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Top Things to do in Noosa Hinterland

Home > Sunshine Coast > Day Trips | Escape the City | Outdoor | Travel | Weekend Escapes
by Chris Nugen (subscribe)
I can't get enough of food! I'm also passionate about music, dance, writing and makeup!
Published April 9th 2019
Hang loosa in Noosa
Having visited Queensland many times to Gold Coast, Brisbane and Cairns, I had always wanted to see Noosa for its beaches. I was expecting a lazy sunny few days with nothing much to do. But surprisingly, you can do as much or as little as you like in Noosa with beautiful beaches and forests, as well as markets, restaurants and shops.

Tree lined streets, Noosa, forest, green
Beautiful tree-lined streets of Noosa

We decided to not stay in central Noosa on Hastings St, but a little further inland at Noosa Hinterland Retreat. It's a beautiful, quiet place to escape the rat race just about ten minutes drive to the beach.

Noosa Hinterland Retreat, Noosa, Hinterland, retreat, relaxing, unwind
The main house of Noosa Hinterland Retreat with the basement available for hire

At the retreat, there are only two villas to rent. Our Orchid Villa was stand alone, equipped with everything you need, but also providing the utmost privacy.

Villa, retreat, Noosa Hinterland Retreat, Orchid Villa
Our Orchid Villa at Noosa Hinterland Retreat

Our stay included a complimentary breakfast that you could prepare or cook yourself in your own villa. The breakfast bar included cereal, toast, fruit, and free range eggs from their own chickens.

Self contained, villa, kitchenette, lounge
Fully self-contained villa with kitchen, lounge and a view of lush trees

The retreat is run by a pleasant couple who manage the property themselves. Their service is excellent with customer satisfaction as their absolute priority. They will answer any questions you have about your stay, they will refill your breakfast goods at appropriate times, give you tourist recommendations, but most of all, know when to give you privacy.

Champagne, complimentary, alcohol, bubbles
Complimentary champagne upon arrival

The property has a shady salt pool and lawn for a croquet game. Surrounding the property are lush trees that are well maintained. You could go for a short walk to unwind.

Swimming, swimming pool, pool, salt water, tropical, shady
Beautiful shady salted swimming pool

Outdoor, lounge, barbeque, open
Outdoor lounge area with barbeque (food pack can be supplied by the Retreat)

Lounge, poolside, pool, suntanning
Poolside deck chairs and lounge perfect for lazing around or sun tanning

Our first day there, we went to Tewantin National Park. Just a 5 minute hike from the car park is a lookout with a beautiful 360 degree view. You could hike further to another lookout as well but we weren't prepared since we were tired from our 6am flight. If it wasn't for bad timing, I would have liked to spend the morning hiking there.

Tewantin National Park, view, lookout, park, forest
360 degree view from lookout atTewantin National Park

We drove around Eumundi, Noosa Heads, Noosaville and Tewantin taking different routes through the forest towards the river and the beach. Hastings St in Noosa Heads was bustling with young vibrant people dining and shopping. The restaurants and shops that stood out were well-known franchises such as Grill'd and high-end shops. Shopping was not on our list to do while in Noosa so we were happy we didn't pick to stay on Hastings St.

Eumundi, local pub, small town
Main street of Eumundi

Playground, Noosa, kids, park
Local playground in Eumundi

I can appreciate the appeal staying on Hastings St with restaurants, shops and the beach right at your doorstep. However, we had a car hire so location wasn't an issue and we prefer peacefulness and privacy. Heading back to our tranquil retreat, we were happy to have a swim and pizza for dinner from the local pizza shop.

Lookout, view, green, lush, beautiful
View from C H Ball Lookout during one of our drives that we stumbled across

The next day, we ventured around the retreat and relaxed for most of the day there. We had lunch at Cafe Doonan in Eumundi. It was a wonderful place with all the tropical feels as it was completely open, with great food. I had chicken salad for lunch, which sounds quite boring but don't let the name fool you. It was one of the freshest, yummiest chicken salad I've had. With plenty of different ingredients to keep your taste buds interested and a soft light dressing to combine all the flavours, it was the perfect dish for the summer heat.

Chicken, salad, chicken salad, fresh, tropical
Not so boring chicken salad

My partner had a halloumi stack. The cheese was well balanced with soft flavours of roast peppers and a poached egg. It was a nice and light dish for lunch.

