It’s the end of May and summer should have moved on months ago. Someone must have forgotten to inform the warmth to make way for Autumn on the Sunshine Coast this season as summer is still very much alive and well.
Over the next few weeks as we slowly wind down “our lap” and continue our journey south down the east-coast, crisscrossing the Great Dividing Range in northern New South Wales, the inevitable chill of winter will ultimately hit us. We’re imagining this change will be quite a shock to all of our systems as the last 10.5 months has been spent trying to avoid the heat in most places around Australia in a year now officially classified as the hottest on record. In case you are new to our blog or may have missed some of the “warmer spots” we’ve visited in our earlier posts of the trip, click; here, here and here for a little re-cap.
As of now though, it’s all about the seemingly endless summer we experienced in Noosa, the multiple visits we enjoyed to the Noosa National Park, the shenanigans the boys got up to at Noosa Heads, the lovely catchups we had with friends, and a couple of other culinary indulgences we sought in this beautiful part of the world. Yes, it sure was time for a little holiday and letting our hair down a little on our trip.
And it all started when we pulled into the Discovery Caravan park in Tewantin, a neighbouring suburb of Noosa. It’s a smaller campground and vans of our size can be a tight squeeze on the postage stamp spots in this park. We found out it can be noisy too. Road noise from the surrounding area at times can be heard throughout the night and we also had a few rowdy people staying in the park making our stay, well …colourful. The park also positioned us next to a central walking path that divides the campground which leads to/from the ablution block. After a few days of all of this we decided pack up and move 15 minutes down the road to the Noosa River Caravan park situated at Munna Point on the Noosa Rover.
This is a park we originally wished to stay in when we first arrived however it was fully booked at the time. It’s also a busy park and the sites are larger and situated on the Noosa River. The people who frequent the park were friendly, approachable and sociable. It was also walking distance to numerous restaurants at Noosaville, and you are only a few minutes drive from the entrance to the beautiful Noosa National Park – the main focus of our stay in Noosa.
The Noosa National Park is split into one of four sections; Headland, Peregian, Emu Mountain and the East Weyba Sections.
We ended up spending most of our time in the Headlands section of the park over four separate visits – each time the park showing a slightly different side to the previous day. Before our first visit and going from the research we had done on the park we were surprised to learn Noosa NP has the largest number of visitors compared to any other national park in Australia. As you approach the main National Park car park (not too far from the cafes of Hastings street precinct) immediately it strikes you as to how popular this park is.
Our initial walks were around the coastal fringes up to Hells Gate and to the northern tip of Sunshine Beach on the headland. The views along the pathway out over Laguna Bay and back towards the mouth of the Noosa River are magic, with the soothing sounds of gentle rolling surf and the many wonderful burbles of local birdlife all around. And it was here also where there are numerous sheltered bays and jagged granite outcrops on some points, some of which harbour azure coloured pools such as lower Fairy Pools.
Fairy pool is accessed by scrambling down rocks from a nondescript lookout on the point at the far eastern end of Granite Bay once you passed Picnic Cove. This pool is best accessed mid to low tide &/or when a gentle swell is occurring and bring some googles to check out the tropical fish that live in these pools. We visited this location twice and each time was a balmy 26Deg with little breeze …an endless summer indeed.
Continuing East beyond the Fairy Pools – then tending more towards the south, you come to the Hells Gate section of the park. This section faces directly out to the Pacific ocean atop 50M high granite cliffs and where a chance at certain times of year to spot whales. We did not see any whales (wrong time of the season) however we did watch several Loggerhead Turtles from the cliff edges feeding amongst the weed in the turbulent waters below us. It was at this point we decided not to go any further east due to a known nudist beach a little way along.
We could go on and wax lyrical about all the many things we did in the park and why you too should visit when in the area. However, we thought …let’s just insert a few images we shot in our numerous visits and allow them to speak for themselves, because as the old idiom goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”.
Stand up boards are ever popular these days and here at Tea Tree Bay (image above) we saw a dozen or so people using them on each visit. To the left of image is Tea Tree Bay Beach which is also home to several known Koalas in the eucalypts behind the beach. We spotted one Koala very high up doing what Koalas do best …sleep!