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Hot music and cool vibes at Noosa Jazz Festival

Sue Mikkelsen - Thursday, September 03, 2015


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
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The other side of Noosa

Guest blogger - Thursday, April 09, 2015

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.

http://www.standuppaddlesurf.com.au/

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?

http://www.noosaevergladesdiscovery.com.au/

CLICK HERE to read the full blog on This Magnificent Life. 

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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 info@visitnoosa.com.au or see visitnoosa.com.au
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Music with a view in Noosa

Sue Mikkelsen - Friday, August 29, 2014
How do you like your music – with a touch of jazz, indie rock, pop, opera, world beat, country, Irish, surf sounds or from the voice of an angel? With Noosa’s gorgeous surrounds as inspiration for performers, it’s no wonder that we are spoilt for choice every week with live music around the region – from surf club decks to a Greek- style amphitheatre on the shores of Lake Macdonald and the interior of Australia’s longest continuously operating movie theatre.

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.
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From burlesque to ballet at Noosa Long Weekend

Sue Mikkelsen - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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

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Noosa: A blogger’s paradise

Guest blogger - Friday, July 04, 2014
A blog about blogs? Why not? We recently welcomed The Remarkables to Noosa, a group of Australia’s top bloggers who write passionately about the things they love – food, travel, beauty, family etc.

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.

       
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Best Job in the World winner loves Noosa

Guest blogger - Friday, February 07, 2014

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.
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Merry Christmas from Noosa

Guest blogger - Friday, December 20, 2013

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.

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Noosa is backpacker heaven

Guest blogger - Monday, November 18, 2013
We are still celebrating here in Noosa (there is always a reason to celebrate) after being named the Best Backpacker City or Region in Australia at the recent TNT Golden Backpack Awards in Sydney. Have you thought of Noosa as a fantastic backpacker destination?

The original Noosa backpackers were the surfers of the 1960s and 1970s who made their way up the East Coast and stayed to enjoy the amazing breaks off Noosa National Park – they must have felt like they had found Heaven.

Back to the awards ... travellers voted in the national awards, showing their appreciation of Noosa’s adventurous and fun spirit. They also voted the National Trust-listed Halse Lodge YHA Guest House in Noosa Heads as the Best Hostel in Queensland and Best Hostel in Australia. Dropbear Adventures which runs Fraser Island tours from Noosa was a finalist in the Best Tour Operator in Australia category.

Halse Lodge (pictured) is one of five backpacker hostels in Noosa – the others, which are also great are Noosa Flashpackers and Dolphins Beach House in Sunshine Beach, Nomads Noosa in Noosa Heads and Noosa Backpacker Resort in Noosaville. 

The adventurous spirit I mentioned earlier comes in so many forms in Noosa – from swimming, surfing, snorkelling, walking and running in Noosa National Park which is only a few minutes’ walk from Halse Lodge, to abseiling Mt Tinbeerwah in Tewantin National Park, kite-boarding, kayaking, beach horse riding, jet-skiing, skydiving, hiking, sailing, mountain biking and so much more.

Australia Zoo, World Heritage-listed Fraser Island and the Noosa Everglades (one of only 2 everglades systems in the world)  are right on our doorstep, and there are plenty of great places to eat, drink, party and shop, including some of Australia’s best markets.

For a taste of some of the great experiences on offer in Noosa, CLICK HERE to see the latest Backpack Noosa video, like Backpack Noosa on Facebook or see backpacknoosa.com.au

And to get an idea of why so many people voted Halse Lodge Guest House as the best in Australia, we’ll share the experience of travel blogger and Best Job in the World Travel Guru Winner Sam, from Sam’s Wanderful Life blog, who earlier this year added Halse Lodge to her bucket list. Sam, from Canada, calls the gorgeous hostel her “home away from home”:

“The hostel creates an environment for their guests that is extremely welcoming and friendly. Halse Lodge ensured that dining and entertainment throughout a backpacker’s stay was a top priority. 

