If the vision of taking a vacation with your entire extended family for a week under one roof gives you slight trepidation, you must read on. My Mother-in-law was excited to propose that her entire family venture to Noosa Heads to celebrate her 80th birthday. We stayed at an epic house in Witta Circle and it literally had everything including pool, spa, large entertainer’s kitchen, air-con in every room, two seperate living rooms (essential right?), garden, terrace a family of 13 needed. Witta Circle is an area built in aa circle around the water. (not far from the Noosa River mouth) which has a line up of the most deluxe houses in Noosa. It is moments walk away from Hastings Street, though quiet enough to feel you are not caught up in the busy hub.
Noosa has long been a popular destination for families with children of all ages. There is so much to do in a week, that it isn’t unusual for you to leave with the thought; ‘next time we’ll go for ten days or more’. Of course there was the obligatory last minute Corona virus curve ball that nearly derailed us before we left Sydney.
However, I will be upfront and say that Noosa is not a budget holiday; it is a special location that strikes the balance of a stunning beach with sets of surfable waves rolling in and a strip of fabulous cafes, restaurants and retail therapy.
There is not a doubt in my mind that the ‘Sunshine Coast’ was an apt name for where Noosa sits, because of the many times I have travelled to Noosa in April through to October, I have always been lucky with beautiful sunny days. The average annual temperature is 20.8 C.
Take a walk through the Noosa National Park and keep your eyes wide open; as there’s plenty of wildlife to spot including Koalas high up in the trees, Black Cockatoos and Humpback whales!
Noosa Main Beach is usually better for kids in the first half of the day. It’s usually when the water is crystal clear and beautiful even sets are rolling in so waves are perfect for kids to learn how to surf, or boogie board.
Oakberry or Blended Health Bar for easy takeaway options like healthy Acai cups, smoothie bowls, juices and more. Addictive and a little pricey, most of the options at these venues are full of nutritional goodness.
Aromas, make sure you sit in for breakfast at least once, this venue is an iconic Noosa cafe to enjoy people watching while tucking into delicious eggs, avocado on toast and consistently good coffee.
Milkbar Grocer a lifesaver when you need quick top up of items to enjoy at your accomodation; they have the most delicious ready to go meals including salads, sandwiches and cakes.
Hastings Street Bakery has something to fix a craving; you cannot go wrong here; their pies, bread, lamingtons and vanilla slices are all tempting!
Cool treats are always part and parcel of beach holiday and after stopping into Massimo’s Gelateria twenty five years ago when it first opened, I can’t honestly visit Noosa without walking myself there several times during my stay!
Ben & Jerry’s is up that end of Hastings Street as well, so if you need a scoop of ice-cream, scoop!
Hey Bill Noosa on the beach, just near the flags is where you’ll be able to pick up a classic shaved ice snow cone.
Betty’s Burgers is easy and the staff are super friendly here even when it’s packed to the rafters and service is amazingly quick! You can order on an app and pick up to bring back to your accomodation if sitting in doesn’t appeal. It’s worth trying the Noosa Classic Surf burger with prawns and special sauce.
Bistro C is a good place for a family dinner out on the beach, though you must book ahead! Happy hour for oysters and bubbles in the afternoon is marvellous too.
Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club is family friendly for lunch or dinner, but get there early if you want a table as it is walk ins only here.
Noosa Beach House – If you can secure a date night sans kids, then this is superb Noosa dining, not over the top but special. Cocktails are amazing too!
The Spirit House has an amazing restaurant immersed in the lush tropical setting and a 30 min drive to Yandini outside of Noosa Heads. This is one experience you need to enjoy sans kids so book the nannies!
Note on Babysitting services – Nannies Of Noosa we used, though you do need to plan ahead in busy school holiday periods and I did ask them so many questions about their care and they were obliging.
Retail therapy is so fabulous along Hastings, particularly if you have saved a pretty penny before arriving. Clearly, it comes down to individual tastes, however my favourites are;
Signature on hastings – So special, I love everything about this store in it’s styling, it’s beachside art, designer fabrics and fashion.
Toscani – Dresses and resort wear heaven!
Palm Noosa – Bring home a special piece of Noosa resort wear to enjoy in the Summer months back home.
Belissima Noosa – There are so many beautiful choices here, you can spend quite some time in this store.
Uncle George – A mix of homewares, jewellery, fashion and gifts.
Okanui – Quintessentially 100% Australian owned and operated. Well made swimwear and clothing in quality fabrics for the whole family.
Noosa Juniors – keep an eye out for items on sale, great to top up on kid’s swimwear and accessories.
Noosa Heads Boat Hire has kayaks, SUPs and boats for hire located just off Hastings Street at the Sofitel Noosa. You can enjoy these on the river.
If the weather turns, Pixels Barcade is a good tip to excite kids of all ages and they even serve cocktails and wine for the adults too.
If you’d like to take the kids on an educational outing, the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is about an hour’s drive from Noosa Heads. You can go on nature walk in sub-tropical rainforest which is not too far for little kids and the Mountain View cafe is recommended for lunch.
The original Eumundi markets has been running for decades and is fabulous entertainment for just about anyone!
Australia Zoo is about an hour away and is a great experience if you like learning and being part of animal encounters.
Peregian Beach is a good day trip for a change of scenery; pristine beach and patrolled all year round. Peregian Square has some gorgeous boutiques and some cafes for a good bite to eat.