Want to discover a beautiful hidden gem in Australia? Noosa Fairy Pools will be perfect for you!
Located in the beautiful Noosa National Park, the Fairy Pools are one of the most unknown sites on the East Coast. Not only are they hidden but you will never find them on any travel guides. So if you made your way to this post, this means that you are looking for more information about this amazing spot!
That’s perfect! In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about the Fairy Pools in Noosa including how to get there and how to prepare your visit!
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Where are the Fairy Pools in Noosa?
The Fairy Pools are located in Noosa National Park, in Queensland. They are about halfway through the Noosa National Park Coastal Path, near Hells Gate.
The national park can be accessed from 2 towns: Noosa Heads or Sunshine Beach.
What are Noosa Fairy Pools?
Noosa Fairy Pools are natural rock pools. The shoreline in Noosa is extremely rocky. You will see the cliffs and rocks all along the coastline of the National Park.
The Fairy Pool are two natural holes in the shoreline. Over the years, the basalt of Noosa shoreline eroded and created these 2 natural pools.
Because the rocks are protecting from the waves, they fill up with water when the tide is high and become beautiful and relaxing pools when the tide is low. They also act as a natural spa.
Map of the Noosa Fairy Pools
When is the best time to visit the Fairy Pools in Noosa?
There are 2 things to take into consideration when visiting Noosa Fairy Pools: the best time of the year to visit Noosa and the best time of the day to visit the Fairy Pools.
Noosa is located in Queensland. This means that the climate is fairly tropical. Spring, September to November, is the perfect time of the year to visit Noosa. The weather is both dry and warm.
That having been said, Noosa is a great destination all year round. Here is a quick overview of what the weather is like during the rest of the year:
- Summer: very hot
- Winter: coldest months (between 10 and 20 degrees). Although winter is very pleasant it’s not ideal to swim.
- Autumn: the temperatures are good but it’s the rainy season
Now, regardless of the time of the year, you need to make sure you visit the Fairy Pools when the tide is low.
Here is why:
- It’s less dangerous
- It’s more comfortable as there aren’t big waves
- The pools are prettier and you will get better photos.
Things to know about the Fairy Pools
The Fairy Pools are undoubtedly the most beautiful hidden gem in Noosa. However, it is important to know that you are technically not supposed to go to the Fairy Pools.
No matter how beautiful they may be, the path to go down there and the rocky edges make it a fairly risky place. There is no lifeguard either and you will have to go off the path to reach them.
Many people do it every day and as long as you are careful, there is no reason for anything to happen but I usually never recommend going off the path in Australia so I have to make sure you are aware of this.
For this reason, people working at the visitor centre are not allowed to give you information about the Fairy Pools.
How to get to Noosa Fairy Pools
The Fairy Pools are located on the Noosa Coastal track. This walking path is one of the most stunning walks in Australia. It goes all the way from Noosa Heads to Sunshine Beach.
If you can, it’s well worth walking all the way but it can be a bit long. To access the Fairy Pools, you can walk from either of these two towns and here is how to proceed.
Option 1: Noosa Heads to the Fairy Pools via the Coastal Track
Step 1: Park your car at the Noosa National Park Carpark
There is a car park at the entrance of the National Park, where the coastal track starts. It’s free for 2 hours however, it can get very busy.
Also, 2 hours may be cutting it a bit short so you may need to pay extra for another hour or 2.
The restrictions only start at 8:30 am so if you can, get there early so you can park for free for a bit longer. This will only give you 1 or 2 hours more though. If you want to spend the whole day in the National Park, you will need to park in town and pay for it. I know nobody wants to pay for carpark but it’s always better than a heavy fine.
From there, head to the Coastal track. There are signs that indicate it.
Pro tip: there aren’t many toilets in the National Park so make sure to go before you leave the carpark.
Alternative Step 1: Walk from Main Beach or Hastings Street
Except for the national park, the main attractions in Noosa are the Main Beach and Hastings Street.