“I can’t even express enough how appreciative and welcome I felt here. It was incredible and I wish I could have stayed there a lot longer. The atmosphere when sitting in the common area during breakfast was perfect. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and I was just happy.

“I couldn’t help but smile as I looked out and saw how beautiful of a view Halse Lodge had from the top of the hill. It really doesn’t surprise me that Halse Lodge has the ability to stop travellers in their tracks and convince them to stay a few extra days, weeks or months before they feel ready to leave this magical place.

“It’s a place like no other, and you definitely should add this to Your Bucket List when travelling the East Coast of Australia.”

CLICK HERE to read Sam’s full blog about Halse Lodge and her stay in Noosa.


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Something new on the menu for Noosa restaurants

Russell Bullen - Friday, October 18, 2013

We love our food in Noosa (just ask the thousands who enjoy the Noosa Food and Wine Festival each year) and town is abuzz with the opening of new restaurants, delicious new spring menus, the return of a favourite, and fun food events and promotions.

With the days getting longer and the nights warming up I have been looking for any excuse to book a table by the river or peruse the cocktail menu at a beachfront bar – and there’s no shortage of inspiration.

I’ve heard rave reviews about the new Locale Restaurant in Hastings Street which opened last weekend – those of us who cried into our pinot when Lindoni’s closed a few months ago are celebrating the return of owner Rio Capurso with his new Italian restaurant and bar ... can’t wait.

The new 10 Hastings Street Boutique Motel & Café at the Woods end of the street is a great place to sit and watch the world go by while re-energising with a smoothie made with South American superfood acai berries, or my favourite, a mango daiquiri (also super!). I’m also looking forward to next month’s opening of Miss Moneypenny’s in Hastings Street, thanks to Sydney restaurateur Ben Walsh, with cool, Ibiza beach-style music on Sunday afternoons, and cocktails, breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.

Doing its own quirky kind of “cool” is Bohemian Bungalow in Eumundi with great food, drinks and shared plates served on mismatched glasses and vintage treasures – and there’s funky music on Sunday afternoons.

Also in Eumundi, the historic Imperial Hotel has just opened The Green Room, a creative and colourful space upstairs with great balcony dining overlooking Eumundi’s beautiful greenery – and a kids’ room.

Back on Hastings St, Peter Kuruvita (one of my favourite chefs on TV) has settled right in to his latest venture, Noosa Beach House Peter Kuruvita (where Cato’s was). We’re also looking forward to seeing other media favourites in the lead-up to Christmas, with Noosa book launches for Jamie Durie on October 25 (he was SO popular last time in Noosa), Guy Grossi (October 30), Ricky Ponting (November 21) and Frances Whiting (November 29).

Gympie Terrace along Noosa River and nearby Thomas Street in Noosaville is one of my favourite food places and there’s been plenty of activity recently. Humid Restaurant (I had a wonderful 10th anniversary dinner there) has moved to Gympie Tce, with the new name Little Humid. Noosa Boathouse, right on the river with gorgeous views has a new chef (Shane Bailey), new menu and now has weekend breakfasts with local, free range and organic produce. Nearby, Thomas Corner Eatery chef and owner David Rayner is tempting us with Plenty for your 20 – a choice of 3 delicious snacks plus 2 drinks, all for $20, Monday to Saturday, 3-5.30pm. I’ll try the 2 bottles of beer and bowl of BBQ chicken wings – what will you have?

A great way to try all the tastes on offer at Noosa Junction, a locals’ favourite, is the Junction Flava Food & Wine Street Fest on Saturday October 26, noon-5pm for food and wine tastings from 16 eateries including Italian, Indian, Spanish, Japanese, Asian and pizza. There’ll also be music and kids’ activities.

And while I’m not a golfer, I can recognise a great deal when I see one: 2-for-1 cocktails at Relish Restaurant, Noosa Springs Golf Resort and Spa, Noosa Heads where you can drink in superb golf course views on Sundays, 3-6pm while sipping on a Fairway to Heaven or a 7 Iron. Bon appétit!

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