A two-hour drive north from Brisbane, Noosa is an upmarket resort town with prices to prove it. It boasts sunny beaches, lovely parklands, and a spattering of petite shopping centres and cafés. Although it is known as a glamorous holiday destination for the rich, the boutiques and fine dining restaurants share space with surf shops and fish and chip joints. There are upmarket condos side-by-side with hostels and motels, and sports cars glide by Kombi vans loaded with hippie surfers.
The main attractions here for backpackers are the beaches and water sports. It is surrounded by long stretches of protected sandy beach, and the Noosa River is a popular place for kayaking and canoeing. Surfing is great off the point at Sunshine Beach, while Main Beach has gentle waves good for beginners. The Noosa National Park has some wonderful walking tracks where you can look out over the surf breaks and spot koalas resting in the gum trees. On Saturdays, the Eumundi Market – 20km inland from Noosa – is a popular excursion, with most hostels running daytrips.
Bus 620 goes down the coast to Maroochydore; bus 627 goes to Sunshine Beach; 628 runs up Hastings Street to Noosa National Park and bus 630 goes to Eumundi.