Let Us Introdoos-ya to Noosa, Australia

The area is stunningly beautiful — packed full of national parks, state forests, beaches, and wildlife — and is quite the foodie town!

Join your GypsyNesters as we jump into adventure, cavort with kookaburras, drop bears and mamils, swim at the base of a waterfall, and eat and relax our way through Noosa… CONTINUE READING >>

Huge thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland for providing this adventure! As always, all opinions are our own.

Arm position while sky diving at SkyDive Ramblers, Queensland, Austraila  GypsyNester.com

After the decidedly unnatural feeling of falling from the sky and landing on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, we were ready to get a little grounded.

Maybe even spend a little time communing with nature. Noosa was just the place.


Resorting to Relaxation

The beach in Noosa, Queensland, Australia

The area is packed full of National Parks and State Forests and our home for the next few days, the Outrigger Resort, sits right on the edge of Noosa National Park.

Outrigger Resort in Noosa, Queensland, Australia

The view from Outrigger Resort in Noosa, Queensland, Australia

To shake off the remaining shakes we had from skydiving, we walked out our door and up the trail to the lookout atop Noosa Heads.

Our tranquil hike was also in hope of getting a rare peek at one of the wild koalas that reside in the park, but alas, our koala gazing was to be confined to the rescued variety we had already seen.

Our only consolation was a phenomenal view of the Coral Sea. Gee whiz, life is hard!

The view from Outrigger Resort in Noosa, Queensland, Australia

To complete our relaxation efforts, and reiterate just how difficult our lives can be, we stopped in at Stephanies Ocean Spa.

I was obviously in need of some sarcasm reduction, but they recommended Mineral Floatation Therapy in their mineral floatation pool. The idea is that the water’s high salt and mineral content makes a body so buoyant that it becomes almost like zero gravity. The muscles can completely relax and rejuvenate.

Floation Therapy at Stephanies Ocean Spa in Noosa, Queensland, Australia

The freakishly buoyant Veronica reclined blissfully atop the saline solution, even nodding off for a short nap while buoyed by the mineral bath.

I, however, do not float. Never have, never will.

My experience was much more akin to a shipwreck victim desperately trying to survive by treading water for dear life than any mind-clearing Zen stress reduction therapy. I gave up and sat on the edge soaking my feet while she serenely snoozed.

Getting off the Beaten Path

Fording the river with Off Beat Eco Tours in Noosa, Queensland, Australia

The next day we continued our park explorations with Off Beat Eco Tours on a trip through Conondale National Park and Imbil State Forest.

Owner/guide, Pete Blashki, picked us up in his safari wagon and whisked us off for a bushwhackin’ romp through the hinterlands.

The beautiful hinterland near Noosa, Queensland, Australia

Along the way Pete regaled us with gems of Aussie slang, legend, and folklore.

By the time we reached the forest we learned that…

Bunya tree near Noosa, Queensland, Australia
We kept an eye out for drop bears in the bunya trees!

a)
Noosa is better known as Land of a Thousand Roundabouts (there are a freakishly large amount of them)

b) the roadways are filled with MAMILs (Middle Aged Men In Lycra) on bicycles

and

c) to be very wary of drop bears which, as near as we could tell, are some sort of mythical (depending on who you ask), giant, vicious, carnivorous, dive-bombing superkoalas. 

As with the traditional koalas, we didn’t spot one.

A MAMIL, middle aged man in lycra in Noosa, Queensland, Australia
We did, however, spot a MAMIL 🙂

A kookaburra in Queensland Australia

Once inside the park we put the four-wheel drive on the wagon to the test, venturing deep into the woods on long-forgotten logging roads.

While we may have dodged the drop bears, we did see an abundance of wildlife, including an amazingly close encounter with kookaburras, and a much briefer view of a wallaby as he hopped hurriedly past us.

A kookaburra sits in the old gum tree in Noosa in Queensland Australia

Giant fig trees in Conondale National Park near Noosa in Queensland, Australia GypsyNester.com

Periodically we got out to hike deeper into the jungle for a closer look at some of the amazing plant life surrounding us, including massive fig trees that rival the California Redwoods in size.

The trees changed drastically as we went up and down in altitude, with the figs dwelling down in the valleys with plentiful water, and eucalyptus thriving higher up.

Giant fig trees in Conondale National Park near Noosa in Queensland, Australia

Even in the forest shade it was getting hot, so Pete led us to an inviting stream.