Hastings Street is a great place to go out at night but also to grab brekkie. There are loads of cafes.
It’s also home to the visitor centre where you may want to stop by before starting your walk.
If you want to start from there, park near Hastings Street. There is a couple of car parks. They all charge about the same so just pick somewhere convenient. Again, it can get very busy so it’s recommended to get there early so you don’t spend ages trying to park.
From Hastings Street, head to Main Beach and start walking towards the National park. You can walk along the road but there is a boardwalk too. It’s more pleasant so make sure to take this one. You will walk past another cute beach, Little Cove.
Eventually, you will get to the car park previously mentioned and can properly start your walk!
If you have any doubts, just ask at the visitor centre. It’s on the way anyway so you don’t need to do a detour. Altogether, it’s only 15 minutes walk.
Step 2: Noosa National Park Car Park to Boiling Pot Lookout
Even though the ultimate goal here is to reach Noosa Fairy Pools, the coastal track is a sight in itself! There is plenty to see along the way and you should make sure to take your time and check that out.
The coastal track is an easy walk. It goes from being a wooden boardwalk to a dirt and sand path but rather than that, it’s always flat and easy. It’s a good walk to do with kids too.
From the carpark, follow the path. 6-7 minutes later, you will get to the first lookout, Boiling Pot.
There is a wooden platform with a bannister. From there, you can enjoy the views over the rocky shoreline. This is the first example of basalt erosion.
Step 3: Boiling Pot Lookout to Tea Tree Beach
From the lookout, walk another 5 to 10 minutes to get to Tea Tree Beach. You can see the beach from the path but you can also walk down and spend a bit of time on the beach.
There is a little rocky path on the left that will lead you there in less than 2 minutes.
You will be walking on rocks at the beginning and then reach the sandy part. It’s a nice and pleasant place where you can lay down for a bit and go for a swim.
Again, this is better when the tide is low.
You will find loads of pebbles on the beach so if you like skipping stones, it’s a good place to do so.
I also particularly recommend walking on the rocks on the left-hand side. It’s beautiful and you can take awesome photos from there. Be careful on the rocks though as it can be slippery. You need to wear good walking shoes.
Step 4: Tea Tree Beach to Dolphin Point Lookout
From the beach, start back on the track. 6 minutes later you will get to Dolphin Point.
This rocky tip is very pretty and the views on both sides are amazing.
If you are visiting in winter, you may even catch a glimpse of dolphins or whales jumping.
Pro tip: There are toilets just before getting to Dolphin Point Lookout.
Step 5: Dolphin Point Lookout to Granite Bay
Once you soaked up the views, keep walking for another 10 minutes. You will get to Granite Bay.
You can enjoy the views from the coastal track but this one is also worth exploring.
Take the little path on the left and go down to the beach.
It’s a bit rocky but when the tide is low there is plenty of room to put a towel.
Step 6: Granite Bay to Picnic Cove
Once you’re done with Granite Bay, walk to Picnic Cove. This smaller bay is often overlooked by visitors but it’s the most important spot for people who want to get to the Fairy Pools.
You should see the bay from the track, no need to go down there unless you want to do another beach stop. The important thing is to find the Picnic cove bench. It’s on the side of the track, you can’t really miss it.
Step 7: Path to the Fairy Pools
Once you are at the bench, you will notice a rocky path going down. This is the part that travel guide won’t tell you because you’re not exactly supposed to walk down there.
As a matter of fact, you will even see signs telling you not to.
To be honest with you, it’s not really dangerous but it’s important that you understand you are going off path at this point.
Make your way down the rocks. You will need good walking shoes for this part. No thongs (flip flops)!
Step 8: Enjoying the Fairy Pools
Once you get to the sea, you will be able to see the Fairy Pools on the side! The first one is a bit small so make sure to also check the second one.
