When it comes time to shop, you could do worse than head to Maroochydore and the big shopping mall that lines the highway. Trust me, you can't miss it!
Set astride an estuary it is thus a bit different to your average centre with paddle boats for hire right in the middle of all the shops.
You also shouldn't have any trouble telling the time as shown in this pic featuring a clock that has eight bells and chimes on the quarter hour and below is one of three waterfalls that dot the area.
There's all the usual chain stores, an eating area and a multitude of other specialty shops, far too numerous to mention here.
Flaxton is barely a village, more a location. It does have one or two businesses and the main one is definitely Flaxton Barn, a mish-mash of arts and crafts, local food items and a small cafe with splendid views.
Though Flaxton is only 3 kilometres north from the busy Montville, it never gets crowded as, speaking frankly, there's not a lot of reason to go there.
It does have a lot of B&B's, mostly situated near the rainforest area.
These well known outcrops are a legacy of volcanoes past, the central core remaining whilst the rest has worn away over aeons of time. This is not an uncommon phenomenon in Australia but these and the ones at Coonabarabran are the best.
This view is taken near Mary Cairncross Park which is, in turn, near Maleny in the hinterland but you will also notice them en route from Brisbane.
At one end of the walk is the approximately 200 steps at Sunshine Beach which is on the south side.
We actually walked from my son's accommodation, about 400 metres from these steps, and then over the hill to Alexander Beach and onto Granite Bay, Ti Tree Bay and National Pass.
Other walks lead off this track but they are not as frequented as this one.
The trail from Noosa to the point is actually a concrete and boardwalk path, so popular has it become.
The point became a National Park fairly early, in 1930.
The beach is what drew people to Noosa and that is still the main drawcard. Surfing gave it a prominence and publicity above the other attractions that were there.
The National Park of the headland, the coloured sands of Teewah, the creek that offered abundant fishing. These were all reasons for people to go there and still are but today, the fishing has waned, the National Park is always busy and there's a dozen tours to take you to the coloured sands.
There's also a myriad of other attractions.
The first surf lifesaving club was formed in 1927 but it was surfboarding that put it on the international map.
Today the population is around 10,000 and growing. Real estate is expensive, as is some of the accommodation. Those with money and an artistic bent are liable to be found here and at Byron Bay in northern N.S.W.
One thing the Sunshine Coast is not short of is scrub turkeys.
This particular one is in the carpark at Peregian Beach but they are fairly common throughout the area.
Whilst staying in our B&B at Flaxton I used to watch them each evening as they ascended in stages to the heights of the rainforest trees in order to nest for the night.
During the daytime they scratch and scrape through the leaf litter for assorted items of vegetable or insect matter or scrounge scraps off the tourists. Either way, they don't go hungry.
This house, a little on the grandiose side of normal, is built in a style called "Queenslander". This entails having your house above ground level to some degree to allow for airflow beneath the house and a verandah, not only to sit on but also to shield the house from much of the sun's burning rays, both traits beneficial in a noted sunny state such as Queensland.
This one is located next door to the Tree Frog Gallery shown in the previous picture
The waves keep rolling in at Noosa Heads, just a nice size to enjoy, not the huge monsters that can leave you bruised and battered.
It is an ideal beach if you want to learn or just enjoy board riding, and if you are a bodysurfer there are plenty of waves to enjoy close to shore. If you are not used to surf, be cautious, stay between the flags which indicate the safe areas which are patrolled by lifesavers.
Always apply sunscreen to exposed flesh, otherwise you will get badly sunburnt, enjoy several hours on the beach , the water is very refreshing.
We loved the beaches on the Sunshine Coast better than the Gold Coast when I was growing up because they were not as built out but now, just like anything else, they are becoming touristy. Nevertheless, if you travel north you'll come to some lovely places. We loved to camp at Tin Can Bay and even further on, Fraser Island still feels like a holiday away from it all.
Noosa is the home of the Big Pineapple. It is a tourist/family place to spend a nice couple of hours. There is a lovely little bush walk. They have animals and you can feed the large fish. There's also a train ride and large gift shop and restaurant. The kids really enjoyed the place :o)
December 2009 update. Sadly I have heard that the Big Pineapple is in receivership. I do hope that someone buys it and keeps it running. It has always been a great Noosa icon and not only that, but part of the great Aussie 'Big' things...like the big Banana and big Prawn.
The surf club overlooks the beach and is where the lifesavers house their equipment, traditional surf boats and the more modern powered rescue boats.
The balcony is one of the best places to view the surf and beach activity, at the same time you can enjoy coffee and cake or a beer.
At the southern end of the beach there are koala bears in the bushland, you may be lucky and see one.
The town was full for this weekend, the first in September, so book your accommodation early. Some restaurants commence entertainment on the Thursday night but the street parade to open the weekend festival is held mid Friday morning, Hastings Street is closed to traffic and pavement packed with onlookers. The Queensland Government supports this event through "Queensland Events".
The Laguna Lookout situated on the hill overlooking Noosa Heads gives you a panoramic view of the ocean, town and national forest including the mountains in the distance. The lookout is a 5 minute drive from Hastings street , for those wishing to walk there is a pathway100 metres from the corner of Hastings Street and Noosa Drive which enables you to enjoy the bush and views, with several rest stations along the way.
These markets located in the hinterland less than a 20 minute car drive from Noosa are well worth the effort to visit. We visited on a Saturday and could not believe the size of the market, people everywhere. There was a tremendous variety of stalls, including arts & crafts, boutiques selling clothes for all sizes and shapes, beads and jewellery, plenty of food stalls and restaurants to enjoy whilst having a break from shopping.
These markets are open on Saturday and Wednesday, if you pass the area on another day you will see nothing except a vacant paddock. You can easily spend 3 or 4 hours at these markets.
Exploring markets is one of my habits when I travel.
Eumundi Market is the most famous one near Noosa Heads so how could I miss it? There were stalls selling clothing, paintings, ornaments, food and fresh fruit. Some stalls sold Thai/Asian products at unbelievably high prices which were quite a trap!!!
The food stalls were quite good. I bought a box of home-made coffee cream cookies, 1 kg of strawberries and a huge baked potatoes with cheese for lunch.
It's NOT necessary to join any tour. I met a girl from the YHA and she paid about AUD12 for a tour which only covered the transportation and the most unbelievable thing was that's RECOMMENDED by the YHA staff!!!