Noosa has long been one of south-east Queensland’s premier holiday destinations. Situated just two hours drive north of the state capital Brisbane, Noosa is an idyllic haven with something for all the family.
Even before European settlement, Noosa was a holiday area for the local Aboriginal inhabitants on their way to the bunya nut festivals in the nearby Blackall Range – the word Noosa even has a holiday-type vibe in their language meaning shade, or shadow, probably referring to the tall trees which can still be seen in the nearby Noosa National Park.
Australia Day is celebrated on January 26 each year and commemorates the arrival of Captain James Cook in Sydney Cove in 1788. It falls during the height of summer and marks the end of the long summer school holidays, so is a special time for all Australians and even more special to visit Noosa. There are plenty of activities organized often with many colorful local events such as cane toad racing, or ‘thong’ tossing. Note: thongs are worn on the feet in Australia!
Noosa boasts some of the best restaurants in Australia. Many renowned chefs from the southern cities of Melbourne and Sydney have made the move to set up on the most beautiful locations on the Sunshine coast. Hastings Street, the main street of Noosa situated right behind the famous Noosa Beach Laguna Bay, boasts un unparalleled array of eating options from fresh and friendly cafés where you will be able to sample the best coffee to be had anywhere in the world, to the famous Beach House run by eminent Australian chef Peter Kuruvita. A visit to his superb restaurant overlooking the beach, with it’s modern décor and equally modern seafood and Sri Lankan fusion offering a full menu and degustation is a fine dining experience you’ll never forget.
Of course, being a beach destination, there is an almost unlimited choice of water activities to be enjoyed in Noosa. You could get active and go retro with surfing lessons on a classic long board, or be even more adventurous and sign up to learn how to kite surf. If your style is a little more relaxed, how about a trip up the Noosa River on a classic 1940’s style mahogany speed boat, or the ultimate in luxury and romance, a night time Gondolas of Noosa cruise on the Noosa Sound where you can arrive at your favourite river-side restaurant in style.
After all that activity why not book yourself in for a relaxing massage and day of pampering at any one of the world-class spa facilities. One of the most famous is the AQUA Day Spa at the Sheraton Hotel on Hastings Street. This spa offers a full menu of massages, facials and hand and foot treatments that will have you walking on air as you leave. If you need even more relaxation, we can arrange for yoga classes offered on the beach each morning.
For all the Fresh food lovers, this time of year is also the peak of tropical fruit season with mangos, bananas, pineapples, pawpaw (papaya), custard apples (sometimes called sweetsop or cherimola), lychees, and avocados to name just a few, all of which are grown locally on the Sunshine Coast hinterland. The world-famous Queensland seafood is also at it’s best at this time of the year, and restaurants make a special effort with their menus for Australia Day.
Queensland Villa 505
When you imagine spending some time in utter luxury on a private island you imagine you would have to travel to far-flung places like the Caribbean, but this opportunity awaits you just two hours north of Brisbane, the capital city of the Sunshine State of Queensland.
Queensland Villa 505 sits nestled on a 25 acre (10 hectare) island in the middle of the Noosa River. It boasts three separate villas with ten beds−sleeping up to 20 guests−and ten luxury bathrooms. The décor throughout is Balinese themed, furnished with individually sourced antiques and custom made pieces sourced from Bali, Indonesia and further afield through Asia. The rooms feature romantic canopy beds with carved volcanic stone outdoor baths and−the height of luxury−marble bathrooms.
To while away your time on the island you could choose an active day starting with a game of tennis on the full size court followed by a swim in the lagoon pool.
After lunch you could take out one of the Hobbie Cats and sail around the island, or set out on an adventure kayaking up the Noosa River to nearby Lake Cooroibah. After all that activity come back to the island to enjoy a spa treatment, pre-dinner drinks in the Balinese wantilan and an after dinner game of billiards on the full size table.
Despite being tucked away in a world of it’s own, Villa 505 is only minutes away from the vibrant café and fashion culture of Noosa’s renowned Hastings Street. Here you can browse among any of the quirky independent boutiques or high-end international stores where you will be sure to find that perfect outfit to attend the Sunshine Coast’s premier race day – the Sunshine Coast Cup.
The Sunshine Coast Cup is an annual event held on Australia Day each year at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club in nearby Caloundra. This facility is one of Australia’s leading thoroughbred training and racing facilities with a synthetic cushion track that ensures racing all year round no matter the weather conditions.
The Sunshine Coast Cup is the major metropolitan meeting for Queensland on Australia Day with an eight race program and over half a million dollars in prize money. The premier location to view the program is from one of the exclusive tables at the Hobnobbers Luncheon – book a table of ten for complementary entry to the track, an indulgent buffet lunch, with competitions and prizes to be won all afternoon.
After all the excitement of the races, have a relaxing day the next day and take the opportunity to surf at Noosa’s renowned beach Laguna Bay and then enjoy a leisurely lunch in one of the many restaurants and cafes on nearby Hastings street.
