Noosa Heads, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
The Fairy Pools are two natural tidal pools lying low between the basalt rocks just west of the tip of the headland at the eastern end of Granite Bay, near Noosa. The smaller pool (to the west) is only separated from the ocean at low tide but the larger one may still be usable at high tide when the swell is smaller and fewer waves crash over the rocks to refill the pool. It is worth bringing goggles or a snorkel and mask since at low tide, when the pools are cut off and there is less turbulence, you will be able to see several kinds of coral and sponges making for a beautiful display growing on the rocks. It is possible to jump into the deeper section of the larger pool but there are submerged rocks at one end so get acquainted with the pool first. There is also a pretty cobblestone beach to the west of the pools.
How To Get There: The pools are within the Noosa National park and can be accessed from three directions. The quickest and easiest route is to park at the beach car park at Little Cove, on the edge of Noosa village, and walk around the coastal path past Tea Tree Bay and Granite Bay. The pools are accessed by scrambling down the rocks from the lookout on the point at the far eastern end of Granite Bay after you have passed both Winch Cove and Picnic Cove but before the big bend in the track which goes around the point. Look out for a bench a few hundred metres after the Picnic Cove sign which marks the way down to the rocks. A more peaceful option, avoiding the hustle and bustle of the often overcrowded Little Cove car park, is to walk in through the national park from the Sunshine Beach side. There are entrances from Parkedge Road and The Esplanade. See here for a map of the headland section of Noosa National Park. This is stunning walking and although it is significantly further to the pools from this side, there are many fringe benefits such as the tranquility of the forest, views out over the many coves and bays, and the likelihood of spotting a koala.
Difficulty of access: 5/10 – It is around a 30-40 minute walk from the Little Cove Car Park and around an hour from the Sunshine beach side along unpaved but fairly flat and well-maintained trails. There are rocks to be negotiated at the end in order to access the swimming holes.
Opening Times/Seasons: All day/All Year
Entrance Fee: Free
Facilities Nearby: There are no facilities near the spot. The closest toilets are behind Tea Tree Bay to the west.
Other Activities: There is excellent snorkelling and diving in the area and the national park has some lovely bushwalking trails. All of the bays around the headland to the west are world-class surf breaks.
Other Places of Interest Nearby: For something completely different check out the row of chic boutiques and cafes on Hastings Street in Noosa and then head to the Noosa Arts Theatre for some low-key, cultured evening entertainment with B-Y-O alcohol. Or if food is more your thing then try the Noosa Farmers Market on a Sunday for some down-to-earth fun and honest, genuine, local produce. The Glasshouse Mountains National Park offers several walks of around two hours with the opportunity to circle or summit a number of dramatic volcanic peaks and enjoy far-reaching views. Oh, and don’t forget the Big Pineapple…
Wildlife: Several kinds of coral and sea sponges in the pool and the surrounding ocean. Koalas in the forest behind the beach.
Places to Eat: Noosa has a wide variety of places to eat, as does the surrounding area. Our personal favourite is Sunspace Cafe in Doonan which has its own biodynamic veggie garden, small shop selling local, organic produce and crafts, an amazing community atmosphere and lots of workshops and events. It’s well worth the effort of driving out of town and gets you out and exploring the surrounding countryside.
Where to Camp: There are three campgrounds forming Noosa Holiday Parks which are owned by Noosa Council. They are all located close to water and many sites have a bushland feel. If you have 4WD and are looking for more swimming opportunities camp at Booloumba Creek where you can swim both in the creek and below the falls, although this at least an hour and a half’s drive from Noosa.
Other places to Stay: There is lots of accommodation in Noosa itself, and although the area is known for being somewhat pricey it really does give as well as take. The Sunshine Beach end of town is worth checking out as it is quieter, cheaper and still close enough to the action. Alternatively, there are plenty of B&Bs etc in the surrounding area.
Nearby Towns: Noosa, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Brisbane
Other Swimming Spots Nearby: Kondalilla Falls, Obi Obi Creek River Crossing Number 2, Obi Lane, Currimundi Lake, Booloumba Falls, Booloumba Creek – Camp Area 1, Summer Falls.
Comments: This is such a magical spot. If we were fairies looking for a pool, we’d definitely come here.