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Sunshine Beach to Noosa Coastal Walk

Home > Sunshine Coast > School Holiday Activities | Nature | Beaches | Travel | Walks
by Mia Ferreira (subscribe)
Born in Madeira, raised in Sydney, living in Melbourne and dreaming of Bali...
Published December 29th 2018
Keeping with my habit of doing things backwards, I recently completed the picturesque Noosa coastal walk but instead of going from Noosa Beach along the 2.7km path to Hells Gates lookout and returning, as most tourists and locals do... I began almost 7km away at the lesser-known Sunshine Beach and followed the coastal walk through Noosa National Park - ending up at the Noosa Surf Club balcony at sunset with a chilled glass of rose!

Noosa Surf Club
Noosa Surf Club
Sunset over Noosa
Sunset over Noosa


Sunshine beach isn't as busy as Noosa. Swimming between the flags is highly recommended and there are Life Savers on duty all year round but it's a bit more of a surf beach. Nevertheless, it's a gorgeously long sandy beach well worth a visit and the walk along the long shoreline is lovely. To get there, head down the main road past the cafes on the left and the Surf Club on the right and you'll find the entry to the beach on the left, among some trees...

Sunshine Beach
Sunshine Beach entry


Sunshine Beach
Sunshine Beach


The sand is clean and white. The ocean is crystal clear. And on this particular Spring day, the sun was gloriously shining, but not yet too hot. I probably spent a bit too long on Sunshine Beach but coming from the Melbourne winter, I couldn't help it...

Sunshine Beach
Sunshine Beach


Sunshine Beach
Sunshine Beach


Continuing towards Noosa beach, and away from Sunshine Beach town, at the end of the beach is the coastal walk signpost and map, and the walking track to Noosa National Park. There were some track repairs happening while I was there, and a small detour led me through the bush initially. It was a little shady, cooler and peaceful, but a little more rugged than the sealed coastal path...

Noosa National Park
Noosa National Park


The first stop along the path was only a short 15minute walk away - Alexandria Bay. Other than one family, the entire stretch of the long beach appeared completely deserted. However, I had been warned that this was a popular nudist beach and was told to watch out for people hidden in the sand dunes. I just kept my eyes towards the ocean and focussed on enjoying the stunning scenery...

More pure white sand and refreshing turquoise waters that were a little calmer than Sunshine beach kept me there for a little too long - it really was a gorgeous and peaceful spot...

Alexandria Beach
Alexandria Beach


Until I spotted a naked old man standing atop one of the sand dune out of the corner of my eye. I quickly made my way to the end of the beach, where the marked coastal walk path continued. Another 15 minutes walk from Alexandria Bay was Hells Gates - a windy, cliffside lookout with views back to Alexandria Bay.

Hells Gates
Hells Gates


Hells Gates
Hells Gates


After taking a few panoramic photos, I continued along the path and noticed the colour of the ocean was even more vibrant and bright blue. It was only another 5 minutes or so walk from Hells Gate when I noticed people climbing around the cliffside rocks off to the right. I watched a couple disappear over the edge and continued walking. Luckily, a few steps on and I hesitated, looked back and saw a gorgeous rock pool hidden below the cliffs near the ocean. Fairy Pools!

I turned around and began carefully climbing over the rocks... Beware, this is not easy. It's quite slippery and the rocks are sharp and jagged - but there was a family with young kids there too so I persevered! There are a couple of rock pools - the one on the left side that can be seen from the path, and s second deeper one further over the top of the rocks. It was an Instagram perfect scene...

Angel pools
Fairy pools


Fairy pools
Angel pools


I could have easily spent the rest of the afternoon floating around this pool among the fish, but I also knew there was still quite a long walk to go and I had plans to meet a friend for sunset drinks in Noosa...

So I reluctantly began climbing out of the rock pool. I never really think about how to get out of things as I'm getting into them - and this instance was no different. It was much easier to jump in than climb out onto the rocks again!

Safely back to the path and I realised that I'd been exploring a very small part of the Noosa coastline for more than 2 hours already. Luckily I had packed a banana because I really needed a quick energy boost. But there were still many more beaches, bays and lookouts before I would arrive at Noosa beach - Granite Bay, Dolphin point, Tea Tree Bay and more... Time to get a move on!

Noosa Coastal Walk
Noosa Coastal Walk


Noosa Coastal Walk
Noosa Coastal Walk


Noosa Coastal Walk
Noosa Coastal Walk


Noosa Coastal Walk
Noosa Coastal Walk


I wish I had more time, and made a note to make a full day of it next time so I could stop at all of the bays and beaches...

It's a fairly easy walk but some of the steps down to the beaches and bays are steep and may be difficult if you have knee issues. While there are lots of shady parts on this walk, make sure you wear sunscreen, a hat, and take plenty of water as a lot of the path is out in the open. Take some energy food as it's quite a long walk - or pack a picnic and enjoy it at one of your stops along the way. Also, note that there are no toilets until you get much closer to Noosa beach.
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Your Comment
Thanks for the map on how to get to the Fairy Pools, Mia, I never knew where they were!
by Elaine (score: 3|5814) 18 days ago
Love this. I have done past of this walk before, but you have inspired me to do the Sunshine B it Noosa walk. Cheers Kathryn.
by Sheri (score: 0|2) 17 days ago
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