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Noosa National Park – beachcomber heaven

While the shores of Noosa Main Beach never lose their appeal, an alternative to this popular beach spot lies close by further out on the peninsular at Noosa National Park.

It’s worth knowing the car park here can be challenging and quickly fills up so consider walking from Noosa which has parking areas near the river. The walk from Noosa Main Beach is under 10 minutes and well worth the effort with fantastic views back to Noosa and along the way the almost hidden Little Cove before you arrive at the National Park. If you were lucky enough to find a spot then there are picnic tables and barbecues after you’ve explored the walks and beaches.

Keep an eye out for the wildlife near to the entrance of the park as you might just spot a friendly python near the tracks or a koala up in the eucalypts – the wildlife including a fantastic array of birds from honeyeaters to ospreys clearly love the seaside location just as much as humans. The first stop is Boiling Pot Lookout where the surging waves fill the rock pools and you get a great view of the beach and dunes across the estuary at Noosa Northshore.

 

The track rises and winds around the steep banks with glimpses of Tea Tree Beach and the glistening waves appearing through the trees. This is a great beach to make camp for the day with shady spots either set back from the rocky shelf on the western side or from the sandy beach on the eastern side. Find a patch of shade under a pandanus or casuarina tree to claim and take in the view and the fabulously fresh sea air. There are shallow rock pools to explore, sand for building castles, and the sea is calm and inviting or just sit back and watch the board riders picking up the point breaks off to the east.

From the beach the track winds and ascends to Dolphin Point Lookout. It’s well named and with a keen eye you can often spot pods of bottlenose dolphins not too far offshore as they transit around the peninsular. Come the winter migration season of the humpback whales, this is also one of the best spots for watching the pods of mighty whales heading north and then in spring you can see them on their return journey to the feeding waters of Antarctica.

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Image Credit: Paul Manias

Continuing along the Coastal Track, the pathway narrows as it hugs the edge of the high banks above Granite Bay. A separate path leads down to a patch of beach or if you prefer a secluded cove all to yourself and if you’re prepared to scramble down the rugged track then Winch Cove could be your picnic home for the day.

 

The nearby point is definitely worth exploring. Fairy Pools offers up the secrets of crystal clear rock pools that are deep enough to retain fish during the low tides and are home to anenomes, crabs and sea urchins. From Fairy Pools the grassy windswept cliff tops with the occasional pandanus make good viewing points for surveying the waters for more dolphins or just to watch the waves crashing against the rocky shores. Those waves get ever more dramatic just around the corner at Hell’s Gates. It’s a long drop down from the cliff edges here so caution is needed, especially with children, but the view can be spectacular as the waves drive deep into the gorge and send a plume of spray into the air.

 

The Tanglewood Track connects from here with the Coastal Track and to the south is a broad span of white sandy beach backed by bushland. Alexandria Bay isn’t accessible by road and not overlooked by buildings so it offers a real taste of wilderness shoreline, tucked away in the National Park. At the southern end of the beach is another headland and as if to flank Hell’s Gates, another gorge – Devil’s Kitchen – marks this second headland along with Cook’s Monument. The track winds around to the lookout above Sunshine Beach or you could head back to the start of the National Park retracing your steps or following one of several bushland tracks including part of the Tanglewood Track which offers a shortcut back to Granite Bay.

 

There is much to see and enjoy in Noosa National Park, whether it be for a swim at Tea Tree Bay or spending an adventure filled day exploring this special corner of the Sunshine Coast.

Location (Map)

Noosa National Park, Park Rd, Noosa Heads QLD 4567, Australia
BRISBANE’S STREET ART
Lady Elliot Island ~ where the reef begins

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