The Sunshine Coast in Queensland has a stellar line-up of sun-soaked beaches stretching 65 km north from Caloundra to the celebrated holiday destination of Noosa. Most people visit Noosa and the Noosa National Park, so it makes perfect sense to combine the two in a Noosa National Park Walk from Sunshine Beach to Noosa Heads. The park trails are well maintained with even more money recently spent on the new Noosa Boardwalk, improving the visitor experience for families and the disabled.
There are many tracks through the National Park, but for panoramic views of the spectacular coastline with the chance of dolphins and migrating whales, you can’t pass up Coastal Track 4.
We’ve done all the foot work for you and found the best way to do the Noosa Coastal Walk.
What You Will Find in This Post
Noosa Coastal Walk from Sunshine Beach
Coastal Track 4 is a Noosa National Park Walk that can be done in either direction, but we suggest starting at the Sunshine Beach end. To do this you will need two cars and two people.
Park the first car at Noosa Heads early in the morning and then the other at Sunshine Beach. With the walk complete and your Noosa vehicle already parked, you can relax and enjoy all that Noosa Beach has to offer, with your vehicle snugly parked for the day – you’re welcome!
If you are lucky enough to be staying at Noosa, then by all means do the walk from Noosa to Sunshine Beach via the coastal track catching a Translink bus back to Noosa from outside the Sunshine Beach Surf Club. Noosa City provides a free holiday bus service. The Sunshine Beach Surf Club is a further 1.2km along the beach from the southern end of the walk, but you will be a happy walker because Sunshine is one beautiful stretch of beach.
At the time of publishing the SBSC is undergoing a complete rebuild. A new two storey structure will be open later in 2019.
In order to gauge the time required to complete the walk, I’ve added some times from our most recent walk.
8.45 a.m. – Arrived at the stairs – Access 29
The early morning sun warming Sunshine Beach and a lone seagull.
At the northern end of the beach the track leads to the hilltop headland for views south over the beach. It is often used just as a view point, but this is the starting point for the Noosa National Park walk from Sunshine Beach to Noosa.
I believe that the Sunshine Beach to Noosa direction is easier than the reversed walk, but even so this hill climb is a bit of a killer, with some hard hitting steps. The good news is that just when you need a rest, a bench seat magically appears. I find a quick sit, a drink and some photos, is enough enough to allow me to continue. There are two perfectly positioned bench seats on the climb.
National Parks Qld Map
Follow Coastal Track 4. It’s marked solid blue on the map below. Snap a photo of the map for safety’s sake. The blue dotted line on the Alexandria Bay section indicates no formed track, just a relaxing walk along a beautiful stretch of beach.
This map of Noosa National Park walking tracks can be found at the base of the Sunshine Beach Headland.
If the thought of the hill climb is too much or you have small children with you, follow Coastal Track 5 from Sunshine Beach which leads through a forest, is shadier and not hilly. It comes out midway along Alexandria Beach. The final hill climb at the northern end of the beach is quite achievable. After an initial steep section with minimal steps it settles into a gradual climb culminating at Hells Gates.
Looking south to Sunshine Beach from the first bench seat.
A little further up and a more comprehensive view of one of the Sunshine Coasts more upmarket beach destinations. This is the last sign of habitation for a couple of hours.
Walk on the wild side – Devil’s Kitchen on the Sunshine Beach to Alexandria Bay section of the walk.
Turning the corner toward Alexandria Bay, waves thunder onto the rocks. There has been a lot of maintenance on this section of the track with rocks arranged into informal steps.
This is a good place to leave the track and explore the rocks or just rest and enjoy the wild beauty.
Alexandria Bay Noosa
Time to tackle the beach section of the walk. By the way this is an unofficial nudist beach.
About half way along the Beach, Coastal Track 5 originating at Parkedge Road in Sunshine Beach, enters Alexandria beach. Beside it is one of two emergency yellow phones on this beach. The other is at the northern end.
At a little less than half way through the walk these surfers have walked a long way whichever way they’ve arrived. We are quite often overtaken by people running while carrying surf boards!
The gradual climb at the northern end of Alexandria Beach on Coastal Walk 4.
Hells Gate Noosa
After climbing the next headland, look back over Hells Gates to Alexandria Bay Noosa National Park. This is also a good place to look for migrating whales and playful pods of dolphins. During calm weather turtles can be seen gathering food around the rocks.
The cliffs are unfenced and the drop is 10 metres, so caution is required.
Cormorants dry themselves on the rocks below, but Osprey raptors prefer a higher vantage point. They patrol along the beaches and plunge into the crystal clear water from the headland.
Fairy Pools Noosa.
These two fairy pools are hot property so I’ve added an aerial map to show their location at the base of Noosa Headlands. I’ve also added their position to the map above. Low tide is the best time for swimming in the Fairy Pools. Bring snorkel and goggles to view coral and sponges.
The perfect place to find mermaids…
You can see a pool in the photo below.
From here the track turns west toward Noosa beach with glimpses of hidden beaches and glittering surf breaks. Views extend across to Fraser Island and Cooloola Sands.
Granite Bay Noosa National Park
At times there are stretches of sand, but mostly it is granite and more granite. Popular with surfers.
On our most recent walk the weather was cloudy, but thankfully here on the Noosa side the headland was somewhat protected from rain scuds arriving from the south.
See the access to Granite Bay sign, steps and sand between the rocks.
Dolphin Point, Noosa National Park
Dolphin Point is a well known Whale watching spot during the migration season. They start arriving on the coast in Late May but mating season from July through to late October is the best viewing time.
