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
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.
Watching the XXXX Summer Beach Bar taking shape on Noosa’s Main Beach this week for the Noosa Festival of Surfing which gets under way tomorrow brings back great memories of last year’s festival fun. Come this weekend, we’ll be there again for the best view in town of world surfing champions, old-school longboarding, watermen, surfing dogs, groms, stand-up paddling and plenty more. And with two major Coral Sea low pressure systems looking set to dominate swell conditions over the first two weeks of March, contestants are in for a great ride.
The Noosa Festival of Surfing, with more than 500 entries from around Australia and overseas including USA, Mexico, Portugal, France, Canada, Indonesia, Japan and New Zealand, is the world’s biggest surfing festival, and sitting on the rocks at First Point or at the beach bar is the best seat in the world for those eight days (that’s a big call but there’s always something so magical about this event).
Surfing legends in town include world champions Layne Beachley, Tom Carroll, , Rabbit Bartholomew and Wendy Botha, shaping gurus Bob McTavish and Simon Anderson, and Hawaii’s 1970s superstar Nancy Emerson.
The Backpacker Challenge this weekend has brought novice surfing backpackers to Noosa to learn to surf in the perfect, safe conditions.
From backpackers to bow-wows, the surfing dogs workshop is at Dog Beach, Noosa Woods from 8am this Saturday 8 March. The “best in show” will take to the waves at First Point from 2.30pm on Saturday in what is always a favourite spectator event.
So grab your spot on the rocks of First Point or at the Beach Bar and enjoy the action – see noosafestivalofsurfing.com for daily schedules. If you’re not in Noosa this week for the festival, there’s four hours a day of live action webcast through Swellnet.com
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Blog written by Guest Noosa Blogger - Phil Jarratt, Festival Director - Noosa Cricks Jeep Festival of Surfing:
The biggest surfing event in the world returns to Main Beach with hot surfing all day and a free party on the sand every evening. The biggest pro surfing division seen in Noosa in several years will attract the world’s best longboarders to the Noosa Crick’s Jeep Festival of Surfing March 10-16. Headline event the Vans Duct Tape Invitational will be one of the biggest crowd pleasers, with the style-masters of longboarding from around the world performing on old-style single-fin loggers. The popular logger format really highlights the difference between longboarding and shortboarding, and defending event champion Noosa’s Harrison Roach can be expected to give the internationals a run for the money.
In a nut shell - who will be there?
Multiple world champions Layne Beachley, Mark Richards, Tom Carroll and Rabbit Bartholomew, plus big wave legends Ross Clarke Jones and Mark Visser, California style gurus Joel Tudor, Alex Knost and Tyler Warren, and local heroes Harrison Roach, Josh Constable.
Opening day spectacular
See the best stand up paddlers in Australia race over a close-to-the-beach 5k course, the hilarious VetshopAustralia.com.au Dog Surf Spectacular, the legends of surfing in action, the traditional Hawaiian opening ceremony and paddle-out, and the sunset sounds of Band of Frequencies.
Big waves, big hearts
Not to be missed – big wave legends Tom Carroll, Ross Clarke Jones and Mark Visser present their spectacular movies (Storm Surfers and Nightrider) and talk about what it feels like to fall out of the sky on the biggest waves ever ridden. Free on the Zinc Stage and Screen, Monday from 6.30pm.
Deus Surf Swap Meet
Friday 1-6pm in the PJ Burns Festival Village, bargains galore, and meet the legends of surfboard shaping from the 1950s to the present.
Tucking into fish and chips by the Noosa River with friends last week, talk turned to the best times of day. Here are some of our favourites that together would make up an ideal day in Noosa ...
An early morning run along the Noosa National Park coastal track, arriving at Alexandria Bay with the sun sparkling on the water is a stunning start to the day. I’ll take my friend’s word on this as I’m more of a sunset person than sunrise, but apparently the thing to do after an early swim, walk or run is to grab a coffee from the Sails Restaurant takeaway cart facing Noosa’s Main Beach, or head to breakfast at Bistro C or berardo’s on the beach.
We couldn't pass up the thought of shopping – step off the beach and on to Hastings Street or stroll along Gympie Tce and Thomas St at Noosaville, dotted with lovely homeware stores and boutiques.
A bucket of prawns and cold beer at lunchtime, perched on a bar stool on the deck at Noosa Heads Surf Club, looking right over Noosa beach is a favourite way to escape the midday sun.
If it’s Sunday, a drive to the Noosa hinterland is on the cards with a stop for a macaron on the way at Maison de Provence in Cooroy (Adriano Zumbo dropped in there before Christmas). If we’ve booked ahead, it’s off to a spit roast lunch at the Apollonian Hotel in Boreen Point.
Another locals’ favourite on a Sunday is the Peregian Markets in the morning (1st and 3rd Sundays), then stay on for the Peregian Originals free outdoor concerts in the park (1st Sunday of the month). On the way home, stop in at Sunshine Beach Surf Club for live music on the deck to wind down the weekend.
A list of favourites has to include ice cream – at any time of day. My long-time favourite is Massimo’s in Hastings St (pink grapefruit sorbet really wakes you up) or I head to Amo Gelato on Gympie Tce for their decadent Belgian chocolate or amazing liquorice ice cream.
As I mentioned earlier, my favourite time of day is sunset – it’s harder to decide what my favourite activity is. If we’re feeling energetic, the family heads out for a paddle on Weyba Creek – two in a canoe, one on a kayak and one on a stand-up paddle board. We count the stingrays as they flick past and glide over to watch the flying fox colony stir for their dusk departure. Weyba Creek is one of our true hidden gems – overhanging tree trunks reflecting in the waters, birds nestled in hidden passage-ways through mangroves and the old bridge from where you can catch fish from a great height.
If we’re not feeling so energetic, it’s a quiet moment with a bottle of bubbles at Noosa Spit to catch the sun set behind the mountains, or a cocktail at Season Restaurant overlooking Laguna Bay.
And for the final word: Any time in Noosa is paradise.