Noosa National Park
Nestled on the doorstep of one of Australia’s most famous beachside towns is one of the smallest yet unforgettable national parks you will find in your travels down under. Just a short 30 minutes’ walk or 5 minutes’ drive from the Noosa beachside buzz you will find a perfectly preserved oasis that is Noosa National Park. As you walk away from the hustle and bustle of Hastings street, the main strip of Noosa bursting with boutiques, eateries, surf shops and more, you will slowly watch as the businesses fade into residential homes which fade into a forested boardwalk with views of Noosa main beach down below. Soon you will find yourself surrounded by pandanus leaves and a lush forest.
Here you will find about 15 kilometers of tracks to explore with various different options where you can choose between secluded beach coves or inland bush. The most common of the tracks is the Coastal track which runs along the coast from the Noosa entry point all the way to the next town over in Sunshine Beach. The track is about 5 kilometers one way and 10 kilometers return. Along the way you will see all the hotspots of Noosa National Park. You will pass over multiple headlands with views of crashing waves, surfers and marine life down below.
One of the first beaches you will arrive at is Tea Tree Bay. This bay is considered to be one of the most scenic beaches in the area as well as a notable surfing spot when the swell is right. From here you will carry on to Dolphin Point. Along the way be sure to look up in the eucalyptus trees above for snoozing koalas that frequent the area. Once you arrive at Dolphin Point take in the outstanding views and keep a keen eye out for pods of dolphins playing in the waves down below. If you are lucky you might even be able to spot a sea turtle or even a whale if it is the right season.
Next stop is one of our personal favorites but it is only for those willing to go on a bit of an adventure off the track. From the eastern end of Granite Bay you can scramble down some rocks on an unmarked trail to arrive at some of the most picturesque rock pools in all of Australia. The Fairy Pools are a tourist hot spot for people exploring the National Park so if you are after the perfect Instagram photo we recommend you go early in the day. Otherwise it is a great place to chill on the rocks and swim in the naturally formed rock pool while the warm sun glistens down on you.
From there you can carry on to Hell’s Gates which despite its rather off-putting name is one of the best vantage points in the area. After taking in all the clifftop coastal views you will wonder down to Alexandria Bay. This bay is a lovely little beach that makes you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere even though Noosa Main Beach is mere kilometers away. Here is the perfect spot to throw down your towel and relax for the rest of the day, go for a swim and enjoy the sunshine. Alexandria Bay is also a great surfing spot if you are motivated enough to hike 4 kilometers through the national park with your board. When you arrive you will be rewarded with a wave most likely all to yourself. After Alexandria Bay you can make your way to the next town of Sunshine Beach. This is another spot that is perfect for a swim or surf as well.
As you go along this walk be sure to take note of the native flora and fauna. Even though the track may be short and the national park quite small there are still a large variety of plants and animals that you can enjoy along the way. You can admire the banksia trees, the she-oaks and the giant Kauri pine trees as you wander along the path. Once you arrive at the eucalyptus trees be sure to keep an eye out for koalas munching on the leaves above. You can also spot cockatoos and if you are really lucky an echidna near the trail. As for marine life there is plenty to spot including whales between the months of June to November as they migrate between north and south. Surfers even say that they can hear the whales singing as they dive under the water.
There is so much to be found and enjoyed in this tiny National Park. If you are even in the area it should most definitely be on the top of your list of things to do. This park is particularly unique due to its accessibility. Being about to walk 30 minutes from a main street of town and into a lush and scenic national park is a rarity in the country. So pack you trainers, a towel, a picnic, some sun cream, and if you are super motivated a surfboard and head on over to this little slice of paradise.