Noosa is one of our favourite places on the Sunshine Coast. So if you are searching for ‘things to do in Noosa with kids’, then you will love our article. We have listed everything you need to know about one of the most beautiful spots in the world.
In this article, you will find a HUGE list of our very favourite (and all the best!) things to do in Noosa with kids. We’ve divided the list into a few different categories to help you plan your stay. Scroll down to find suggestions for:
- Nature experiences in Noosa
- Play activities for kids in Noosa
- Adventure activities in Noosa
- Culture in Noosa
When you get to the bottom of our suggestions, you will see we have added some links to our favourite accommodation in Noosa and even some rainy day ideas too!
Nature experiences – things to do in Noosa with kids
Noosa truly is the gateway to one of the most breathtakingly beautiful parts of the world. Pristine coastline, gorgeous untouched natural park and sunsets that almost break your heart while you watch them – they’re that full of beauty and promise.
We’d like to thank the gorgeous Robyn from Banana J Creations and her beautiful family for so many of these wonderful pictures. She makes incredible wares from teepee play tents to custom nursery accessories as well as going on incredible adventures with her children.
Touring this area of the world with kids offers a plethora of opportunities for them to ‘get amongst it’ and appreciate nature. Here are some of our favourite things to do in Noosa with kids:
1. Noosa Heads
A picture paints a thousand words, doesn’t it?
Noosa Heads is the epicentre of Noosa tourism. The restaurants, shops and galleries (which we’ll discuss later) provide the backdrop for one of the most jaw-dropping beaches you’ll ever encounter. Calm waves, clear water and plenty of space to spread out and take it all in.
2. Noosa National Park
Noosa National Park offers families a great opportunity to get some bush-walking done in an easy-to-navigate setting on the coast line. You’ll be surrounded by wildlife and serenity (until the kids start squealing, obviously). Plenty of opportunity for bird watching and peaceful reflection while you get those kilometres in. And you might just spot a natural beauty, like the Noosa Fairy Ponds.
There are a range of bush-walking options at different grades of difficulty so make sure you check in and plan accordingly. Take your swimmers just in case you feel like a dip!
3. Tewantin National Park
Thanks to Trip Advisor for the above photograph.
Tewantin National Park can be found west of the Noosa region and offers the opportunity to see the world from a different angle. Mount Tinbeerwah Lookout provides a spectacular view of the entire region and is well worth the trip.
Take the Bruce Highway then follow towards Cooroy (Tewantin, Noosa, Cooray and Noosa Heads turnoff). After you pass Tinbeerway you’ll be in the National Park. We recommend the Wooroi Picnic Area as a special stop off to take it all in and relax on a picnic blanket.
4. Little Cove
Shhh. Little Cove is a secret.
This peaceful inlet is away from the hustle and bustle of the bigger beaches and always-packed Hastings St. Best suited for older kids or families with teenagers, Little Cove is easy to access now that the boardwalk has been built. You need to walk away from the main beach towards the Noosa National Park. Walk along the boardwalk then head down the stairs.
It’s a great spot for surfing, fishing and swimming and has that ‘old school charm’ so encapsulated by the above photo. Please note, though, that Little Cove is un-patrolled.
5. Teewah Coloured Sands
Visitors to Teewah Coloured Sands will definitely need access to a 4WD (an adventure we’ll discuss later in the article).
The Great Sandy National Park is home to the incredible Teewah Coloured Sands. Stories from the Dreamtime say that the sands were formed when a spirit took the form of a rainbow that engaged in a fight for the love of a young woman. When the spirit fell against the cliffs it shattered, causing the beautiful effect that you see today.
You can find this spot 3km north-east of Noosa Heads. There are tour operators who run trips out to the spot so make sure to investigate the best option for your crew.
6. Laguna Lookout
Located in Noosa Heads, Laguna Lookout offers a sweeping view of everything this gorgeous area has to offer. It’s our pick for budding amateur photographers.
