Noosa is well known for its sunny settings and cuisine scene, clear waters and surfing spots. It’s not surprising that water-based activities are big on the list of things to do in Noosa. Whether you’re learning how to hang ten at one of the many surf schools, taking a leisurely cruise on the local ferry, or paddling your way across a wilderness lake, you can soak up the water views in a variety of ways. Here are eight Noosa things to do on the water.
1- SURFING (and, ahem, Surf Dancing)
Ever since the 1950s, when Noosa Heads appeared on the tourist maps, surfing was the big thing here.
Little has changed. So grab a board and learn how to ‘pop up’ and err, carve. Beginners can start on simple rollers on the main beach and Noosa Spit, while the more experienced can tackle the bigger breaks around the headland, especially at nearby Sunshine Beach.
Many learn-to-surf operators are based out of Noosa. Merrick’s Noosa Learn to Surf and Go Ride a Wave offer packages and multi-day courses.
Surfers take note: You might know how to ride a wave, but don’t think you need to skip over this entry. Experienced surfers can perfect their moves surf dancing. That’s right: performing dance and acrobatic movements while on a wave!
2- SUP in Noosa
SUP: It may be the lazy way of saying “stand-up paddling”, but the actual activity is anything but lax.
This all-over-core-strengthening activity has come and gone from some coastal resorts, but is not just a fad in Noosa. And why should it be?
Conditions are perfect here. Beginners can practice on the many kilometres of Noosa River while others can opt for calm ocean conditions beyond wave breaks, catching the perfect roller when you’ve got the hang of it.
Try Noosa Stand Up Paddle and Adventure Sports Kite Surf Australia.
3- Electronic boats in Noosa
These small electric boats are among the greenest and quietest way – as far as machines go – of enjoying the Noosa River (we’re not keen on jet skis). Known as “Duffy” boats, you can rent these nifty little barges for around $25 per person for several hours. It’s a DIY (do-it-yourself) exercise, though a short safety briefing is provided. Rent one from Malu Os Eco Boat Hire Noosa.
3-Local ferry and sunset cruise
The local ferry service, Noosa Ferry, is the main service between Tewantin, to Noosa’s west, and the Sheraton Jetty, central Noosa.
The 90-minute round trip (or multi-use ticket for use in one day; $22.50) is a cheat’s way to do a tourist cruise – informative commentary gives you a run-down of what’s up and who’s who in the area. Or, head off as the sun goes down for a colourful sunset cruise. Two-hour Biosphere Reserve cruises also available ($49).
From deep sea fishing around reefs of the Sunshine Coast, to dangling hand lines and rods from more sedate tinnies on the Noosa River, anglers – experienced or beginners – can reel in any number of fish species here, from saltwater to freshwater varieties.
Catch (and cook) anything from tuna and marlin to bream and reefies. For more see Noosa River Fishing Safaris.
Warning: this comes with the ‘R’ word: romance. A trip on Noosa’s gondola is promoted as “a tranquil and romantic interlude on the beautiful and iconic Noosa River”. And it’s just that. The gondola (a la Venetian style) is skippered by a gondolier; it plies the river waters.
Grab a bottle of bubbly, sit back and enjoy the glide with Gondola’s of Noosa. For the die-hards, private dinners can be arranged.
These come at a cost but are unsurprisingly popular for marriage proposals and romantic interludes (yes, there’s a curtain between you and your skipper).
If you’re less interested in the couples’ component, you can head off with friends in the gondola; it takes up to six people.
6- Kite surfing
Keen water birds should consider this exhilarating sport (though it’s not to be taken lightly; it’s for those with confidence in the water).
Kitesurf Australia Noosa offers beginners courses covering the basics: everything from choosing the best location and what the weather (and wind) are up to, to board retrieval, body dragging and how to get yourself well and truly launched.
With sheltered waters to full-on wind-blown ocean expanses, conditions around Noosa are excellent for beginners and experienced kitesurfers alike.
7- Canoeing and Kayaking The Noosa Everglades
A great way to see the coastlines, lakes, flora and fauna is on the water itself from a canoe or kayak. You can glide along the Noosa River, around the Noosa headland, or through the waters of the stunning Noosa Everglades within the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park.
The Everglades, a stunning ancient wetlands, is home to rare animal species including sea turtles and dugong. You can rent canoes for a few hours, or do self-guided or guided tours for anywhere between half and three days. Check out Kanu Kapers and Kayak Noosa.
Here are more ideas on what to see and do in Queensland also see Hello Sunshine, The official travel blog of Queensland, Australia.
Kondalilla National Park is another beautiful spot on the Sunshine Coast. Find out why.