St Augustin

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.
Who lives sees much, who travels sees more.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Let's Go Noosa! Part 4, Final chapter.

There is no shortage of places to stay in or around Noosa.


From upmarket resorts to houseboats to campsites to rainforest retreats, there is a huge range of accommodation.

Check out: Tourism Noosa for choices.

Accommodation along the beachfront in Hastings Street is heavenly, but the prices can be hellish. Here is a sample:

La Mer, Hastings Street, on the beach

• The up-market ‘La Mer’ charges from AU$500 nightly, to AU$8,000 weekly.

• Noosa Village Motel, has rooms from AU$150 per night for 3 people, to AU$265 per night for 4 – 6 guests.

For a budget option, try the Noosa Tewantin Caravan Park, which offers deluxe villas for AU$103 – 137 per night, or 1 bed villas for AU$88 -116 per night, powered tent sites AU$29 per night. The bushy setting on the river makes it a wildlife sanctuary.


Hastings Street is Queensland's most famous ‘eat street’ and foodie destination. There are over 170 restaurants with a vast range of cuisines. Try hinterland country pubs, casual street dining or surf clubs with fantastic views. All use fresh local produce and most are open 7 days.

On Hastings Street:

berados on the beach

• berados, owned by Noosa icon and American ex-pat Jim Berado. Excellent week night specials. Tel: +61 7 54475666.

• Noosa Heads Surf Club has the best views of Main Beach. Recently renovated and looking amazing. Dine on the deck day or night for a visual feast. Loads of fresh seafood too!

Tel: +61 7 54745688

Noosa Heads:

• Reef Hotel. Kid friendly ‘Reef Ranger Room.’ Great meals, reasonable prices, just up the hill from Hastings Street. Tel: +61 7 54474477

Check out Noosa Restaurant’s for many more choices.


Hastings Street is gorgeous and its shops are original and interesting. It may be Noosa’s glam fashion strip, but for that Great Outdoors holiday you’ll find locally-designed beach gear and world-renowned classic surf boards. There are many galleries in and near to Hastings Street where you can learn about contemporary tribal life. The Putipula Gallery in Noosa Junction has artwork sourced from remote community-based aboriginal artists.

Markets are a great way to soak up local culture, taste test local products, and see artists at work. Visit the local, hinterland or seaside markets. The Noosa Farmers’ Market is held every Sunday morning at the AFL grounds, Weyba Creek.

Pitipula Gallery - Tel: +61 7 5449 2511.


There are plenty of ATMs and credit cards are accepted nearly everywhere. Except for Hastings Street restaurants, Australians generally do not expect tips.


Noosa's climate, active community and gorgeous scenery make it a perfect setting for events. There are festivals of Surfing, Food, Wine, Jazz, and the famous Noosa Triathlon, the 3rd largest in the world. Plan your trip around an event you’d enjoy.


Tourism Noosa’s website for comprehensive information for planning your Noosa holiday. Tourism Noosa Information Centre is located in the centre of Hastings Street.

Tel: within Australia: 1800 002 624 or 07 5430 5000

Tel: outside Australia: +61 7 5430 5000

So jump on that plane. The Noosa tribe is waiting. Maybe you’ll follow in the footsteps of David ‘Wandi’ Bracefell. He escaped to Noosa four times!


Monday, August 16, 2010

Let's Go Noosa! Part 3 - Noosa National Park, Australia Zoo and more...

Surfers heading into Noosa National Park to catch some waves at the Bay


Noosa National Park is a short walk from Hastings Street. Families surf here all year round watched by the occasional koala, bush turkey, goanna or wallaby. Hire boards (some accommodation provides them free) and walk to the bays and coves of the rocky headland. You will meet locals like Jim, Quinn and James who eat breakfast every Sunday at the entrance to the park after a morning surfing their favourite spot, Tea Tree Bay. They told me that First Point has a perfect long-board break that, on a small to medium sized swell, dishes up long, peeling waves. Further round the headland, protected coves and bays offer great surfing, but if you and your family are novices, stick to Noosa’s Main Beach or try the latest, Paddle Surfing.

