With the winter blues soon to hit down in Melbourne, I was in dire need of a warm holiday. It had been over 2 years since I last visited the Halse Lodge Guesthouse in Noosa, and with such lasting memories created, it made me eager to return.
Day 1 (Monday): Melbourne to Noosa, Sunshine Coast
With a chilly day in Melbourne making me even more excited about heading up to Noosa, I joyfully made my way to the airport to catch my afternoon flight to Sunshine Coast – Marochydore Airport. Flying with Jetstar, I had a pleasant 2-hour journey to arrive into Queensland just before dinnertime! I was pleasantly greeted by Sarah (Halse Lodge manager) at the arrivals halls in the terminal and we quickly collected my baggage from the carousel. We made our way from the Marochydore airport through some of the beautiful beach towns such as Coolum on the way back to Noosa Heads. As we drove through the beach side towns, we had the chance to see the beautiful sun setting in the distance, and the spectrum of colours reflecting over the waters. We approached the Halse Lodge Guesthouse located up on the hill and it was exactly as I remembered. The patio was lit up with beautiful fairy lights in an assortment of bright colours, the staff were smiling and the hostel was alive. I quickly checked into my beautiful lodge private room (which was decked out with a welcome letter, chocolate and other treats!) and I made my way down to the hostel restaurant. With a selection of delicious meals to chose from, and a full bar to enjoy – I knew I was happy to be home. The staff team at Halse Lodge go out of their way to ensure you feel welcome, in addition they provide some of the best hospitality I have ever experienced while travelling. My first night in Noosa was an early one, as I wanted to be fully rested for the next 4 days ahead of me! I was so excited and happy to be back in Noosa; I wanted to take full advantage of my time here!
Day 2 (Tuesday): Noosa National Park
Bright and early in the morning I was awoken to the sun shining and the sound of singing birds outside of my window. I made my way down to the restaurant to grab breakfast, my morning coffee and get myself ready for the day! Today I was heading out for a wander in the Noosa National Park. The Noosa National Park is known as one of Australia’s favourite National Parks and one of the most easily accessible by foot from the local area. I lucked out with the weather for the day as the sun was shining; it was even warm enough to just wear shorts and my bikini top along the walk! Starting from the town, I strolled pass main beach; which was covered in holiday-goers enjoying the sun, catching some rays and as well as some epic surf. As I made my way along the rugged coastline, I found myself lost in the various coves, beaches and surf break lookouts. I sat down for an hour at one point and ended up falling asleep for a bit… not a bad way to catch a tan! For a coastal walk that is meant to take about 2 ½ hours, it managed to take me over 5 hours because I was taking so many pictures! Throughout Australia, I have seen and experienced a handful of National Parks and I would have to say that the Noosa National Park has made it to one of the top on the list. Later in the afternoon I made my way back up to the Halse Lodge to freshen up for dinner. Throughout the lodge you will find travellers enjoying the sunshine shining onto the patio, reading a book on the lounge chairs, playing Ping-Pong or just hanging out in the common areas. The Halse Lodge gives off a very relaxed and home-y vibe for its visitors and people tend to stay longer than expected, because it’s very difficult to leave! In the early evening, I awaited the arrival Hannah who was making the trip from Byron Bay to visit for the night! When she arrived, we headed straight to the restaurant for some dinner and drinks! It was the perfect catch up as it had been over 2 months since we last saw each other!
Day 3 (Wednesday): Noosa River Jetboat, Noosa Springs Spa, Sunset River Cruise
An action-packed day had arrived as I would be saying goodbye to Hannah, experiencing the Noosa River by jet boat, accompanying the Halse Lodge staff party at the Noosa Springs Spa and topping off the evening with a Noosa River Cruise! Hannah and I woke up bright and early in the morning and headed down into town for some breakfast at a cute little café called Gaston. The Noosa town is packed with cute cafes, restaurants, bars, boutique shops and more! It’s hard to choose where to eat and shop.
Following breakfast a fellow Peterpans colleague picked me up and we made our way down to the jetty to catch our Noosa Thriller Jetboat trip! This tour combines adventure, adrenaline and a scenic experience in one – it’s the perfect way to see the Noosa River by boat as well as view the Noosa National Park. This is a 2-hour round trip activity that fits in perfectly to any Noosa holiday itinerary. Later in the afternoon I met up with the lovely Halse Lodge ladies and we headed to the Noosa Springs Day Spa for the afternoon. We had the whole spa to ourselves and had the choice to enjoy the spa pools, the steam rooms, plunge showers and saunas. To top off the afternoon we had a private room set out just for us with champagne being served as well as a selection of cheese, crackers and snacks. After all the pampering we headed back to the lodge to get ready for the sunset cruise on the Noosa River. We gathered our esky (cooler), filled it with champagne, ciders and beers and made our way to the jetty. The cruise boat had two levels to sit on, and held just about 30 passengers. We passed by quite a few beautiful holidays homes location on the river. The sunset over the river was stunning – beautiful layers of red, orange and yellow reflecting off the water. Day 4 (Thursday): Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo!
Today was a day that I have been excited to re-live since I first visited the Australia Zoo. With such fond memories created two years ago at the Australia Zoo during the Best Jobs in the World competition, I was overly keen to get back to the Zoo to see the new additions that were in progress. Stacey and I jumped into the car at the Halse Lodge and made the hour-long journey to the Australia Zoo. When we arrived at the Zoo, we were greeted with a friendly smile at the front gate who provided up with site maps for the property! I felt like I was in Disney World! I was so excited to be back here, and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to see first! The first stop for the day was to the Crocoseum, which is where some of the live shows are held! We managed to make it just in time for the bird and crocodile show to begin. We quickly grabbed our seats and were easily amazed by the talent and training behind the animals on display. My favourite part of the Crocodile and Bird Show was the demonstration on if a snake or animal in the wild bites you. A cute little dingo ran out from backstage to help out with the demonstration – I could barely control myself because it was absolutely hilarious, and at the end the dingo jumped into the dingo ambulance and was brought off the stage. Through the day we managed to see every corner of the zoo; everything from the alligators, to the tortoises, to all the South East Asian animals to the koalas, kangaroos and more! I was so happy to be back visiting the Australia Zoo, it had changed and expanded so much since I last visited and brought quite a few new things for me to check out! Day 5 (Friday): Noosa wanderings and goodbyes!
Friday came a lot sooner than I would have hoped, as it was time for me to head back to Melbourne after an amazing 5 days on the Sunshine Coast. I always knew that Noosa held a special place in my travels, but I didn’t quite realize how special this place was until this week. The team at Halse Lodge has created a home for me in Australia, where I feel completely welcome and accepted. I have never felt such a strong connection and love for a guesthouse as I have at the Halse Lodge. It is definitely a place I know I will continue to visit year after year, to recharge my batteries, relax for a bit and experience Noosa’s beautiful surroundings.
Want to experience this place yourself? Enquire here!