Where to stay in Noosa for first time: 5 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Noosa as a first-timer can be overwhelming. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Noosa for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safest areas to stay in Noosa for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map. I’ll also share where I stayed in Noosa and recommend some of the best hotels for various budgets.

Noosa is a popular resort town located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, lush national parks, and vibrant atmosphere. The town attracts tourists from around the world seeking relaxation, outdoor activities, and a laid-back beach lifestyle.

Noosa Heads, the main hub of the area, features Hastings Street, a bustling thoroughfare lined with boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. 

Noosa National Park, situated on the headland, offers stunning coastal walks with opportunities to spot native wildlife like koalas and dolphins. 

The Noosa River flows through the town, providing opportunities for boating, fishing, and kayaking. 

Is Noosa safe to visit?

Yes, Noosa, like most of Australia, is generally safe to visit. But, I advise you to swim only at beaches patrolled by lifeguards, stay on the marked walking tracks when hiking in Noosa National Park. Additionally, wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.

Also, pay attention to signs and warnings posted in public areas, especially at beaches and national parks. These signs are there for your safety and should be taken seriously.

Where to stay in Noosa for the first time?

The best and safest areas to stay in Noosa for first-timers and tourists are Noosa Heads Main Beach, Noosa Parade, Noosa Drive, Gympie Terrace, and Sunshine Beach/ Sunrise Beach.

Noosa Heads is the main tourist hub of Noosa and offers easy access to Noosa Main Beach, Hastings Street (the main shopping and dining strip), and Noosa National Park. Accommodation options range from luxury resorts to boutique hotels and holiday apartments, providing something for every budget.

Gympie Terrace, part of Noosaville, situated along the Noosa River, offers a more laid-back atmosphere compared to Hastings Street. You can enjoy riverfront dining, water activities such as kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, and easy access to the Noosa Marina. 

Sunshine Beach offers a relaxed coastal vibe with pristine beaches and excellent surf conditions. This area is slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of Hastings Street but still provides convenient access to Noosa’s attractions.

During my trip to Noosa, I stayed at the mid-range Hotel Laguna in the heart of Noosa Heads. It was super close to the Main Beach, and a range of restaurants, shops, and bars, on the popular Hastings St. Great base to explore Noosa without a car. My room was fantastic, with views out to the river.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Noosa for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Noosa first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Noosa first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Noosa, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Noosa have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

5 Best & Safe areas to stay in Noosa for first-timers and tourists:

1. Noosa Heads Main Beach

Noosa Heads Main Beach and Hastings Street are the most popular places to stay in Noosa for first-timers and tourists looking for a vibrant beachside destination with easy access to amenities, attractions, and outdoor activities. 

Main Beach is a beautiful patrolled beach with calm waters for swimming and lots of facilities nearby such as showers, toilets, and picnic areas. The beach is a perfect place to rest and see the most beautiful sunset. Hastings Street, a vibrant hub lined with boutique shops, cafes, restaurants, and galleries. 

You will have easy access to iconic attractions such as Noosa River Mouth and Noosa National Park, where you can explore scenic walking trails, spot native wildlife, and enjoy breathtaking coastal views.

Best places to stay in Noosa Heads Main Beach for first-timers:

Mid-range ($$): Hotel Laguna, great 4-star hotel located in a central location right on Hastings St, within easy walking distance to the Main Beach. It features an outdoor pool, barbecue area, laundry servers, free parking, and rooms with a full kitchenette. You can find many good cafes and restaurants nearby.

Budget ($): Ocean Breeze Resort, popular 3-star hotel in the heart of Noosa Heads, easy distance from the beach, the marina, and the shops. Only 10 mins walk from Noosa National Park. It has self-contained, air-conditioned apartments, free parking, and a barbecue area.

Luxury ($$$): Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, 5-star beachfront hotel located on Hastings Street, offering accommodations with views of Noosa Village, the pool, Noosa River or the Laguna Bay. The hotel has a fitness center, 2 onsite restaurants, good breakfast, and paid airport shuttle services.


2. Noosa Parade

Noosa Parade is a fantastic area to stay in Noosa, particularly for those seeking a tranquil riverside retreat with easy access to the town’s amenities. It is a part of Noosa Parade and is conveniently located between the Main Beach and the Gympie Terrace.

Noosa Parade offers a range of accommodation options, including luxury resorts, holiday apartments, and waterfront villas. Whether you’re looking for a romantic retreat or a family-friendly stay, you’ll find suitable accommodation along Noosa Parade.

Best places to stay in Noosa Heads in Noosa Parade:

Mid-range ($$): Sun Lagoon Resort, 4-star non-smoking beachfront hotel with a private beach and a private boat jetty, great base for families, couples, and a group of friends. The hotel features one, two, three-bedroom apartments that can accommodate up to 6 adults. Free bus stops can be found nearby.

Mid-range ($$): Skippers Cove Waterfront Resort, 4-star waterfront hotel with a private beach area, 20 mins walk from the popular Hastings Street and Main Beach. Apartments come with a fully equipped kitchen, laundry facilities, free kayaking gear, and free parking. They can help arrange tours and activities.

