The Noosa region offers everything from fine dining to the finest hit of nature.

Less than three hours north of the glitzy Gold Coast, the Noosa region moves at a more relaxed pace. Balmy weather makes it a popular getaway at any time but a mid-year visit promises plenty of winter sun and lots to do at the 10-day arts festival, Noosa Alive! (19-28 July; ). Like everything in this coastal hotspot, the program is loose enough to allow for daily ocean swims, scenic hikes and laid-back seaside dining.

Sleep next to nature

Five minutes walk from Peregian Beach is Essence, a gated complex of 20 three-, four- and five-bedroom coastal-chic holiday homes (two with private plunge pools), plus hotel-style accommodation. Bring the family – two heated magnesium pools will keep the kids happy and the light-filled stays all have fenced yards. Or for a solo escape, book a spacious studio room and watch the sunset from the hanging egg chair on your balcony.

Taste the region

Wander over to The Village at Peregian Beach, where you’ll find Pitchfork Restaurant. After living and working in Ghana, Kazakhstan and Nigeria, the affable hosts, Matt and Deborah Spencer, chose to “slow down” and move back to Australia to run the place. Join the locals at lunchtime for fresh, seasonal offerings (try the grilled locally caught octopus with hummus and pomegranate) and a cocktail in the afternoon sun.

For dinner, drive 15 minutes north to Noosaville’s Lánai for dishes made with regional, sustainable produce and a clever drinks list – order a delicious Paloma cocktail with Los Arcos Destilado de Agave, cinnamon myrtle agave and housemade grapefruit soda. Don’t miss the Mooloolaba prawns served in a pool of garlic chilli butter, with charred bread to mop it up.

Follow the trail

Craft beer fans take note: there are at least seven breweries in and around Noosa. Take your pick on a self-guided experience or tick four off your list (and one of three boutique distilleries) on a private expedition with Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Tours. Happy to kick back in town? Drop into the Heads of Noosa Taproom in Noosaville for a Japanese Style Lager, made with Australian barley and rice.

Heads up!

The headland section of Noosa National Park is one of the most popular walks in Queensland, with gorgeous vistas. The full coastal trail is 10.8 kilometres return and takes about four hours. But it’s only 300 (pram-friendly) metres one way to the first headland, Boiling Pot, and views from the North Shore to Tea Tree Bay and out to the Pacific. Wherever you are in the park, look up – koalas are regularly spotted in the canopy.

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SEE ALSO: The Most Amazing Beaches on the Sunshine Coast

Image credits: Tourism and Events Queensland

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