Noosa – Pomona – Noosa.
Saturday plans were my hubbies, so we knew an adventure awaited! Clothes were out and ready the night before, drink bottles at the door and the kids excitement at the max! He wrote a ‘checklist’ of things the kids had to check off during the day which was a great way to keep their interest all day, ranging from roundabouts, to red slides to giant pelicans to mountains…
We started the day at Belmondes Cafe in Noosa (counting all the roundabouts as we went!) Great coffee for us & the kids task was to find the flying aeroplane inside the cafe! Belmondes Cafe is a funky, organic supermarket/cafe. You possibly wouldn’t find it unless you knew it was there as its tucked away in an Industrial estate.
After coffee (always after coffee!) we drove to Pomona, none of us had been to this cute little town before. We did a toilet stop next to the main oval in the town, which had Saturday morning markets happening and continued on to Mt Cooroora! This is a big hike for little legs so we took water bottles and morning tea to have at the top, unsure if we would even make it that far…
The hike took us 2.5 hours, with 3 kids aged 4, 6 and 8 who are used to hiking. It definitely wasn’t as busy as Mt Coolum but there was a steady flow of people who I’m sure made it up and back much quicker. Our goal wasn’t to be fast though, it was to have a good attitude despite something that may challenge us. My sons comment was that he realised he could have fun, even when something is hard. So for that reason (& the view!) we loved this mountain! It taught my kids a valuable lesson.
The hike starts out as a bush trail (there are a few different ways you can go and one part isn’t signed so maybe look it up before you start). There are some pretty steep rocky bits and some really steep stairs up. Some of the way there are chains to hold onto to help you up the mountain. I did feel a bit nervous at one point wondering how we were all going to get down safely, but it was actually pretty good, kids were really enjoying the challenge.
When you get to the top the view is amazing, overlooking hinterland and farmland, with rolling hills in the distance. It was a great hike and we will all be doing it again, but I think it is definitely the hardest one we have done so far, & you do need to keep your kids close at all times!
Next stop – Pomona town for lunch, and we found Indian! My favourite! Hiding at the back of the restaurant is an antique shop & a vintage clothing shop. There are a few other cafes to choose from too.
We ate our dhal and headed to Noosa Marina while the kids slept in the car. Two of the boys were asleep so I took my oldest son into the art gallery while they slept, (which was free) and he loved it. There was an exhibit on aboriginal painting and history and a ‘kids corner’ where he could draw his own art.
In the same area of Noosa Marina is a fun (fenced!) sprinkler play area, which was the main reason we went! Heaps of fun.
The checklist was still getting market off, and next on it was a giant pelican and a red slide…. so to Noosa River we went! Along the river there is a fantastic kids park next to the water and a little walk up is a giant pelican. I am convinced all kids love big things!
After an ice block from the boat shop near the Big Pelican, it was unanimous that dinner at Noosa was needed! We watched the sun set at Noosa Main Beach while the kids played in the sand and then off to Betty’s Burgers for dinner! Best burgers around! For 2 of my kids that was certain as it was their first taste ever… and then it was home for bed…
This is a fairly big day trip, and you could easily do it on a shoe-string by packing your own food. For us it worked really well as we got to explore lots of new places which we love. The quiet time driving between places gave the kids a rest and kept their stamina, as did marking off everything on the checklist ! First time we had done the checklist idea… definitely a great motivator !
If you didn’t want to eat out for lunch we saw a few people having a picnic in the park opposite the bottom of Mount Cooroora, which looked good. There are also BBQ’s at Noosa River near the park if that is where you wanted to head for lunch or end your day.
We told the kids if they kept a good attitude for the entire day they would have learnt 3 lollies each. But for every time they argued or grumbled they would lose one. By the time we were home each of them had earned their 3 lollies. We find little motivations help them when the hike is so big for their little legs!
There are no toilets at Mt Cooroora, the closest are in Pomona town.
There are also food options at Noosa Marina just a short stroll from the sprinklers, and along Noosa River if you decide to lunch there instead.