The first weekend in spring means 2 things in Noosa – Father’s Day and the Noosa Jazz Festival. If your dad loves music, you’re sorted! A ticket to the Noosa Jazz Festival for Father’s Day will cover it all!
The 24th Noosa Jazz Festival kicks off this Thursday 3 September and plays through until Sunday with fantastic music from Wendy Matthews, Darren Percival, Colleen Hewett, Emma Pask and plenty more - SEE THE SCHEDULE.
Festival Village at Noosa Heads Lions Park has been transformed into a stylish picnic ground with jazz bands on the main stage by Noosa River, master classes, food and market stalls, kids’ games – even croquet and lounges!
The music is diverse, with a variety of forms of jazz, blues, folk, amazing school bands, a talent search and plenty more. Just as diverse are the venues – apart from Festival Village there are also jazz river cruises, intimate performances in restaurants around town including Rococo, Cafe Le Monde, Crawdaddy's, Miss Moneypenny's and in Laguna Arcade, music in the streets, and you can hear from the artists at the legends lunch series.
The opening parade is a fun and vibrant event down Hastings Street on Friday from noon, right before the legendary Tastings on Hastings which transforms the famous shopping street into a massive outdoor restaurant with some of Hastings Street’s best restaurants serving up.
If you’re heading to the festival this weekend, park at Noosa Junction bus station and catch a local bus to the nearby Festival Village or take a Noosa Ferry to Hastings Street from one of several stops between Noosa Marina at Tewantin, Noosaville and Noosa Heads.
Noosa Jazz Festival tickets are priced from $30 for adult day ticket and season passes available. If your dad loves jazz, a Father’s Day Pack will be a great treat - $65 for 2 adults and 2 children in Festival Village this Sunday 6 September.
For more information, see noosajazz.com.au
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.
By Noosa-based blogger My Ocean Bliss
It's autumn already and not that that's a bad thing. We are surrounded by absolutely bliss pretty much all year round here at beautiful Noosa. I do however find myself not quite ready to leave another summer behind me yet. So before I embrace all that autumn has to offer, I'd like to share some of the splendour and bliss of my Noosa Summer.
Little Cove, Noosa Heads.
I always plan to do much more over summer than I actually do! The truth is I just can't drag myself away from the stunning turquoise ocean here at Noosa and the bliss it brings to our life. It is my 'happy place', the location that rejuvenates my body and soul for the year ahead. Being connected to the ocean throughout summer is what you call a spiritual existence for my family. It is more than just days at the beach. It is by the ocean that we come together as a family, catch up with dear friends, and meet new friends from within our town, all over our great country and indeed the world. We watch and photograph many a perfect wave, sunrise and sunset, immerse ourselves in the divine salty sea, surf, surf, surf and forget about our cares and worries of the world.
First Point, Noosa Heads.
Surfer chit-chat inbetween waves...
Sitting under the cooling shade of a Pandanus tree, watching and photographing family and friends catching perfect little summer sliders and being surrounded by the beautiful summer turquoise waters of Noosa is my ultimate stay-cation. Our lazy summer days often roll on into blissful balmy evenings and impromptu gatherings. A discussion to decide 'who brings what' results in a spur of the moment picnic dinner at one of the tables along First Point. This way the family gets to catch every available wave until the very last ray of light bounces off the water (which sometimes even transitions into moon light) and we all get to bask in the delight of another gorgeous setting sun.
With sand in our toes, salt in our hair and feeling of complete contentment, we make our way home in the dark and plan the day and time that we do it all again. As busy as our little town gets and as packed as First Point becomes over summer, I just wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world.
First Point, Noosa Heads looking towards Noosa Main Beach.
The turquoise coloured waters of Noosa...
So now we are welcoming awesome autumn to Noosa with the world famous Noosa Festival of Surfing, but that my dear friends is a whole other fabulous story!
Noosa Main Beach, Noosa Heads.
Sending much bliss, Heather
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 email@example.com or see visitnoosa.com.au
One of Noosa’s major annual events, the Noosa Jazz Festival kicks off next Thursday 4 September in the riverside Noosa Heads Lions Park for 4 days of great music with Vince Jones, Steve Clisby, Emma Pask, Grace Knight, Gallapagos Duck and dozens more. It’ll be one big picnic with croquet on the lawns, river cruises, Legends Series, Tastings on Hastings and a great atmosphere.
