By guest blogger Liz Bond - This Magnificent Life
Today, it’s hard not to visit a beach and see some Stand Up Paddle boarders (SUP’ers) enjoying their sport on the fringe of the surf riders. Or better still, seeing an early morning SUP’er on a quiet river or canal going through their daily core exercise.
The urban myth is that SUP’ing is as old and traditional as surfing, originating in Hawaii generations ago.
That’s only half true.
The reality is that Stand Up Paddle boarding is a modern phenomenon, emerging from the surf of Waikiki in the 1950 and 60’s. When the famous surf classic, Buffalo’s Big Board Classic at Makaha, first included SUP as a category, the sport took off, capturing the public’s imagination. The rest, as they say, is history.
SUP’ers are generally the fittest people you will meet.
Just like swimming, paddle boarding is an all-body workout. It strengthens your core and stabilization system, requiring your connective tissue to generate power through your hands and out your feet. It’s great for stamina and improving balance. As a result your legs, arms and torso are forced to work in unison. It truly is a magnificent sport for overall fitness.
SUP Noosa is Noosa’s original Stand Up Paddle board outlet. Hayden Stintman is a SUP evangelist. His love of the sport is contagious, his knowledge is second to none, and he’s a nice guy as well! Haydyn took TML for a quick lesson a few weeks ago. We were amazed at how much fun this sport can be and how much of a workout your body gets. (You really will discover muscles you never knew you had!)
SUP Noosa is in the perfect location whether you’re new to the sport or a seasoned professional. Right on the (relatively) quiet banks of the Noosa River, you can stay close to shore or take off for an adventure in either direction, either upriver or towards the ocean.
What first comes to mind when you think of Noosa Heads on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast? If you said a strip of ultra-cool boutiques, award-winning restaurants and luxury holiday accommodation you would be right. If you said it was the jumping-off point for one of the most magnificent wilderness areas in Australia you would also be right.
Just a few minutes away from all the low-key glamour of Hastings Street at Noosaville you can jump aboard a Noosa Everglades Discovery boat to start delighting in a relaxing cruise through a pristine eco-system with the biggest variety of native bird species in Australia.
For the fact obsessed: Over 44% of all Australia’s birds species reside within the Noosa Everglades and 700 native animals and 1,365 plant species call it home. The Noosa River system combines with the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park to make a haven for both endangered and more common species. The Noosa River is Australia’s only river system with its entire upper catchment protected in National Park.
A winner of a Qantas Tourism Award in 2008 the Discovery Group aim to please. The cruise is ideal for those who don’t like organised tours or of you’re a backpacker, couple or family. This cruise provides endless opportunities to capture some truly remarkable photos for the iPhone photographer or professional.
Favoured with Noosa’s usual February weather of cloudless cornflower skies and little or no breeze, our cruise left Noosaville and within minutes we had seen cormorants, pelicans and herons as well as the more rare Kite soaring overhead. The Everglades are not just picturesque they are spectacular with the constantly changing landscape turning from mangroves to large expanses, mud islands, wetlands and narrow waterways.
The still waters of the narrow reaches make for astounding reflections. Then open water and endless water lilies. You can say goodbye to the boat for a while after a cuppa to take a paddle in a canoe upstream to our barbecue lunch spot at historic Harry’s Hut. This is one of the sites of the early timber cutting industry. After lunch is the perfect time to cool off in the river.
As the afternoon light changes so do the photo opps with different birds and stretches of silver water. This is an experience not to be missed – away from the surf beaches and the cafes. Who knew this paradise was so close?
CLICK HERE to read the full blog on This Magnificent Life.
Some were regular visitors to Noosa, some hadn’t been here for some time, and for others, it was their first time to Noosa.
From food, cocktails and accommodation to Noosa National Park walks, shopping, spa treatments, cooking classes, beach yoga, sunsets and breakfast right on Noosa Main Beach (pictured), one thing they seem to have in common – they all loved their trip to Noosa!
Here are links to just a few of their stories and photos that having been lighting up the blogosphere...
Styling You: Sunshine Coast Top Things to do.
Baby Mac: Great Day in Noosa.
Mr and Mrs Romance: The Ultimate Winter Getaway and Romance Recharge.
I simply never get sick of the view from the Noosa boardwalk. On the walk to Noosa National Park from Main Beach I always stop and stare in amazement as though it's the very first time I have seen it – there are so many spectacular views.
With so much natural beauty to photograph I often find it hard to stick to the task of walking. It's hard not to feel connected to the beauty of nature when on a walk through Noosa – it truly is a photographer's paradise and this walk provides many stunning photo opportunities.
This is one of the first walks we love to bring guests from out of town on, as it wonderfully showcases the exquisiteness of the unique Noosa coastline.
Start from the boardwalk along Noosa Main Beach and check out the surfing or paddle board action at First Point. Viewing platforms along the way offer magical photo opportunities of the beach, coastline and across to Noosa North Shore.
This is also a great spot for snapping fantastic surfing pictures if the swell is running.
The walk is all the more refreshing with plenty of shade from bushes that hug the coastline.
