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23 things to do in Noosa and surrounds

From beach holidays with the family to weekend getaways with mates, Noosa is the spot for sun and adventure.

The Sunshine Coast is a magnet for holidaymakers and sun worshippers and one of the most idyllic towns for every traveller in the area is Noosa. Beach, cliff face, lakes, rivers and national parks, whichever calls to you, Noosa has it within reach.

Need some inspiration to fill your travel itinerary? Read on to see what you and your lot can get up to during your stay. If you're on a budget, check out our top free things to do while in Noosa.


Visit Fraser Island or Double Island Point

Take the 4WD route along the beach to explore the beaches and bush of Double Island Point. Located in Great Sandy National Park, this conservation area overs an escape from the busy beaches and resorts of the Sunshine Coast. Or, ferry over to the unspoiled Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island, for incredible coastal views, the pristine Lake Mackenzie and more.

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Learn to surf or paddleboard

Don a wetsuit and hop into the sea and learn how to ride the waves. Choose from short or multi-day lessons and give surfing a good hard go. Not a big fan of waves? Opt to paddleboard on the calm waters of the lagoon.

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Get to know Australian wildlife

With Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo and UnderWater World both nearby, you don’t have to go far to see animals like cuddly koalas and slippery seals.

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Spot sea life in its natural habitat (dolphin kayaking, whale watching etc.)

Hop on a boat or get in a kayak and explore the waters off the coast of Noosa for a chance to see dolphins, turtles and other sealife. If you’re around in August through November, which is whale watching season, you’ll even have the chance to spot humpbacks off the shore.

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Explore the Noosa everglades and Noosa Biosphere Reserve

Best explored by kayak, these wetlands are one of just two everglades in the world (the other being in Florida). See local birds, like pelicans and eagles, and unique flora while paddling through the waters.

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Shop until you drop

With food stands, local wares and unique crafts on offer, you don’t want to miss the Sunshine Coast area’s markets. Eumundi is the most popular one for tourists, but Noosa also hosts a farmers market and a Sunday market at the marina.

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Glass House mountains and the Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Only about an hour from Noosa, the Glass House Mountains are actually old-but-dormant volcanoes that rise up from the relatively flat surrounding landscape. They provide a paradise for hikers, with various tracks to be found throughout the national park.

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Top 6 things to do for free in Noosa

  • Spend a family fun day at the beach. Choose between Noosa Main Beach, Noosa Groyne, Noosa Spit, Sunshine Beach, Sunrise Beach, Castaways Beach, Marcus Beach and Coolum Beach – to name a few!
  • Walk through Noosa National Park. The park consists of five tracks of varying difficulties and includes coastal tracks where you can spot dolphins and whales.
  • Catch a sunset over Laguna Lookout. It’s a 15-minute walk from Viewland Drive in Noosa Heads and offers stellar views of Noosa.
  • Stroll down the main Hastings Street to soak up the local atmosphere and grab a bite in between activities.
  • Shop the local farmers market for fresh produce to serve with your barbecue lunch (see below).
  • Go fishing and then have a barbecue on the beach with your catch of the day!

What to do in Noosa during wet season

Raining in Noosa? Don’t let it dampen your holiday. While a beach break will probably be off the table when the rain comes down, these activities won’t be:

  • Go art gallery jumping.
  • Pay a visit to Australia Zoo. The zoo never closes and there are heaps of indoor enclosures to gaze on.
  • Go to the movies, ten pin bowling, roller skating or laser tagging. Wherever you are, these fun family activities are always winners in a kids’ eyes.
  • Hit up UnderWater World. Might sound ironic considering it’s raining out there but the marine life in the water don’t know that!
  • Have a playdate at Top Shots Fun Park. It has mini golf, bump boats, a climbing wall and the largest video arcade on the Sunshine Coast.
  • Go on a cruise along the Noosa Everglades and spot wildlife as it thrives in the wet weather.
  • Have a barbecue on the beach. No, seriously. The barbecue area is covered so you can still cook up a storm even when a storm is brewing outside.
  • Go on a coach tour. Stay nice and toasty in your coach while still enjoying full commentary of your surroundings.
  • Go fishing. Rain is one of the best ways to draw fish out of the water so whack on that raincoat and get out there!

Top Noosa and Sunshine Coast travel deals

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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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