Legend James Morrison is in Noosa during the festival, appearing at lunch and dinner shows at berardo’s restaurant & bar in Hastings St, and there are side shows in venues including Rococos, Noosa Springs Resort, RACV Noosa Resort, Cafe le Monde, Miss Moneypenny’s, Noosa Blue Resort and The J.
Running at the same time is the Noosa Jazz Party for lovers of classic jazz at Bicentennial Hall, Sunshine Beach each night from 4-7 September. Some of Australia’s best jazz musicians come to Noosa for this event for nightly jam sessions and dancing – New Orleans in Noosa, Bob Barnard, Dan Barnett, Jo Bloomfield, John Braben, Geoff Bull, Nigel Date and Paris-based jazz singer Tricia Evy.
This Sunday 31 August is Opera in the Amphitheatre in a Greek-style amphitheatre on the shores of Lake Macdonald, Corooy, about 20 minutes from Noosa. It’s set in the Noosa Botanic Gardens and is a stunning outdoor setting to hear songs from popular opera, musicals and Italian songs, presented by Operatif.
Also this weekend is the sold-out performance by Katie Noonan at the historic Majestic Theatre in Pomona in the Noosa hinterland. The Majestic, Australia’s longest continuously operating movie theatre, brings excellent acts to the region and regularly screens silent movies.
If you prefer great Aussie indie music, the countdown’s on to the first all-ages Originals Music Festival on Saturday 13 September at Noosa AFL Grounds, Noosaville with Ash Grunwald and Scotty Owen and Andy Strachan from The Living End, Sticky Fingers, Kingswood, Bonjah, OKA and more. It’s brought to you by East Coast Originals who also present the monthly Peregian Originals (second Sunday of each month) and Cooroy Originals (fourth Sunday of each month) outdoor concerts, with a great line-up of original live music each time.
Rock and Roll Outlaw Angry Anderson headlines the live music line-up at the Noosa Country Show (12 and 13 September) with an Allstar band featuring some Party Boys and Mondo Rock bassist Paul Christie. The Noosa Country Show, with side show alley, Grand Parades, animals, craft, fireworks, rodeo and more, has a 2-day entertainment line-up.
For country music lovers, the Gympie Music Muster, just 40 minutes from Noosa, has great music, food and camping this weekend in Amamoor Creek State Forest Park. There’s a bus from Noosa and you can see artists including Kasey Chambers, Josh Pyke, Adam Harvey, Russell Morris, Sara Storer, Brian Cadd, Glen Shorrick, Lee Kernaghan and dozens more.
There are plenty more venues and cafes with a great variety of live music each week, including Cafe Le Monde; Bohemian Bungalow and Imperial Hotel (which recently hosted Australian indie legends Ed Kuepper and Steve Kilby) in Eumundi; Noosa Heads, Sunshine Beach and Coolum Beach surf clubs; Noosa Yacht & Rowing Club; Harbour Wine Bar at Noosa Marina; KB’s; Noosa Beach House; Dragon Bull Restaurant and berardo’s restaurant.
So if you like great music with a beautiful view or cool atmosphere, make sure you check out live music in Noosa each week.
Warming up our wintry nights this week is the Noosa Long Weekend Festival, a favourite for lovers of music, cabaret, theatre, dance, food, comedy, literature, history and visual art. They say there’s something for everyone and with more than 200 international, national and Sunshine Coast performers in Noosa for some mid-year fun in the sun (and performing), and more than 80 events over 10 days, you would be hard-pressed not to find something that appeals.
From Cats to cocktails, prawns to politics, teddy bears to tea, burlesque to ballet, Fleetwood Mac to free heritage walks and Phantom to photography, the program really has it covered.
Opening night last Friday was, as usual, a hoot, with the Queensland premiere of Forbidden Broadway Greatest Hits – Volume One. I’m not usually a big fan of musicals, so a show that toasts and roasts the best of them could have gone either way for me. It was great fun as the four fantastic performers parodied everything from Liza Minnelli to Mamma Mia, Les Miserables and Gerschwin ... I loved hearing what the Cats performer’s next role is ... (insert howl here!)
