May 31st, 2011

My Recent Reconnaissance to Noosa

If you have ever been to Noosa, you will understand why Zed and I hold it so dear. If you haven’t, I suggest you pay Noosa, in fact the entire Sunshine Coast, a visit as it is undeniably magical.

On a recent recconaisance there, in preparation for my up and coming nuptials, along with revisiting our favourite haunts, my Beyoncé (aka fiancé) and I uncovered a few wonderful places I’d like to share.

When most people think of Noosa, they only consider the main strip that runs along the beach, Hastings Street, or what I like to call ‘Double Bay of the Sunshine Coast’. Although always buzzy, with a plethora of places to eat, some find this popular stretch of coastline a bit of a tourist trap. Since our parents bought a plot of land in the Noosa Hinterland, Zed and I have discovered another side of Greater Noosa.

If you are foodies like us, some restaurants are an absolute must. If you fancy making a short trip into the Hinterland, have lunch at Spirit House in Yandina. A piece of Thailand in the tropical country side, Spirit House is a great place to spend an afternoon eating Thai cuisine made from local produce grown in the restaurant’s own organic garden. The tables are arranged around an oversized pond which is overrun by Water Monitors that will visit your table in search of food. Heed the staff’s warning and don’t feed them or be stuck with the colony for the rest of your meal.

Generally, as eating goes, you’ll be spoilt for choice in and around Noosa, particularly if you are prepared to meander around Gympie Terrace, Noosa Sound, Noosaville and Sunshine Beach.
A couple of restaurants definitely worth visiting for lunch or dinner are Humid, River Cottage, newly opened Tempo and Ricky’s River Bar + Restaurant (where Zed had her reception).

For something a little more low key after a swim at the beach, you can’t go wrong with a pub lunch and cold beer deck-side at the Sunshine Beach Surf Club. Apparently there is a new chef worth checking out.

A popular pastime for travelers and locals alike is a visit to Eumundi Markets. While I certainly understand the appeal of a bustling market selling every handicraft imaginable, my suggestion is to hit up the highlights, the Eumundi Flower Lady, the Gympie Cheese Man and any of the hippy masseuses, and spend your time at other markets instead. Yandina Markets is a well-kept secret and the bearer of brilliant bargains. A noticeably less organised market of make shift stalls with organic vegies, plants and ‘Garage Sale’ Nik Naks, there is something to be said for filling your wheel barrow with produce, the country’s take on the green shopping bag.

On Sunday, head to the Noosa Farmers Market between 7 am and 12 pm. Showcasing the finest and freshest produce from the region, the Farmers Markets is the perfect place to stock up at the start of a holiday.

If you are like me and love to do a spot of shopping when on holidays, there are a couple of cutting edge stores that you should visit. The Romantics, a new homewares come fashion concept store in Peregian Beach Shopping Square is top of my list. Margot the owner, originally from Sydney, has a unique range of products perfect for people that have everything, like myself but somehow I never leave empty handed. They also have the best coffee in Peregian. A worthy pit-stop when visiting the Hinterland is Twig & Grace, a florist and cafe full of tasty treats, that also offers an eclectic mix of old antiques and local hand made home-wares. Dezley, the owner will be lending her expertise to create whimsical floral arrangements for my wedding.

Lastly when it rains, and it often does in the afternoons, one can while away an afternoon climbing The Blackall Range (in a car) to visit a succession of quaint towns Maleny, Montville and Mapleton for sumptuous afternoon tea and spectacular views.