The enticingly named Sunshine Coast is a meandering stretch of relaxed beachside town an hour’s drive from Brisbane International Airport, with Noosa Heads and its chic seafront, Hastings Street, the jewel in its sandy crown.
Once just home to surfers, backpackers and creative types, Noosa Heads has been transformed with an influx of urbanites from Auckland, Melbourne and Sydney. It’s now known for its cosmopolitan cafe culture, fresh and varied produce, exclusive shopping and rolling surf (think Australia’s version of Montauk in the Hamptons).
Butting on to one of Australia’s most renowned surf beaches and most-visited coastal national park, Noosa Heads derives its name from the breathtaking headlands of Noosa National Park on its southern border, the walking trails of which begin at the top of Hastings Street and lead to secluded seaside bays. To the north, the town is bounded by the Noosa River. Listed as an official Biosphere Reserve by Unesco, Noosa is home to a range of pristine natural environments, including rocky outposts where you can watch whales swim by and forested reserves that are home to koalas.
Combining natural beauty with award-winning restaurants, cafes, shopping, as the next few pages will show you, Noosa has plenty to offer.
Surf + Paddle
You simply can’t go to Noosa Heads without getting wet in its famous point break waves, which are very beginner friendly on calm days. This place sells classic longboard surfboards and offers board hire and lessons, as well as selling all the gear needed for the beach. The shop, which has graced the town for more than 20 years, is popular for its collection of retro surf items, from mini dancing luau girls for your car, to photography books and Elvis Presley records.
55 Hastings St, Noosa Heads QLD, Australia | noosalongboards.com
In The Area
BOARDWALK BOAT HIRE NOOSA
Hire a stand-up paddleboard or take a guided kayak tour of the Noosa Biosphere and its wildlife. Eco-travel by paddle power.
Sheraton Wharf, Noosa Parade, Noosa Heads, QLD, noosaheadsboathire.com.au
Shop + Snack
ROCOCO BISTRO NOOSA
Rococo Bistro Noosa claims prime position on Hastings Street. Opposite the beach and on the shopping strip’s only intersection, the upmarket bistro and bar is the ideal location for people watching. Buzzing year-round with locals and tourists in search of great coffee and its European-infused modern Australian menu, the restaurant opens onto a large, shaded outdoor terrace, a mini oasis amid the hustle and bustle of Noosa Heads.
42 Hastings St, Noosa Heads QLD, Australia | rococonoosa.com.au
In The Area
A coastal-luxe boutique selling cutting-edge Australian fashion, Atelier Motif’s signature aesthetic is relaxed luxury with a bohemian twist. Lifestyle accessories are also available.
Shop 1/12 Hastings St, Noosa Heads QLD, alteriormotif.com.au
Eat + Shop
For good food and quirky cool head to Hastings Street’s newest restaurant, El Capitano. From the team behind Noosa’s famous Cafe Le Monde, the nautical-style specialist pizza bar entices guests to its first floor location via a port-inspired entrance and leafy, tropical walkway. Don’t let El Capitano’s light-hearted approach fool you – this restaurant is serious about food and serves 72-hour fermented sourdough pizza bases. Enjoy a tropical-inspired drink perched on its peppermint bar stools, or soak up the balmy Sunshine Coast evenings while dining outdoors.
52 Hastings St, Noosa Heads QLD, elcapitano.com.au
In The Area
Pick up a pair of tailored men’s swim shorts from the newly opened London import, Orlebar Brown, which draws inspiration from Slim Riviera and Palm Beach life.
14-16 Hastings Street, Noosa, QLD, orlebarbrown.com.au
Words and Images: Sandra Tinari