Every year millions of people travel Australia’s east coast hitting all the
familiar stops and taking the same instagrammable shots as everyone else.
This means that these spots can be really overcrowded which can sometimes
take away from the whole feel of a place. Leaving you pretty underwhelmed
when you were expecting something a little more breathtaking (that’s
tourism for you).
However, it does mean that sometimes if you wait awhile.
If you wander off in a different direction, there’s a whole lot more space
for you and the lesser known breathtaking views of the world.
The Everglades at Noosa is one such awe-inspiring place.
Forget about the beaches, the surf and Noosa Heads. About turn and head a
little inland for some stunning scenery that not many people know about.
If that isn’t a good enough reason to check it out, well here’s 5
more reasons why you should add it to your east coast itinerary.
There are only 2 Everglades in the Entire World
Yes, you read that right.
The Noosa Everglades are one of only 2 Everglades in the entire world with
the other one residing in Florida.
They are characterised by low, swampy land surrounded by clumps of tall
grass and lots of branching waterways but are so much prettier to look at
then they sound!
The Noosa Everglades are much less well known than its American
counterpart. This in addition to 65% being a part of the Great Sandy
National Park, its inclusion in the Noosa Biosphere plus its proximity to
the World Heritage site of Fraser Island has helped keep the waterways in
You Don’t Have to Sit on a Boring Boat Tour
Ok so it’s not like there’s a walkable path along the side of this thing
(although there are some walking tracks in the area). As that would pretty
much defeat the point.
However, there are alternatives to jumping on a traditional boat tour.
You could, like I chose, take a self-guided kayak tour instead.
This basically means that your hiring out the kayak for the day and can go
as far up the river, or not, as you wish. This was a much more personal way
to get around and you really get a sense of the symbiotic relationship that
While the actual kayaking does require some physical exertion, it was
actually a very tranquil experience. In fact, for a lot of the day, it was
just me, Anja (the lovely girl I was kayaking with) and the everglades.
It has been nicknamed the River of Mirrors
The stillness of the water in the narrows and the presence of ti-tree oil
in the water allows for some stunning reflections.
Overhanging trees and branches are perfectly mirrored in the water making
you question which way is actually up?
At points we were reluctant to continue paddling along as it all looked so
perfect we didn’t want to break the reflections with the kayak.
It is easier to get to than you think!
A hidden gem of a place like that must nestled deep in the forest right?
The Noosa Everglades are actually just a short 35 min drive from Noosa and
only 2.5 hours from Brisbane.
You don’t even need 4WD either. The Cooloola recreation area car park at
Elanda point on Lake Cootharaba is easily accessible by most vehicles. From
here you can reach the kayak launch area and several walking tracks.
However, if you are feeling a little adventurous then you will need 4WD to
access further up the Everglades such as Harry’s hut.
You Can Do Some Off-the-Grid Camping
Feeling like a day trip just isn’t quite enough time to take in the
stunning natural beauty of the area?
Well, you’re in luck as there are several camping options open to you.
If you’re after a full service campground complete with watersports and
kayak hire then look no further than Boreen Point campground and Elanda
Point education centre and adventure park.
If you’re looking for something a little more at one with nature then
you’re covered too.
There are a few campsites that fall in the Great Sandy National Park and so
you will need to grab yourself a permit before you head out (you can book
directly at Queensland National Parks booking service).
Harry’s Hut is the only one of these campsites that is accessible by 4WD,
boat/kayak and foot.
The campsite and day-use area at Fig Tree point (which is a great place to
stop for lunch) is only accessible by kayak/boat and foot. As are campsites
For an even more remote experience pick one of campsites 4-15 which can be
found scattered along the eastern and western banks of the Upper Noosa
Please bear in mind that you need to be totally self-sufficient for these
campsites before heading out.
Things to remember
It’s a National Park so take only photos and leave only your
Sun cream and bug spray. There’s little shade while you’re kayaking
all day and everyone knows that mosquitos love to hang out around
GoPro (or equivalent) don’t risk losing your fancy camera or phone
to the (albeit shallow) depths of the Everglades. So pack your
action cam – or borrow your mates.
Enough food and water. This is especially important if you are
camping but it’s no fun being out and about in the hot sun when
you’ve run out of water.
Your adventurous self!
The Noosa Everglades were definitely one of the highlights of my east coast
trip. I felt like I had been transported to a different world and had no
idea that Australia had areas with this kind of beauty.
If you can, then I would highly recommend kayaking the waterways through
Kanu Kapers (check them out here) although I have
only heard positive things about the boat tours if you choose to do it that
Until Next Time