A stay at Villa 505 for a few days before and after the Australia Day long weekend will leave you refreshed, relaxed, and hopefully a little better off after a big win at the races.
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Queensland Villa 519
The impressive driveway and tropical entrance of Queensland Villa 519 has that immediate ‘wow’ factor which continues all the way through this superb villa which boasts five bedrooms, five bathrooms and sleeps 10.
The stunning architecture is complimented with professional design using high-end finishes and fixtures. The lush tropical planting in the garden is carried through into the house complimenting the luxury tropical furnishings.
The true architectural feature of the villa is the sweeping, master-built elliptical staircase leading up to the second floor with a stunning mezzanine leading to the beautifully appointed bathrooms and bedrooms complete with terraces looking out over the canal. This villa is perfect for the extended family as it has its own self-contained guest suite on the ground floor.
The uniquely shaped saltwater pool flows around the living area, and has it’s own lounging cabana off to one side. Relax by the pool to enjoy lunch prepared on the gas barbeque; or if you want complete rest and luxury, a private chef can be arranged to take care of all your meals.
There is a cozy living area complete with a large-screen television for a quiet night in, and the villa also features a separate theater room to solve those all-to-frequent family discussions about which film or television program to watch.
The more active members of the party will enjoy launching the kayaks from the sandy beach at your doorstep. Paddle away down Weyba creek and explore Lake Weyba – the southern most lake of the three Great Lakes of Noosa.
A traditional activity on Australia Day, 26 January, is a barbeque – locally known as ‘a barbie’ – or picnic on the beach. A perfect location for this while staying at Villa 519 would be to hire a boat and travel up through Lake Cooriobah to Boreen Point on beautiful Lake Cootharaba which is the northern-most of the Great Lakes of Noosa. Lake Cootharaba, which averages only 1.5 metres in depth, is a perfect place for even the youngest members of the family to enjoy a traditional Australia Day on the water.
If you don’t want to travel so far, the historic Noosa National Park is only minutes away. First used as a recreation area in the late 1870’s the park was formally gazetted in 1930 and continues to be a major draw-card in Noosa. While you are walking along the well-maintained tracks be sure to look up as you may be rewarded with a glimpse of a koala asleep in the fork of a tree. There are many picnic areas in the park, along with some superb surf beaches such as Tea Tree Bay and Alexandra Bay.
Your stay in Villa 519 will be a rewarding time with space for all the family to spread out, or to come together just minutes away from Noosa and all it’s many attractions..
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Queensland Villa 565
Situated only a stone’s throw from Noosa’s Laguna Beach and vibrant Hastings Street, with absolute water frontage and a sunny, north-facing aspect, Villa 565 has it all. With four bedrooms sleeping eight and four bathrooms facing a tranquil canal this is a prefect get-way for the family with older children and teenagers.
Approaching Queensland Villa 565 from the road the sleek, all-white modernist design with full security gives very little inkling of the dramatic architecture waiting for you.
The imposing double doors open into a truly impressive double height living and dining area, where the folding doors open to flow out onto the outdoor dining area overlooking a private lap pool and the canal. The staircase takes you up to the gallery level leading to the sumptuously decorated bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and the terraces overlooking the water. The whole feel of this villa is luxury resort style living.
Despite being so private and self-contained, the best thing Villa 565 offers is that it is just a hop, skip and jump away from the iconic Noosa beach and lively Hastings Street. Teenagers in the family have the freedom to head over to the beach to surf and swim, while Mum and Dad can stay at the villa working out in the lap pool and then relax on the terrace, or join the teenagers over the bridge. While they surf, head off to browse the boutiques and galleries on Hastings Street and then meet up for lunch in any one of the top-class restaurants and cafés on the street.
For a family day out, there are a large number of markets in and around Noosa. There is a quaint Sunday morning market at the Noosa Marina or, for those who are not so inclined towards early rising, why not try the charming Noosaville Twilight Markets on Friday evenings from 5:30pm. Of course, no stay on the Sunshine Coast is complete without a trip to the world-famous Eumundi Markets in the nearby hinterland town of Eumundi (you will need to hire a car to get to these markets). The markets are held each Wednesday and Saturday and are full of stalls of locally made items, fresh produce and home made treats.
Be sure to stock up on these delicious, homemade treats ready for your Australia Day barbeque lunch on the terrace back at the villa. For the day after your Australia Day lunch with friends and family, book a sunset boat tour up through the Noosa everglades for an unforgettable wildlife and nature experience.
A stay in Villa 565 has something for every member of the family and everyone is sure to come away feeling refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated.
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Noosa has earned its well-deserved reputation as one of Australia’s – and indeed, the world’s−most sought after holiday destinations. Its beautiful beach and national park, luxury accommodation, world-class restaurants, top shopping, and unhurried, typically laid-back and welcoming Australian atmosphere all within only two hours drive of Brisbane makes it a perfect destination for a high-end yet relaxing beach break. Make sure you book in soon so you are able to enjoy Australia Day at a premier beach destination.