T+L Reports: The Down Low Down Under
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T+L Reports: The Down Low Down Under

When in-the-know Australians are looking for a quiet beach
getaway where the water is perfectly temperate year-round
and the vibe is so relaxed that the only dress code is a
sarong and flip-flops, they head to Noosa. In this small
seaside town an hour and a half north of Brisbane, coastal
paths wind through rain forests; surfers ride impressive
waves off crowd-free shores; and naturalists scope out
kookaburras, koalas, and wallabies. WHERE TO STAY Thirty years ago, surfers camped at the end of Hastings
Street. Now, instead of tents, there's a slew of boutique
hotels, among them Noosa Blue Resort (16 Noosa Dr.;
61-7/5447-5699; www.noosablue.com.au; doubles from
$206), where the penthouse has a private rooftop barbecue.
• For a little more privacy, try one of the beachfront
house or apartment rentals from Accom Noosa (61-7/5447-3444; www.accomnoosa.com.au; from $112 per
night for a two-bedroom apartment). WHERE TO EAT The
morning starts with a "flat white" (coffee with milk) and
berry pancakes at Café Le Monde (52 Hastings
St.; 61-7/5449-2366; breakfast for two $22). • Can't
bear to leave the beach?"Hey Bill" Watson drives
his beach buggy "café" to you, delivering espresso
and flavored shaved ice. • Lime Fish (2
Hastings St.; 61-7/5447-4650; dinner for two $30) is the
place to go for grilled barramundi and hand-cut fries.
• Inspired by the French Riviera, Berardo's on the
Beach
(49 Hastings St.; 61-7/5447-5666; dinner for two
$55) prepares coconut-prawn bisque. WHAT TO DO Noosa Beach Hire, at Main Beach, rents all the
necessities (boogie boards, towels). While surfboards will
cost you about $37 a day, tips on where to get the best
milk shake are free. • Snap up swimsuits with
strategic cutouts at Josephine's (Hastings St.;
61-7/5447-2188). • Eucalyptus, cypress pines, and
secluded rocky beaches make up Noosa National Park (Park Rd.; 61-7/5447-3243), home to one of the most
stunning forests in Australia. • Fraser Island is
known for its rainbow-colored sands and natural lakes. Sign
up for a day trip with Fraser Island Excursions (61-7/5449-0393; www.frasierislandexcursions.com.au; $126 per
person), which includes lunch and an SUV tour of the
island. —JULIE EARLE-LEVINE

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