We got up bright and early to depart from Airlie beach to the Whitsunday airport - a very tiny and tropical building with only one gate. The flight was right on time, passed quickly, and in just over an hour we landed in Brisbane. We found our luggage right away, including Tyler\'s guitar, had a quick lunch, and got a shuttle bus to Noosa.
Our bus drove slowly along the Sunshine Coast and arrived in Noosa around 3:30pm - just enough time to stroll slowly down the beach, check out the town and settle down for the most amazing dinner we've had since we've been here, at a lovely little place called Le Monde.
Tyler had oysters, then a seafood pasta, and I had the chicken parmigiana. It was SO GOOD. In fact, you can't go wrong with any of the restaurants here, as we quickly found out!
When I was planning this trip, I asked people who'd been to Australia for suggestions and my friend (and former coworker) Steve suggested Noosa. He'd liked it so much on his trip to Australia, that he named his dog after the town with the sweeping ocean views, friendly people, and surfing. Tyler and I quickly understood why.
The next couple of days passed in a sun-baked haze of endless walks on the beach, reading on the sand, wading through foamy waves of water lapping at the shore, ice cream at sunset, wandering along Hastings Street, lots of delicious meals and second drinks. I'd originally wanted to book a trip to Fraser Island to take up one of our days in the area, but we decided we'd rather enjoy Noosa instead.
On our first morning there, we checked out Main beach, just steps away from our hotel, enjoying an early cappuccino and breakfast in a cafe right on the beach, and watching the dedicated surfers paddling out as the sun came up. We walked down the pier and back, up and down, through the sand and then the water, and relaxed on the beach, eating smoked salmon and turkey/avocado baguettes some time in the afternoon. We picked up sushi and wine and cheese for a dinner in, tired out after lazing around in the sun all day.
Also - we finally saw a Kookaburra! Laughing Kookaburras, to be exact - they sound so funny, like a monkey almost, going ooh ohh ohh ah ha ha ha! They are so loud and funny sounding. We could hear them often first thing in the morning outside the window.
On our second day there, we got up early to took a long walk through the Noosa National Park, following the coastal track along the water. It meandered through open woodlands in some places, showing beautiful views of the sparkling ocean, and wound into a dirt path littered with rocks and sand. We went past Tea Tree Bay first, and the view was incredible.
We walked on and on (the entire walk was 5 and a half km) and while the track was narrow in some places, it was nice to walk single file, in companionable silence, the morning air punctuated by birdsong and the rhythm of the waves crashing below. We reached Hell's Gates, which seems a weird name for a place of such beauty, but who knows. The "gates" are two large rock formations below in a cove.
We kept going to Alexandria Bay - a lovely little secluded spot with incredible high waves and warnings against swimming or surfing because of the unpredictable water. I took my shoes off and walked through the sand, thinking we should come back and hang out on the beach once our walk was over - thinking it was funny that it seemed so private and not busy with people, but it was a bit out of the way - then watched an older man, completely naked, wander through the surf down the beach. Looking around, I spotted a nude couple sitting on a rock, posing for a photo, and then a few others, sunbathing, with nothing on. Funny, the National park brochure never mentioned that part!!
(no photo...you can thank me later)
After leaving Alexandria Bay, we scrambled up some rocks and took a break, watching the waves for awhile at the Blowhole (also called Roaring Cave - the waves sounded like thunder as they came in here). The rocks were smooth, with an orangey tinge, and had interesting grooves and holes worn in them that were nice to look at but a bit tough to climb over!
Then we walked up and up and across the trail, pushing through vines and tree branches, scrambling over loose pebbles on the barely worn dirt path, until we finally reached Sunshine Beach - our destination!
The walk took about 3 hours and we were pretty hot, so we kept going down the beach til we found a place to eat - the Sunshine Beach surf club! The view was lovely, and the breeze off the ocean helped cool us off. Even through the walk was great, we took the bus home to squeeze in a bit more beach time on the Main Beach for our last day.
Noosa was simply beautiful - the sun, the food, but I also really liked the pace. I didn't wear a watch, didn't check my email or the computer even once, had no cell phone - just the two of us living leisurely and enjoying it completely for a few days!