As we meandered our way up the East Coast of Australia in Max the campervan, there was one place that both Emma and I really looked forward to; Noosa. We’d heard wonders about this tropical paradise especially the Noosa National Park.Noosa is located on the Sunshine Coast around two hours north of Brisbane in Queensland. Noosa is a booming holiday resort and, in my opinion, is a more up-market version of Byron Bay. There’s plenty of boutique shops, bars and restaurants and a beach that is out of this world. We were told that Main Beach has a climate separate to that of the high street just metres away. This results in Main Beach being two or three degrees warmer! With it’s reputation as being a holiday paradise comes plenty of visitors. So much so that you’ll most likely be stuck in traffic before struggling to find a parking space. However, this just means you have to get up early especially when you visit Noosa National Park.
The National Park itself covers the headland at Noosa Heads. In Queensland, you’re really spoilt with amazing coastal walks but the coastal walk here is one of the best. The coastal track to Hell’s Gates and back is the most popular and it’s easy to see why. It’s only a 5.4km return up and down cliffs and the views, well, the views are just stunning. You can even spot koalas and dolphins here! If the timing’s right, which it never was for us, you’ll see humpback whales too. This walk is best done just after sunrise whilst the temperature is still relatively cool.
The first lookout along the route will be at the Boiling Pot. Now, on a very calm day, you’ll be left confused as to why something so serene has a name that conjures images of a witches cauldron. Apparently though, when there are waves, the hollow will bubble away. My favourite bay is Tea Tree Bay of which you will catch glimpses through the gum trees. Lined by plenty of rocks but with enough sand for everyone, I could spend forever here. The smell of eucalyptus is strong too which is where the bay gets its name from.
Before you reach Hell’s Gates, take the time to sit and gaze out to the ocean at Dolphin Point. Sit there for long enough and, true to it’s name, you will spot dolphins. It was the first time I’d seen dolphins from the shoreline and I’ll remember that forever. By the time you arrive at Hell’s Gates, you may well be a little tired. Even though it’s not a long walk, it can be quite challenging. On a calm day, there’s not much going on but you can easily imagine why it gets it’s name. Be very careful around here as the cliffs are unfenced and I’m pretty sure there’s no coming back from a fall down there.
So, if you’re ever in Noosa, make sure you head to the brilliant Noosa National Park and walk this track. I promise you, it’ll be one of your highlights.