Penne Cole's thoughts on food, travel and more
The Happy Gwailo and I recently managed to squeeze in a quick weekend getaway to Noosa in Queensland. Noosa is a beautiful beach town, half an hour’s drive north of the Maroochydore airport. It’s blessed with miles and miles of beautiful sandy beaches, and is incredibly packed during the summer months. Luckily for us, we visited in mid-winter after the school holidays so the beaches were fairly empty and relaxed. On the flip side, the water was too cold for swimming, but being a tropical girl born and raised, I find Australian water too cold at any time of the year, so it didn’t bother me too much. I prefer my sea water at the tepid bathtub temperatures of Malaysia, thank you. Here in Australia, I won’t venture much beyond dipping a toe in.
Swimming was out of the question and neither of us have the temperament for sunbathing – we would get bored in five minutes. So instead, we decided to explore the Noosa National Park. The park is easily accessible from Hastings Street and the Noosa Main Beach. Simply keep walking East on Hastings Street until you reach the end of the street, then turn left on Park Road and keep following the boardwalk. You have the option of following the cliff top path next to the road – a favourite of the many exercise fanatics – or the more leisurely path on the beach. At the end of the path, you’ll find a carpark and the coastal path in the Noosa National Park starts from there.
We followed the path all the way to the rather aptly named Hell’s Gates. Before this point, it was all wide open beaches, and beautiful panoramas. But Hell’s Gates is a forbidding black cliff, plunging into the ocean. It was almost like some giant had carelessly dug its fiery fingers into the earth, gouging out a chunk and singeing everything in its path, leaving bare rock where nothing could grow. It’s possible to keep going past Hell’s Gates, around the point to Sunshine Beach, but the track is supposed to be quite challenging, and neither of us had the proper shoes on to explore further.
Instead, we headed over to Noosaville and the riverfront where we caught a spectacular sunset. The sun looked like a fiery ball just before it dipped past the Noosa North Shore.
Of course, no holiday is complete without sampling some of the local fare. One of my favourite restaurants was Bordertown, a casual river-side joint where we had delicious tacos washed down with a burger and fries.
If you’re on Hastings street, don’t miss a concrete at Betty’s Burgers. This American-style diner serves up concretes (or ice cream) with the most delicious toppings, like this hot fudge doughnut beauty on vanilla ice cream.
If, like me, you’re a fan of farmer’s markets, don’t miss the Noosa Farmers Market at the football club on Weyba Road. If possible, walk there or take public transport as parking can be a pain. We had a delicious breakfast there where we had a cultural swapsy – curry and roti canai for the Happy Dutch Gwailo, and dutch Oliebollen or gigantic round doughnuts for Malaysian me.
This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Elemental.
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