Now that you’ve taken in a huge number of gorgeous natural experiences, it’s time to find some more things to do in Noosa with kids to burn off their energy!
Play – things to do in Noosa with kids
As nice as a holiday of peaceful reflection and quiet nature walks sounds, anyone with kids can tell you ‘that ain’t gonna happen’. If you’ve got little ones, medium ones or teenagers you KNOW that, at some point, they’re going to have to burn off that kid-energy.
We’ve collated a number of our favourite activities to do with kids that are guaranteed to not only be fun but to hopefully (fingers crossed) encourage NAPPING. Bliss.
7. Learn to surf
What better activity to get the blood pumping than learning how to surf? Noosa has some of the best conditions in the world for learning how to surf – open space, relatively calm waves, gorgeous weather and awesome swell.
One of our writers wrote about her family learning to surf on the Gold Coast here if you need to be convinced!
Why not try learning to surf in Noosa? The waves are just right for learning and the team there are great with kids… tell us how you get on if you do… we think you will love it!
Check out your activity options in Noosa here.
8. Kayaking and paddle boarding
The Noosa River, and it’s many and varied winding tributaries, offer a fabulous chance to try kayaking and paddle boarding.
As well as kayaking and paddle-boarding on the Noosa River, you can also head 40 minutes north to kayak in the Noosa Everglades The everglades are only one of two everglades in the world and offer families a chance to slowly explore the myriad beautiful waterways and picturesque settings that the area has for careful nature observers.
For more information about Everglades tours in Noosa click here.
Located about 40 minutes from Noosa Heads you can point your kayak in the direction of calm waters, pack a camera and supplies and head out for a day’s peaceful exercise. It’s a 60km long river system and is protected by the adjacent national park. It’s one of only two types of like systems in the world (the other one is in Floria).
You can bring your own equipment or hire paddle boards and kayaks from any of a number of local industries. Support small Noosa businesses!
If wildlife is your thing then this Noosa Dolphin View Kayak Tour is perfect for you!
Love getting out on the water but prefer to go faster? Click here to find out more about jet-boat thrill rides in Noosa!
If you prefer a slow pace but don’t want to paddle yourself, what about a gentle Noosa Everglades cruise? Check these out!
Have you been snorkelling before?
Taking children snorkelling is a sure fire way to inspire their creativity, connect them with nature AND absolutely exhaust them.
There are MANY spots in the Noosa region to take children snorkelling. This shot was at the gorgeous Noosa Heads and we’d recommend it for the calm water and high levels of visibility.
10. Hire a boat!
Journey up and down Noosa River on your very own (or hired) boat!
You can fish, explore, have a meal on board or just putter around. There are plenty of slow moving boats that go along the Noosa River and it’s easy to hire boats of low speed without having to secure a boating licence.
Our pick? Pelican Boat Hire.
11. Beach family BBQ and parties
Once you dock your boat, grab the crew and throw a beach party.
There are a number of really picturesque beach side BBQ and picnic areas all up and down the Noosa River. Many of these have playgrounds attached to them. Keep your eye out as you’re boating along and see what beautiful places you can spot! Plenty of space to play that family game of beach cricket!
12. Bike riding
Bike riding is a fabulous way to see any new place and we love Ecotekk Electric Bike Hire. They’re a Noosa business who will deliver your bike hire choice to you for use! Lots of options for the whole family (mountain bikes, urban bikes, folding bikes) and as they’re electric you’ll be able to go further faster and have way more fun! Woohoo!
Adventure – things to do in Noosa with kids
Our adventure section covers day trips from Noosa designed to amp up the fun, get those little hearts racing and leave your family with memories to last a life time.
A lot of these destinations involve driving (sometimes up to an hour) from Noosa as your base so please factor that into your planning.
13. Dolphin and whale watching
Our choice is Dolphin View Kayak Great Beach Drive Adventures Noosa Day Tour (phew!).
This is a great part of the world from which to watch the beautiful phenomenon of migration. There are plenty of places to whale and dolphin watch in the Noosa region.