Note: Patrolled swimming areas

Always swim between the red and yellow flags. Lifeguards patrol the main beaches only. NO FLAGS = NO SWIMMING.


Pray before you surf
Great Sandy National Park and Fraser Island

An unforgettable family tour is to the Great Sandy National Park which stretches for 37 miles from north of Noosa to Rainbow Beach. It offers easy 4WD access to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island with its pristine rainforests, clear blue lakes and lagoons and long, sweeping beaches covered in dazzling white sand. Pure-bred russet-coloured Fraser Island dingoes prowl the bush and beach, foraging for tucker.

Fraser Island’s original inhabitants

The Butchulla tribe inhabited Fraser Island before a shipwreck in 1836 brought a white man and woman, Captain James and Eliza Fraser. The Butchulla cared for the castaways on the island they called K’gari (Paradise), but by the late 1930s sadly they had been cast out of paradise.

Getting there

Access the Great Sandy National Park via North Shore, located between the Noosa River and the Pacific Ocean. You need a boat or put your vehicle on the regular motor vehicle ferry from Tewantin, a few minutes from Noosa. At North Shore there’s camping, fishing, horse or camel riding, the lakes and the Everglades to explore.

Tel: +61 7 54490393 for tour information.

Terri, Bindy and critters at Australia Zoo
Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo, home of Crocodile Hunter, the late Steve Irwin, is 27 miles south of Noosa. It can be the wildest show on earth, with risky wildlife action, crocodile feeding, and encounters with gorgeous animals. Behind the antics there is a strong message of wildlife conservation and care.

Entry: AU$54 adult, AU$32 child, or a family ticket of AU$161.

Tel: Local: 07 5436 2000

Tel: Overseas: +61 7 54948604

Australia Zoo - Whale Watching

Steve’s Whale One Whale Encounters leaves from the Wharf, Mooloolaba. An adrenaline-inducing day of whale watching on a luxury cruiser with a great lunch costs a family AU$320, a single adult AU$125.

Tel: 1300CRIKEY.

Ettamogga Pub and Aussie World

Fair Dinkum Aussies arriving at Aussie World for a day of Down Under fun

Ettamogah Pub is 24 miles south of Noosa. You will be charmed by its quirky shape and caricature appearance and while you’re there, tuck into a huge fair dinkum Aussie family meal in Bluey’s Bar and Grill.

A Fair Dinkum Aussie history lesson

The word ‘ettamogah’ is Aboriginal for ‘place of good drink.’ The original creator of the Ettamogah Pub, cartoonist Ken Maynard, started drawing the Pub in 1959. The real life Ettamogah Pub was built in 1989, using trees cleared from the site. Pictures of the original cartoons hang around the walls alongside other eclectic displays of Australiana.
Ettamogga Pub, from comic book to reality

Check out the 1927 Chevy truck on top of the bright red roof of the Pub. It stands an impressive 59 feet high. In the cartoon the theory is the truck was washed up there in Australia’s mighty flood of 1946 and no-one bothered to get it down.

Aussie World family fun-park is located behind the Ettamogah Pub and has over thirty rides and games for children and big kids. There are great gift stores with a huge display of aboriginal souvenirs and artefacts.

Entry, free, but you buy tickets to the rides. For AU$80 a family has entry to all rides all day.

Tel: +61 7 54945444


Eumundi Markets, centre of fresh produce
Eumundi Markets

Every Wednesday and Saturday this former timber and railway town close to Noosa becomes a bustling marketplace under the shade of massive ancient fig trees. These trees were planted in memory of local boys who died in the Great War. Over 500 stalls sell local hand-crafted goods. Check out local artwork. Taste test pungent ginger beer. Try local organic coffee and snacks while listening to buskers and entertainers playing didgeridoos, world music, Australian country and western tunes or tribal rhythms. Australian culture at its most relaxed.

Didgeridoo player

Friday, August 6, 2010

Let's Go Noosa, Part 2

Continuing my travel article about Noosa, on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. See previous blog post for Part 1.