Haloumi, poached egg, lunch
Haloumi stack with poached egg and roast peppers

We decided to have Thai at Krung Thep for dinner. Situated on Gympie Tce in Noosaville, this street is where the locals go, whereas Hastings St is where all the tourists go.

Krung Thep, Gympie Tce, Noosaville, restaurants, Thai
Krung Thep Thai restaurant on Gympie Tce, Noosaville

Not feeling that hungry, we ordered beef massaman and pad see ew. The beef and potatoes were melting soft and rich. The noodles were cooked well and hit the spot.

Beef massamun, potatoes, soft, tender, beef, curry
Soft and tender beef massamun with potatoes

Thai, noodles, pad see ew, flat rice noodles
Pad See Ew with combination vegetables

We weren't supposed to have desserts but I couldn't say no to black sticky rice since it's a bit of a rarity in restaurants. I didn't regret it at all. It was freshly cooked so it was soft and moist. It paired really well with taro, coconut milk and ice cream.

Sticky rice, black.sticky rice, coconut milk, ice cream, taro, dessert, Thai dessert
Black sticky rice with taro, coconut milk and icecream

We booked a sunset cruise for our last day in Noosa which was the only planned activity for the trip. They supply small snacks, but also wine glasses as they welcome any food and alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks on board. I appreciated that they weren't trying to charge you as much as possible but focused on just giving you a good river tour of Noosa.

Sunset, sunset cruise, Noosa, Noosa river
Sunset cruise from Tewantin dock

There are three departure points at Tewantin, Noosaville and Noosa Heads. Again, we chose to get on board at Tewantin, somewhere we haven't explored before but to also avoid the crowd.

Sunset, river, cruise, sunset cruise
The sunset that night on the river cruise

We ran out of time to BYO food but managed to bring a bottle of prosecco. I did squeeze in time to buy a wooden spoon as a souvenir. Better planning would have allowed me to browse boutique shops along the port - maybe next time.

Tewantin was the first port to take people on board. We were the only ones departing there that day, so we luckily had the ferry to ourselves for about half an hour. Tewantin is also the last dock to get off, which meant that we were starving by the time we finished. As soon as we got off the ferry, we picked the closest restaurant and ended up at the River Deck Restaurant.

River Deck Restaurant, riverfront view, riverfront restaurant,
Romantic setting of the River Deck Restaurant

To our luck, I wouldn't have dined anywhere else even if given the choice. The setting was romantic as they also cater for weddings regularly. The riverfront view was peaceful and relaxing. The service was friendly and second to none. But most of all, the food was outstanding. It was truly one of the best dining experiences I've had.

Spaghetti, seafood, marinara, Italian
Spaghetti marinara

I chose spaghetti marinara and my partner had the lamb shoulder. My marinara was packed with great quality seafood with amazing flavour. I finished it even though it was quite a large portion.

Lamb, shoulder, soft, meat, red meat
Soft and tender lamb shoulder with mash and green beans

The lamb shoulder was soft and tender with awesome thick onion gravy and creamy mash. The lamb had soaked the full flavour of the jus. The dish came with plenty of beans which was a nice balance to the meat.

Creme brulee, cream, creme, dessert, burnt sugar, caramel
Perfect creme brulee

Our amazing mains were topped off with even more amazing desserts. We were so full but I could not resist creme brulee as it's my favourite dessert and also pear mille-feuille It was my first time seeing mille-feuille on the menu at a restaurant and was so excited to try it. And boy, was I happy! I was like a child in a candy store with this dessert. My creme brulee was perfect (one of the best I've ever had), but the mille-feuille was orgasmically satisfying. It was flaky and crunchy, yet soft and moist with just the perfect amount of sweetness.

Mille feuille, pear, pastry, French pastry
Amazing pear mille fueille

What a way to end our short getaway to Noosa. Sadly, that night we had to pack for an early flight next morning. If you ever think of going to Noosa, I can't recommend Noosa Hinterland Retreat highly enough. A car hire will expand your experience in Noosa. There's so much more to see and do - we chose not to do much and just wanted to relax and unwind. I enjoyed mine so much and would love to do it all again!
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Where: Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Your Comment
by Michael Genrich (score: 3|1788) 932 days ago
Great article Chris.
by May Cross (score: 3|8033) 931 days ago
Thanks May!
by Chris Nugen (score: 1|43) 931 days ago
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