I would love to have been a fly on the wall at Noosa International Resort back in the 80s. Built by Kerry Packer in '83, it immediately became known as "the place to be". Being the first five-star resort in town, it attracted the rich and famous, both Aussie and international stars. Locals tell me it was known as party central, with an on-site nightclub, 24-hour room service, a swim up pool bar, and even underwater speakers. Noosa meets Studio 54! Apparently Packer and his entourage as well as heaps of other celebs like Kerry Anne Kennerley and Bob Geldof were frequent guests. I reckon the stars would have been attracted by both the social shenanigans and the private design of the place, sitting high up on Noosa hill surrounded by thatched fences.
Oh and remember the 80s soap Sons and Daughters? Wayne and Susan honeymooned at Noosa International.
Evil Wayne and Susan, remember them?
These days Noosa International resort remains a busy business, although there's no longer an operating bar, nightclub or restaurant. The atmosphere across the two acre property is pretty low key. There are however two lagoon pools, one with a swim up do-it-yourself bar where you can BYO drinks. There's even an esky waiting for you. The main lagoon pool is also heated all year round, so you can head north in the winter months and still enjoy a swim.
As well as the two tropical pool areas, I sampled the spa, sauna, and table tennis. You could stay at the resort all day if you wish and only head out for meals. Speaking of food, of course Noosa is known for the restaurant trip on Hastings Street. Luckily this is only 600 m away so it's nice and convenient (beware: there is the uphill walk back but locals see this as a blessing cause it keeps your waistline down). For a meal even closer to home, the Reef Hotel is just a five-minute walk around the corner and it's known for its great food. It also has a Kids Club which would come in handy if you're travelling with little ones.
In terms of the actual accommodation, you'll find one and two-bedroom apartments, starting at $160 a night. I stayed in a two-bedder with a balcony and views over the main pool. It's not one of more modern properties in town, so I expected a bit of an '80s feel. Sure enough cane wicker chairs and tropical prints greeted me. It was cool in a retro kinda way. Most importantly, in the bedroom there was a flat screen TV on the wall (as well as in the lounge-room) so I was happy. The tropical grounds all around were well looked after and added to a relaxing holiday atmosphere.
All in all, if you want to relax and experience a bit of Noosa history, head to Noosa International Resort. It's fun imagining what everyone got up to in its hallowed halls (and pool bar). And keep an eye out girls – a reliable source told me that a particular gorgeous Aussie rocker recently escaped there alone for some R&R…he's recently single too...
And finally, mention this article when you book for a 20% discount!