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So, is Noosa healthy for a holiday? Well, if looking at the locals is anything to go by, the answer to that question is a big ‘Yes!’ I’m visiting Noosa on a perfect yet chilly Noosa winter morning, with warm sunshine, gentle waves lapping the shore, and lunatics swimming laps in Laguna Bay. Sure, swimming here is fantastic but that water must be freezing. Then again, there must be something in it. All the locals look healthy, tanned and in touch with their Zen. Fortunately you don’t have to go swimming in Laguna Bay in winter to get into the healthy Noosa vibe.

Chilling Out Noosa Style
Chilling Out Noosa Style

You don’t have to look too hard to find your Zen either. In this Noosa healthy holiday guide, I have put together ten tips for a healthy Noosa stay including how to find that elusive Zen when you’re stressed to the max from trying to escape the ‘stress monster’.

Find a Noosa spa pronto

The best way to start your Noosa holiday is with some activities to reduce your stress levels and get your mind in a better place. I set off to ikatan Day Spa, a Balinese inspired haven located in a subtropical rainforest, to banish the ‘stress monster’. When you enter reception at ikatan, you’ll find all the luxury features you would expect in a high-end spa but when you wander down the paths surrounded by lush foliage to one of the individual spa villas, if feels like you’ve been transported to tropical Bali (minus the Jetstar flight). A traditional Balinese massage which includes light stretching and pressure point massage will set you up for the rest of your holiday and the glass of bubbly at the end of the treatment provides the perfect finish with a soundtrack provided by native birds.

ikatan Day Spa
ikatan Day Spa

Bush walking at Noosa

Noosa National Park will have you ready to meet the morning, no matter what the temperature is. Perhaps start easy with a coffee or tea along the Noosa Beach boardwalk followed by a beach walk then build up to a longer coastal trek in the National Park. The walking distance of the coastal trek which starts at the end of Hastings Street and finishes at Sunshine Beach is almost seven kilometres and takes roughly two hours. However, you should plan on at least three hours as the scenery is spectacular with dolphins and whales frequently spotted along the way. A trick here is to take a day bag and stop for a swim along the way and catch the bus or an Uber back to Noosa, after you’ve enjoyed lunch or a refreshing drink at a Sunshine Beach restaurant at the end of your walk. It’s easy to turn this walk into a whole day’s entertainment that is also good for you.

Couple in Noosa National Park
Hit the trails in Noosa National Park

Take to the water

With stunning Laguna Bay and all its neighbouring waterways at Noosa, there is no excuse not to take in some saltwater therapy. If it’s warm enough, you could try swimming or something new like surfing or stand up paddleboarding at Noosa’s Main Beach or Little Cove.

A perfect Spring day at Noosa
Surfing at sheltered Little Cove

The ocean at Noosa is calm enough for not-so-confident swimmers or, if you’re more used to the pool than the ocean, Main Beach is perfect for swimming laps just off shore. There are also small waves here which are perfect for novice surfers. You can book a lesson with a surfing pro like Merrick Davis at Noosa Learn to Surf for two hours of trying to stay upright on a surfboard. Take it from me, it is harder than it looks but loads of fun. It’s also a great way to work out without building up a sweat.

Surfing in the sun Noosa
Surfing in the sun at Noosa

Another fantastic adventure on the water is exploring the beautiful Noosa Everglades, an untouched ecosystem 30 minutes’ drive from Noosa. The best and most serene way to get in touch with your Zen on this waterway is to explore it by kayak. You can go on a self-guided trip or sign up for guided tour with Kanu Kapers for a day spent experiencing this pristine wilderness, swimming, picnicking, and breathing in the fresh air. If you’re not like me and love the great outdoors even more than a fancy hotel, you can camp on a unique overnight kayak camping trip.

Kanu Kapers trip
Find your Zen kayaking the Noosa Everglades

Go horse riding at Noosa

I am not too confident with horses but the thought of riding along the beach and through the waves did sound pretty good. I am a big guy so getting on a sweet little pony was not an option. However, Equathon Horse Riding Adventures had the perfect horse for me. This gentle giant was part Clydesdale and strong enough to carry my big butt, plus he was patient enough to take this nervous first-time rider on a relaxing ride along the beach. Even though I may not have looked like one, I still felt like a movie star riding along the beach in a romantic Hollywood blockbuster. What could be more perfect than having a stunning beach almost all to yourself and riding a beautiful horse into the waves? This is one of my favourite Noosa activities, and something that’s really unique.

