One of the most iconic beaches in Australia is Noosa. It is a beautiful part of the world. I am lucky enough to have a dear friend whose parents own an apartment with the most magical views at the top of the hill overlooking Hastings Street. I have had the delightful privilege of staying there a handful of times. In addition I have stayed in other places with my family along for the weekend.
It is wonderful and so beautiful. The water is warm and the beach is calm and inviting for kids. There is a nearby surf beach for those looking for more action. The long waves make it a great break to learn to surf. It’s a party wave type of place. If you are not familiar with the lingo, it means it has long, slow waves. It oozes cool and relaxed.
Don’t be mistaken to think that the surfing means there are loads of chilled out surfer dude types. Oh no no. This is the Hamptons of the Australian Coast or even the Saint-Tropez? Celebrities and CEO’s alike make up a large proportion of the 52,000 residents. Mark Webber can be seen having a morning swim on many occasions. Richard Branson has been known to frequently visit when on business in Australia.
A quote from long time business man and the man behind the Noosa Food and Wine Festival, Jim Berardo explains the changes to Noosa in recent years. “The best thing to come out of the hard years is that Noosa has reinvented itself,” Jim Berardo says. “It’s still not cheap, but it has morphed into a kinder, gentler, more welcoming place. It is still strongly opinionated about its future and where it’s going to go, hence the fight we had for the de-amalgamation. Some people think that’s elitist — most people just think it’s protecting this priceless jewel that we all share and love. Whether you have money or not, you can still go out in Noosa National Park and hit the first break there and be in heaven.” Click Here for the full article.
What was once elitist and snobbery has become an enjoyable place to visit not once but many many times. The restaurants are world renowned and if you are visiting I would get straight into making bookings for each evening as soon as you can. Nannies of Noosa provide the best babysitting service you will experience. If you are staying for several days and have several lunches and dinners you would like to do without the kids. Book them early and they can try their best to ensure you have the one person for your entire stay looking after your children. They arrive with a basket full of toys and colouring in suitable for that age group. I have never had an issue with them and I have recommended them for years with no negative feedback. Noosa is a foodies heaven. You will need to at least get to a few of them.
Dining – the TOP TEN
Sails is set in the corner of where Hastings Street really ends before heading around to Little Cove and the National Park. Once again as you are beachfront if you are lucky enough to get a front row table, the children can play after your meal in front on the grass and beach. I love this restaurant but I personally would book during the day to take advantage of the amazing view.
Gaston – Family, Family, Family. Breakfast is great. Lunch is great and the evenings are great! Gaston is fun and they are all about creating memorable meals. Everything they do is done with a sense of humour and considered reflection of the needs and wants of their customers. I vote them number one for coffee in Noosa. That inevitably gets my breakfast patronage as well.
Bistro C they have a kids menu. The best part is being right on the beach the kids can retire to just on front of the restaurant after your meal while you enjoy one more glass of wine! Why not huh? They have an amazing seafood spaghetti pan at dinner. Be aware that being on the beachfront they are very popular and you will need to make a reservation to avoid disappointment.
Seasons is on the beachfront and the pathway running parallel to the beach makes for great people watching. I think their speciality is breakfast but the dinner should also be considered. The light breeze from the seas makes for a romantic setting.
Locale is an amazing meal. They have two menus. There is a bar menu and there is a table menu. They don’t have a kid’s specific menu but I have seen children in there and the staff were very accommodating. My children are far too active for a restaurant like this so I choose to leave mine behind. They are located across the road from the end of Hastings Street where Sails is. It is spacious and has a lovely comfortable and inviting ambience. You will love this meal.
Bettys Burgers and Concrete Co. I am not a burger gal. It’s not my go to choice on the menu when I am not sure of the quality or what to have. My last visit to Noosa. I went here TWICE! Oh my stars it is gooood. Its family friendly but to be honest, call ahead and order and take it away. The little space can get a tad cramped and that’s not fun for anyone. Better yet, grab your burger and head to the beach for a picnic!
Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club – absolutely my place of choice with the kids in tow. They do a kids special which includes dessert. It’s right on the beach and after dinner you can go for a stroll or even another swim. Just as good at lunchtime. If you are catching up with a group – can’t go wrong here. Click on the link – their photo says it all.
