The last stop on my pre-booked adventure tour was a 2 day 3 night kayaking and camping trip in the Noosa Everglades. I knew nothing about Noosa before I visited Happy Travels in Cairns, but they offered to throw it in for free and I like kayaking so why not. But I was never really excited about it, and after the Whitsundays and Fraser Island tours, and seeing the same familiar faces in Airlie Beach, Rainbow Beach, and the Greyhound bus, I was feeling a little exhausted and over these prescribed tours. I felt like I was being herded along with the rest of the foreigners, only seeing the parts of Australia that the travel agencies wanted me to see exactly how they wanted me to see them. This wasn’t the type of travel I had done in South America and it wasn’t what I had wanted to do here or for the rest of my trip.
So when I called the Noosa Everglades company before getting on my bus to confirm the shuttle would pick me up and they told me that I was too late to confirm, the shuttle was running only at 1:00 that day and I wouldn’t get in till after 3, so my only option was to take a local bus and a AUD 30 cab ride out to them, I had no qualms about changing my plans. I took this as a sign from the travel fates that I shouldn’t force the kayaking trip just because a travel agency told me to. I wasn’t into it, the fates didn’t want to make me go, so I dropped it.
Within a matter of minutes I booked two nights at the Nomads in Noosa, where it seemed like most of my Fraser Island tour was also headed, and decided to spend the third night in Brisbane on my way to Byron Bay, a city I was previously going to skip entirely.
Noosa was hot and full of the same gap year kids that were starting to irk me. I found great company in Guusje, Esra, Elsenoor, and Tom, a group of Dutch travelers with who I hiked the coastal trail, made delicious and cheap dinners with lots of veggies, and experienced at least a small taste of Noosa nightlife before feeling too old and going to bed.
Noosa itself isn’t that much. It’s a quaint town with a wonderful coastal walk leading from Noosa Beach to Sunshine Beach. This was the highlight and really the only thing to do unless you wanted to shell out the money to surf or kayak (a 1 day Everglades trip was AUD 85-185). Otherwise it was young backpackers participating in wet t-shirt contests and hanging out at the Nomads pool. In short, it wasn’t for me.
But I was happy with my change of plans. I chilled in Noosa, saved money with grocery store meals with Guusje and Esra, and got myself excited about breaking away from this crowd by choosing to go to Brisbane. It was the right decision.