The laid-back resort town is a magnet for families seeking a respite from the chill.
￼Check in to Seahaven Noosa, a 68-room apartment-style resort that offers beachfront access, three pools and a barbecue area. The modern two-bedroom apartments are light and airy with views over Laguna Bay and the glorious pandanus trees that line the beach. If you’re feeling flush, each of the four penthouse apartments comes complete with a spa on the rooftop terrace.
Grab an early dinner at Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co., where the tunes are retro and the burgers range from classic Angus beef to slow-cooked pork belly. The kids can finish the meal off with a Concrete (custard ice-cream with accompaniments), while the adults can have another glass of pinot gris.
￼The window seats at Season Restaurant offer a spot in the sun and a silent admonition that perhaps you, too, should be jogging along the beach path. No matter. There are buttermilk pancakes to be devoured (kids) and sautéed mushrooms with poached eggs and a Merlo coffee to be indulged in (adults).
Noosa is famous for its stretch of fine white sand but its river offers another glimpse of local Queensland life. The Noosa Ferry Cruise Company offers a hop-on-hop-off service between Noosa Heads and Tewantin. Captain Jono shares real-estate prices (up to $6 million along the river), restaurant tips and the chance for kids to pull on the boat’s whistle.
Get off at Stop 2, the Noosa Yacht & Rowing Club, for a sailing lesson. In one hour, kids will discover the basics and get out on the river with an instructor. Smaller kids will love pottering about on the foreshore (mind the ducks) and there’s a pirate playground next to the yacht club.
Noosaville’s homewares stores provide a diversion on the way to a late lunch at Thomas Corner Eatery, a fine-diner on the main drag that has a deck overlooking the river and a kids’ menu. Chef David Rayner (ex Berardo’s in Noosa) concentrates on local produce so your meal may include salmon ceviche with finger limes from the Scenic Rim or risotto featuring Noosa mushrooms.
￼If you’ve got a rental car (try Noosa Car Rentals), wind your way back to the airport via Peregian Beach, a seaside hamlet just 15 minutes south of Noosa Heads. If you happen to be there on the first or second Sunday of the month, there’s a market to meander about. Pitchfork Restaurant is on the corner of the village square. Locals Kim and Craig Galea opened the breezy restaurant in 2010. Their attention to detail is evident in the food – they have gluten-free and vegetarian menus – and the baked goat’s cheese is so popular that locals riot if it’s taken off the menu. The quality of the produce extends to the children’s menu; on the day we visited, the kids’ grilled fish was gold band snapper.