Budget ($): Wolngarin Holiday Resort Noosa, 3-star hotel located on Munna Crescent, only a few mins walk from Noosa River and Gympie Terrace. It has self-contained 2-bedroom apartments with a kitchen with everything you need. They also offer paid airport shuttle services, and free parking.


3. Gympie Terrace

Gympie Terrace is a charming riverside area located in Noosaville, just a short distance from Noosa Heads. It’s a fantastic area to stay in for first-timers and tourists, offering a laid-back atmosphere and a range of attractions. 

There is always a lot of activity along the river, and the area has some great new restaurants, cafes and bars. The Noosaville riverside park has children’s playgrounds, barbecue areas and covered outdoor dining areas. There is live music in front of the Boathouse on the weekends.

Best places to stay in Noosa in Gympie Terrace:

Mid-range ($$):  Noosa River Palms, 4-star good value for money hotel conveniently located on the  Gympie Terrace, directly across the charming Noosa River. Short walk/drive from all places of interest including Noosa Yacht & Rowing Club, Sunshine Beach and Main Beach. The hotel has a saltwater heated  pool, family rooms, and free onsite parking.

Mid-range ($$): Twin Quays Noosa, 4-star accommodation in the heart of Noosaville, easy walk from the Noosa River, on the Sunshine Coast, where you can go sailing, fishing, kayaking, swimming, boating, kiteboarding, jet skiing, canoeing and river cruises. Great base to explore Noosa.

Budget ($): Coco Bay Resort, 3-star good value for money self-contained resort located close to the Noosa River, and Gympie Terrace, where you can find many shops and restaurants. Also only a few min drive from Noosa Main Beach, Noosa Springs Golf Course and Noosa National Park. It features a heated pool, free covered parking, laundry facilities, and BBQ area.


4. Noosa Drive

Noosa Drive, part of Noosa Head, is another excellent area to stay in Noosa, offering a mix of convenience, proximity to attractions, and a relaxed atmosphere.

Noosa Drive is close to Hastings Street, the bustling heart of Noosa Heads. Staying on Noosa Drive puts you within easy walking distance of all the shops, cafes, restaurants, and galleries that Hastings Street has to offer, without the hustle and bustle of staying directly on it.

You can go shopping at Noosa Junction Plaza. It is a nice little place where you can find Kmart, IGA,  pharmacy, news agent, coffee shop, and banks.

Best places to stay in Noosa Heads in Noosa Drive:

Mid-range ($$): Noosa Hill Resort, 4-star hotel located on Noosa Drive, featuring self-contained apartments with a well-equipped kitchen and laundry facilities. Very close to the cafes, restaurants, shops and bars of Hastings Street and Main beach. 

Mid-range ($$): Serenity Apartments Noosa, 4-star accommodation, located in a great area, easy access to all of Noosa’s main attractions. Noosa Junction is just an 8-minute walk away. Spacious apartment is great for families.

Budget ($): Myuna Holiday Apartments, 3-star accommodation located only a few mins drive from the beautiful Laguna Lookout and the popular Hastings Street. The tour desk can help to arrange  day tours, Fraser Island tours, and fishing charters.


5. Sunshine Beach/ Sunrise Beach

Sunshine Beach and Sunrise Beach are two neighboring areas located just south of Noosa Heads. Both offer a more laid-back atmosphere compared to the hustle and bustle of Noosa Heads, making them ideal for travelers seeking a quieter and more relaxed beach experience.

Sunshine Beach and Sunrise Beach boast pristine stretches of golden sand and sparkling blue waters. These beaches are perfect for swimming, surfing, sunbathing, and long walks along the shoreline. They are often less crowded than Noosa Main Beach, providing a more tranquil setting for beachgoers.

Best places to stay in Noosa in Sunshine Beach:

Mid-range ($$): La Mer Sunshine Beachfront, 4-star seafront hotel, offering beautiful views of the Sunshine Beach. It is only a 5-10 mins drive from  Aquatic Centre, and Hastings Street. The hotel has Free secure parking, a heated pool, and tour desk to help you book trips to Fraser Island and offshore fishing tours.

Mid-range ($$): Sunseeker Holiday Apartments, 4-star beachfront accommodation conveniently located on a quiet Ross Crescent, easy access to a range of restaurants, shops and the surf club. It has direct access to the patrolled Sunshine Beach. 

Budget ($): Chez Noosa Resort Motel, 3-star good value for money accommodation, great base for car-free travelers because the Noosa public transportation system and network is amazing allowing you easy access to the main beach, and tourist amenities like shops, bars and restaurants.


In conclusion, Noosa Heads Main Beach, Noosa Parade, Noosa Drive, Gympie Terrace, and Sunshine Beach/ Sunrise Beach are the best places to stay in Noosa for first-timers and tourists. These areas are safe and provide a wide variety of accommodations for all needs.

You can continue reading about other popular tourists destinations in Australia in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Noosa. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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