Your Noosa family holiday guide: 7 days in Noosa with the kids
In a star-studded line-up of spectacular seaside vacay locations on the Sunshine Coast, Noosa is a frontrunner for an Oscar in the ‘best family holidays’ category.
Full of breathtaking natural encounters, paired with a chic urban vibe and sprinkled with kid-friendly activities, Noosa provides the perfect recipe to create unforgettable family memories.
To really kick into the slow gear and get the family onto Noosa time, spend a good seven days making the most of the stunning beaches, national parks and finger-licking food selections.
We promise you, the kids will be begging to come back year-round – just ask Bec Judd who frequents here with her brood every year, multiple times a year.
Day 1: Flop and drop
No matter where you’ve travelled from, transporting the whole family from A to B requires army-like precision. It leaves you questioning whether you’re jetting off for a cheeky week’s break or actually packing up your entire life.
This transitional process alone is exhausting. So, reward your travel efforts and spend your first day in paradise, kicking back on one of Australia’s best beaches.
Noosa Main Beach provides a sheltered sandy cove nestled against a backdrop of lush green hinterland. It’s one of the only Queensland beaches facing north with gentle waves and clean sand. And it’s the perfect place for little legs to frolic while parents can watch on with ease.
The beach is easily accessible from Hastings Street with lifeguard patrolled areas both east and west of the groyne. Lifeguards are on patrol daily from 7am to 4pm during the warmer months.
Only a few sandy footsteps from the beach is the boardwalk. There’s a stellar selection of restaurants ranging from fine dining to grab-and-go options. Take a stroll along Hastings Street for lunch and re-fuel those empty bellies before the kids get too hangry.
Wander through the shops (where you can pick up a kaftan to get into full holiday mode) and be sure to grab an ice-cream for your post-lunch treat. You can’t beat Massimo’s Gelateria on the eastern end of Hastings Street. Or stop by Happy Pops located under ‘On The Beach Resort’ to really put a spring in your holiday step.
Head back to the beach to continue that book you started this morning. Let the kids stretch their legs on a new area of sand before heading home for the evening.
Day 2: That’s what’s SUP
Whether you’re staying right in the action on Hastings Street or you opted for a more tranquil surrounding at Noosaville, the Noosa River is a must-do on your holiday activity list.
The river is a popular spot for families (particularly with smaller children) to set up camp for the day. It also offers action-packed activities from jet-skis to stand-up paddleboards (SUP’s) and kayak hire.
Grab some sun and take a dip on the banks of the Noosa River. If the kids have outgrown the shallow swimming and sandcastles stage, Pelican Boat Hire offers a large range of boats, kayaks, SUPs and tours.
If you’re spending the day on the river, wander down to Noosa Boathouse for lunch where you can grab a feed with a set kid’s menu. Tick! You also can’t beat these panoramic waterfront views.
Come late afternoon, parents, reward yourself with a cocktail from the Sunset Bar. It offers front-row seats to the best sunset views in town and the perfect backdrop for a family snap.
Day 3: Ahoy there captain
Now that you’ve seen the Noosa River from the sidelines (or shallower waters), it’s time to go deep sea, baby. Explore the winding river and all its canals and secluded sandbanks at your leisure.
Hiring a BBQ pontoon boat is hands down one of the best activities to do on a Noosa family holiday and the most exciting way to explore the seaside town. O Boat Hire lets you skipper you own BBQ pontoon boat with no license required. Pick up fishing rods and bait from the bait and tackle shop when you collect your ride.
Make sure you stock up on some fresh seafood or snags for the barbecue or pack a picnic to enjoy on a private patch of sand somewhere.
There are so many little pockets, inlets and sand banks along the Noosa River perfect for creating your own adventure. Throw an anchor down to explore a secluded stretch of sand or drop a line where you suspect the fish are biting.
Tip: Bring a snorkel and goggles for the minis. You may encounter some fishy friends to peer at on your paddles.
Day 4: Smile at a crocodile
With three epic days of water fun under your belt, it’s time to venture south to the world-famous home of the Crocodile Hunter. Yep, crikey, we’re talking Australia Zoo.
The zoo is less than an hour’s drive south of Noosa and easily accessible by Steve Irwin Way off the Bruce Highway. If you have a car this is the best way to get the fam around on your Noosa family holiday. Alternatively, you could book a coach transfer or a day tour to Australia Zoo.
You could spend multiple days getting acquainted with your new scaled, furry and feathered friends. But if you’re looking for the best way to tackle it in one go, here’s how to get the most out of your day at Australia Zoo.
For an extra $19 per person, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. You’ll see the veterinary staff saving the lives of Australian wildlife right in front of your eyes. Literally.
Tours run daily for 30 minutes at 10am, 2:30pm and 3:30pm. All money from your tour is donated directly back into the hospital. This is a great educational tour for the kids where you can learn about the hospital and the important work they do helping injured and recovering wildlife.
In case you need any more reason to visit, check out the faces of some of the adorable baby animals you can find here at Australia Zoo.
Day 5: Let’s get physical
If you haven’t yet checked out the Pirate Park along the Noosa River, tick this adventure playground off your list. The pirate park is located at the far end of Gympie Terrace in Noosaville right outside the Noosa Yacht Club.
Once the kids have worked up a sweat in the playground, cool off with a dip in the river just near the park. It’s time for lunch! The Noosa Yacht Club offers a special kid’s menu for minis under 12 years of age.
With so many beautiful bike paths to explore, keep the active theme going on your Noosa family holiday and work off lunch with a pedal around town.
Bike On have a fleet of bikes suitable for the whole brood with 20 bike hire locations around Noosa. They will also provide you with scenic route options based on where you want to explore and how far you want to ride.
Day 6: Leg it to beauty
A stroll through the park will let you see the stunning seaside spot in all its glory. Turquoise water, secluded coves and frolicking dolphins to your left and native forest, tree canopies and koala spotting to your right. With 15km of stunning trails to explore, what more could you ask for?
You can access Noosa National Park just off the eastern end of Hastings Street. The trails vary in distance so all ages and walking abilities can be accommodated. With stunning photo ops at every turn, here’s our guide on how to do Noosa National Park.
Hot tip: If you can make it to the Fairy Pools, the experience will be worth your while. Located at the far end of Granite Bay, you will find a park bench where the track turns right around the bend. Leave the trail here and venture down towards the rocks where you will be rewarded with the Fairy Pools below.
Plan your expedition for low tide so you can fully enjoy this little patch of paradise and take a dip in the Fairy Pools as they separate from the ocean.
Day 7: Artisan goods for your little artist
Known for their locally-made artisan treasures, Eumundi Markets is a ‘must do’ to add to your Noosa family holiday itinerary. The quaint town of Eumundi is a small town with a big market offering in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland less than 30 minutes’ drive from Noosa.
Open every Wednesday and Sunday, Eumundi Markets cater for a fun-filled family day out, with over 500 stalls where you can pick up some delicious eats or artisan treasures. There are plenty of cute, quirky and educational trinkets for the kids to take home. There’s also performances and activities to keep the brood entertained as you wander.
If you aren’t already full from snacking your way around the markets, wander through the historic town of Eumundi and grab a pub lunch to really experience the charm of this town.
Looking for more ideas to keep the kids occupied in Noosa? Read our guide to things to do in Noosa with kids and a Sunshine Coast family itinerary that will keep your budget intact.