Noosa was both tacky and tidy, just as I had expected and hoped.
Gift shops lined the river, all featuring the same imported kaftans, seashell ornaments, and novelty wine stoppers, interspersed with flaking fish & chip stores and flash clothing boutiques (in equal numbers!)
The sprawling town differed in feel from Junction to Ville to Sound to Heads, but the colours remained the same: Noosa came in white, yellow, and blue, this palette manifesting itself in the sea, the sand, and the tired resorts stretched along the endless river. This classic beachside colour scheme was broken only by the tall green palms that sprouted from every road island and street corner, as well as the occasional "GO MAROONS!" flag draped over the fences of particularly proud Queenslanders.
While the town had plenty to offer- we spent 4 days eating and shopping our way along Hastings St- it was the beauty of the coast that had me wanting to pack up and move. Growing up in glorious Northern NSW hadn't prepared me for the stunning landscapes offered up by the Sunshine Coast. With crystal, turquoise waters and flat rectangles of rock tucked into quiet, Pandanus lined coves, Noosa wasn't more beautiful than my beloved Byron Shire, just different and undeniably spectacular.
It was brighter and lighter, with sparse scraggly gum trees, and stone in sandy yellows and oranges. At 20+ degrees, the weather had us acting like it was summer, and we spent yesterday afternoon wandering along the coast stopping only for photos (how could anyone resist such a backdrop?!) and dolphin watching.
Feeling 5kg heavier, but tanned and terrific, we returned home this morning via the Eumundi Markets. I'm reveling in this sunny Ballina stopover before my flight back to Melbourne tomorrow...please tell me the weather has improved a little!
Now, for the obligatory "GO QUEENSLAND!!" ahead of tonight's game- Dad's already suited up in maroon, drinking his third beer.
Hope you're having a brilliant Wednesday.