Bicycle tours or cycling are two of the best ways to explore a destination and we’ve done exactly that at several spots on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
Why not incorporate your bike ride into a Romantic Weekend Getaway in the Noosa Hinterland?
Noosa River is fed through a series of sand lakes as far north as Tin Can Bay and this section of river is wide and blue with views down to the river mouth and ocean. The water is clear and shallow near the shore with sheltered places for kids and adults to swim. The landscaped riverside parklands provide a pleasant place to ride, walk and picnic.
Noosa river is full of potential for all sorts of river craft activities which you will see as the ride progresses.
This budget Noosa bike ride is a DIY Bicycle Tour, beginning at Lions Car Park Noosa Heads and following level ground beside the Noosa River.
Cyclists who enjoy an uphill challenge, will love the Laguna Lookout ride from the same car park.
Noosa River Views
What You Will Find in This Post
Budget Noosa Bike Ride or Noosa River Walk?
Noosa River Walk
If cycling is not your thing, this route converts easily into a Noosa River walk. When walking take into consideration the distance from start to finish is 4.5 km one way. Walkers can cut the distance back considerably by concentrating on Section 2, the best section to walk.
While this is a beautiful river walk, we also love and recommend the iconic Noosa Heads National Park Walk from Sunshine Beach to Noosa Main Beach, which offers a different coastal perspective.
Budget Noosa Bike Hire
If you’re riding, the best plan is to bring your own bicycle or ask if your accommodation provides them free of charge.
Noosa Backpackers Resort (see below) sometimes has free bicycles, kayaks, etc. for use by guests. (07) 5449 8151.
Noosa bike hire shops charge about $30/day for a basic bike hire and some offer a discount on the second if hiring two, or for family bike hire.
Noosa Bike Ride/Noosa River Walk Route
Depart Lions Car Park at Noosa Heads and follow the Noosa River (see map below) through Noosaville before terminating at Noosa Marina Tewantin. The route is divided into three for those who might only be interested in completing one section.
As well as being the starting point of this bike ride, Lions car park is a great place to park when heading to Noosa Main Beach, Noosa Surf Club or Hastings Street.
The best way to experience the fun of the Noosa River shore is by cycling or walking. With endless possibilities to stop and enjoy the river and surrounds. It is also one of the best things to do in Noosa with kids.
Let’s get started.
Leave Lions Park carpark Noosa Heads and ride toward Sofitel Noosa, Noosa Heads.
1. Noosa Bike Ride – Noosa Sound to Noosa River Holiday Park
This part of the ride takes in canal side homes, individual parks, Quamby Place restaurants and shops and the only Noosa Caravan Park on the Noosa River.
Garth Prowd Bridge over Weyba Creek near Sofitel Noosa
This bridge is a terminus for the Noosa River Ferry and Gondolas of Noosa. There are 7 stops along the river and tickets for the ferry can be purchased at most of these stops. On board ticket purchases are by credit card only. It’s a 90 minute round trip, or an All Day Pass can be purchased. Their sunset cruises are very enjoyable.
As an option, the bike ride can be extended from this ferry stop by cycling along Boardwalk Pass to Claude Batten Drive and Noosa River Mouth via Noosa Woods.
Don’t miss tantalising views of canal side homes on the other side of the bridge.
The Bridge over Weyba Creek
How to get to Weyba Creek Bridge:
- Leave Lions car park riding past the Amenities Block and along the path until reaching the bridge.
- Cross to the other side of the bridge the quaint bridge to look down to Noosa River Ferry Stop 7 on the riverside Boardwalk Pass near Sofitel Noosa.
- From the ferry stop (7) it is possible to short-cut beside the Sofitel to Hastings Street Noosa.
The Sound Park – Noosa Sound
You can ride into Sound Park on the path to the river’s edge and playground. There is no river access from this park apart from the pontoon at Ricky’s Tavern, but the park is peaceful and a good place to grab a drink from your water bottles and let the kids play.
As well as Ricky’s River Bar, Wood Fire Grill and Rock Salt restaurants are accessed from Sound Park. On the other side of Sound Park is Quamby Place with it’s selection of smaller shops, cafes and the 2 Hat Wasabi restaurant.
Look for the quirky statues at the entrance to Quamby Place.
There are several riverfront accommodations nearby and this would be a good area to stay for a few days, budget permitting.
River View from Sound Park – Noosa Sound
How to get to Sound Park from Garth Prowd Weyba Creek bridge.
- From the bridge ride 1.2 km along the shared path and when Noosa Parade turns left, take a right into The Sound Park.
The Sound Park Noosaville – Rock Salt Restaurant
Noosa River Holiday Park at Munna Point
So you’re wondering why you should visit a caravan park?
Well, although Noosa Holiday Park fronts the river, the park and beach out front is fully accessible by the public and is a popular place to swim, fish, launch a boat or watch the passing parade of river craft.
Noosa River Holiday Park is the closest Noosa caravan park to Noosa Heads. Book in advance to snare a prime unpowered riverfront camp site. The majority of the park caters for vans, but I love how some tiny campers and tents get a front row river view.
When fishermen clean their catch, pelicans gather to catch the scraps.
How to get to Noosa River Holiday Park from Sound Park.
