Marco! … Polo! Usually the sound of summer in Australia. I’m overlooking the pool at Mantra French Quarter Noosa with a glass of Lanson in hand and it is supposedly winter. Don’t tell the kids. Perhaps winter never comes to Noosa.
Noosa in Winter
Australia’s all-year-round holiday destination shows off in the cooler months. Cooler here starts at 10°Celsius and warms up to 26°C. Noosa in Winter still means the beach and pool for the kids and a chance for all the family to explore everything this piece of paradise has to offer.
Best of all during a ‘Noosa winter,’ you’ll want to walk everywhere. Walk more than the evening passeggiata for gelato; learn about Noosa’s unique ecology while you walk with an expert. Or ditch the walking shoes and lunch at Noosaville after being dropped off by your own chauffeured motor yacht – the Noosa Ferry. Is there a better way to enjoy Noosa in Winter than a cruise down the river?
Where to Stay – Mantra French Quarter
Where else could the Mantra French Quarter be then the Paris end of Hastings Street? The National Park end of Noosa’s world famous street is home to some of the glitter strip’s best – Massimo Gelato, El Capitano, the Noosa Providore and Betty’s Burgers.
Just across from one of Australia’s favourite beaches, The Mantra French Quarter makes doing Noosa easy for couples and families. A weekend here means parking the car just once to unpack the aforementioned champagne and bags. Then stroll to the beach, shopping and restaurants or venture a little further to the picture perfect Little Cove or National Park. No car required.
Spacious one or two-bedroom apartments are beach-friendly (tolerant of sandy feet) and steps away from the heated lagoon pool, spas and sauna. There’s a kitchenette for when you’re not enjoying the surrounding restaurants with a barbecue on the balcony.
The bedrooms are not only stylish they’re super comfortable – for the requisite holiday nanna nap and a great night’s sleep. The queen bed is another spot where you can catch up on your social media as the WiFi is free. The bathrooms are huge and thoughtfully include a washer and dryer.
Set in tropical gardens the lagoon pool is a hit year round with kids. The surrounding deck makes it easy to keep an eye on the little ones while catching up on that novel you’ve wanted to read for months.
And don’t forget your golden ticket! Without an on-site restaurant, there are discount vouchers for the nearby View Restaurant & Bar at Peppers.
Only minutes away from the eat streets of Noosaville and Noosa you can discover some of the world’s most spectacular national parks. The sparkling Noosa River snakes around and by some of Australia’s most family-friendly spots for camping and eating. There are countless ways to enjoy the River – on, over, by and in it.
The Noosa ecosystem is remarkable. Despite a Queensland government hell-bent on pulling it down or pulling it out from 1968 to 1987, locals largely protected the region from developer’s bulldozers.
Noosa was designated a biosphere reserve under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve Program in 2007. As one of only two Everglades systems on the planet Noosa is truly extraordinary and only ninety minutes from a major city. The habitat supports exceptional flora and fauna with 44% of all of Australia’s bird species residing within the Noosa Everglades.
Walk – Tropical Treks
The Japanese call it Shinrin-Yoku or ‘forest bathing’. Simply walking, sitting or contemplating in the forest that helps restores the mind, body and soul. Complete sensory immersion to take in the sights, smells, sounds, and sometimes tastes of the bush help you unwind.
The Noosa National Park shelters and protects the beach and surrounds. The native bush is as much an integral part of what makes Noosa ‘Noosa’ as the white sands of Laguna Bay.
Steve Grainger from Tropical Treks Guided Bush Walks and Tours knows the Sunshine Coast like the back of his hand. You could call him a tree whisperer. He can let you in on some the secrets of the bush and little wonders you might otherwise overlook during the half and full day guided walks.
Steve or Winnie will pick you up from your accommodation and share with you some of the wonders of their expansive backyard. If you’re a birdwatcher or just enjoy the great outdoors, they can tailor a walk to suit for large groups or families with children under 12.
You’ll walk moderate trails in Noosa Country, the Blackall Range, Conondale Range or the Glasshouse Mountains. The half or full day walks through subtropical rainforest and eucalypt forest go a little off the beaten track. Steve is known to whip up an impressive morning tea complete with tea from the billy: a treat for tourists and locals alike.
Birdwatchers might encounter up to 50 species during a full day Birdwatchers and Wildlife Experience. From red-browed finches and satin bower birds to black cockatoos and lorikeets the walks are a feast for birdwatchers. You might also catch sight of kangaroos or wallabies or an ambling echidna.
The serenity of the bush not only allows you to unwind it makes you more mindful of your surroundings. You will be amazed at how quickly you adapt and hear and see more of the bush on a Tropical Treks walk.
Take me to the river – Noosa Ferry Cruise Co.
‘Explore Noosa the easy way’ is the Noosa Ferry Cruise Company tagline and there’s never been a truer line in advertising. Relax up top in the winter sun or view the calm waters down below in the comfort of what seems a classic, old, wooden ferry that was actually built a few years ago.
You can take the Classic Cruise and board behind Sofitel Noosa or one of seven stops and enjoy the river, blue skies, riverside restaurants and more. An all-day pass allows you to do the round trip and get on or off at Noosa Sound or Noosaville or Tewantin.
The skipper lets you in on a little of Noosa’s more recent history and the Noosa waterways ecosystem: from real estate to wildlife. Meanwhile, all you have to think about is what side of the river you want to watch. Arrive at lunch or early dinner relaxed – no parking problems.
Eco Cruises run Tuesday and Thursday mornings and includes a brief guided walk to take in the bush up close before jumping back on aboard for morning tea.
The Sunset Cruise is BYO but the Cap’n will supply the glasses and ice. Your ferry cruises past multi-million dollar mansions, the yachts of Woods Bay and arrives in time for sunset at one of the world’s most serene views at the Noosa River entrance.
However, you cruise with Noosa Ferry it brings a whole new meaning to ‘messing about in boats’.
Noosa in Winter offers something new. For Aussies and international tourists, it is full of new discoveries and wonders to behold. Get out and walk or catch the ferry to fully explore the less familiar Noosa. You’ll be surprised.
Disclaimer: Liz Bond was a guest of Mantra, Tropical Treks & Noosa Ferry Co. and Visit Noosa.