Ride through the waves with Equathon Noosa
Ride through the waves with Equathon Noosa

Yoga on the beach or under a tree

Whether you’re a yoga master or totally uncoordinated and inflexible like me, doing yoga at Noosa is a great way to loosen the muscles and get back in control of your body and mind. There is also the added bonus of enjoying yoga by the beach with the tranquil sounds of waves and birds in the trees. Noosa Beach Yoga offers daily morning yoga classes in the Noosa Woods on the foreshore of the beach at only $15 a session with a yoga mat included. Just bring some water and a towel for a refreshing swim after.

Noosa healthy cafes

With Noosa there is no shortage of healthy eating options and I think the locals know it judging by their slim, active physiques. I never thought healthy and delicious could go hand in hand but in Noosa it certainly does. When I stepped into Vanilla Food Organic Café at Noosa Junction it was hard to find a table as the place was packed with locals munching happily away on colourful salads and dishes of pasta. All of the produce at Vanilla Food is grown organically and locally and everything is made in house.

Tasty Gnocchi at Vanilla Foods Cafe Noosa
Tasty gnocchi at Vanilla Foods Cafe Noosa

There are no additives, no refined sugars and no artificial colours or flavors, but the food is darn tasty. A quick Google search for healthy Noosa restaurants will give you loads of nourishing and delicious local dining options that will have you feeling (and looking) like a local in no time. If you would prefer not to venture beyond Hastings Street, Providore on Hastings specialises in locally sourced and produced cheeses, breads, meats, coffee and more, providing a paddock to plate experience for tourists looking to eat local and stay healthy on holiday.

Go market shopping at Noosa

Eumundi Markets have been operating for 30 years and judging by the crowds they are as popular as ever. With market stalls selling everything from organic produce to local artworks and everything in between, you will have a hard time seeing everything within a few hours. Add food stalls and entertainment and you can easily spend half the day here. Just a small word of warning that this market’s popularity means parking can be tricky. Try to arrive early and chill with a coffee and breakfast before hitting the stalls armed with cash and eco bags to carry those healthy goodies.

Eumundi Markets
Shopping at Eumundi Markets

Enjoy a picnic at Noosa

Once you’ve explored all the markets and delis and have a list of favorites, it’s time to find the perfect picnic spot. Noosa has more fabulous picnic spots than you could possibly get to on just one visit so start at the beach then branch out to the National Park and beyond. Go to the satellite images on Google Maps to narrow down your choices or ask a local for suggestions.

Head off on a Noosa day trip

The Sunshine Coast has some great places to explore with loads of healthy activities only a short drive away. You can head down the coast to climb Mt Coolum or explore the hinterland in search of art galleries, tasty treats and rainforest walks. Montville and Maleny are both great for this.

Gardners Falls
Gardners Falls at Maleny

Naturally beautiful Noosa hotels

If you want to stay healthy on holiday, a self-catering accommodation option is perfect for preparing and enjoying all that great locally sourced produce with a side order of ocean views. I stayed at Seahaven Noosa Resort which is situated right on the beach on Hastings Street. This snazzy apartment complex has modern kitchen facilities for cooking up a storm, a large balcony for sharing a bottle of bubbly (after all, you are on holiday), and a super comfy king-size bed. For more accommodation options check out the Noosa Tourism website.

Penthouse at Seahaven Noosa
Penthouse at Seahaven Noosa

Whether you’re after a full-on detox retreat or just want to rejuvenate your body and mind and free yourself from the evil clutches of the ‘stress monster’, Noosa is the perfect destination. Even better, you can have your cake and eat it too at one of Noosa’s fabulous healthy cafes.

Disclosure: The writer is usually more interested in retoxing than detoxing but he discovered a healthy holiday at Noosa isn’t just good for you, it makes you feel great too. The Travel Temple visited as guests of Tourism Noosa.

Heading to the Sunshine Coast? We’ve got lots of helpful information to help make this your best trip yet including accommodation reviews for Eumarella Shores Noosa Lake Retreat Review, Oceans Mooloolaba, Rumba Beach Resort, Seahaven Noosa, King Parrot Retreat, On the Beach Noosa, Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort and Peppers Resort & Villas Review. We’ve also reviewed Australia Zoo Review, Kanu Kapers Everglades Tours, SEA LIFE Mooloolaba, Sails Restaurant Noosa, Noosa helicopter tours, Noosa Oceanrider, Noosa Dreamboats, and Betty’s Burgers Noosa. Don’t miss our tips for Things to do on the Sunshine Coast, Noosa Things to Do for Active Travellers, The Best Restaurants at Mooloolaba, The Ultimate Guide to Noosa, Things to do at Mooloolaba, Healthy Noosa Holidays, Where to Find the Best Views on Hastings Street, and How to Plan Your Noosa Honeymoon.

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Trevor Templeman is a photographer and writer who travels the world capturing the essence of locations through their landscape, architecture and people. His words and photographs are published in magazines, newspapers and online around the world.