We’re half-way through the 10-day festival which finishes this Sunday 27 July with the Festival Wrap Party at Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort and Spa – four hours of festival highlights and live music for $25. Catch the free shuttle bus leaving The J car park every 15 minutes from 11.30am-4.30pm.
There’s still plenty more to see and do including Supper Club with Rhonda Burchmore at Berardo’s Restaurant; Ali McGregor's show Alchemy on Saturday night; the risque burlesque Diabolique at Noosa Arts Theatre on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights; Prawnissimo Promenade progressive lunch at Sunshine Beach; forums with political and media commentators; and Queensland Youth Orchestra 2 at Bicentennail Hall on Saturday.
Sing along to your favourite Fleetwood Mac songs as popular festival performer and ambassador Catherine Alcorn (pictured) brings her show Go Your Own Way to The J Theatre on Thursday 24 July - it's a comical celebration of the life and success of “the other woman” in Fleetwood Mac, Christine McVie. CLICK HERE for a sneak peek at the show.
The free Heritage Walks in various villages in the Noosa region are popular each year - still to come are walks through the historical town of Eumundi (Thursday 24 July), Cooran (Friday 25 July), Cooroy (Saturday 26 July) and Kin Kin (Sunday 27 July) – all in the Noosa hinterland.
A bonus for anyone who’s attended any festival events is the Up The Lazy River promotion – just present your performance ticket and receive great discounts or bonuses at participating restaurants along Gympie Tce, Noosaville, and soak up the gorgeous river views. Also make sure you try at least one of the six Cocktail Capers created especially for the festival by some of our favourite Hastings Street venues - my favourite so far is 10 Hastings Street Cafe’s Hang 10 cocktail!
The festival has also added a splash of colour with the gorgeous Hastings Street tree lit with special red festival lighting, and a fabulous street parade that kicked everything off last Friday, featuring the 22-piece Unusual Suspects who also entertained the opening night crowd with their Balkan Gypsy music.
And for some great candid shots of festival performers from the past 13 years, make sure you see the retrospective photographic exhibition from long-time festival photographer Barry Alsop from Eyes Wide Open Images – free in the foyer of The J Noosa, 10am-4pm every day.
For the full program or to purchase tickets to Noosa Long Weekend Festival events, please see noosalongweekend.com.au
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.
The Noosa Festival of Surfing earlier this year brought back great memories for New Zealander Leigh Vercoe who is quite possibly Noosa’s biggest fan. Leigh (pictured) and her family, including her three children aged 10, 2½ and eight months are regular visitors to Noosa, and we caught up with her on a recent holiday to find out just why she loves Noosa so much.
What first enticed you to visit the Noosa region?
I first came to Noosa three years ago to visit friends who were here for the Noosa Festival of Surfing. I had always holidayed on the Gold Coast before that but I’ve never been back there since! I was hooked on Noosa from the get-go.
This is my second trip back to Noosa since then – I holiday here as much as possible. We even lived in Noosa for 6 months before we had to go back to New Zealand to sell our home but we hope to move back to Noosa soon.
What made you fall in love with Noosa?
The great service that you receive everywhere is incredibly refreshing – people seem so happy in their jobs.
The Noosa Festival of Surfing is also a big drawcard for me – I love catching the Noosa Ferry to Hastings Street when the festival is on. The atmosphere is unreal!
Do you ever explore the Noosa Hinterland?
We have gone on several day trips around the hinterland and it’s a beautiful region – so close to everything but you still feel like you are a million miles away.
Where is your favourite place to stay in Noosa?
We’re staying in a holiday home this time but I also love staying at Coral Beach Resort in Noosaville – it’s fantastic and so central to the river, restaurants and shops which is great for the whole family.
What are you favourite Noosa spots?
There are so many! I love the Noosa Marina Markets on a Sunday morning. In terms of dining, my favourites for brunch and great smoothies are Café Vin Cino at Noosa Marina as well as Raw Energy along Gympie Terrace, Noosaville. For larger meals you will most likely find me at Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club, Bistro C or the Rump House Restaurant at Noosa Marina.
What else do you enjoy in Noosa?
We’re going to visit Australia Zoo and are heading to Aussie World – the kids can’t wait!