Noosa's Main Beach seen from the walk to the National Park

‘Queensland. Beautiful one day. Perfect the next.’ Sub-tropical, Noosa enjoys a mild climate all year round, so come any time. The average annual temperature is 77 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for year-round outdoor activities. The maximum temperature in Noosa rarely drops below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, even in winter. However, you can melt in high summer (mid December to February), so use 30+ sunscreen when outdoors, very sexy, even the lifeguards are wearing it!

Indicative seasons:
Low season: early April to mid September (may exclude school holidays)
Shoulder season: early October to early December and mid January to late March
High season or holiday season: mid December to mid January and late March to early April


By Air
Brisbane Airport is Queensland’s domestic and international gateway, but some flights from overseas and most Australian capital cities use Sunshine Coast Airport at Maroochydore, a 30 minute drive to Noosa. Try Virgin Blue, Jetstar and Tiger Airways.

Taxis and buses are available for transfers to Noosa from the airports.

By Road
Noosa is an easy 1½ hour drive north of Brisbane along the M1 Motorway. Car hire readily available at the Airport.

By Bus
Greyhound Australia operates an extensive bus network around Australia, with Noosa a regular stop.

Getting Around
You can easily walk around Noosa, or you can hire wheels of any sort - bike, moke, scooter, car. Sunbus runs free shuttle buses during peak holiday periods such as Easter, Christmas and during special events.

Try Noosa Ferry Cruise Company’s one hour sunset cruise (bookings essential). Full price is AU$19.50. You can bring your own drinks, glasses and ice provided. Sunset at the river entrance is spectacular.

Tel Sunbus: 131230.

Noosa Ferries - Tel: +61 7 54498442.


Surf’s Up!

Definitely Noosa’s beaches, especially the iconic Main Beach, very safe for even the smallest children and popular for its gentle waves. Ever since surfing was introduced to Noosa by Hayden Kenny on surfing safari in the 1960s, Noosa has been a surfing mecca. If you want to learn how, try Merrick’s Noosa Learn to Surf run by a former World Pro-Am surfing champ.
Tel: Mobile 0418787577

Monday, August 2, 2010

Let's Go Noosa! First of a series on beautiful Noosa, on Queensland's Sunshine Coast


Family Adventure in the Great Outdoors

In the 1800s, convict David ‘Wandi’ Bracefell escaped from Moreton Bay penal colony near Brisbane and ran away to Noosa to join the local Aboriginal tribe, the Ka'bi Ka'bi people. Ever since, Noosa has attracted escapees eager to join the modern tribe living an idyllic beachside lifestyle.


Australia is one laidback country, and Noosa, the glamour-puss of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, is one laidback destination. Noosa has been dismissed by some as a holiday playground for the rich and famous, but determined environmental management and sustainability policies have been recognised by UNESCO and Noosa now enjoys Biosphere status. This will further protect this beautiful area where the emphasis is on maintaining the balance between people and the natural environment. What better Australian destination to enjoy the great outdoors?

Noosa is a small beachside town (thanks to a population cap) at the northern end of the Sunshine Coast, 160 kilometres (100 miles) from the capital, Brisbane. Her leafy centre is Hastings Street, with its rustic boardwalk skimming the golden sands of Main Beach where people come to surf, eat, drink, meet, stay.

The Great Outdoors

Life in Noosa is best enjoyed outdoors, so relax, shed your suits and schedules and enjoy the healthy lifestyle. Pitch your tent right on the pristine Noosa River and hook your own tasty fish. Jump on board a whale watching boat, kick a ball on the beach, surf the waves, explore the bush, ride the waterways, and make sure you 4WD through the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island.

There are funky theme parks for the kids like Australia Zoo or Aussie World, places to get warm and fuzzy with native Australian animals or to swim with sharks, seals or dolphins.

The Original Nomads

Noosa’s outdoor lifestyle could be a direct result of the nomadic lifestyle of the area’s indigenous people who inhabited the pristine beaches, waterways and rich sub-tropical rainforests long before the white man arrived in the 1800s and slowly and methodically forced them further inland. Noosa and the lands as far as Fraser Island belonged to the Ka'bi Ka'bi tribe, and many of their tracks became the white man’s roads, favourite spots where they caught dugongs and turtles are now fished by locals, the bush animals that they hunted are now photo opportunities.