Be careful when you walk on the rocks. It’s slippery!
You can take amazing photos from the pool or from the rocks at the back.
If the tide is rising, be careful with the waves.
And that’s it! At this point, the only thing you have to do is just enjoy this beautiful hidden gem and have fun!
Option 2: Sunshine Beach to the Fairy Pools via Hells Gate
Walking from Noosa Heads to the Fairy Pools (and Hells Gate) is one of the most popular things to do in Noosa. For this reason, it also gets overly crowded.
If you’d rather stay away from the crowds and discover places that are just as beautiful, you may want to consider walking from Sunshine Beach to the Fairy Pools via the coastal track in Noosa National Park.
Here is how you should proceed.
Step 1: Park your car at the Seaview Car park
Located in the northern part of Sunshine Beach, Seaview car park is definitely the most convenient place to leave your car.
However, it’s pretty small and gets to full capacity quickly. Most people park there to go surfing or walk their dog (it’s one of the only pet-friendly beaches in Noosa).
For this reason, I highly recommend getting there early!
From the carpark, take the path Sunshine beach and start making your way up to the top and end of the beach.
Step 2: Sunshine Beach to Devil’s Kitchen
When you get to the northern end of Sunshine Beach, you will see a sign indicating the entrance of Noosa National Park.
Take the path up the hill. This is the hardest part of the walk as there are stairs. It’s a bit of a hike but nothing you should be particularly worried about. It’s fairly quick and at least you get it out the way. Everything after that is pretty flat and easy.
When you get to the top, you will discover amazing views over Sunshine Beach!
After about 20 minutes, you will get to Devil’s Kitchen. At this point, leave the path and walk on the rocks to get to the lookout.
This is the perfect example of basalt cliffs in the area. Be careful as you walk on the rocks, it’s high up!
Step 3: Devils Kitchen to Alexandria Bay
Keep going on the coastal path until you reach the beach, Alexandria bay. This large beach is stunning and usually pretty quiet.
Most people stay in Noosa Heads or Sunshine beach to go to the beach so this one is an excellent place to spend some time if you want to relax.
There is plenty of space to lay down. Make sure to put sunscreen on or wear a UV T-shirt as there isn’t much shade.
Once you’re done. Keep walking along the beach until you reach the end. It’s a pretty long beach and it’s a very pleasant stroll.
Once you get to the end, you will start again on the bush path.
Step 4: Alexandria Bay to Hells Gate
Take back the coastal path. It will go up for a bit and then you will be back on flat land.
Less than 10 minutes you will arrive at Hell’s Gate.
Hell’s Gate is the most famous viewpoint in Noosa National Park. It features a rocky mouth shaped cliff and the views are stunning.
In winter, you should be able to spot dolphins and whales!
Don’t forget to look at the bottom as well. There are often turtles swimming there.
Step 5: Hells Gate to Fairy Pools Noosa
From Hell’s Gate, keep walking until you find the bench at Picnic Cove. From now on, the instructions are the same than explained in step 7 and 8 in the itinerary from Noosa Heads.
You will actually have to walk past the Fairy Pools to find the path. If you are using Google Maps and notice that you are going too far, it’s nothing to be worried about. You do need to go a bit further.
You may also be able to see them from the Coastal path. When the tide is low you should be able to spot them but don’t worry if you don’t. They are not that easy to see from there.
Keep an eye on the beach of Picnic Cove as that’s where you will find the path down to the Fairy Pools.
It only takes 5 to 10 minutes to get from Hell’s Gate to Noosa Fairy Pool. If you walk for longer than 10 minutes and end up at Granite Bay, you went too far!
What to wear and tips to enjoy your visit to Noosa Fairy Pools
Visit when the tide is low
Although this was mentioned before, I feel like I need to insist and explain properly.
The Fairy Pools are far more beautiful when the tide is low! At low tide, they really do look like pools. When the tide is too high, it’s more difficult to see and you don’t get this pool feeling.