I log into the Noosa surf cams when I’m back home to see everyone out on the beach and in the glistening water – and it’s only 8.30am! It always makes me wish I was back in Noosa.
It’s the last day of summer and while some of us are wishing we’d spent more time on our tans or perfecting our surf stance, there’s still plenty of sunshine left in Noosa.
I always wish there’d been more time for swimming and sunset drinks at the beach after work (after all, it’s been 8 days since my last swim...) but it’s almost like an endless summer here in Noosa, so no complaints at all.
The swimming all year round in Noosa is beautiful, winter days are gorgeous with crisp blue skies and clear waters, and all the activities you love in Noosa in summer are just as great at other times of the year: stand-up paddling, kayaking, boating, sky-diving, beach horse riding, surfing, bike riding, bush walking, kite surfing and climbing a hinterland mountain!
Speaking of surfing and Endless Summer, can you believe the movie of the same name that many people think is the best surf movie made is 50 years old? One of the original stars, U.S. surfer Robert August will be a special guest at this year’s Noosa Festival of Surfing on Friday 14 March for a 50th anniversary screening of the movie that follows two young surfers around the world in search of the perfect wave. He’ll do a live narration for the free screening on the beach at First Point, Noosa Heads from 6.30pm.
There’ll be more about the Festival of Surfing next week but the world’s biggest longboard surfing festival is going to be a week of amazing surfing and fantastic spectator action – from dogs to beginner backpackers and world champions to groms.
So make sure you head out see the last sunset of summer and have a toast to bring on autumn!
It’s hard to pass by a gorgeous beach, great coffee and cocktails, restaurants with killer views and a cool surfie scene – that’s why Sunshine Beach, just on the southern side of Noosa National Park headland and a few minutes from Noosa’s Main Beach and Hastings Street is a locals’ favourite. Our guest blogger from “After L Comes ...” recently visited Noosa from Canberra and also fell in love with Sunshine Beach, among other Noosa favourites...
After a massive year my soul, body, mind and spirit were in mega need of a big fat break. Two weeks in Noosa ended up being just what the doctor ordered.
The in-laws booked a pet-friendly house a walk from Sunshine Beach, which is right next to Noosa. We were blessed with perfect, sunny weather and spent most of the time at the beach, eating or sleeping. Here are some of the highlights for this Canberran:
More chilled than its neighbour, Sunshine Beach is a gem surrounded by mansions and apartments tucked between the trees. The best part for animal lovers is the dog-friendly section up the north end - paradise of friendly pooches, families, warm water and happy vibes. Further down the beach is the patrolled area with access from the strip of yummy cafés and restaurants. The Surf Club has a killer view from the ocean on the deck and serves affordable feeds. For a special treat check out Embassy XO for yummy dumplings and Chinese inspired food. Embassy XO's service and interiors are both lovely.
I was lucky enough to catch up with a life-long friend during my stay at Sunshine Beach. As our holiday house was packed to the rafters, we escaped for a night down the road to Dolphins Beach House. For $90 a night we got our own private room with ensuite, flat screen TV, air con and balcony. This establishment has a tropical and colourful charm with a killer location. Highly recommend this place if you are after an affordable stay.
Noosa Main Beach
This is what all the fuss is about. You can spend a whole day here, sun baking, swimming, making sandcastles, perving, surfing, eating, drinking milkshakes, shopping in Hastings Street and exploring the National Park. It is so darn pretty and full of life. You may come across a celebrity or two and will leave dreaming of lottery wins so you can relocate. I also recommend doing a cruise along the Noosa River to check out the man-made beauties competing against nature for the biggest jaw drops. You might even see Richard Branson on his island.
Famous for the huge markets and hippie charm, Eumundi is a short drive from Noosa and the perfect way to spend a morning and lunch. The markets are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Try to get in early because traffic and parking can be hectic. For brunch I recommend Bohemian Bungalow for its quirky atmosphere and delicious vegetarian and organic dishes.
4WD at Noosa North Shore
For adventurous types, go 4WDing and camping along Noosa North Shore. I had a great time driving along the beach – such a great experience with the stunning ocean on one side and the coloured sands on the other. So there you have it, some tips if you ever find yourself experiencing Nirvana in Noosa!
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