Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast might not seem the best choice for a ‘gay get away’. After all, there are no gay bars and, during the busy periods, the place is literally crammed with happy families and loved-up heterosexuals.
However, don’t despair. There is a huge upside to Noosa if you get a few things right. Here are some tips to get you on your way to a more ‘gay-centric’ stay in this beautiful part of the Sunshine State.
We had a fantastic stay at Noosa Cove Holiday Apartments in Upper Hastings Street. A small well run tropical retreat with just three rooms, (2×2 bedrooms and 1x studio). The rooms are spotless, quiet and there is a small pool that is private enough for clothing optional swimming. We found the wifi worked well, the rooms were fully self-contained, beds comfortable and overhead fans kept us cool enough. Patrick, one of the two gay owners, made us feel very welcome and provided handy information about the local area. The retreat is ideally located next to the National Park, close to beaches and a five minute walk to the centre of town. It is so central, we did not use our car at all during our stay.
For a special occasion or five star stay you might want to investigate PeppersNoosa Resort and Villas which is a proud member of GALTA affiliated properties. (See our story: Noosa Charms GALTA for more details)
Beaches and National Park
Main Beach at Noosa is idyllic with easy access, acres of soft white sand and gentle lapping waves. As its name suggests it is the main beach of the town and very ‘mainstream’ in terms of who it attracts. Most days this beach is packed with frolicking families.
However, our favourite beach is about a forty five minute walk from the centre of Noosa to famous Alexandria Bay. Just before you scream ‘a forty five minute walk!’, we would like to say the trek to ‘the Bay’ through the National Park, along the coastal track is one of the great walks of the world. We’re sure you won’t be disappointed.
You can start your journey on the track in Main Beach or at the beginning of the National Park. Once inside the park, look for the sign the rangers post daily near the little coffee shop indicating where koalas can be spotted in the Park. The track is well marked and often packed with tourists. But don’t be put off. The scenery is simply breathtaking.
The walk takes you through rainforests, paperbark trees (Melaleuca), past gorgeous rocky coves and small sandy beaches. The water is an endless sheet of turquoise and sapphire glass. There are amazing photo opportunities and shirtless, suntanned surfboard riders wander the track in search of the best waves. After about forty minutes of leisurely, scenic walking you will come to a sign indicating the path to Alexandria Bay. Walk up the dozen or so steps and follow the track for another five minutes.
At Alexandria Bay you will find a magnificent wide open beach that has been a main attraction for nudists and gay men for many years. Head up the beach to where you feel comfortable. Most often guys can be found towards the back of the beach in the sand dunes. The beach is not officially nude but it would be a rare day that you would not find some guys sunbaking and swimming with their kit off. Don’t forget to take everything you want for a day out, as there are no shops close by. And don’t forget to slip, slop, slap before you leave on your adventure. The sun in this part of Queensland can be pretty ferocious at times.
Noosa Dining and Bars
There are dozens of fantastic restaurants in Noosa ranging from gourmet pizza and hamburger outlets to five star restaurants right on the beach. One of the best restaurants in Noosa is Sails. This iconic eatery, located right on the beachfront, is highly popular and has an award winning wine list.
Another wonderful restaurant that we can highly recommend is Rococo which is in the centre of town. The food is excellent, especially our favourite, the suckling pig. We also greatly enjoyed the music from the talented pianist who has been performing here for the last ten years.
Hastings Street has a delightful open air eating atmosphere so your choice comes down to the type of food you fancy and the price you are prepared to pay.
You can also check out the café and restaurant scene in the surrounding areas like Sunshine Beach, Peregian and Coolum.
For delicious, upmarket modern Asian food you might like to try Embassy XO at nearby Sunshine Beach. This restaurant has an outstanding reputation and terrific Yum Cha Friday to Sunday.
In May Noosa hosts an International Food and Wine Festival where foodies gather from around the world to party and celebrate good food and wine. The dates vary a little each year but noosafoodandwine.com.au will be a useful reference if you happen to find yourself around the area in May.
Unfortunately there are no gay bars in Noosa but we have found a few drinks on the balcony at Laguna Jacks the best way to start the evening. Things get very sleepy after about 10pm in Noosa. However, Soda Nightclub in the Reef Hotel is a possibility, and who knows, you might even find a few gay revellers out for a celebration.
Other Ideas In and Around Noosa
Noosa is really a ‘big kids’ playground with its beautiful beaches, surrounding waterways and enticing hinterland. You might like to try some of these:
- Boating along the Noosa River. Try gay operators at Malu OS Eco Boat Hire. They picked us up from the Sheraton Hotel wharf and took us for a stunning late afternoon cruise to the very impressive Noosa Boathouse which is just fantastic for lunch, dinner or functions.
- Take a day excursion to the coloured sands which is one of the great wonders of the area.
- Learn to surf – there are plenty of local operators and you might like to try the paddle boards available for hire on Main Beach.
- Eumundi Markets – Open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8am to 1pm. Don’t miss this fabulous country market where you’ll not only be spoilt for choice of locally grown produce but you’ll be sure to score a bargain at one of the unique art and craft stalls. A real winner.
- For a day by the pool at a nearby gay resort or to stay just outside Noosa, try Hideaway Noosa Men’s Resort which is located just near Peregian Beach. This friendly, clothing optional, men-only retreat welcomes day guests for a small fee.
Know Before You Go
- Best time to visit Noosa is out of school or public holidays and between March and November.
- You can fly to Maroochydore Airport and hire a car or take a bus to Hastings Street in the heart of Noosa.