Ricky’s River Bar & Restaurant – I have been to two weddings here. I’m telling you that because my dearest friend who is an absolute foodie and would not waste her time with anyone who serves substandard food or gives bad service- hence why she married here. Another girlfriend is super stylish and super chic. Hence why it was her choice of restaurant for the most important celebration of her life. Whatever your reason for visiting – romantic meal or family meal you will not be disappointed with the service and food at Ricky’s. Number one in my book.
Wasabi is a fabulous restaurant. With so much choice in Noosa it is hard to pick just one. If I was selecting them in order I give this my Number 2 star. The current menu is designed around seasonal produce from their farm at Honeysuckle Hill. They try to use other regional ingredients and locally caught seafood to compliment the produce from their farm. This is an experience not just a meal.
Miss Moneypenny’s (I know this is number 11 but this is a bar… and I needed to include it for pre-dinner options) If you have too many drinks and forget your dinner booking you can always stay for dinner.
Massimo’s Gelateria is an institution in Noosa. Save your dessert order and stroll along Hastings Street to get a gelato for the stroll home. The local businesses have invested $300,000 in fairy lights along the main street and it really has helped to create atmosphere and an inviting ambience. I’ve heard it described as Aspen by the sea. (yes… this one doesn’t count as a top ten as it is treat only)
Accommodation for FAMILIES
Number one rule – Hastings Street will always have the highest priced accommodation. You can stay off Hastings Street and still access the beach with ease. Now that you understand that, it’s easy.
Pick any of these apartment style units that will fit your budget and your family and you will not be disappointed. The easy access from here to the beach and to Hastings Street for dining options is the reason why they are all so popular and in such huge demand.
Sheraton – has recently had a refurb and is a great place to stay with a lovely pool. I do however think the pool is in need of an update along with the rest of the place. You will not be disappointed here for a short stay. For longer stays I question how much room there are in the rooms for a family. For hotel style accommodation they are of a generous size. My kids don’t need to have $30-$40 spent on them for breakfast when all they really consume at this time of day is vegemite toast. The beach is a short stroll across the road. Location wise it ticks all the boxes.
Mantra French Quarter – on Hastings Street and also has a jungle like pool which is great fun for kids. It has been years since I stayed here. I found it a tad noisy. This is located at the end of Hastings near the National Park with easy access to the beach across the road.
The Sebel Noosa – the pool here is great and the bridges over the pool into and out of the property are fun for kids. The apartment style accommodation is super attractive to families. Having access to a kitchenette for snacks and breakfast is convenient and saves a lot of hassle. My children can’t eat out more than once a day – it drives them crazy. From that point of view it is a great place to stay. Located in the middle of Hastings it has prime location to the beach and all the action.
Bella Casa Noosa – the quality of this place for the price is outstanding. It is so hard to get a holiday apartment with a BBQ. So strange I know you think when people are on holidays they absolutely want easy hassle free meals on the BBQ right? Sao few places have them. Anyway, I digress, Bella Casa does have BBQ’s! The pool is a tad small for the building but when we were staying we were the only ones in it EVER. Situated right on Hastings Street, the location is everything here and you are within arm’s reach of the beach.
Peppers Resort Noosa – this is up the hill and a steep walk to get to. This is the one resort where I would recommend the food onsite. The restaurants are great. Most rooms are spacious and can be self-catered if you choose. The staff are happy and helpful at every turn. Our outlook was of the rainforest which was very relaxing and comforting that you are in a sub-tropical environment. If you have stayed with Peppers anywhere else you will know that the brand is about service and ensuring their guests have an amazing experience wherever they are. They do not disappoint in Noosa.
Maison Noosa – is at the quieter end of Hastings Street (if there is such a thing) It is a newer build with clean rooms. Once again it has a great pool for families but it is slightly further from the action. This may or may not suit you. Regardless, it’s a flat walk.
RACV – not on Hastings Street but this would be my pick of where to stay with a family. There are buses up and down the hill in Noosa. To be honest though, the hill is not that steep. Once you have done it a few times, it really doesn’t take that long and is easy enough even pushing a pram. Once again there is a fabulous pool for families to enjoy. If budget is on your mind, you will not get better value for services and accommodation in Noosa. The rooms are spacious and very clean. They have a kids club and they a have a shuttle bus to get up and down the hill. If you have a pram – use the bus.
There are loads for rent and plenty with their own pool. At Christmas and New Years the local area puts on extra bus services and there is no charge. We stayed out of Noosa one year for this period at Marcus Beach with friends. It was easy getting in and out of Noosa but also lovely to leave the hustle and bustle behind.