- From Bicentennial Park follow Noosa Parade over the next canal turning right down Russell Street to the riverfront Noosa River Holiday Park.
View from Bicentennial Park.
2. Noosa Bike Ride – T Boat Hire to Noosa Yacht & Rowing Club Noosaville
On the way to T Boat Hire turn down William Street and ride past Noosa Backpackers Resort at 9 Williams Street on the left. This is the backpackers place I suggested might offer free bikes and kayaks. At the end of the street turn left riding along Gympie Terrace.
At the end of William Street are a selection of pontoons to fish from before arriving at T Boat Hire, the first hire place on this ride.
It’s easy riding along beside the river from here all the way to Noosa Yacht Club. Just stop and explore whatever catches your eye.
Between T Boat Hire (Stop No. 5 Noosa Ferry) 290 Gympie Terrace and Hilton Terrace you will find restaurants and cafes, some great boutiques, day spas, multiple playgrounds, BBQ’s, Picnic Shelters and watercraft hire.
Time for a Coffee Break?
Grind Cafe opposite Noosa Boat Hire is our go to place when cycling the river. It’s a welcome stop to catch your breath, grab a coffee and people watch – the meals look interesting too.
Cycle riverside past Jetty 17 Boat & Kayak Hire and O Boat Hire.
Noosaville Tennis Court Hire
Play riverside tennis in Eli Park at Noosaville Tennis Club. The courts aren’t staffed so book before arrival on 0431707941.
I can’t think of a better location for a game of tennis. $20 per hour by day and $25 per hour at night.
Shortly after the tennis courts is Noosaville Boat Ramp, where we launch our own boat. But if you want to experience the river there are many ways of getting out on the water and you will be riding past them all. Mostly they don’t require a boat licence.
Choose from boats, kayak, SUP, water bicycle and jet ski hire. It’s even possible to hire a BBQ pontoon boat which you can drive to a mid river sand bar for a BBQ – the family dog can even come aboard.
Directly across from the boat ramp on Gympie Terrace is an interesting book and coffee stop called the River Read. Besides friendly service and a good brew, they stock a unique range of Australian made greeting cards and fun book gifts.
Noosa Boathouse Restaurant and River Boat and Kayak Hire
Iconic Noosa Boathouse Restaurant floats proudly riverside (they do take-aways), with Kayak Noosa, Noosa River Fishing Safaris and Noosa River and Canal Cruises in a cluster behind. This is an action packed part of the park.
Beyond the Boathouse at the big pelican, is Pelican Boat Hire and Noosa fishing charters can be arranged here through Noosa River Fishing and Crab Adventures.
Noosa Yacht and Rowing Club
Park your bike and adjourn the deck of the Noosa Yacht and Rowing Club for refreshments. Overlooking the river, this Club is Noosaville’s answer to the Noosa Heads Surf Club on Noosa Main Beach and much less crowded.
3. Noosa Bike Ride – Hilton Esplanade to Tewantin/Noosa Marina
This section covers laid-back Hilton Esplanade, one of my favourite Noosaville Streets. With a wonderful riverside location and a hardly used riverside road, this street has a mix of renovated and original homes overlooking the river, private jetties and parkland.
Hilton Esplanade always inspires a spate of real estate dreams on my part.
How to get to Hilton Esplanade from Noosa Yacht Club.
- Turn right onto Gympie Terrace crossing a bridge before turning right into Hilton Terrace and right again into Hilton Esplanade.
Noosa Marina Tewantin
We’ve reached the finish line at Noosa Marina, home terminal of the Noosa River Ferry and a delightful place to relax anytime, but especially so at the turn-around point of the ride.
Noosa Marina has a variety of restaurants, overwater shops, boutiques, jewellery, spar, hair stylist and restaurants. The casual but licensed Noosa Fish Market is good for a fresh burger, or a Salt and Pepper Calamari and handle of Sapporo.
Pier II restaurant on the Marina boardwalk is one of our favourite Noosa river restaurants for romantic water view dining. Their Two Course Monday and Tuesday deals are delicious and affordable. If seated by dusk you will see massive clouds of bats flying up river.
It is worth visiting the Marina on Sunday morning for Noosa Marina Markets. Stalls set up on the overwater boardwalks and with live music coming from the open air bar, it’s quite a vibrant place to be.
How to get to Noosa Marina from Hilton Esplanade.
- Ride to the end of Hilton Esplanade where there are several close options to rejoin the main road before it crosses over the junction of Doonella Lake and Noosa River. You can see the Marina across the water from Hilton Esplanade. It’s very close.
- After the bridge turn right into Parkyn Court and you’ve arrived at Noosa Marina.
There are so many fun things to do on this Noosa bike ride. The riverfront can be busy during school holidays and weekends, but cycling the shared pathways is a great way to remove yourself from the hustle of road traffic.
Mid-week visits are the most relaxing, but taking it slow makes the ride enjoyable at any time. Get more Noosa Bike Riding tips here.
These photos are all so familiar Jan as I’ve walked along the shores of the Noosa River on many occasions when staying up that way. I think the Noosa River is as pretty as a picture and love that you can partake in a variety of watersports on the water or jump on the river ferry and cruise back and forth. Thanks for taking me along with you on your bike ride.