A Guide To Noosa, Sunshine Coast

 In Active Travel, Australia, Backpacking, Budget Travel, Queensland

I was so glad to finally make it to Noosa after skipping both the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast on my two previous adventures in Australia.

I intended to stop off in both 2014 and 2015 but time ran away with me {I was having too much fun} and I guess the likes of Fraser Island, Whitsundays and Byron Bay tend to take the limelight for the backpacker ‘must do’s’. But both the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast are hotspots in their own right and I finally managed to spare some time to explore them this time around.

Let’s begin with this gorgeous little surf town… Noosa

Noosa is a little town on the Sunshine Coast, the slice of the East Coast that stretches from Caloundra all the way up to the  Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park.

Just a 90 minute drive North on the Bruce Highway from Brisbane, Noosa is the perfect addition to a roadtrip from Brisbane to Cairns. If you’re looking to fly in, the Sunshine Coast airport is just a 30 minute drive away and if you’re backpacking / travelling with Greyhound, it is most definitely one of the stops you can opt to jump off at.

One of the main reasons people head to the Sunshine Coast, particularly backpackers, is because it is the gateway to World Heritage destination Fraser Island.

It is here you can jump on board a Fraser Island Tour.

Fraser island, for those of you unaware, is a MUST do on the East Coast and is the World’s Largest Sand Island.

Tours leave daily for Fraser Island from Hervey Bay, Rainbow Bay and Noosa and involve 4X4 safaris around the stunning hotspots, lakes, beach drives and off road tracks that the island has to offer.

Consider booking your Fraser Island trip through:

  • Nomads Tag Along Fraser Tour – see my experience here {The best backpacker tour}
  • Cool Dingo Tours {see my experience here}
  • Dropbear Adventures {aimed at more of a family and mature audience}
  • Pippies {Camping Experience}


Drop Sam an email on info@ratpacktravel.com quoting ‘MOLLIE10’ to receive the discount and begin your personalised travel service in Australia. View more details on the tours available on ratpacktravel.com.

Note: You can explore Fraser Island without booking onto a tour but you will need to book the Ferry pass online and make sure you have both a 4X4 {ESSENTIAL} and off road insurance. Trust me.

Aside from being a gateway to Fraser Island, Noosa has plenty of activity to entertain you itself. I only stayed for 2 days prior to my Nomads Fraser trip and then for a few hours after before moving on down to Brisbane. But even in that short time – i loved it.

I stayed at Nomads Hostel during my stay which has a super chill vibe and a pretty cool layout… for a hostel. There’s a pool, a BBQ area, a bar and my favourite part? All the hostel rooms are all in a big {kind of} circle, which definitely adds to the family feel. It’s near to the main strip of restaurants and bars. It’s a 15 minute walk from the main beach and a 2 minute walk to the supermarket. I definitely recommend staying here.

Money Saving Tip: If you book onto the Nomads Fraser trip you can get 3 night pre/post accomodation for just $10 a night.


I’ve also heard great things about YHA Noosa and Halse Lodge if you want to look into a few different hostels.

As for hotels, I can’t recommend any from experience but pop it into google or as I would, check out Airbnb.

Money Saving Tip: Use this link to get £25 off your first stay with Airbnb

What to do in Noosa:

  • Walk through the Noosa National Park

If you ask anyone about what to do in Noosa, I can guarantee {unless they are an avid surfer} that the first thing they will mention is the the National Park. You can spend the whole day, or as long as you like, walking the coastal route and paths within the park and if you’re at the right time of year – whale and dolphin sightings aren’t uncommon. There’s lots of little bays and benches to take a rest on along the way so pack in lots of water, some snack and also your swimmers if you fancy a dip in the big blue!


  • Take a dip in the Fairy Pools

Walk through the National Park path until you get to this bench. Clamber down the rocks and you’ll find the secret {but not so secret} pools.

If you walk out of Nomad’s Noosa and turn left as if you’re walking to main beach, quite early on as you get to the top of the hill there’s a right turning with a sign to lookout. Follow the road {and the guaranteed company you’ll have for sunset} for about 20 minutes until you reach the lookout. Take some beers or a picnic and enjoy the gorgeous views over the ocean and town

  • Hang Out on the Main Beach

Take your surf board down or just some snacks and a beach towel and enjoy the gorgeous sands and water here in Noosa.

  • Look out for Koalas

Koala sightings aren’t unusual in Noosa so keep your eyes peeled at all times. We spotted one climbing for his dinner on the way up to Laguna Lookout in the trees.

  • Everglades Kayak Tour

Drop Sam an email on info@ratpacktravel.com quoting ‘MOLLIE10’ to receive 10% discount on this tour and begin your personalised travel service in Australia. View more details on the tours available on ratpacktravel.com.

  • Take a surf lesson {Noosa is known as Australia’s longboard haven}

Must Eats Noosa:

  • Taco Boy {For an awesome burrito / mexican}
  • Betty’s Burgers located near the main beach {recommended by all locals}
  • 10 Hastings Street Boutique Motel + Cafe {on Hasting Street, the main street parallel to the beach}

Have you visited the Sunshine Coast?

I’d love to know!

Thank YOU guys for reading <3

Love as always + happy adventuring,

Mollie x

If you enjoyed this post, please SHARE it for me!

I can’t do this without you <3

Pin this for later…

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search

What your New Zealand Roadtrip could look likeHow To Save Money When Travelling New Zealand | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Adventure Lifestyle Blog