After taking two weeks to see Sydney, Tasmania and Melbourne I had planned to have about three weeks left to hop up the east coast from Byron Bay to Cairns where I am catching my flight in to Bali. What I didn’t consider that was my PADI diving course and subsequent 24 hour “no fly” period (which I planned for 48 hours out an abundance of caution) would take up my last 5 days, leaving me just over 2 weeks to cover the 1,850 km from Byron to Cairns.
After a great three days in Byron meeting new friends, surfing and enjoying the laid back vibes, I spent a couple of nights in Brisbane before continuing up to Noosa, about two hours to the north. Noosa had come highly recommended and for good reason.
These are the markets to rival all markets. Located in their namesake town about a half hour bus ride from Noosa, the ‘original’ market operates on the principle of “we make it, bake it, grow it, sew it”. The result is countless artisan stalls selling artwork, clothing, soaps and food from all corners of the planet. I enjoyed fresh ginger beer, some baked goods and a delicious Malay curry. If you are in need of a massage or a palm reading, you’ll find a number of options.
The full markets are open Wednesday and Saturday, closing at 2pm. A bus runs from Noosa Junction and costs about $11 AUD round trip.
Noosa National Park
No visit to Noosa is complete without a walk along the Coastal Track in Noosa National Park. Following the coastline from Main Beach to Sunshine Beach, the relatively easy 6km walk offers stunning views. Be prepared for some nude bathers at Alexandria Bay! I failed to find the cut off to the Fairy Pools but if you have time, bring your bathing suit and go for a dip.
Like most of the towns along the east coast, there are miles of beaches ripe for beach combing. From Main Beach you can walk along to where the ocean meets the Noosa river. However, my personal favourite was the less crowded Sunshine Beach. Here, I spent the better part of an afternoon reading, swimming and walking along the beach watching surfers catch waves that were far too big for a beginner surfer like me.
Alas, I have a timeline to adhere to and needed to make my way north after just two nights in Noosa. With another day I would have done a day trip out in the the Everglades. If surfing is high on your list of activities in Australia, make sure you fit it in before heading north from Noosa as the Great Barrier Reef quells the waves up the coast. As I try to remind myself, it’s always important to leave some things undiscovered as they serve as reasons to come back!