When most people think of Noosa Heads, it's surf, sunshine, and shopping that come to mind. And while this Queensland beach town is definitely famous for its waves and glitzy boutiques, it's also home to Noosa National Park and its 10 miles of coastal walking trails.
The most popular section of the park is right on Noosa Headland, accessible by simply following the boardwalk that runs along Noosa Main Beach. A paved walking trail hugs the coast and runs in the direction of Hell's Gate, where it's possible to spot turtles and humpback whales from the panoramic viewpoint.
The network of trails continues all the way down to Sunshine Beach, and there's even a chance travelers will spot wild koalas as they clamber and climb through the treetops. In addition, the bird-watching in the East Weyba section of park is some of the best in southeastern Queensland, although most visitors stick to Noosa Heads and the coastal sections of track.
Insider Tip: The best time of year to spot humpback whales is usually between June and November.
Noosa National Park has multiple entry points, mostly from Noosa or Coolum. Consult a map when choosing your point of entry, and keep in mind the different attractions of each area of the park. The walking track is paved from Noosa Main Beach all the way to Granite Bay, after which the trails are well graded but still require proper footwear. Allow two hours for the round-trip walk to the lookout point at Hell's Gate and about three hours if you plan to walk all the way to Sunshine Beach. Because the park has limited facilities, be sure to pack enough food and water, particularly when hiking in summer.