The name Noosa came from the Aboriginal word meaning “shade” or “shadows”, probably a reference to the respite from the sun offered by the tall forests in the area. The Aboriginal Kabi tribe had been visiting Noosa for 40,000 years before Europeans first arrived in the 1800s. The Kabi tribe lived in the region bordered by Redcliffe near Brisbane in the south, the mouth of the Noosa River to the north and Cooroy & Nambour to the west. Even then, the region was a special retreat enjoyed by the Aborigines for celebrations such as the annual Bunya nut festival held in the nearby Blackall Ranges.
The area was first visited by a white man, David Bracefell (Wandi), in 1828. Wandi had a reputation for escaping his bondage at Moreton Bay near Brisbane on a regular basis treking north to Noosa. Early European settlers arrived to log the area througout the 19th century, with the first timber cutters arriving in around 1865.
Guiding their whale boat up the Noosa River in search of timber and sheep grazing country in 1842, Andrew Petrie and Henry Russell were among the first Europeans to explore the Noosa region. Later on in the 19th century, the prospect of finding gold at nearby Gympie attracted new settlers and Noosa and Tewantin began finding their feet as holiday destinations.
Noosa’s most valuable natural asset, Noosa National Park, had its beginnings in 1879 when the untouched green tract of forest on the Headland was declared the Town Reserve. In 1930 the preserved land was gazetted as a National Park, ensuring its protection into the future. Over a decade later, Noosa began developing reapidly, gaining popularity as a short getaway destination as well as a beautiful place to live.
Today Noosa is a humming little cosmopolitan coastal town with innumerable places to stay, things to do and enough restaurants to keep you out of the kitchen for months just trying them all.