Well Noosa seems like a distant memory but I know a few of you wanted a full debrief of our trip! We discovered Noosa this time last year and fell in love……..hard. If you have kids then this is family friendly and if you like to do things stylishly, love to shop and a good restaurant then you’ll be right at home. I think that’s the appeal for me – gorgeous beach, great shopping, delicious restaurants and cafes and just a lovely atmosphere.
But let’s add kids to the mix? Yes! Still works and still a great place to stay.
WHERE TO STAY
We like to be right near the beach so stay in a private apartment at the Sebel. It saves you on the cost but I actually discovered it because the hotel was fully booked last year. You have a kids pool and a regular pool, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, double sofa bed and there are a mix of families and couples. But sadly we’ve outgrown it. It was fine when elodie and emerson were smaller but we need a 3 bedroom next time. If you stay as a guest of the Sebel you will get daily room servicing which would have been nice and you don’t need to bring your own beach towels. If you’d like to save a bit of money then go the private rental through one of the holiday accommodation agencies in noosa. We always get a lovely bottle of wine and welcome pack and enjoy staying there.
There are a few real estate agents who do private rentals and you can look on stayz for apartments and houses. We’ll be looking for a small house that is walking distance to Hastings Street next time just so the kids have a bit of space to run around but so we can still be close enough to where we like to be.
WHERE TO EAT
in your apartment!!!! Taking the whole gang out is a test of patience and budget. We had most of our meals in the apartment and retro daddy would duck out for a bottle of wine and a gourmet pizza for the adults. Coles is at noosa junction which was about 2 bus stops away and Woolies is at Noosa Civic which I found accidentally coming back from a shopping expedition to Noosaville.
For a special meal out we love Sails. We’ve had tables right near the beach (this was the view on the night we went)
amazing service and friendly service (you know when you go somewhere fancy but feel uncomfortable, not at Sails), little entertainment bags for the kids, fabulous wines and cocktails and just a lovely place to be. Lots of families and couples and we’ll go back every year. Now the website says don’t ask for a table near the beach but we have been lucky on our 2 visits so book before you arrive and we go early at 5pm.
We also enjoyed 2 meals at the surf club which has the best views, great gluten free options (their nachos are delicious) and loads of families. We went on a windy night and the carpet was a bit stinky so go at lunch time and sit outside for the amazing views. We had a great lunch on our last day soaking up the sun and views.
Zachary’s do great pizzas and it’s so easy for one of you to duck out and pick up some pizza. If you send your hubby let them discover that it’s a bar so they can order a drink and have a quick one while your pizza is cooking. That’s probably why retro daddy didn’t mind ducking out a few times. their gluten free bases are delicious and we’ve done hawaiian, fruits de mer and chicken tandoori and give them all the thumbs up.
For quick lunches we loved the bakery opposite the Sebel (they have a gluten free bread and some gluten free delicious muffins) and Kabana’s (great fish and chips and some gluten free options too) and the food court next to the Sheraton but sushi set us back almost $40 to feed the whole crew so eating in was always a better option.
Ice cream options are everywhere and for after dinner retro daddy would go and grab a take home pack from royal copenhagen which is just opposite the sebel. Nitrogenie for a bit of wow factor with your ice cream but just like my readers told me, best flavours and taste are up at Massimo’s. Their coconut flavour is so good and I couldn’t say no each day. Walk around the corner and sit on the beach or steps with your ice cream.
WHAT TO DO
If your kids are like our kids then it will be pool time! And a bit of beach time but let’s be clear that our guys are still a bit too young to all enjoy the beach together. Finn doesn’t like sand, elodie is not a fan either, emerson gets sand everywhere and has no fear and tillie and keira love the beach. So we didn’t make it in the water but enjoyed some walks and ice cream time each day and then took a few down separately. We’ll get there……….one day.
If the weather is bad then you’ve got the cinemas at Noosa Junction (Finn kept praying for a rainy day so he could see Turbo).
My guys also love to get a beanie toy from the newsagent, look at the clothes and toys in Go Bananas on Hastings Street or Think Kids (Noosa Junction – great for craft supplies too) and then spend more time in the pool. Our days tended to start between 6 and 7, be in the pool about 9, early lunch about 11, take a walk to the beach, look at the shops, get out and about till 3, back in the pool, dinner, bath, tv, bed. Start it all over again the next day.
OK so last year we drove and it was a bit of a nightmare with a 3 month old baby and a few tantrums from the twins. This time I found flights with jetstar and decided we’d fly. Adding in transfers at each end because I didn’t think we could get on a mini bus with other people and the 5 little ones all added to the cost of the holiday. Retro daddy the accountant is convinced we will drive again but I think driving will require a stop over each way just to break it up for the kids. I must admit that I did miss having the van with us for day trips, trips up to the supermarket and I really wanted to head to the farmers market and church on sunday but didn’t have the car with me.
So we will see who will win next year. Flying with everyone was easier than I expected but elodie had some serious ear problems landing which was the worst of it really. And why people feel the need to comment to me on my crying child escapes me. Thankfully each trip we had lovely ladies sitting in front who were very kind and sympathetic.
In Sydney we use Town Cars who came out with a Mercedes van each time and 4 carseats and in Noosa we used a local company but turns out they all share the work. The transfer door to door with 4 carseats was about $145 but they were great and let us sit in the car while retro daddy went in to get the key and they offered to take us past a supermarket to get a few things. If you have older kids or less kids then taxi’s are easy but for us having the transfers all booked made it easy. But yes added to the cost. But it can be done. I know the first holiday with kids can all seem too hard but use the internet, have everything planned out, a great central location near everything and you will be fine. Trust me.
TRAVELLING WITH A CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
I think I need to mention this. This is our first year taking elodie away where her issues are more pronounced. We probably won’t stay in an apartment again until her tantrums and screaming for things are under control. I found sometimes just telling people was the easiest option like at airport check in, when we were getting into the minivans and she was screaming because it was a new seat and car, on the plane or if we were in a shop trying to do something. Now that we’re home again she is so settled into routine and really happy but she absolutely loved the pool each day and that was when she was happy. Factor in nap times and make sure the little ones get a nap each day because we found they were happier when they had a nap.
We had ipads, tablets, lollies, lemonade, chips, colouring and everything to keep her entertained on the plane but hadn’t really factored in the ear factor as she wouldn’t take any medicine before we left. The very lovely Mrs Woog has told me about some depressurising ear plugs and giving the medicine at home so I think we’ll try that if we’re ever brave enough to fly with our little miss again.
And I would say bring along the things that make them really happy. She loves sorbet and ice cream so we made sure that each day we had a big tub of sorbet in the freezer and when the tantrums were just getting too much we just had a little bowl of sorbet. This isn’t something we would do at home but it just worked while we were away. We also got a few little soft toys while we were away and bought her a little scooter to get around and she was happy. It was hard work yes but she just adored the pool and lots of things about the holiday which outweighed the hard work. Kind of.
We did it, that is our 3rd big holiday away where we’ve taken the whole gang and we’ll probably only do one big holiday each year because it is so much work and expense. The kids had a ball and despite the hard work we all came home relaxed and happy.