An absolute gem on the Sunshine Coast, Noosa Heads is one of Australia’s most frequently visited destinations by domestic and international visitors alike. Its charm, its eternal sunshine and its perfect balance of casual beach life with a sophisticated designer flair has kept people coming back for generations.
But there is much more beyond the iconic stretch of Hastings Street – and if you dare to venture beyond, you’ll discover just how much this unique beach town has to offer. From hinterland excursions to quirky eateries and more, you’re about to get the scoop on how to experience true Noosa living like a local.
Eat Like a Local
Situated in the slightly-less-crowded-but-buzzing-with-locals Noosa Junction, Village Bicycle serves up gourmet pub grub, fresh drinks and good tunes. Their Sunday Sesh is one of the best in town!
It’s technically in Tewantin, but since this Harbour Town eatery’s food is even better than its water views, it’s totally worth the extra walk.
Shop Like a Local
It’s only over the hill from Hastings Street, but it somehow makes you feel a million miles away from the crowds of tourists. And what this shopping district lacks in pricey designer stores, it makes up for in gorgeous boutiques. So if you’re looking to truly embrace the Noosa style, this is the place to shop!
Just a short bus ride along the coastal road, Coolum is another shopping hotspot not unlike Hastings Street, but again without the crowds. Here you’ll find a mixture of designer and boutique stores to take you into shoppers’ heaven.
Party Like a Local
Formerly known as Koala Bar, this lively bar was once the go-to for the on-site backpackers’ on Noosa Hill. The backpackers’ was taken over by a chain years ago, but the iconic KB’s Bar still remains. And don’t let the numerous backpackers throw you off – this bar has long been a favourite of locals and is often the place young Noosans begin their night out.
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Villa Noosa Hotel
By day the Villa is a favourite for pokie players and day drinkers, but by night it comes alive with various weekly themes, drink specials and more. It’s frequented by locals who have headed to Noosaville to avoid the tourist-ridden clubs, and it’s got plenty of bonus features like a generous beer garden, McDonald’s around the corner for post-clubbing snacks, and a courtesy bus to get you home safely.
Exercise Like a Local
Those who wake up early enough in the morning will notice, along with the surfers and retirees along the beach, people in their best activewear walking up a sweat. And they’re all headed in the same direction: up the hill towards Hell’s Gates. It’s approximately a 2.8km walk which is a good start to the day, and since it takes you right into the heart of the Noosa National Park, you might even spot a resident koala!
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If you prefer to walk at your own pace without the constant feeling of someone behind you, Sunshine Beach is filled with sandy walking tracks to keep your heart pumping and still give you that stunning natural Noosa experience. Just make sure to stick to the path, since this dense park could easily have you lost – and you wouldn’t want to accidentally end up at A-Bay, the infamous nude beach!
Enjoy a Weekend Like a Local
With a gorgeous hinterland setting, Montville feels like the opposite end of the world from the sophisticated beach town. But this quirky little village, with its quaint boutiques, iconic sweet shops and high-end dining, is a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the tourist town. Locals can often be seen enjoying a leisurely day strolling around and eating in Montville, and it’s definitely a town to visit at least once during your time in Noosa.
Hosting original musical acts in the Peregian Park, this free event captures the true spirit of Noosa – community, sea air and the laid back lifestyle. If you’re a fan of new tunes and good vibes, head over Peregian way on a Sunday afternoon to get amongst it.
Inspired to start planning your own trip? Head over to our Holidays page to see where we can take you!