The locals’ guide to surfing Noosa, Australia

The locals’ guide to surfing Noosa
The locals’ guide to surfing Noosa: Noosa has five points with waves for each type of surfer. Photo by The Wave Provocateur

Bree Warren and Mitch McCann met at a beachside hotel, reconnected a month later, and went on a date the same week—and why not? They shared two major passions that would solidify their relationship: surf and travel. So, of course, they had to create a blog about both. “We wanted to do something creative and original with our travel shots,” Warren says. “We found that there wasn’t really anything out there for both guys and girls that combines surf and travel, so we wanted to fill that gap.”

The locals’ guide to surfing Noosa
The Wave Provocateur seeks to combine surf and travel photographer in one curated platform. Photo by The Wave Provocateur

Enter The Wave Provocateur, the couple’s envy-inducing corner of the web where they catalog their jaunts around the world in search of the perfect wave. But instead of tapping the duo for a far-flung travel guide, we had them detail the best things about a surf break a little closer to their home: Noosa, Australia. “Noosa has five amazing points with waves that vary from a perfect longboard wave at First Point to radical barrels beyond Boiling Pot,” McCann says. “No matter the conditions, wind or swell, you’ll be able to find a wave.” For Warren, the draw is in the town’s versatility: “Noosa has a good balance,” she says. “There’s so many beach activities and watersports, but you can also relax, go shopping, or wine and dine. Plus the scenery is pretty amazing.” Here, a “his and hers” guide to the coastal destination and surfing Noosa:

The locals’ guide to surfing Noosa
The locals’ guide to surfing Noosa: Noosa gets crowded during the high season (in the Australian summer), so book a hotel or hostel early. Photo by the Wave Provocateur

Get there: The drive to Noosa from Brisbane, Australia, takes approximately two hours, but you can fly into the Sunshine Coast Airport and cut your drive time down to twenty minutes. There’s even a Rip Curl shop in the airport for last-minute necessities.

Check in: at 10 Hastings Boutique Motel and Café, a hip establishment tucked into the quieter end of famed street where drinks are served in mason jars and Chevron pillows abound. If you’re on a budget, check out Halse Lodge, a backpackers’ hostel hotel where dorm rooms start at just $29 a night. Just be sure to book a room early or you’ll be on the streets during the high season over the Australian summer.

The locals’ guide to surfing Noosa
The locals’ guide to surfing Noosa: A surfboard and a suit are all you really need to pack for Noosa. Photo by The Wave Provocateur

What to pack: The packing list for a trip to Noosa is bare bones thanks to consistently warm weather and the singular reason you made the journey: surfing. “I usually just pack surfboards,” says McCann. “The rest I forget because I’m too excited!” Pack a few bathing suits, something to walk around town in, a towel, and sturdy sandals in case you want to go exploring off the beach.

Grab a brew and a bite right at Halse Lodge. “It’s technically a backpackers’ [hostel] but it has a relaxed vibe and it’s set in an old wooden Queenslander tucked in behind Hastings Street,” says McCann. The bar and restaurant serves up a Big Breakfast every morning, and dinner is served nightly with beer, wine, and cocktails. Warren prefers the local and imported beer selection at Noosa Surf Life Saving Club, but suggests making time for a bite out of the seasonal menu at Ricky’s or the crispy tune croquettes at Red Emperor Fish and Chips in Noosaville. For the best local pizza in town—our mouths are watering over the Satay chicken and cashew pie—take a walk to Zachary’s Gourmet Pizza Bar.

Bree Warren and Mitch McCann are the surf-loving couple behind The Wave Provocateur
Bree Warren and Mitch McCann are the surf-loving couple behind The Wave Provocateur

Rise and shine with a bold coffee while you check out the surf conditions. “We go on a scooter and check all the points around the headland, the river mouth, and Sunshine Beach,” says McCann. Bistro C is the couple’s go-to breakfast joint—try their corn and chive griddle cakes or potato, leek, and cheddar tart—though don’t expect to get there early if you’re traveling with a serious surfer. “I’m not usually allowed to do anything until we have checked the surf,” laughs Warren.

Dry off with a walk through Noosa National Park—which has some of the most picturesque coastline in South East Queensland—to Granite Bay or Tea Tree, the locals’ favorite break. McCann prefers getting a group of “mates” together for a day trip up to Double Island Point. “You need a four-wheel-drive to drive up the beach, but with the right conditions you can have perfect surf and the beach to yourself!

The locals’ guide to surfing Noosa
The locals’ guide to surfing Noosa: Seek out perfect peelers at Tea Tree or Granite Bay in Noosa. Photo by The Wave Provocateur

Stash some cash for shopping at boutiques on Hastings Street (Bowery is Warren’s favorite stop, stocking Aussie brands like Bird & Knoll and Ellery). Surfers will revel in the selection at Noosa Longboards and get stars in their eyes from the atmospheric wonder of Thomas Surfboards. “It’s in this awesome converted warehouse with a barber shop and a half-pipe inside,” explains McCann.

Do: Body surf, chill in a hammock, and watch the sunset from Noosa National Park. If you’re feeling up for a short drive, Warren suggests taking the trip to Fraser Island. “It’s a UNESCO Heritage-listed island that’s an hour away from Noosa.”

The locals’ guide to surfing Noosa
The locals’ guide to surfing Noosa: Don’t leave Noosa without watching the sunset at the National Park. Photo courtesy of The Wave Provocateur

Don’t: Leave without paddling out at Tea Tree, the favorite break of both Warren and McCann.

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