The Fairy Pools of Noosa are a hidden gem located along the coastal path of Noosa National Park. They are not marked, and can be difficult to find if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Discover exactly how to find them, what is the best time to go, and what else you can see along the Noosa coastal path!
What are the Noosa Fairy Pools?
The Fairy Pools are natural rock pools found just off the shore of Noosa National Park in Queensland, Australia. As the ocean waves wash into the rock pools, it creates a natural seawater pool that people can swim in.
The rock pools used to be a place that only the locals knew about. However, due to their popularity on social media they remain a secret no more. Not only are they a popular place because they are really pretty, but also because you can go for a dip without being out in the wide ocean (if that scares you) or getting dragged out to sea (if you’re not a great swimmer).
As the pools are quite shallow, the water is so clear, and they make for some really great photos.
How to find Noosa Fairy Pools
Whilst many people know about the Noosa Fairy Pools and have seen pictures of them, as they are quite hidden away and there are no signs for them, many people walk past without realising they are there. They are a little tricky to find as there are no signs, and therefore you need to know what you’re looking for and whereabouts to look.
To get to the Fairy Pools you need to take the coastal walk around Noosa National Park. The walk goes from Noosa Heads Main Beach to Sunshine Beach and is 5.4 kilometres long one way. When you will look at the map at the National Park, the coastal path will be marked in blue (route 4).
The coastal walk goes all the way around Noosa National Park. The Fairy Pools are located almost halfway through the walk so you can reach them coming from either end: Noosa Main Beach or Sunshine Beach. From either end the walk should take you roughly 45 minutes. If you park at Noosa National Park car park however, the walk to the Fairy Pools will only take half an hour, but you will miss out on seeing Noosa Heads Main Beach and Little Cove Beach.
The walk from Noosa Main Beach to the Fairy Pools is a little flatter than the walk from Sunshine Beach, which does involve a couple of hills, so often people find it quicker to reach the Fairy Pools from the Noosa Main Beach end. Type in “Fairy Pools Noosa” into Google maps and it will show you their location.
If coming from Noosa Main Beach:
You can park your car for free at several carparks just off Hastings Street, or even at the entrance to the National Park if you want to make the walk a little shorter. As the car parks are free get there early if you want a spot. If you arrive later in the day, all the car parks will be full and you’ll have to park a little further away!
The map above shows the route to the Fairy Pools if you park you car at Noosa National Park car park. It takes just 30 minutes to reach the Fairy Pools from here. However, most people prefer to start the walk from Noosa Main Beach, which is a little further away.
Walk past Granite Bay and Picnic Cove. Don’t do as I initially did and follow the signs down to Picnic Cove (as a local had told me to go this way!). It’s almost impossible to get there that way as you have to walk across the rocky beach and then climb over some boulders and down a steep slope that it can get unsafe (see the pictures below).
There is a much quicker and safer way that you can get there. So when you see these signs below for Picnic Cove just walk past them!
Look for the bench
After a couple of minutes walking you’ll reach this bench on a corner. You’ll see a wire fence that will stop you going down, but if you look down you can see the small Fairy Pool from here.
There are signs that tell you to stay on the path and not go past the wire, but if you walk for a few more metres you’ll see the wired fence stops and there is a little path that goes to the left down the hill. Head down here. The Fairy Pools are located at the bottom of the hill and only become visible once you’ve halfway down the hill. The view will look like this:
There are two Fairy Pools – a smaller one to the left and a larger, much deeper one to the right. You can get some really nice photos here of the turquoise blue water in the rock pools with the ocean in the background.
Click here to see the Fairy Pools location on Google maps. The image below is how they look from above on Google satellite. In the image you can see the main path bending sharply on the bottom right hand corner. The bench is where the path bends rounds.
Where the camera icon on the image is – this is the deeper rock pool. The triangular one to the left of it is the shallower rock pool. You’ll see the shallow pool as you continue down the path, but to find the deeper one you’ll need to climb over the rocks to find it.
When is the best time to visit Noosa Fairy Pools?
The Fairy Pools are connected to the ocean. Therefore you’ll need to time your trip with the tide. Mid to low tide is the best time to visit the Fairy Pools. If you visit at high tide, the rock formations will be covered in water and the rock pools won’t be visible. Visit this website to check out the tide times at Noosa. Preferably visit when the tide is low as I was there when it was mid tide and the waves were getting pretty strong.
Usually low tide is at sunrise and in the morning, making this the perfect time to visit. If you visit during the day, the Fairy Pools are likely to be quite busy, as due to social media they have become increasingly popular lately.
Precautions to take at Noosa Fairy Pools
There is no lifeguard service so please only get in the water if you feel confident, especially if you are alone. If the waves are strong I wouldn’t advise going in as they crash against the rocks at a force that can hurt you, and the currents are strong.
The rocks can be slippery when you are getting in and out, so be careful with your step.
Don’t put on suncream just before going in the water as it will make the water oily!
