Time to activate my hop on hop off pass from Greyhound! The Greyhound bus is usually equipped with wifi service and USB outlets to recharge our electronic devices so the ride would be less of a bore. Greyhound had two stops in Noosa: Noosa and Noosa Heads. At first I was not sure which to select, but since there were more buses running to Noosa, I settled with that. Noosa is located along the Sunshine Coast, a bit over 100 kilometers north of Brisbane.
When I arrived at the Noosa Junction bus terminal, I was picked up by the Noosa Flashpackers shuttle van in the parking lot. It turns out that other hostels also had their vans at the car park. Since it is low season, I assume you can literally just arrive in Noosa and just hop on one of the hostel shuttles instead of booking in advance. After checking in at Noosa Flashpackers, which is a little far from the main area in Noosa Heads, I hopped on the hourly shuttle bus provided to explore the main areas of Noosa Heads. Most of the backpackers and hotels are situated in Noosa Heads. There is a shopping strip on Hasting Street and the main Noosa beach in the area. Right away, I can observe the differences between the coasts. It is evidently more touristy with shops and people walking around. Unlike the beaches we visited in Western Australia, we are not given the luxury of relaxing on a beach reserved just to ourselves. Other than backpackers, Noosa seems to be a popular destination for family vacation as I spotted countless children and elderly visitors strolling down the beach town. After exploring the beach, we wanted to go up to the Laguna lookout which has a nice view of the Noosa region. Unfortunately, it started pouring as we made our way up the steps to the lookout. We climbed up many flights of stairs and reached level ground leading to this area that can potentially be the lookout and soon left after the rain started pouring down; I later found out that we actually have not reach the Laguna lookout yet.
The next day, I left for the Australia Zoo. Although I am not normally interested in zoos, I was under the impression that this one is a must visit since it is the family-run zoo of late Steve Irwin. I agree with reviews that I have read online that the variety of species in the zoo is lacking. We were able to see crocodiles (of course), common native Australian animals such as kangaroos, koalas, dingos, echidnas, snakes, wombats, tasmanian devils, etc., African animals, and a few from Asia. It was nice to see that most of the animals are living in spacious habitats (except for the birds). We watched a crocodile show with a bird performance as introduction. This was my second opportunity to take selfies with kangaroos and koalas and I cannot say that the results were much better than the ones at the Featherdale Wildlife Park.
I wish I had more time in Noosa. I really enjoy the peaceful vibe from this town. I would not mind staying here for another 2 days just to relax. Unfortunately, I only have half of the third day to see more of Noosa. I started out on Sunshine beach and did the coastal walk to Noosa’s Main beach. Since my roommate is not much of a hiking enthusiast, we did not visit all the little detours along the way. One of the nicest spots was the Tea Tree Bay that embraces the vibrant blue water. Many people spotted koalas, whales, and dolphins along the walk. Animal spotting is clearly not a strength for someone as oblivious as me. Luckily, my roommate spotted a small turtle in the water and I consider that a mission complete for finding wild turtles.
The third day in Noosa was also when the MH17 tragedy occurred. My roommate’s friend was actually on the plane and they were supposed to meet up in Bali. She was in pure shock to hear of the news when she was just talking to her friend a few hours before the flight. It is so hard to imagine that someone you were just talking with is now gone forever. We talked about how eerie it feels to hear about more airplane accidents as travelers. We agreed the that the next time we tell someone to ‘have a safe flight’, we would take it more seriously. May all the innocent souls rest in peace!