This post was originally written in 2014, but has been updated in 2018 to include the latest info about visiting Noosa National Park
Noosa is one of the most popular holiday destinations in all of Queensland and Noosa National Park is the most visited National Park in the country with more than 1 million visits each year! It’s draw?
Warm weather all year round (the daily average rarely goes below 15 degrees, even in winter), great beaches with crystal clear blue waters, and the Noose National Park Walk. There are of fun activities around the Noose National Park with plenty of chances to spot Australia’s national animals, like koalas and kangaroos.
Noosa is a great stop for travelers exploring Australia on a Brisbane to Cairns road trip, but it also draws locals looking to get away from the city and get closer to nature. For many, Noosa is the perfect weekend getaway! And it was for us too!
Noosa National Park
Noosa National Park is divided into 4 sections: Headland Section, Peregian Section, Emu Mountain Section and the East Weyba Section. The Headland Section is by far the most popular and most picturesque one of them all, easily accessible from Hasting St, in the heart of Noosa.
There are over 15 kms of walking tracks to explore in the Headland section, each one ranging from 1km to 5.4kms in length. The Palm Grove circuit, Tanglewood track, the Noosa Hill track and the Alexandria Bay track are all inland tracks, running through the eucalyptus woodlands inside the park. The Noosa Coastal Walk is the only Noose National Park walk that follows the shoreline and, in our opinion, this track is what really sets this park apart from the rest..
We started our day at the Noosa National Park headquarters, just off Hastings Street, with a plan to follow the Noosa Coastal walk all the way around the Noosa Headland section of the park. The Noosa coastal walk, as you would imagine, is set along the coast, making for some beautiful views along the way. There are a number of lookouts and bays to keep an eye out for along the way. Each one gives you a different view and a new perspective on the seascapes around you.
There are a few beaches along the track, like the Noosa Main Beach or the Tea Tree Bay Beach, each one tempting you to quit the walk and sprawl out under the sun, alongside hundreds of other vacationers. Tea Tree Bay is certainly less busy, but the further you walk, the less crowded the beaches get. That’s the payoff for all your hard work!
By the time we got to Alexandria Bay, about halfway through the Coastal Track, we were hot, sweaty, and tired. It was time to press the pause button.
Luckily, Alexandria Bay beach is a perfect place for that. It’s grand, it’s picturesque, it’s quiet, and it’s full of… naked people! Yes…naked people! Alexandria Bay is Queensland’s most popular unofficial nudist beach, that has been used for nude swimming and nude sunbathing for years. Apparently, there is even a nude beach carnival that takes place here every year in March, attracting hundreds of nudists to Alexandria Bay beach.
The thing about Alexandria Bay beach is that no one warns you about its little hidden secret. There are no signs on the map saying, take note “nudist beach ahead”. Not that we have anything against naked people. We think being naked on a beach is awesome and we secretly wish we had the guts to bare it all in front of strangers, but we don’t.
And being clothed on a nudist beach is maybe even more uncomfortable than being naked. Luckily, this wasn’t our first time on Alexandria Bay beach, so we was mentally prepared for the … erm… sights.
Most of the nudists gravitate towards the Southern end of the beach, away from the curious observers. We discovered them by complete fluke last year during our first visit to the Noosa beach Australia.
During subsequent visits, we felt a bit more relaxed about it. Maybe it was because we knew what to expect, or maybe because we just didn’t care. There were plenty of nudists roaming around Alexandria beach, but to my surprise, there were quite a few “regular” sunbathers, enjoying this secluded beach in bikinis. Feeling less pressure to strip down, we found a great spot to call our own for a few hours.
The water was chilly but so clear! There were no children running around the beach, no loud conversations… it was and quiet and it was EXACTLY what we wanted!
After a few naps under the sun, we were re-energized and ready to carry on with our walk. Instead of taking the same Noosa Coastal Walk back to Noosa Heads, we decided to explore the inland tracks, following Alexandria Bay track which eventually turned into Tanglewood Track.
Going through the shaded forest was the perfect way to cool off after a few hours in the sun. The track was easy and after a few questionable turns (literally), we found our way back to the park headquarters, 5-odd hours from when we departed.
There were 3 other tracks in the Emu Mountain/Peregian section of Noosa National Park, but we opted to check out some shops instead of embarking on another trek. And I don’t regret it. There is more to Noosa than the National Park with its treks and beaches.
From Peregian, Noosa Marina and Farmers Markets, water activities like kayaking, paddle boarding and surfing, whale watching, BBQs and beautiful sunsets over Noosa River, today spas and great restaurants, Noosa National Park is sure to please the fussiest traveler!
Essential Travel Information for Exploring Noosa National Park
When to Go
Noosa National Park is a great destination all year round, although it does get chilly in the winter months from May to August. Keep in mind that the main attraction here is the Noosa National Park Walks, so too hot or too wet can make it less than enjoyable!
Noosa is located a 2 hours drive north from Brisbane. Greyhound buses also stop in Noosa along the Cairns/Brisbane route. Getting around Noosa is best done on foot, although Translink buses or taxis are also available for longer journeys.
Where to Stay
Noosa has plenty of accommodation options for travelers to rest their weary legs after trekking along a Noosa National Park walk. Ranging from luxury hotels to cheap backpacker hostels, prices start at $30-40 AUD per person for dorm rooms and go up all the way to $500+ AUD for luxury resorts. On average, a $50-70 AUD per person budget will get you a great guest house/bungalow/hotel. For travelers who prefer a home-away-from-home feel, there are numerous Airbnb options in the surrounding area.
If you are new to Airbnb, sign up today and receive $35USD off your first stay!
If you are on your way from Brisbane to Noosa and looking for the perfect rest stop, then check out the Glass House Mountain Eco-Lodge. The lodge is Eco-Certified and has a set of green principles to minimize any negative impact on the environment.
Or, if you fancy a little eco-chic then head to Beach Road Holiday Homes. Located just 13km from Noosa National Park, this bushland forest resort perfectly combines luxury and sustainability. They focus on creating a laid back atmosphere which emphasizes the unique natural environment.
There are also sustainable camping options in Noosa, such as the Everglades eco camp, Habitat Noosa. They have a range of cabins, tents and glamping options boasting over 500m of beachfront on the Noosa River. It’s also a great base to embark on one of the Noosa Everglades kayak day tours.
Where to Next
A popular getaway from Noosa is to Fraser Island, with many tours starting from there. You can enjoy a 2-day Fraser Island tour in a 4 wheel drive and really get to explore the island in style. Although if you are planning to head up to Fraser from Noosa, consider reading our post on Fraser Island Tours first. An organized tour to Fraser Island may not be for you.
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