Noosa was recommended to us by many backpackers with a warning that there’s not a lot to do, but it’s a beautiful place and they were right – it’s a lovely place, nice town but most people use Noosa as a base to go to Australia Zoo or to get out on the Everglades, which is exactly what we did too.
We arrived late April and stayed at Nomads in a 16 bed dorm which wasn’t as horrendous as some of the nightmares you hear about. That evening, the hostel had a free sausage sizzle plus a cheap jäger, red bull & cranberry mix drink that was amazing! So the first night we were there we just got drunk. It had been a while since we’d had chance so it was nice to have a night out and let our hair down.
Day two and we headed into town to check out the shops and the surf…pretty much everyone was in bikinis and boardies! Not just the adults either but young teenage kids, wandering round with barely anything on…it was exactly how you picture beach town Australia! The surf seemed really cool, unfortunately we couldn’t surf or learn how to with the time we had there but we enjoyed a paddle in the sea!
After hanging around Noosa we headed to the 3 day / 3 night Gagaju Bush Camp for a self guided canoe tour along the Noosa Everglades. Gagaju is on a stretch of the Noosa river tucked away in semi wild bush between Lakes Cooroibah and Cootharab. They provide the tents/bunks, utensils, cutlery, etc. We needed to take with us 3 days worth of food and drink, and lots of water. I really didn’t fancy it when we first got there for some reason, but I really enjoyed myself in the end!
The beds were handmade bunk beds which were kinda like hammocks…very odd but so comfy! We arrived late afternoon and there isn’t much to do when you’re not out on the river so we got settled in and started getting to know some of the other campers, had a few games of pool and got back to nature a little. I love camping, so I felt right at home.
We stayed in the hammock bunks the first night and were supposed to stay in tents the next two nights…I lasted one night and went back to the bunks on the last night!
The first day we got up and ready, and headed out on our first self guided 14k canoe trip (7k each way). It was beautiful. I’d never really been canoeing before then but I found it easy enough. The everglades are like canoeing on a mirror – gorgeous views and we even spotted some wildlife! We stopped half way to have packed lunch and an ice cream, it was a good workout but easy enough with zero fitness level. You can stop for a paddle when you get there, we dipped a toe or two but left it at that as we were quite enjoying having a look around. On the way back it started to rain…which was a nightmare because the wind was against us and we were going nowhere! Haha it was slightly worrying as we weren’t sure what else was in the water with us (do you get Croc’s in Noosa?) but it was still fun. We are also told you could swim in the water so we knew we’d be fine really.
The camp is set up to be a communal campsite – it has a fridge, a cooker and a TV and VCR player with old films you can watch. We poured a few drinks and made dinner, chatted to some of the other travellers – there were even a few guys from Liverpool. It’s always nice to hear a familiar accent when your away from home, I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed it.
The next day we did a further 8k (4k each way) canoeing up to a huge lookout point that had stunning views. There were wild kangaroos roaming around, there was a big resort and a nice 5k walk to a beach, we had a few hours so it was a really nice afternoon! On the way back (didn’t have much luck with canoe choices!) our canoe was taking on water so it took us double the time to get back than it took to get there, but I actually really enjoyed it all in the end. We spent the last night knackered, had a few drinks and watched a few films with fellow travellers and went back to the bunks (it was an extra $14 to be back in bunks but WELL worth it).
The facilities are basic and beaten but if your used to camping and like getting back to nature, this won’t bother you at all. You could shower and feel clean and what more do you really need.
The company doesn’t do much in regards to interaction. You get dropped off, pay your deposit ($20 each), then are left to your own devices until briefing when you are told which side of the river to go down. No map, no help, no emergency contact. But, we loved it. It gave us the freedom to do as we please.
I’d say out of all the outdoor activities you can think to do – canoeing (or kayaking, read more about that in the upcoming Sleepless in Agnes Water post) is probably one of my favourites. After Gagaju we headed back to Noosa and spent a few days doing not a lot – reading, sitting on the beach, having a swim, just taking some time to enjoy Noosa.
While we were in Noosa we also went to Australia Zoo – subscribe for updates and be notified when the Australia Zoo review post goes live!