How to take pictures at the Fairy Pools Noosa
Whilst of course it is always easier to get pictures if you have someone with you who can take your picture for you, if you are here alone it is still possible to get some great photos – just make sure you bring a tripod! You can climb up onto the rocks along the side and place your tripod there whilst you get in the water. Be very cautious if there is any wind – you don’t want the tripod falling over! I tried to place the legs of the tripod into some grooves in the rocks to make it more sturdy.
I put my camera onto video setting and filmed the whole thing as my camera won’t continuously take photos unless I have a remote shutter. But I didn’t want to be worrying about clicking pictures when I was in position, so I just filmed the whole thing so as not to miss anything. Then afterwards I selected the best parts and then captured it into a photo.
Click here to read more about how to take pictures of yourself when travelling alone.
Other places to see on the Noosa National Park Coastal Walk
Main Beach Noosa
Most people start the coastal walk at Noosa Main Beach. It is also a perfect spot for sunset as the beach faces west, so often you can get spectacular sunset views.
Little Cove Beach
Little Cove is the next beach along from Noosa Main Beach and is very near to the entrance of the National Park (about a 10 minute walk). You’ll see several people surfing and doing stand-up paddle boarding.
Granite Bay is located just to the left of the Fairy Pools on the Coastal Walk. Again, it is great to swim here when the tide is low. Another great thing about Granite Bay is that you can get really good sunrise AND sunset pictures here as the bay is in a crescent shape so some parts of the beach face east and some face west – which is pretty rare in this part of Australia!
Just after the Fairy Pools is Hell’s Gate. This steep cliff offers dramatic views and is a popular spot to view dolphins and turtles.
Alexandria Bay is a nudist beach located on the Coastal Walk, nearer to the Sunshine Beach end. The beach is really long and not at all crowded, but you will spot the odd naked person here. There are alternative routes you can take if you would prefer not to walk along the nudist beach. They go inland through the National Park a little bit, so you won’t be able to enjoy the coastal views (or naked people thankfully). The colours of the turquoise ocean and the bright white sand are so stunning here though.
Alexandria Bay is about 15 minutes walk from Sunshine Beach – the walk does go over a mountain but it isn’t too strenuous. You can swim in the water here but the beach is not patrolled and the waves can get pretty strong so do take care if you go for a dip.
Located at the end (or beginning) of the Noosa Coastal Walk – depending from which direction you walk. It is on the eastern side of Noosa National Park and so is another perfect spot for sunrise. This beach is so beautiful, so try to get here first thing as it gets pretty busy during the day. It is also very popular with surfers as it offers really decent waves. You”ll also see looking out onto the beach are some of Noosa’s finest houses.
If you carry along Sunshine Bech until you see the Surf Club, then head off the beach, you’ll find cute cafes along Duke Street. Stop off here for a post walk brunch!
How long does the Noosa Coastal Walk take?
It takes around 3 hours to complete the walk leisurely, stopping to enjoy the views and taking pictures, or 1.5 hours if you walk without stopping. Either way it is a fairly long walk (5.4 kilometres). Plan which way you want to do the route (from Noosa Main Beach or from Sunshine Beach) and where you want to finish, and also what time you will start the hike as there is minimal shade and it gets very hot.
Unfortunately dogs are not allowed in National Parks in Australia, so you cannot bring your dog on the Noosa coastal walk.
What else to do in Noosa
Hastings Street, Noosa Heads
Hastings Street (next to Noosa Main Beach) is full of cafes and restaurants. People often have breakfast here, then do the coastal walk, then finish the walk at Sunshine Beach. If you are on a budget, check the prices before you sit down as many of the cafes and restaurants here in Noosa Heads are quite pricey.
Part way between Noosa Heads Main Beach and Sunshine Beach is Noosa Junction. There is a lovely selection of bespoke shops here so be sure to have a browse around.
Noosa Everglades offers a peaceful respite. You can take boat trips or kayak here, just behind Hastings Street.
How to get to Noosa
Noosa is located in Queensland Australia, 160km north of Brisbane. It takes under 2 hours to drive here from Brisbane, the state capital. The drive is along the M1 (Bruce Highway). It is a nice drive but there are always roadworks here to widen the motorway, so allow extra time.
Hiring a car is the easiest way to get around Queensland. Public transport can take a long time and can often work out more expensive than car rental. If however, hiring a car is not possible, you can get public transport from Brisbane to Noosa, click here to find out more.
If coming from further than Brisbane, you can fly into the Sunshine Coast Airport, which is half an hour’s drive south of Noosa, located in Maroochydoore.
Other areas around Noosa to explore
Mount Tinbeerwah Lookout
Located west of Noosa National Park, in the Noosa Hinterland is Mount Tinbeerwah. The lookout provides stunning views out across the valley. It is best to visit here at sunset and by car. Drive up the mountain (the road does turn to gravel at some points) and park in the carpark, then it’s just a short and easy hike on a paved path to the two lookouts – the west facing one offers the best views though.
Looking to explore past the Sunshine Coast Hinterland? Head up to Hervey Bay to watch the humpback whales migrating in the winter, or visit Brisbane – the capital of Queensland and Australia’s third city.
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