An insider’s guide to Noosa

Travelling Well | Words: Mary O’Brien | Photos: Anne Morley | Posted on 16 May 2017

It’s one of Victorians’ favourite Queensland holiday destinations. Read our insider’s tips for a Noosa adventure.

Your guide

  • Name: Jodi Ditterich
  • Position: RACV Noosa Resort lobby shop manager
  • Why she loves it: I love Noosa because of the stunning beaches and beautiful national parks that make the active lifestyle we live seem easy.
racv noosa resort with portrait of guide Jodi Ditterich inset

RACV Noosa Resort and guide Jodi Ditterich.

hastings street noosa with cars and tree adorned with fairy lights

Hastings Street.

Life’s a beach

Noosa wouldn’t be Noosa without its gorgeous Main Beach. It’s a north-facing strip, protected from the wind, so it could be blowing a gale on other beaches but it’s always beautiful at Noosa. The beach is patrolled so it’s safe for families – I take my kids there regularly for Nippers. I like to train with the Noosa Tri Club, which I’ve been a member of for six years. We do a weekly ocean swim from Main Beach, past Little Cove and around the corner. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, we see dolphins.

Surf’s up

I like to do stand-up paddle boarding at Noosa River. It’s quite beautiful and you can see fish underneath as you glide along. It’s also something that people with all levels of fitness can do. The boards are big so it’s easy to balance. I find it relaxing to paddle around the canals where it’s sheltered ( There are a few different places where you can learn to surf (Go Ride a Wave offers RACV members a discount). Noosa is a great place to get fit. I train with Pro Movement, which also works with professional surfers. Visitors can join sessions if there are places available.

In the saddle

Top of the ‘bucket-list’ things to do in Noosa is a horse ride on the beach. It’s a special feeling riding a horse on a pristine beach with the waves rolling in. Triple Olympian Alex Watson and wife Rebecca run Equathon tours, which offer beach rides on horses suitable for different levels of experience. You can choose from one or two-hour rides on Teewah Beach at Noosa North Shore.

two Surfers walk along a beach in Noosa

Surfers walk along a beach in Noosa.

One of many cruise boats on the Noosa River

One of many cruise boats on the Noosa River.

Nature calling

Noosa National Park’s coastal track has spectacular views. You can see dolphins, whales in season, goannas and, most days, I see a koala. The cafe there hangs out a sign every day telling you where to find the koala. There are five different tracks in the park to suit different levels of fitness. My favourite trek is from Main Beach to Hell’s Gates and back along the Tanglewood track. The family walked to Sunshine Beach one day. It was very hilly. The lemonade bribe got the kids to the surf club there.

To market

Noosa Farmers Market on Sundays (at the AFL club, Weyba Road) is not to be missed, just a 10-minute walk from RACV Noosa Resort. Local farmers and producers offer a great range of fresh fruit and vegetables. I like to buy the spinach and feta roti bread for breakfast. The famous Eumundi Markets have been going for 38 years and have more than 600 stalls (open Saturdays and Wednesdays). I love the handmade products and unique items there. Look out for the massage tents or get your palm read.

Eat streets

Bistro C is one of the iconic places to eat breakfast. It’s right on the beachfront, the view is great and I like to watch the world go by.

For dinner, Rococo is fun because it has live music with a grand piano. I grew up in Gippsland but now I know as many people in Noosa as Gippsland – it isn’t a very big town.

above shot of customers at clandestino roasters in noosa

Clandestino Roasters

three horseriders on noosa north shore

Horse riding on Noosa North Shore.

It’s organic

Belmondos Organic Market, which is a big warehouse with polished concrete floors in the industrial part of Noosa, is worth seeking out. It has a butcher, sourdough breads, organic fruit and vegetables, and Clandestino Coffee Roasters. It’s the sort of place where you can get sweet potato paleo muffins, pizza and quiches.

To the river

There are many ways to explore Noosa River. For a special night out, try an MV Catalina cruise. It’s stylish, has several bars and was refurbished last year. Or the regular hop-on-and-off Noosa Ferry, which runs through the day and runs a sunset cruise most evenings. I like to get fish ’n’ chips from the Red Emperor on Gympie Terrace and have a picnic by the river.

Street wise

Hastings Street must be one of the most iconic fashion strips in the country. You will find designer labels and popular boutiques as well as restaurants and cafes along the way. It’s got a really nice vibe and I like to take a break at Aromas cafe, right in the centre of the action. The street is particularly beautiful at night when all the trees are lit up.

Members save

RACV Members receive a discount of 25% on accommodation rates all year round when they book direct through RACV. You will not find a better offer on any other website.

With locations at Maroochydoore Airport, Brisbane Airport and Noosa, RACV Members also save 15% on daily car rental rates with Thrifty.