Also, the waves can be very strong! This makes it more dangerous for visitors, especially if you are walking on the edge of the rocks.
To cut a long story short, it’s prettier and safer at low tide!
You can check the times of the tides here.
Bear in mind that will take you between 40 minutes and 3 hours to get to the Fairy Pools, depending on how many times you stop. To get there at the optimal time, I recommend starting your walk 2 hours before the low tide. By the time you get there, it will be perfect!
Wear good walking shoes
I just can not emphasize enough how important wearing good closed-toe shoes is for this walk!
Although the walking path itself is fine, you will have to get off the track and walk on a lot of rocks.
These basalt rocks can be slippery and even sharp! For this reason, you should wear good shoes. Don’t even think about wearing thongs (flip flops)! Not only is this something you will regret but you could also hurt yourself.
Finally, as anywhere in Australia, you never know what sorts of reptiles you may come across.
Wear a hat and sunscreen
Noosa is a very sunny place. Although most of the path is in the shades, you will also spend a lot of time in the sun.
Make sure to wear a hat, preferably one of these Australian-made leather hats, to avoid a sunstroke.
You also should put sunscreen on to avoid sunburns. As you will be swimming in the sea and the Fairy Pools, I highly recommend using an eco-friendly sunscreen so you don’t pollute this beautiful place.
If your skin is very sensitive, you can also opt for a UV T-shirt.
Take water and snacks
As you will be walking in the National Park, you won’t find any food facilities. Make sure to take enough water with you and some snacks.
There is drinking water at the Noosa National Park Carpark.
For food, you can take whatever is convenient for you. It’s not like on Fraser Island where there are dingoes everywhere, however, sealed snacks are always better.
Food attracts animals and even though it’s unlikely to happen in Noosa, there is no need to take the risk if you can avoid it.
Get there early
Noosa is a popular destination and the coastal track is often full of people. If you want to avoid the crowds, get there as early as possible!
Also, the Fairy Pools are not that big. If it’s busy, it will ruin your experience and photos.
Finally, you can park for free for a longer time if you get there before 8:30 am.
Avoid weekends and school holidays
If you can, try to visit during a weekday. It’s less busy.
On weekends, the Fairy Pools get so crowded that it’s barely worth visiting.
Take the reversed path
Most people follow the exact instructions I described in option 1. If you want to avoid the crowds, you can either opt for option 2 (from Sunshine Beach) or the reversed version of Option 1.
By that, I mean that you should head to the Fairy Pools straight away, pretty much ignoring what you see along the way. After spending some time at the Fairy Pools, make your way back to Noosa slowly, checking out all the sites.
If you do that, you should get to the Fairy Pools before everyone else and avoid the flow on your way back too as people keep going forward.
Do not bring your dog
Unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed in Noosa National Park (or any Australian National park for that matter). If you are staying in Noosa with a dog, you will have to leave him/her at your accommodation.
Consider taking the Tanglewood Track on your way back
Walking back the same way you came is usually not the best. If you’d rather doing a loop you can make your way back to Noosa Heads via the Tanglewood Track. It’s a bit longer but quite interesting. Instead of being on the seaside, you will go through the bush. If you are lucky, you may even see some koalas!
Where to stay in Noosa
Here are some recommendations for places to stay in Noosa.
Mid-range accommodation: Noosa Parade Holiday Inn is a great aparthotel. It’s only a couple of minutes walk to Hastings Street and 10 minutes drive to Noosa National Park. It has a pool and hot tub. Very good value for money! Click here to see the prices.
Luxury accommodation: Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort is ideally located on Hastings Street which is from far the best place to stay in Noosa Heads. There are a pool and spa. It’s basically the perfect place for a luxurious holiday. Click here to see the prices.
If you are travelling with a dog, check out this article about pet-friendly accommodation in Noosa.
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