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Noosa trail

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Photo of a place on Noosa trail

Noosa Shire is well known for its environmental credentials, with beautiful beaches and a picturesque hinterland. It was first explored by timber getters. Brisbane saw-miller William Pettigrew came to the region in 1863. He navigated the Noosa River upstream to Lake Cootharaba, noting the vast timber stands there. A Gympie company established a sawmilling village at Mill Point in 1869. Remnants of that settlement remain part of a fascinating historical walk around Lake Cootharaba today. Timber milled here was taken by flat bottomed boat to Tewantin, and then by steamship to Brisbane. After the discovery of gold in Gympie in 1867, a Cobb and Co coach service was established from Brisbane. Noosa resident Walter Hay found an overland route between the Noosa River and Gympie in 1871. This allowed a shorter journey for travellers by sailing to Noosa and taking the coach to Gympie.

From 1882, Walter Hay began offering accommodation in Bayview house overlooking the Noosa River at Noosa Heads. This guesthouse was renovated over time and is now known as Halse Lodge. It offers affordable accommodation in this sophisticated resort town. Another family holiday option is the Noosa River Caravan Park at Munna Point. This site was part of an Aboriginal Reserve during the 1870s.

The railway between Brisbane and Gympie opened in 1891. The Cooroy Railway station remains just as it did in the 1890s, from where the mail coach took holiday makers to Tewantin and Noosa. Cooroy was also the base for the timber and dairying industries. The former butter factory is an arts and crafts centre. The Cooroy Lower Mill, no longer operational, houses a new arts precinct. The site includes a kiln designed by the CSIRO in the mid-1950s to accelerate the process of seasoning hardwood. The small town to the north, Kin Kin, still has an operational sawmill. It was established in 1948 to make packing cases for the local fruit growers.

The town of Pomona began as a railway siding, and was surveyed in 1900 and named after the Roman goddess of fruit trees and orchards. By 1910, the town had developed rapidly and it became the centre of the Noosa Shire Council. The 1911 shire hall is now a small museum. It includes artefacts from the nearby Masonic Temple, established in 1923. Pomona is well known for its historic silent movie theatre; ‘The Majestic Theatre’, hosts a range of movie, music and theatre events. The town’s police station, lock-up and courthouse date to the 1930s. Few changes have been made to these structures, apart from the conversion of the stables into a motorcycle garage. Just north of Pomona, the timber town of Cooran is home to Alfredson’s Joinery which produced pre-cut houses for the district and interstate.


Listing 10 places within this trail.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
28 February 2023