After a few days recovering from jet lag in Sydney (previous post), we flew up to Brisbane and hired a car to drive to Noosa Shire. Some of my parents’ friends from uni (Paul & Jacqui) live out there, so we stayed with them on their farm and explored the surrounding areas of Noosa, Eumundi and Cooroy.

Day 3

We arrived in the evening and had a BBQ (classic Australia) on the outside deck. Got an early night after this as we were exhausted so not much more to report!

Day 4

We woke up at 6am and watched the sunrise over the ridge. It was amazing to watch the valley fill with light and warmth almost immediately after the sun started to peek over the horizon!

There are some Wallabies who hang around Paul & Jacqui’s land sometimes and we spotted them (they are like small kangaroos!)

We went to a classic car show supporting a local charity in Noosaville. Anyone who knows my family will know that this was a perfect activity for our first day in the area as we’re all very into our cars!

After this, we drove to Noosa River to check out the water sports they had on offer. Ben, Matt and I hired Stand Up Paddle-boards and set off to explore the river and adjoining canals.

We were absolutely amazed by the size and grandeur of some of the houses overlooking the river. Some of them had their own private beaches and jetties – that is the life!!!

We spent an hour paddling on the river and then got Thai food for lunch and an ice cream for dessert. My family have a long-standing holiday rule that you have to have an ice cream every day!

That evening, we made pizzas for dinner and then lay in hammocks around an open fire and chatted until late.

Day 5

Today we met up with one of my mum’s old PhD students who just happened to live about 30 mins from Paul and Jacqui – what a coincidence! We had tea and cinnamon rolls at his amazing house as they caught up on all that had happened since the last time they saw each other (which was 12 years ago, so quite a lot!)

After this, we drove to Noosa Heads to have an afternoon on the beach. It was really busy despite it being a Monday in winter and it was a nightmare to find parking, so I’d recommend going down earlier in the morning if you want the prime spots! We walked past the Main Beach and settled ourselves on the sand in Little Cove, which was much quieter and more sheltered from the wind. The water was really clear and calm so we couldn’t resist going in straight away!

After an afternoon of swimming and laying in the sun, we stopped off to get some ingredients for dinner on the way back to the farm. Matt and I cooked our classic dish: cornflour coated and shallow-fried tofu with a sriracha, soy, honey, garlic, ginger and ketchup sauce. You saw it here first – go and try it out! We paired it with brown rice and vegetables and it went down a treat with everyone.

Day 6

We went on a long coastal walk from Sunshine Beach to Hell’s Gates which was tiring but worth it for the amazing views we got the whole way. We cut back inland after reaching Hell’s Gates and did the Tanglewood route through the forest which was equally as beautiful!

That evening, we walked up to Carter’s Ridge to see the 360 degree views of the whole area at sunset, which is one of the most stunning things I have ever experienced. The whole sky went a beautiful orange and we were all completely in awe!

Day 7

We started the day at Eumundi Markets which happen every Saturday and Wednesday and are very popular with locals and tourists alike. We saved ourself to have breakfast here because we had heard how good the food was and it definitely didn’t disappoint! I had arancini to start and then a Japanese cabbage omelette thing which doesn’t sound appetising but was YUMMY and someone even stopped me to ask what it was so they could get it too! Matt had chicken satay, spring rolls, calamari AND a Nutella crêpe (the boy can’t half eat)! We shared a turmeric ginger beer which was delicious and topped the meal off nicely. We wandered around all the stores, having tasters of food and trying on funny hats and sitting in hammocks – there really is a lot to see and it was a push to get round everything! I bought a string & bead bracelet to match the ones I already have and Matt bought a “Clever Dick” juicer. We talked to the bonsai man for ages but obviously couldn’t buy anything as it would be pretty difficult to import back into the UK!

That afternoon, we went for a last swim at Noosa Heads, just on the main beach this time. The waves were a lot bigger than at Little Cove because it wasn’t so sheltered, so Ben, Matt and I spent about an hour jumping, diving through, catching and “salmoning” (if you know you know) the waves.

We dried off in the sun and then went to the Copperhead Brewery for an early dinner. The food was divine and they brew all their own beer on site which was also lovely! Some people had a tasting platter of 5 beers but I opted for a half pint of the ginger beer as I LOVE ginger. I had the halloumi fries for starter and the mushroom risotto for main, both of which I would highly recommend!

We spent our last evening playing a very heated game of UNO back at Paul & Jacqui’s!

Day 8

Today we had a quick breakfast at the farm and then set off for Brisbane airport to return our hire car and fly to the next leg of our journey – Cairns! We had sushi in the airport for lunch. I’m writing this post as I sit on the plane with a nice cuppa!

Stay tuned for my next few posts as we travel to Port Douglas to do some snorkelling & scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef and then up to the Daintree Rainforest.

Bon voyage!

Jodie x

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