Fall in love with Noosa Country
From the North to the South; East to West, Edwina Cattanach discovers treasures galore for a Noosa Country Drive.
Nature, food, culture, walking trails, antiques, farm gates and village life the list is endless. Make it ‘your’ day, decide which direction you want to head, work through some of the things you would like to do and just get in the car and go!
THE NORTHERN LOOP weaves from Tewantin, Boreen Point through to Elanda Point, Kin Kin and on to Cooran. An extension of this loop takes you further north to Wolvi where you can visit Cooloola Berries for PYO strawberries or Paella in the Paddock, If you have time, check out Salmon Lookout which is 370m above sea level.
On your way from Tewantin heading to Boreen Point is Lake Cootharaba which runs the distance through to Elanda Point. Here you can unwind, hire a kayak and glide over tranquil waters; or wet your line and watch the sailboats whilst having a BBQ. The drive from here to Kin Kin is lush with rainforest, quaint Queenslanders and farm gates well worth the stop for good old country hospitality and delicious local fare at the Kin Kin General Store, home of Black Ant Gourmet. Enjoy a stroll, cycle or horse ride on the Noosa Trail, a dedicated network of eight scenic hinterland recreational trails. Finishing the northern loop is the little town of Cooran, nestled between Mount Pinbarren and Mount Cooran, it’s the perfect end to your day in the country. Stop in for lunch at the Hinterland Restaurant, grab a craft beer at Bonsai Brewery or find treasures from yesteryears at The Vintage Junction. Discover award-winning mead at Amrita Park Meadery and if you have time, don’t miss the breathtaking coastal and hinterland views at the Cooran Tableland Lookout, also called the James McKane Memorial Lookout.
THE CENTRAL LOOP also starts at Tewantin, where you can visit Noosa Regional Gallery on the shores of Noosa River, then out to Cooroy via the beautiful Noosa Botanic Gardens which runs along Lake Macdonald. There is a myriad of native and exotic plants, sculptures, wildlife and a stunning lakefront Greek-style amphitheatre. Upon entering Cooroy don’t miss Copperhead Brewery, Butter Factory Arts Centre and beautiful boutiques such as Blue Brown Bag and Little Shop of Soul. Head to the historic town of Pomona where the impressive sight of the magnificent Mt Cooroora looks over the town and is known for the King of the Mountain Festival. Pomona is home to the world’s oldest operational silent movie theatre, The Majestic, as well the historic Pomona Railway Station Gallery and Rockin’ Relics Antiques Barn. Satisfy your hunger and thirst with locally-grown food at Pomona Village Kitchen; or enjoy a locally-distilled gin at Pomona Distillery.
THE SOUTHERN LOOP takes in leafy Doonan then on to Eumundi, Cooroy and Tinbeerwah. Grab a coffee and soak in the morning sun on the shores of the magnificent Lake Weyba. Continue your drive on to Doonan and on the way stop in and see Peter and Dory at Noosa Red Tomatoes; a local grower of the sweetest tasting tomatoes you have ever tried. Or if you want to take respite from driving book ahead and make an appointment at Ikatan Balinese Day Spa. Set on a private oasis in Doonan, Ikatan Day Spa has been voted four times Best Destination. On to Eumundi, a charming town known for its amazing art galleries, pubs, cafes, boutique shops and the world-famous Original Eumundi Markets every Wednesday and Saturday.
No matter what day you visit Eumundi, there is much to see strolling along historic Memorial Drive under the shade of the magnificent memorial fig trees and various art galleries. Eumundi is also home to the Sunshine Coast’s only Bush Tucker café, Deadly Espresso which is run by the SevGen charity that supports indigenous communities and celebrates the culture of the local Gubbi Gubbi tribe. Forget the highway and take the scenic route to Cooroy and the historic Butter Factory Arts Centre with ever-changing exhibitions, workshops and pop-up studios throughout the year.
On your way out of Cooroy pick up some supplies for a picnic and head to Lake Macdonald for a relaxed afternoon surrounded by nature. Stroll through the Noosa Botanic Gardens, have a picnic at the lake and watch out for native birds.
THE WESTERN LOOP is a vast area from Tewantin through Cooroy, Imbil, Kandanga up to Gympie and back via Traveston and Cooran. Heading west towards the Cooroy State Forest is Imbil, the largest town in the Mary Valley and the gateway to Borumba Dam. Nestled on the banks of the Yabba Creek it provides visitors with beautiful parklands, a variety of shops and services, stylish eateries and weekly markets. Borumba Dam is always buzzing with wildlife and people in their boats pulling skiers. From here you can head to Kandanga and a must do is to stop in at the Kandanga Farm Store, your destination for anything and everything from farm to fork in the Mary Valley. The Mary Valley Scenic Drive is a great introduction to this wonderful region, rewarding drivers with a patchwork landscape of pineapple plantations, grazing cattle, macadamia farms, rainforests and endless rolling hills. Discover the quaint heritage towns of Imbil, Kandanga and Amamoor, and leave plenty of time for a picnic at one of the many scenic outlooks and riverside picnic spots you’ll find along the way.
Why not plan a full weekend and book into one of the fantastic accommodation options available. www.noosacountrydrive.com.au