One of the best perks of living in Brisbane is that there are a dozen beautiful coastal beaches just an hours drive from the city in either direction. So at the start of mid-semester break, when my housemate Kiara and I both realized we were free, we made the spontaneous decision to head north to the Sunshine Coast for a girls weekend!
The first two nights we stayed at Noosa beach, which is easily the most popular beach on Sunshine coast. Being Easter weekend and the start of school holidays meant that hundreds of others had also shared our idea of a beach getaway on the long weekend, so the town was packed. The shops and restaurants were always buzzing with people and the beach was full with locals and tourists alike soaking up that warm Australian sun. It’s this bustling atmosphere though that makes Noosa a popular choice to stay at, as the town is large enough to provide countless shopping and dining experiences, but small enough that it’s easily conquerable in a single weekend. And despite being full of people, it never felt too crowded or overwhelming and we were immediately seated at all the restaurants, so they obviously are used to accommodating large fluxes of people. They have dining for all budgets, but if you’re looking for moderate fair that doesn’t compensate on flavor I personally recommend eating at Laguna Jacks where they have delicious american-style wings, or trying one of the incredible milkshakes at Betty’s Burgers.
When on a tour in Melbourne I had been given a recommendation by a nice couple that if I ever went to Sunshine Coast I had to go horseback riding on Rainbow Beach, as it was one of their favorite experiences in Australia. So since we had the luxury of Kiara’s car, we left Noosa the third morning to drive to Rainbow Beach and spend the day with Rainbow Beach Horse Rides.
The staff at RBHR were all incredibly friendly and clearly passionate about their jobs making the adventure even more enjoyable. The whole experience seemed incredibly surreal, sitting atop a beautiful gentle giant while wading through the shallow tides and gazing at the incredible ocean views, it was unbeatable! And even the little bit of rain that hit didn’t hinder the day. I reckon that many people have horseback riding on the beach somewhere on their Bucket List like I did, so it was awesome being able to finally cross it off!
On our last day on the coast we decided to take a scenic route home and stop at a few more locations before heading back to Brisbane. For lunch we stopped in Coolum where we had some savory Thai food, and gelato for dessert. Coolum, like Noosa, is also a larger beach town where there are plenty of options on where to eat, shop, and stay.
The last stop we made on our trip was to the famous Big Pineapple. (As it turns out, Australia has an absurdly long list of famous “Big” things if you Google it. The results will definitely make you laugh!) Unfortunately the markets weren’t open when we stopped in, but we could still explore inside the big pineapple and follow the process of how pineapples are made which was neat. And of course I couldn’t leave without buying some fresh pineapple for myself ;).
There are certainly perks to traveling alone, but it was quite nice to have a friend to join me this time around. We definitely made the most of our sun-tanning, snow cone-eating, beach-bumming weekend together :).