At Easter mid-April and in mid-May, we’ve seen dolphins cruising the swells.
The track from Dolphin Point on is stroller and wheelchair friendly.
Coastal Track 4 heading toward Noosa Main Beach.
There are many beautiful views through the trees.
Ocean to the right and trees to the left.
Tea Tree Bay Noosa National Park.
If you’re walking from Noosa Main Beach end, bring all your gear and set up for the day. It’s only about a 20 minute walk and the shade of trees and flat rocks make it perfect for a picnic.
If you’re walking from Sunshine Beach make sure you are wearing your bathers, because you will be wanting a swim about now.
There are steep waves on Rocky Point for experienced surfers and rock pools to explore at the water’s edge. The beach is not patrolled by surf lifesavers.
Boiling Pot, Noosa National Park
The heart shaped rock below boils with frothy water like a boiling pot. This is the first major lookout on the walk from the Noosa end and reaching it from Noosa Main Beach is achievable by the majority of walkers.
We quite often bring visitors here when we are short on time to do the whole walk. It does give an idea of the magnificent scenery of Noosa National Park.
SUP, surfing and Fraser Island from Noosa National Park.
Day Use Area Noosa National Park
Find out about the Noosa National Park at the Dept. of National Parks outdoor display in the day use area.
Noosa Beach Australia.
Near Little Cove, the concrete walking path meets the new timber boardwalk opened in November 2018. It’s much wider than the previous one and there are tables and chairs with steps down to the ocean. It is such a welcome improvement.
The coastal walking track continues on to Noosa main beach in front of the Noosa Surf Club before morphing into a boardwalk separating the iconic sands of Noosa from the hotel strip that adjoins it.
Noosa Main Beach.
Check out Main Beach action on the Easter long week-end.
Noosa Surf Club
Monday to Friday the Noosa Surf Club opens at 11 a.m. (8 a.m. on week-ends) so the timing is perfect to grab a table on the deck. By mid-day there will be a queue of hopefuls. The surf club has great club food which is delivered promptly, usually within 15 minutes of ordering.
The Calamari Plate is a generous serve costing $23 – plenty for two. We added a plate of the always good Bruschetta ($14) and a small chips ($6) to share between the three. The extra chips was overkill. A decent house wine is about $9/glass and the Great Northern Crisp on tap is beautifully cold.
The Club has recently has new bifold windows on the deck, but the poorly designed new timber leaning rail does inhibit the wonderful view a little.
The bruschetta doesn’t look this messy – we sliced it to make sharing easier!
Noosa Tourist Information.
The Tourist Information Centre is at 61 Hastings Street, Noosa, to the right of the Noosa Surf Club and the Noosa National Park Information Centre is in the National Park near the Entrance Car Park (9.15am to 4.45pm, seven days a week).
This map shows the parking areas of Noosa Spit Rec.Reserve – Noosa National Park Carpark – Maze Carpark (all free) – the bustling shopping and restaurant filled Hastings Street – budget accommodation option of YHA Halse Lodge.
Brisbane to Noosa
- Greyhound Bus Brisbane to Noosa Junction – 2 hrs. 45 mins.
- Driving from Brisbane Airport – 1 hr. 40 mins.
- Train Brisbane to Nambour. Bus Nambour to Noosa. – 4 hours.
Noosa Heads Weather
- Summer is December to February. Hottest month January. Minimum 21 to Maximum 28 degrees C.
- Winter is June to August. Minimum 10 Maximum 21 degrees C.
- The wettest month is March with 175mm of rain. September is the driest month with 50mm of rain.
- With the least amount of rainfall and plenty of sunshine, September to November is the best time to visit.
Perfect for Pinning.
How long is Noosa National Park Walk?
We clocked 8.4 km one way from the Sunshine Beach Stairs to the Noosa Surf Club on our Trip Tracker App.
Our walk took 2.25 hours which I feel would be an average amount of time.
Read more about the available walks here. (National Parks quote a distance of 5.4 km one way from the Noosa Day Use Area to the Northern End of Sunshine Beach).
Where to Stay on a budget in Noosa
Halse Lodge Hostel
Location. Location. Location. Housed in Halse Lodge the only Noosa Heads seaside guest house still operating from the early 1920’s, this hostel has beds from $32/night.
Set in two acres of rainforest on a slight hill and only 100 metres from the beach, the fully restored 1880 era lodge paints a pretty picture. It’s a two storey timber guesthouse with a hipped corrugated iron roof. The long driveway that ascends the hill from Noosa Drive only adds to the grandeur.
Nowadays it is a 92 bed YHA associate, with twin/double rooms and dorms. Although there are no dedicated family rooms a four bed dorm can be booked.
The restaurant is open to the public, and the bar/beer garden hosts travellers from all over the world. It might be too noisy for over 50’s and families, but it is worth considering for it’s stunning location alone.
It’s also worth noting that cheap places to stay in Noosa are few and far between!
Where to stay in Noosa for Couples on a Budget but with a vehicle.
Noosa Australia is a beautiful but expensive place to stay outside of hostels. But the good news is there are other beautiful beaches close by, like Coolum Beach and Peregian Beach. With a vehicle you can be at Noosa in 10 minutes from Peregian Beach. Gina’s place at Peregian Beach has private rooms with private bathroom for $70 per couple. (Comparable to a hostel).
Even without a vehicle at your disposal staying at nearby beaches is totally achievable as the coast has a good public bus service which is free in school holidays.
Noosa Accommodation for Families
Compare Noosa Holiday Apartments for Families here.
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