March 31, 2018
October 29, 2017
Continuing north on Australia’s east coast, the next stop on our trip is Noosa. Like Byron Bay, it’s a coast town famous for its beaches. But while Byron Bay was totally laid back and a bit alternative, Noosa is trendy, sophisticated and more mainstream. But regardless of any trends, Noosa’s natural beauty remains: there is a national park right on the ocean coast, with walking paths easily doable in a few hours; there is the river that meanders through the city, creating some picture-perfect locations for expensive houses, but also beautiful walkways on the river edge, with spots for picnics and barbeques; and, of course, there are the many beaches, some more populated, others quite remote and completely disconnected from the hustle and bustle of the city.
And, well, there is also the main tourist strip, busy at any time of the day, with many shops and restaurants. After being there twice and not liking it too much, we decided to explore the more authentic parts of the city. That was not very difficult, because we’re staying (again through Airbnb) in one of those neighborhoods that still belong mainly to the locals, not to the tourists.
Eumundi is a small town about 20 km inland from Noosa. It used to be known for its alternative lifestyle community, but nowadays only some of that spirit remains. What puts it on the tourist map is more the huge artisan market that takes place there twice a week. We spent a couple of hours there on Saturday morning and it looked to me like you could really find virtually anything there, from clothes and jewelry, to dreamcatchers, paintings, natural cosmetics, cacti, wooden boards, glasses made out of cut bottles, all manners of food and drinks, palm reading, massages, live music.
It was an exercise in strong will for me to not buy almost anything… (Daniel keeps telling me that my backpack is constantly getting larger and heavier, and he’s right – I bought a few things over the last few weeks, and my perfectly organized and optimized backpack is becoming more and more of a mess, and more and more difficult to carry…) But even so, I loved browsing through all the stalls, chatting with some of the vendors and indulging in some French crepes and good coffee.
Of the many activities on offer here, we decided to rent a kayak and explore the wilder parts of the Noosa river on our own. Daniel had kayaking as a sport in high school, so he knew well what he was doing, whereas for me it was the first time. It turned out to be quite easy though – at least in terms of the kayaking technique. It was not at all easy on my arm muscles… So over about 3 hours, we paddled through mangroves in the river, through remote arms of the river and finally through some canals in one of the rich areas of the city, where you can see beautiful houses. To be honest, in that area Daniel had to put more work into paddling our double kayak, while I was busy admiring the houses… :D