These are seasonal activities (June to November) and most on boat tours last for a least a couple of hours.
14. Australia Zoo
15. Sea Life
Sea Life, previously known as Underwater World, continues to entrance local and international families alike. It’s the perfect place to take kids, regardless of weather or heat. Wander through the viewing areas, take in a seal show, let the little ones play in the themed soft play area and sample delicious eats in their on-site cafe. Check out these discounted Sea Life tickets too!
16. Aussie World
Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi Oi Oi! Aussie World is actually one of our top picks for Sunshine Coast party venues. About an hour or so south of Noosa, Aussie World offers good old-fashioned theme park fun at old-fashioned prices.
Sideshow rides, carinval games, delicious food and a howlin’ good time. Aussie World is a great day trip from Noosa that’s perfect for tweens and teens.
17. Big Pineapple & Wildlife HQ Zoo
This iconic QLD destination lives to see another century and it’s a ‘must see’.
18. 4WD adventures
Head to Noosa North Shore (Cooloola National Park) for one of the Sunshine Coast‘s most exciting 4WD experiences. Surrounded by park on one side and beautiful coast line on the other, it’s a 4WDer’s dream run.
Travel during low tide and you must purchase a permit you must purchase a permit before embarking on this adventure. Bonus points if you bring your surfboard!
19. Noosa Tandem Skydive
Combine the epic thrill of free-fall with some of the Sunny Coast’s signature gorgeous beachfront scenery with a skydive up to 15,000ft over beautiful Noosa and Coolum Beaches! Join your friendly and reassuring skydive operators at Sunshine Coast Airport in Marcoola and get set to put your fears aside as they give you a full safety briefing and suit you up in the latest and greatest skydiving equipment and jumpsuit. Once the instruction and safety briefing is over you’ll hop aboard a light aircraft to soar up over the Sunshine Coast’s landscape for some awesome views of the hinterland, beach, and glittering waters beyond.
Culture – things to do in Noosa with kids
Alright, let’s slow down the break neck pace a little! We’ll wind up our ‘things to do in Noosa with kids’ list with a quick look at some of the cultural and retail options that the region has to offer. First stop is a classic.
20. Eumundi Markets
It’s our pick of Sunshine coast markets for families. Eumundi Markets are an eclectic mix of art, jewellery, fashion, produce and COFFEE! Fabulous for an early morning sojourn, a family trip or some time by yourself. Saturday mornings are our favourite time.
21. Art galleries
Head to the Noosa Regional Art Gallery for that little bit of cultural reflection and artistic appreciation. Admire installations from local and international artists while promoting a lot of creativity of expression in your kids.
22. Self guided street art tour
If you are a lover of street art (full disclosure, I AM!) then check out the amazing street art in Eumundi! The town is known for its colourful, quirky ways and is full of artisan delights beyond the markets! Discover these street art treasures in alley ways, across outdoor walls, inside cafes and bars, and even on the bins!
23. Shopping on Hastings Street
Just like Vanessa Williams, we’ve gone and saved the best for last. (And to be honest? This might be one you want to do by yourself!)
Hastings St is the Paris of the Sunshine Coast. It’s a tour de force of high end fashion, eclectic boutiques, creative wares and a million and one ways to spend your money. Nothing better than a carefree waft up and down the street going in and out of the most beautiful stores you’ve ever seen. Top it off with a coffee or a meal at any number of delectable Hastings St eateries. Check here to see if the one you’ve got your eye on is on our list of child-friendly spots.
Things to do in Noosa with kids
Phew! We’re spent! If you can think of any great things to do in Noosa with kids that we’ve missed (and you’re willing to share your secrets) please let us know in the comments.
We love these tours and ideas too from Experience Oz… check them out here.
Best family friendly accommodation in Noosa
We’ve also expanded this list to include the best family friendly accommodation in Noosa as well! You can find out top 10 choices for where to stay in Noosa here.
You will find our rainy day guide for Noosa here.
This article was featured in Issue 42 of our printed magazine, published October 2020.