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Beyond the lakes, on

the River of Mirrors, the

brackish water reflects

the trees on the shore

so clearly it’s almost

impossible to see the line

between them

Reserve. About 25km of trails, ranging from

the ‘green runs’, such as Secrets, to the ‘black

diamond’ Milkmaid, start from the Wooroi Day

Use Area on the Noosa-Cooroy Road and, just as

in the Noosa Everglades, it’s possible to explore

those trails with a guide or independently.

I’m a novice mountain biker and chose the

guided tour with Bike On, run by avid bikers

Justin and Tracey Wyatt. I’m glad I did because

even with street bike experience I had quite a

bit to learn about technique to navigate some

trails which, even at beginner level, have a mix

of short burst inclines, tight turns and some fun

creek crossings.

My guide Sam Newton, a veteran rider at

just 21, happily shared a few tips and varied

the speed and terrain to suit my fitness level

and ability, and following close behind him

helped build my confidence. By the end I was

ready to sign up for a more skills-based tour

on my next visit.

Guided tours average three hours, include

bikes and helmets and a morning or afternoon

tea. Self-guided tours with bike hire and trail

maps are also available.

On the edge of Hastings Steet, almost every

visitor to Noosa walks the National Park trail

that winds around the headland to Hell’s Gates,

which is exactly why it’s


on the itinerary

when you take a running or walking tour with

Nicola Warman-Flood. Nicola is the only person

to have a permit to take her Noosa Running

Tours through the park and she’s so good at

picking the trails less travelled even locals book

her tours.

Nicola began her own exploration when

she first moved to Noosa and wanted to find

out as much as she could about her local area.

So many people started asking her where she

went to avoid the tourist trails that she saw an

opportunity to show more than just her friends.

She’s since spent time with the park rangers

to find out as much as she can about the park

environment, which she shares with her guests,

and it’s not unusual to see wildlife (including

koalas, echidna, wallabies), sea life (turtles,

dolphins, even a seal) and the slightly odd

(including a money tree, yes that’s a log stuffed

with coins) from the trails she takes.

She tailors tours to suit the guests – I’m not a

runner so we did a one hour walk from Sunshine

Beach back to Noosa – some uphill, some rocky

clambering to see rock pools in a cove most

people would miss and some tracks barely a

body-width wide. It is about the journey and not

the destination or the pace so Nicola makes sure

there is time to stop and admire the view every

now and then. Tours range in distance from

6-12km and groups are limited to six people

(or larger groups are split up and go in different

directions, each with a guide).

Find out more at



Watch the pelicans (and the stand-up

paddleboarders) drift by while enjoying one

of chef Shane Bailey’s daily fish specials at

the Boathouse on the river at Noosaville but

leave room for the tasting plate of dessert

donuts, just bite-size and baked with ricotta

and lime, served with three dipping sauces.



Another quiet way to cruise the main Noosa

River from Noosaville is on a self-drive

electric boat from Malu Os. The company

name is from the Kala Lagaw Ya language of

the Torres Strait Islands, meaning seahorse,

and like its namesake the boats are designed

to move slowly and quietly through the water

without polluting their environment. Hire

rates from $65 to $250 for the day, but no

fishing from the boat is allowed. Find out

more at


Begin walking the trails of Noosa National

Park straight from the entrance to Peppers

Noosa Resort in Viewland Drive. The resort is

walking distance to Hastings Street (although

there’s a buggy service available to give

guests a lift up or down the hill), and there

are pools and a day spa on site. Find out

more at

BNE September/October 2016 |