June 29, 2008

Noosa, a gem in the Sunshine Coast

Everyone kept telling us to get to Noosa. "You'll love it there, it's more upscale than Byron Bay and without the attitude." I have to say that I agree. It's a tough time to find work here, as it's the off season, but people are still really encouraging and actually apologetic that they couldn't offer us jobs. That's a first for me.

Noosa is situated north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast, and is actually made up of the towns of Noosa Heads, Noosaville, and Tewantin, that are situated along the coast or the beautiful Noosa River that flows through the towns to meet with the Pacific Ocean. The area has tons of beautiful boutique and chain resorts such as the Sheraton, for the Sydney or Brisbane family on holiday. There are also tons of gorgeous multi-million dollar homes situated along the banks of the river. It's very South Florida here with the canals and waterfront homes, but less glitzy than the Gold Coast. Add the famous Hastings Street with the numerous restaurants and boutiques, and you've got Palm Beach's Worth Avenue, without the stuffy attitude. This is the place I would want to vacation as a couple or family on holiday for a week. Treat yourself right, rent a nice beachfront condo, and eat great food until you pass out on the main beach running through town. Oh, did I mention that there is a national park that occupies a big area, and it has good surf with a beautiful beach at Tea Tree Bay, and wild koalas that we finally saw outside of a zoo!

We lucked out with the Noosa River Caravan Park where we've just spent the last week. It's affiliated with the city, otherwise the property would have been converted a long time ago. It's right on Munna Point on the Noosa River, and the sunsets are spectacular. It's cheaper than a hostel and is hands down the best caravan park we have stayed at so far.

So, besides looking for work in the town, we spent our week laying on the beach, surfing in the National Park, and at nearby Sunshine Beach, and went on a 3 day canoe trip through the Noosa Everglades.

I'm not exactly sure why they call it the Everglades as it's nothing like the swampy land in Florida, and there aren't crocs this far south, but it has some nice saltwater lakes and rivers to canoe and camp along. There are bull sharks and stingrays that live in the water, so it still had the risk of possibly getting eaten if we fell overboard, although unlikely.

The trip was self guided and organized by Gagaju Bush Camp. Not exactly sure if I can paint a fair picture of the place, but the camp is somewhat like MASH meets a redneck retreat. There are shacks of longterm residents nearby, living out of tents with couches, under make-shift porches. You have to see it to believe it, although I have only good things to say about the place. It has charm, let's say that. The camp itself has some army style barracks in canvas tents with bunks, and they have an outside kitchen, tv and lounge area complete with a massive bonfire every night.

Our group consisted of seven other travelers from Holland, France, Germany, Turkey, and a father/daughter pair from Canada. The dad was the hardest partier we've met to date, and put us all to shame. The first two days were basically spent at the bush camp, with a side trip paddling out to a nice ocean beach. The last day and night we paddled north along the river to the Boreen Point camping ground, situated on the shore of a salt water lake. It was relaxing, and we had a fun night out at the local hotel/pub to celebrate all of our paddling.

Besides surfing, laying on the beach, and looking for work, some other highlights from our week and a half in the area included a pub trivia night where we beat out the locals, playing in a texas hold 'em tournament, and finally trying kagaroo steaks and vegemite!

We are now heading north towards Hervey Bay to visit the famous Fraser Island on 4x4 safari. Can't wait for that. Here are our pics from Noosa so you can get a better feel of the place.


Cjlcarmody said...

Globe Stompers

you have most likely already moved on, but our trip around Australia 3 years ago we loved 4 wheel driving from Noosa along the beach north to Rainbow beach just south of Fraser Island.

Anonymous said...

whatever you do, please please please make sure you go to the whitsundays and cape tribulation....if you want pristine australia, head north above cairns...