A refreshing stream in Noosa, Queensland, Australia

A refreshing waterfall in Noosa, Queensland, Australia GypsyNester.com

After a cool, refreshing dip in the pool formed at the base of a waterfall, we were ready for a bite to eat.

As deep in the woods as we were, Pete set up a big surprise for us that could only be described as the opposite of roughing it.

Stopping in the middle of nowhere, he climbed onto the roof of the truck and produced a table, complete with linen cloth, china, silver and glassware, and a grill.

Pete Blashki of Off Beat Eco Tours in Noosa, Queensland, Australia

In no time at all, we were enjoying a wilderness fine-dining experience of fresh baked bread and homemade spreads prepared with ingredients foraged from the jungle, roasted veggies, sausages, and drop bear.

Perhaps we shouldn’t question Pete’s straightforwardness, but our drop bear tasted suspiciously like chicken.

Lunch in the middle of the rainforest in Noosa, Queensland, Australia

 

Noosa: Foodie Town Extraordinaire!

Once Pete dropped us off back in civilization it occurred to us that, based on his elegant backwoods presentation, and the attention to detail we found at the little beachside eateries, Berardo’s Bistro

and Season

we had previously stopped into, food is very important to the inhabitants of Noosa. That became crystal clear later that night when we went for dinner at Locale.

As the name implies, the location is fabulous, with open sides facing the street and a garden, but that alone would not account for the popularity. Locale’s distinctive approach to Italian cuisine didn’t disappoint, with an intriguing selection of antipasti, primi piatti, secondi, and insalate.

We tried several interesting offerings, but more than anything left with the feeling that they really know their way around a gnocchi.

To Market, to Market

a booth at the Sunday Noosa Farmers Market in Queensland, Australia

For a closer look at where all of this food was coming from, we stopped by the Sunday Noosa Farmer’s Market.

Browsing through the rows of booths there was an incredible abundance of fresh produce and every imaginable meat, including kangaroo.

Though we had massively mixed feelings about consuming roo; we, as we often do in our travels, found ourselves wishing we had a kitchen to stock. 

Chimney cakes at the Sunday Noosa Farmers Market in Queensland, Australia

But there was so much more than farm products on display. In some ways it was like a community breakfast, with booths brimming with all sorts of delectable goodies.

Baked goods were especially popular, with good ole Australian meat pies leading the way.

But almost anything out of an oven was available; we even found the fire-baked sweet rolls called Trdelník (chimney cakes) that we discovered in the Czech Republic.

Riots of flowers and plants at the Sunday Noosa Farmers Market in Queensland, Australia

Meat pie at the Sunday Noosa Farmers Market in Queensland, Australia

There were also riots of flowers and plants, arts and crafts, herbal remedies for most any ailment, and a little music to keep things peppy. 

Unfortunately we didn’t have time to dally, we had a date with a kayak and yet another National Park, so we grabbed a meat pie and figs before making tracks.

Kayaking Like (we’ll with) a Champion

Kayaking the Australian Everglades! GypsyNester.com

We followed the Noosa River to Great Sandy National Park, where we met up with former Australian kayaking champion Vivienne Golding of Kanu Kapers for a day of paddling around Lake Cootharaba and swamps, and ponds that form its everglades.

Sail kayaking in the Australian Everglades

Paddling turned out to only be part of our propulsion.

We did a lot of tranquil drifting too, so as not to disturb the waterfowl, or ourselves. Then on our way back across the lake Vivienne rigged us up with a sail and we effortlessly skimmed across the water.

See more about our day kayaking the Noosa Everglades with a champ!

20 thoughts on “Let Us Introdoos-ya to Noosa, Australia”

  1. HaHa! Mamils! Unfortunately, now the picture s stuck in my mind! What a fun day with kookaburras and wallabys – the very things I dreamed about when I was growing up! And fine dining as a plus in the great outback!

  2. You’ve completely captured the vibrancy of Noosa and surrounding area. I love it’s colours, it’s happening nature, the contemporary shops and of course the topopgraphy. Just awesome. Well done!

  3. Man, your post got my mouth watering! I love visiting local markets wherever I go, and those chimney cakes look most interesting! I’ve not yet been to Aussieland, but it’s definitely on my list. Thx for sharing your great pics.

  4. How come we’ve never had a sail on any of our kayaking misadventures? Our visits to Australia have pretty much centered on Sydney and Perth. If we make it back Down Under, we clearly need to explore further afield.

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