Noosa on the Water – June 13/14th (Day 11/12)

Noosa Everglades Day Tour – June 13th (Day 11)

In the little beach town that is Noosa, the majority of activities available can be found on the water. Depending on your interests, Noosa has activities for the more laidback explorer as well as for the active explorer. Seeing as I experience waves of both, I had was lucky to have the opportunity to engage in both a leisurely boat cruise and active canoe experience. The Discovery Group picked me up from my accommodation at the Mantra French Quarter for my Noosa Everglades Bar-B-Canoe Day Tour.

Your adventure begins with a river cruise through magnificent lakes & wetlands of the Noosa River to the start of the Noosa Everglades.

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From what I had heard about Noosa from my peers – it wasn’t what I expected. I think this might have been in part to it being a slightly overcast and gloomy day, because Noosa is known for sunshine and it’s magnificent beaches. As the day progressed the sun peaked at times, but for the majority of it, it stayed overcast and even began to rain. However while in the cruise boat that wasn’t of huge concern, however when my partner and I were required to paddle 5km upstream through the Everglades, that’s when things got interesting.

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After morning tea, I was partnered up with a girl from Switzerland to share a canoe. As we were picking up our canoes at the departure point a little snake slithered by… and I obviously freaked out. They are so easily camouflage-able (is that even a word?… well it works perfectly in this context, so for now yes it is) with their environment that you could step on one without even knowing. That scares the living daylights out of me, cause I hate snakes. Anyways, after that mini crisis – Laura and I got into our canoe and we began up the everglades.20130613_11534120130613_123142

It was a really pretty canoe ride, however I was upset with the fact we didn’t really see anything “special.” No fish, no birds, no turtles, no wildlife, nothing. It made the 5 km, hour long canoe ride slightly drawn out. I think it might have been just an unlucky day on the Everglades cause I could imagine how beautiful it would be on a sunny day. I’ll have to give it a second chance next time I am in Noosa.20130613_123328

Lunch served with the tour was amazing! We had the choice of steak, barramundi (Australian fish) or a vegetarian option.  I got the barramundi and it was awesome. Put a squeeze of lemon on that and mmmm… to die for! I have never been a huge fish eater, but I think my taste buds are changing at rapid speed and might consider fish more often now.

After lunch we had the option to canoe back to the loading dock (5km downstream) or just hop into the boat and cruise back with the group. My partner and I decided to take the easy route and take the boat. It made the remainder of our time on the Noosa Everglades Bar-B-Canoe Day Tour quite enjoyable and relaxing.

Stand Up Paddle Surfing – June 14th (Day 12)

With Australia’s first Stand Up Paddle Surf Shop being in Noosa, I was amped to have a go at this myself. It was a beautiful winter morning in Noosa, reaching a high of around 25 degrees – perfect weather for stand up paddle surfing. I made my way down to Jetty 17 on Gympie Terrace to meet up with my paddleboard instructor Hayden. As soon as I arrived I was greeted with a smiling face and we went straight into my lesson. We grabbed 2 boards and made our way out into the water. The water was as calm as glass, which made my first time trying this activity a lot easier.

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As we made our way through the water I realized that it was way more of an abdominal workout that I had ever imagined – you have to ensure you hold in your tummy muscles or you will probably end up in the water.

Though I had done similar activities to paddle surfing before, being given the chance to have a lesson to learn the basics made progressing to harder moves a lot smoother. Hayden broke down the technique of transferring from a basic two footed stance, to a more complicated “surfer” style stance. With that sort of transition the likelihood of falling into the water is increased. Thanks to Hayden’s expertise and guidance I never fell in and managed to make it back completely dry!

It was awesome that we were able to paddle into the middle of the river and then make our way into a hidden creek. The creek was decorated all over in mangroves, which made for quite a beautiful atmosphere. While paddling back from the creek we saw a few stingrays in the water! They were varying in size from about 1.5 feet in width and height to about half that size (potentially baby rays). Paddling directly on top of the stingrays was an incredible sight… and thankfully I didn’t fall in…

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I want to thank Stand Up Paddle Surfing for an amazing time paddling Noosa, and being given the opportunity to see Noosa through another light. If you are ever in Noosa, QLD you really should consider taking a paddle surfing lesson or renting a board for a couple hours. Totally worth it!

The “Best Jobs” in the World work is coming up quick! Enough personal travels and time to meet up with the finalists after one last night in Queensland!

Sam Clarke.

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