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?
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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.
There is something nostalgic about traditional wooden boats and steam boats with memories of a bygone era – so I am really looking forward to heading down to the Noosa River on Saturday 27th October for a picnic with family and friends to watch the Noosa Classic Boat Regatta.
The Regatta features traditional wood motor or steam powered boats, putt putts and classic pre-70s motor boats with pre-70s power and traditional wood sail boats and really is a beautiful sight to see.
If you want to get up close, why not head to the Noosa Marina in the morning to admire the gorgeous boats before they head out for the Regatta and if you are one of the lucky owners of a classic pre-70s boat, why not register and enjoy the fun!
In fact they will be spending a week in Noosa for their official Training & Recovery Week in June/July. This involves training for 3 days at the Noosa Dolphins Rugby Club in Sunshine Beach and 2 days of Rest and Relaxation.
We are pretty sure they will be out and about enjoying all things Noosa, enjoying our gorgeous beaches and I reckon a surfing lesson is definitely in order for the team!
If you know anything about rugby, you probably know that the British Lions have a massively huge following and apparently their tour attracts about 25 000 fans that travel around the world following them – this is great news for Noosa and the Sunshine Coast!
I am pretty sure my mates will be excited with this news – no doubt Noosa locals will become popular with friends and family wanting to visit at this time to see the Lions in action.
Between now and then, I had better catch up on my rugby, starting this weekend with the 7’s!
I’ve always loved the Melbourne Cup – I don’t know what it is but there is something really exciting about it. Perhaps it’s the fact that we always stopped work for a few minutes to watch the race at school (and work as we got older), or maybe it’s that every year Noosa restaurants put on such a brilliant spread for the event for those lucky enough to get the afternoon off. Whatever it is, it’s definitely one of my favourite events of the year.
So you would understand why I’m so excited to learn that the actual Melbourne Cup is coming to Noosa next Friday August 10, something we are indeed very privileged to welcome as only 25 towns are chosen each year to host the Cup tour.
Many visitors and locals are probably just as excited as we have so many Melbournites who holiday here, plus those who decided holidaying just wasn’t good enough and now call Noosa home. I suspect they all will be trying to get a glimpse of the Cup on its very busy schedule around town.
And it’s not just those from Melbourne – we’re a sporting nation and while many of us can’t make it to see our Aussie heroes in action at the Olympics, at least we’ll have a chance to see an Australian sporting icon up close.
This will be a rare chance to have your photo taken with the Melbourne Cup as it goes on display at Noosa’s Main Beach (watch for the very exciting entrance!) and Noosa Yacht & Rowing Club in the afternoon. Joining the Cup in Noosa are a dynamic duo of Cup-winning females – Sheila Laxon, the first official trainer of a Melbourne Cup winner (Ethereal in 2001), and Wendy Green, the owner of 1999 Cup winner Rogan Josh. They’ll be guest speakers at a charity lunch at Ricky’s River Bar + Restaurant , tickets are still available and all proceeds go to Angel Flight – book on 5447 2455. Check out our events section for a full itinerary.
Get your engines racing this weekend when world-class motorsport action revs up Pomona at the Brakes Direct International Rally of Queensland on May 26 and 27.
Up to 90 cars, including crews from as far away as Britain, Sweden, India, Malaysia and Japan and from around Australia, will tackle a competition stage on closed public roads near the town.
On Saturday, also market day, the cars will stop in an area beside Station St for 15 minutes each in a rolling visit from around 11am, before heading to the start of the BP Ultimate Special Stage.
You are free to walk among the cars and meet the drivers and co-drivers. The rally parking area will be around 100m from the markets, which are in Memorial Ave.
Tickets bought at the gate, or before the bus is boarded in Pomona will cost $25 and children’s tickets will be $5.
Information about the full range of spectating options, including a $45 all-venues Event Super Pass, is available at www.rallyqueensland.com.au.
The BP Ultimate Special Stage and town stopover will be part of an exciting weekend for dedicated enthusiasts and casual spectators alike.
The rally kicks off on Friday night, May 25 with a free outdoor Start Your Engine party at Kings Beach, Caloundra.
A 15-minute service stopover for all cars follows at Kenilworth early on Saturday morning, before the field tackles the Special Stages at Imbil and Pomona.
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
It was great to see Caine Eckstein win his first title and very exciting to see local girl Jordan Mercer finishing so well in the women's series - third on the day and fourth overall in the series, at just 18 years of age.
If you missed it this year, the Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Ironman and Ironwoman Series will be back at Coolum and Noosa next summer, although I haven't seen any dates yet. I'll keep you posted.
Noosa Queensland, Coolum Queensland
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
If you're thinking about a trip to Coolum or Noosa, you might want to time it to catch some of the action of the Kellogg's Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman series, which is being held here next month.
I went along last year and it's a great spectator sport (read into that what you will!) You've got beautiful beaches, high profile competitors and a great atmosphere, with everyone cheering on the beach.
The Coolum event is being held on February 12, in front of the Coolum Beach Surf Club, then the finals of the series are being held in Noosa on February 19, on Main Beach in front of the Noosa Heads Surf Club. I'm there!
Noosa Queensland, Coolum Queensland