We drove round to Noosa on the beach road passing by the delightful Coolum, Peregian and Sunrise Beaches. The name Noosa comes from the Aboriginal word meaning “shade” or “shadows”, probably a reference to the respite from the sun offered by the tall forests in the area. The Aboriginal Kabi tribe had been visiting Noosa for 40,000 years before Europeans first arrived in the 1800s.
The first visitor was an escaped convict, David Bracefell who habitually escaped his bondage at Moreton Bay to trek north to Noosa. Later, Andrew Petrie and Henry Russell came in search of timber and sheep grazing country. Afterwards in 19th century, the prospect of finding gold at nearby Gympie attracted many new settlers and Noosa started to find its feet as a holiday destination.
Arguably Noosa’s most valuable natural asset, Noosa National Park, had its beginnings in 1879 when the untouched green tract of forest on the Headland was declared the Town Reserve. In 1930 the preserved land was gazetted as a National Park, ensuring its protection into the future.
Today Noosa is a humming little cosmopolitan coastal town with innumerable places to stay, things to do and plenty of lovely shops and restaurants which we wandered around at our leisure, along with the beach and Park.
But there’s so much more to Noosa than just fabulous beaches. It’s Queensland’s first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. More than 35% of the region is protected, providing a safe haven for 44% of Australia’s birds and over 700 species of native animals. This includes the Noosa Everglades, one of only two Everglades systems in the world, and (allegedly) the only one you can swim in!
My beloved had drunk a craft beer from nearby Eumundi at lunchtime prompting a quick diversion there on the way back to Mooloolaba. It’s about 15km (10 miles) inland from Noosa on the Bruce Highway and is well-known for its artisan markets largely because it’s such a vibrant cultural hub.
I confess this is one area where we’d both have loved to spend more time – next time!