It is perfect to do at a fast pace for fitness or as a slow meander to simply take in the gorgeous surroundings, and is a fabulous activity for the family to do with plenty of flora and fauna to spot including dolphins, whales (in season), turtles, wallabies and goanna.
While it may wear your little ones out, it isn't too difficult for them to tackle.
With stunning ocean views pretty much all the way, the boardwalk is a must for anyone who visits Noosa.
- For more Noosa favourites from our Guest Noosa Blogger Heather Woods, see My Ocean Bliss.
I have mentioned previously how well fun and fitness go together in Noosa and I am not alone in thinking this, although some take more advantage of it than others. This weekend, April 27 and 28, will be a perfect showcase when thousands of elite athletes, weekend fitness junkies, families who love to stay fit together and those who just love to run, swim or cycle come to town for the Noosa Ultimate Sports Fest.
With nine events across running, swimming and cycling, the festival (formerly the Noosa Winter Festival) boasts an event for all ages and fitness levels (the 5km family fun run being more my cup of tea). With ocean swims in Laguna Bay, which is looking stunning this week, hinterland cycle events and runs that take competitors through beautiful beach scenery, it will also be a fantastic spectator weekend.
Apart from the competitors events, there is plenty of action off the track at Festival Village in Noosa Heads Lions Park which has become “event central” for the wonderful festivals that make the most of Noosa’s year-round mild weather.
After discovering the expo at last year’s Noosa Triathlon event, I am looking forward to the HOT 91.1 Sport & Lifestyle Expo (open Saturday, 10.30am-5pm and Sunday, 7am-2pm) with exhibitors showing the latest in nutrition, sportswear, bikes and more – great to have a wander around whether you love catching up with the latest bicycle technology or are looking for new swimmers or sunglasses.
Make sure you drop into the Visit Noosa marquee and pick up a gorgeous Ultimate Noosa postcard, pictured, to send to family and friends – just a little bragging about your stay in Noosa is allowed!
There’s also plenty of fun at festival village all Saturday afternoon with a jumping castle for the kids from noon to 5pm, and live music with acoustic duo Finchington from 1-3pm. On Sunday, kids will love The Little Street Circus from 9-11am and they can knock their socks off on the jumping castle all day. Live music is by Jesse Taylor from 9.30-11am and again from noon to 1pm, just before the cycling presentations.
There is also great entertainment along the event courses, with the Northside Youth Jazz Ensemble performing along the run course at Cloudsley Street, Noosaville on Sunday, 7-10am (hopefully getting everyone in the mood for the Noosa Jazz Festival later this year). DJ Jimi entertains runners and spectators at Webya Rd roundabout, Noosaville from 7-10.30am.
If you want to avoid parking hassles, park in the Cooyar Street car park in Noosa Junction and catch the shuttle bus to Noosa Heads Lions Park on Saturday, 11am-5pm and Sunday, 5am-2pm.
See all the swimming events around Noosa Main Beach, Tea Tree Bay and Little Cove on Saturday, with cycling and running events on Sunday. Click here to see the event timetable.
Even with the best coaching, dog surfing is never going to be more than a spectator sport in my household!
Tucker, my much loved arthritic corgi, is so height challenged he makes a 2ft swell look like a 50ft monster. That just about rules out the doggie surfing basics workshop at Noosa River mouth on Sunday March 10 for us but don’t let it stop you.
With a few doggie surfing basics under his collar, your pooch might be a winner in Noosa Festival of Surfing’s Dog Surf Spectacular that afternoon (click on image below for some great dog-surfing action).
Noosa Festival of Surfing is running from March 10-16 at Noosa’s First Point - that’s the spot where the surfers congregate that you can see to the right of Main Beach.
My partner, K2, is a Noosa surfer of long standing. He remembers the days when Noosa’s main street was lined with ordinary houses. True.
I think he would really enjoy the festival event, Like a Cup of Tea with God – the rich surfing history of Noosa and the Sunshine Coast, presented in words, music, movies, photographs and art.
And a surf movie on the beach? How good is that! Expect heart-stopping big wave riding on the beach screen from 6-9pm on Monday March 11 with Nightrider featuring Mark Visser, Storm Surfers featuring Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke Jones, with Mark, Tom and Ross in conversation live on stage.
They have more than a few big names signed up this year, names that even I recognise like seven-times world champion Layne Beachley, four-times world champion Mark Richards, two-times world champion Tom Carroll, world champion Rabbit Bartholomew, two-times world longboard champion Joel Tudor, world longboard champion Josh Constable, big wave heroes Ross Clarke Jones and Mark Visser and surfboard design gurus Simon Anderson and Bob McTavish.
Well maybe I don’t know about the surfboard designers…but I bet K2 does.
The world’s biggest surfboard riding event, the Noosa Festival of Surfing, celebrates its 22nd anniversary this year with more than 20 pro, amateur, specialty and team surfing events plus free entertainment on a beach stage and the surf expo on the sand.
The festival, which raised more than $8000 for Frangipani Dreams and the Noosa Malibu Club’s youth development scheme in 2012, will again donate bar profits to charity and community benefit organisations.
