A Trip up the River: The Beautiful Noosa Everglades

Guest blogger - Monday, December 22, 2014
By guest blogger Tom Woods

I recently had the privilege of travelling up the beautiful Noosa River on-board The Discovery Group's boat to the Noosa Everglades - it's probably one of the best "hidden secrets" of the Noosa region.

The voyage north started at The Discovery Jetty on Gympie Terrace, in the heart of Noosaville and only 5 minutes from Hastings Street and Noosa Heads. From the moment I arrived, I was met with outstanding service from the staff and boat skipper Ben. We made our way past Noosa Marina and Sir Richard Branson's Makepeace Island, and crossed Lake Cooroibah and Lake Cootharaba, all at impressive speed.

The skipper filled us with interesting facts, information and even an old folk story which was one of the many highlights of the trip. Once we reached the mystical tannin waters of the Noosa Everglades, we were greeted with amazing views in this part of the Great Sandy National Park that teems with wildlife.

The voyage then reached the single most picturesque part of the Noosa River, the Narrows. Here are just a few of the images I captured along the way.

Looking south on Lake Cootharaba.

Between Lake Cooroibah and Cootharaba

This cheeky little dude tried to steal our afternoon tea!

The stunning Narrows, on the way to Harry’s Hut.

Moored at Harry’s Hut jetty.

Eastward view of Lake Cootharaba.

Harry’s Hut, marked by this sign on the wharf.

The way to Lake Como.

The tannin waters of the Everglades... in the Narrows.

Ahhh, what a perfect view...

The mystical Noosa Everglades in all its glory - easy to see how they earned the name ‘river of mirrors’.

The Noosa Everglades is an absolutely breath-taking place and one of only two everglades systems in the world - these are the only everglades you can swim in. If you go, make sure you take a camera and don’t forget to #visitnoosa.

There's a range of ways to discover the Noosa Everglades - from the comfort of a half-day boat cruise from Noosaville to a self-guided canoeing and camping safari.  

Noosa Everglades Discovery offers a BBQ lunch cruise, afternoon cruise with pick-up from Hastings Street and Noosaville, Bar-B-Canoe day tour; and a 3-day/2-night self-guided canoeing and camping safari.

Kanu Kapers offers half, full-day and 2 and 3-day guided kayaking tours or take yourself on a 1, 2 or 3-day self-guided kayaking adventure and camp in this unspoilt winderness.

For more information please call the Noosa Visitor Information Centre on 1 3000 NOOSA (within Australia) or 07 5430 5000 (outside Australia), email or see
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Nature and art at Floating Land

Sue Mikkelsen - Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The shores of Boreen Point and Lake Cootharaba in the upper reaches of the Noosa River system are such a beautiful place to visit for fishing, sailing, canoeing, camping, bush walking and just to get away from it all, and this week you can add art into the mix. The green arts festival Floating Land which plays out for 10 days at nearby locations has brought 300 national and international artists to the lake's sandy shores.

More than 150 free events at this year's festival are bringing together environmental themes and art under the banner of Nature’s Dialogue. It’s a wonderful celebration of nature and art in the one location as it really shows off some of the region’s beautiful spots including the lakeside village of Boreen Point, Lake Cootharaba (the gateway to the Noosa Everglades), Eumarella Shores Noosa Lake Retreat, the historic Apollonian Hotel – even the metal door of the Lake Cootharaba Sailing Club for Poetry on the Sliding Door.

Artists have melded their works with the environment with sculptures along the foreshore such as the amazing Reading Clouds – Floating Middens by James Muller and Michel Tuffery featuring massive shell shapes on the water, and the festival continues all this week through to Sunday June 9 – timely for World Environment Day on Wednesday June 5.

It’s a unique and special way to view this gorgeous landscape, surrounded by the Great Sandy National Park, in a whole new light. Speaking of light, it’s worth a trip back there after dusk with LED lighting, sound and video projections transforming the artworks at night.

You can learn something new in traditional workshops about indigenous basketry, traditional costume weaving, canoe building and tai chi, or weaving, music and percussion with the Leweton Cultural Group from Vanuatu. There are guided tours, artist talks, traditional and contemporary dance, film, visual art, studio trails and the Eco Lounge at the historic Apollonian Hotel every night.

Dusk Installation Walks start at the Floating Land Info Hub on Wednesday and Saturday this week (June 5 and 8), with a guide talking about each of the displays along the lake’s edge, and Guided Canoe Installation Tours are a unique way to see the artworks by day or night. One of the satellite events is Fire and Tea at Rowley Drysdale’s amazing Quixotica art space in Cooroy – tea vessels will be fired in an Asian-style anagama kiln and Korean tea ceremonies will be served at 11am and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday this weekend (June 8 and 9).

I’m looking forward to hearing the moving sounds of extinct and endangered animals played out across the waters of Lake Cootharaba by the amazing Linsey Pollak, using live looping in his Cries Across the Water concert at sunset (5-5.45pm) this Wednesday and Friday (June 5 and 7) – bring a chair and rug.

The Floating Land Farewell performance, The Calling, is on Saturday June 8 from 4-6pm on the foreshore opposite Lake Cootharaba Sailing Club, with the Leweton Cultural Group. Download the full festival program here or have a look at more images thanks to ABC Open and head out there this week – it’s only about 25 minutes from Noosa.

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