children’s fun at the Coolum Twilight Markets every Friday from 4-8pm; have your photo taken with Santa and a ’gator at Australia Zoo; children’s pantomime at Noosa Arts Theatre in January; and for the ultimate Christmas story, Miracle on 34th Street at The J on December 22.