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Must-see accessible attractions of Noosa

Noosa, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, is one of the most visited destinations in Australia. But is it accessible? We’ve got a local's lowdown on the accessible attractions of Noosa...

Our dream of living in sub-tropical Queensland finally eventuated over 13 years ago. Originally from Melbourne, our family holidayed in Noosa many times before making the permanent move. Like many before us, we fell in love with the low-rise village feel, beaches and surrounding countryside.

For travellers with sensory concerns, Noosa exudes a calmer and more laid-back vibe than other hectic Queensland destinations. It is only a 35-minute drive from the Sunshine Coast Airport. We love the warm summers, but the best time to visit depends on the activities that interest you. Like most popular tourist destinations, Noosa is busy during school holidays, and parking becomes scarce.

These are our favourite accessible attractions of Noosa.

Noosa National Park

The Noosa National Park walk is spectacular and accessible from Hastings Street with a wheelchair. It is one of our favourite accessible attractions of Noosa to visit as a family. There are a few hills to overcome, so it does help if someone can assist you. To shorten the distance, you can start the walk from the car park. There are accessible toilets at the car park and along the track opposite Tea Tree Bay, which is our favourite Noosa Beach!

The sealed trail ends at Dolphin Point. Without an all-terrain wheelchair, it is challenging to go any further as there are steps and the path is narrower. We lift Morgan in her Hippocampe Wheelchair and continue to Hells Gates, which offers 360-degree views. Afterwards, enjoy a coffee and snack at the National Park cafe.

Noosa Main Beach & Boardwalk

Noosa Main Beach is one of the few north-facing beaches along our coastline. The gentle waves make it the perfect attraction for families with year-round safe swimming. A beach wheelchair is available for use, as there is no beach matting for standard wheelchairs. If required, the surf lifesavers will assist you to the water’s edge, but you will need a family member or support worker to take you into the sea. There is accessible parking and toilets at the Noosa Surf Club. The boardwalk is flat and wide, and there are accessible dining options and beachfront accommodations nearby.

A beach wheelchair on sand, with beach-goers and water in the background
A beach wheelchair is available for use at Noosa Main Beach.

Hastings Street

Tree-lined Hastings Street offers something for everyone, from thong-wearing beach-goers to those after high-end resorts, restaurants, bars, cafes, and boutique shopping. Many establishments along the street are wheelchair accessible, and access to the beach is adequate. Disability parking spots exist along the road, but during peak periods, you might find it easier to pay for parking behind Hastings Street at Bay Village.

Café Le Monde

Offering a casual ambience, Café Le Monde is one of Noosa’s longest-running restaurants and bars and a must-see attraction in the area. We love going there for a yummy breakfast after a dip at the beach. It also offers lunch, dinner, live music and late-night drinks. The café has a wheelchair accessible entry and disability parking in proximity.

Noosa Surf Club

The Noosa Surf Club sits at Main Beach with superb views to the National Park and Noosa North Shore. Recently renovated, it has extensive menus, kids’ meals, plenty of space and excellent wheelchair accessibility, including a toilet. From the Hastings Street pavement, a ramp leads to the entrance which has a lift to the dining and bar area. There is ramp access to the sheltered outdoor space.

Noosa River Boardwalk

The Noosa River boardwalk, adjacent to trendy Gympie Terrace in Noosaville, stretches for approximately two kilometres. Locals and visitors alike love this Noosa attraction and frequently exercise along the strip. The boardwalk is flat, wide and passes beautiful scenery, accessible toilets, accessible cafes, and water sport activities. For children, the Pirate Park is at the western end of the boardwalk and has a wheelchair accessible Liberty Swing.

Pelican Boat Hire

Situated on the Noosa River boardwalk, Pelican Boat Hire offers seamless entry from check-in to boarding the pontoon-style boats. These boats are flat, have ramp access, and after a brief introduction, they are easy to drive. A boat licence is not required. Morgan loves motion, and this is a pleasurable activity for the whole family.

A young woman in a wheelchair, on a path in front of a large pelican statue which is surrounnded by a short hedge
Pelican Boat Hire is a delightful accessible attraction of Noosa.

Noosa Boathouse

When we dine out as a couple, we look for a restaurant with great food, water views and beautiful sunsets. Noosa Boathouse is our favourite as it is perched right on the Noosa River. The menu features modern Australian cuisine, including local beef and seafood, locally harvested produce, and vegetarian options. Wheelchair accessibility is fantastic, although only on the spacious ground level.

Day Trip to Double Island Point

One of our favourite attractions outside of Noosa is the four-wheel-drive day trip along the ‘Great Beach Drive’ to Double Island Point. Tucked away in the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park, this is a must-see for nature lovers and a favourite among Noosa locals. Driving along the sand is exhilarating with the Pacific Ocean on one side and National Park on the other. There is no accommodation and camping is not allowed. Double Island Point has no facilities apart from a food van selling ice creams, drinks, and light snacks, so pack your food and beverages.

For self-drivers, beach driving permits are available online from Queensland Parks. The incredible scenery, remoteness, and water sport options make this a memorable experience for the whole family. For wheelies, an all-terrain/beach wheelchair is essential. If you do not have access to a suitable vehicle, there are many self-drive options and tour operators. This trip is not appropriate for everyone, as access to 4wd vehicles may be unmanageable for some.

SeaHaven Noosa – Accessible Beachfront Accommodation

Positioned between Noosa Main Beach and Hastings Street, SeaHaven offers luxury beachfront accommodation with wheelchair accessibility. Recently renovated, the resort provides underground disability parking, ramps, lifts, and accessible bathrooms. The grounds throughout the hotel are also accessible, including access to the beach boardwalk via the tropical pool area. Management will obtain equipment specific to your needs. Tingirana Noosa is another accessible accommodation option.

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This story first appeared in Travel Without Limits magazine. You can subscribe here.

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