On-line competitor entries in amateur divisions, with age groups from under 15 to over 65 are open, along with specialty, team and professional events.
The festival expects to attract more than 500 competitors, along with up to 5000 supporters and spectators from all over the world.
Our Guest Noosa Blogger is Kerry Heaney, from the Eat, Drink + be Kerry blog.
Fun, fitness and beach are three wonderful things that go together beautifully, and here in Noosa we have them in abundance. They come together at Main Beach in Noosa this Sunday for a ripping finale to the Kelloggs Nutri-Grain IronMan series for 2013 when the iron giants face off to see who will be crowned IronMan and IronWoman champions.
It’s been a summer of amazing feats and it all comes down to the wire this Sunday. Recognised as one of the greatest IronMen of all time, six-times winner Shannon Eckstein is one victory away from breaking the event record and the odds are in his favour – he only needs to place in the top eight to take out his seventh championship.Ready to rain on his parade are Sunshine Coasters Kendrick Louis, in second place, and Ali Day not far behind. I saw Ali at a media conference in Noosa this week and he’s pumped to take out his maiden win of the series.
Also at the conference were Noosa’s Jordan ‘Magic’ Mercer and Alyssa Bull from Alexandra Headland, on the Sunshine Coast. All three athletes were eyeing off the swell that has come to Noosa’s shores this week. Naomi Flood leads the women’s series, with Courtney Hancock a paddle length behind.
Jordan (pictured right - photo courtesy of Paul Smith Images) will be in contention for another podium place this Sunday – and the Noosa spectators will be cheering her on. Jordan told us why she loves Noosa:
“Noosa Heads is a little place of paradise which I am so blessed to be able to enjoy every day of my life. Its natural beauty inspires me to live an exciting fit and healthy lifestyle. I love how Noosa has a perfect balance between relaxation and an amazing hype when it hosts world-renowned festivals all year round.
"For a professional athlete like myself, Noosa is an ideal destination for just about any training. It has amazing facilities as well as natural wonders like the National Park where I can run for hours and enjoy breathtaking views while exploring its many wonderful trails.
"It really isn't so painful training 20 hours a week and cooling off in the crystal clear ocean! I love paddling my board and ski around the famous points of Noosa. It is my favourite place in the whole world.”
And what’s great about Noosa?
"Absolutely everything! I am so lucky to live and train here. I can not imagine living anywhere else. You may think I sound a little biased but I invite you all to visit Noosa and experience it for yourself!”
The Telstra IronWoman race starts at 11.30am. The Junior series is from 12.30pm and the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain IronMan race is from 1.30pm.
If you’re not in Noosa this weekend, see all the action on Network Ten from 1pm (AEST), with replays on One HD (check your local guide)
Whether you’re a sports minded person or not, if you’re in Noosa this weekend you have to get out and check out USM Event’s Noosa Winter Festival.
I think it has proved to be so popular, because there isis something for everyone, with opportunities for swimmers, paddlers, runners and cyclists of all abilities to get involved.
One of the highlights is the Noosa Blue Water Swim – but you’ll have to be up early tomorrow, especially if you’re in the event as registrations start 6am.
For those of us who get to sit back and watch, the first wave swim starts at 7.30am.
Lions Park is the venue to be for entertainment – acoustic duo Finchington are on tomorrow, from noon to 3pm, while the kids can go wild on a Jumping Castle until 5pm.
Australia Zoo is coming to Noosa with their roaming zoo, they’ll be in the Lions Park on Sunday, from 8.30am to 11.30am – at the same time there will be a stand up paddle board surfing demo on at the beachfront of Lions Park.
Acoustic duo Connah Ashton and Tom Braby
, are on from 9am to 10.30am, and then again from 11am to 1pm.
I thought I'd just post a couple of pics from the Noosa Festival of Surfing, which has been running this week and finishes on Saturday. Don't worry if you missed it - it's an annual event and I'll keep you posted on the dates for next year.
Images by Geoff Fanning, Noosa Festival of Surfing
The annual Noosa Festival of Surfing is also coming up, from March 11 to 17. It will be six days of surfing, live music and other attractions, down on the beach at First Point, which is one of Noosa's most famous surfing spots (just around from Main Beach and Hastings Street).
I'm not a surfer but I love going along to watch - let's pray for good waves. Along with the standard surfing, they have stand-up paddle surfing, which is a huge sport here, and I imagine the beach bar will be a pretty popular spot!
It's probably a good idea to book some accommodation if you're planning to come, as the festival has become pretty popular and brings a lot of people into town. Anywhere around Hastings Street, Little Cove, Noosa Sound or Noosa Junction would be an easy walk, but there are always buses and ferries from other parts of town if you're looking for an alternative.
For more details on the events of the festival, click here to go to their website.
Images courtesy Phill Jackson Photography
It's become a great mystery to me how there can be any beaches left in Noosa, given the amount of sand that ends up in my house and my car. But I'm willing to put up with sand for as long as the weather stays like this!
It's been between 27 and 30 degrees Celsius, with clear blue skies, for weeks now and the water's about 23 degrees, which is perfect. You get in the water and just want to stay there all day.
Noosa Queensland, Coolum Queensland