The Great Girls Getaway

15 06 2011

I think any woman, given half the chance, would drop everything, including the ‘other half’ to spend some time away with their closest girlfriends. I know I did.

It’s not that the ‘other halves’ aren’t great fun (they can be), but there’s something about lots of food, plenty to drink and a little bit of pampering that is so appealing. And the chance to catch up on all that girly gossip makes it even more so.

The perfect excuse on this occasion was my friend’s impending 30th birthday. When she flagged the idea of a getaway (I actually think I flagged it first given I hit the same milestone much earlier this year), I jumped at the chance. But it was agreed that given the celebratory nature of the event, a far away retreat was not the ideal location, which is how we found ourselves in a self-contained apartment overlooking the beautiful Noosa River.

The ideal location
Drivng up to The Lookout Resort Noosa, nestled away at the top of Noosa Hill, and with views over Laguna Bay and the Noosa Hinterland, I could feel myself starting to unwind. The entrance presented a rainforest-inspired path, with trickling water pond and footbridge to match.

Our platinum apartment had a balcony with a beautiful view of the water, three bedrooms (the main with an ensuite bathroom), a spacious living area and a very functional kitchen. It included a plasma TV, Wi-Fi, iPod/mp3 connectivity, and a host of mod-cons and amenities at our fingertips. The decor was minimalist, but the furnishings were more than comfortable.

This was definitely the perfect location for an unforgettable holiday.

Let’s go shopping
Before opening another bottle of wine (we like to wait until at least lunch time), we decided to explore the area. Piling into the car, we drove abotu half an hour to the Eumundi markets. This is arguably the biggest market in the area, open on Saturdays from 6.30am to 2pm. If you are staying mid-week, the market also operates on Wednesdays between 8am and 1.30pm.

Having been to the market before, this is a favourite spot for shopping. There are more than 600 stalls with local produce, numerous handicrafts, and unique creations in art, jewellery, leather, pottery and wood all on offer. There was something for everyone, and we all came away with a purchase. It is probably worth noting that despite the price tags on some of the items available at the market, not all stallholders take card, and so it is worthwhile having some cash in your wallet.

The market also provides many great opportunities for lunch or a spot of morning tea, but if you can’t find anything to whet the appetite, walk along the main street into one of the cafes or restaurants. We dropped into Chuckles Cafe, where we indulged in oddly-named burgers, salads and hot chips, and admired the unusual artwork that adorned the walls.

A little bit of pampering
Back in Noosa, our accommodation is located within three minutes’ walk of Hastings Street and all its shops, supemarkets, cinemas, banks and restaurants, if you wanted to continue browsing. But with some in-room beauty booked, it was time to kick off the stuffy attied and slip back into the track pants and slippers. Let the pampering begin.

If having your nails buffed, painted and polished isn’t your thing, The Lookout Resort can also arrange a muscle-relaxing massage, fitness session, or local tour, which can be pre-booked at no additional charge.

It is about now that the first bottle of wine began to breathe, the tops of a bottle or two of Bundy & Cola came off, and the party tunes sounded as one-by-one we got our frock on in preparation for a party. 

Where we went
Zachary’s restaurant on Hasting Street was our hot spot for much of the food and drink of the evening. With a funky vibe, cool beats, leather seating and a delightful list of cocktails, this venue is a must. I should probably mention they deliver a fantastic pizza too, and being sensible as well as sexy, we paid no attention to the “eating is cheating” rule.

We ordered the traditional Hawaiian and meatlovers fare, and stepped up the sophistication just a notch with a Sicilian (a spicy chorizo sausage with olives and sundried tomatoes) and a Cajun chicken (caramelised onion, roasted capsicum and rocket salsa). Zachary’s is well-known for its award-winning pizzas and it was easy to taste why – flavours were tantalising and individual, and we were hard-pressed finishing the food.

There are some 20+ cocktails on the menu at Zachary’s, and we gave it our best shot at getting through them all. Had it not been for a round of tequila shots (ordered by anearby table keen to get in on our celebrations) followed by some Dirty Cowboys, we may have reached our target.

With a visit to the Surf Club and The Reef out of the way, we passed out in wonderful comfort back at The Lookout Resort, feeling as if we’d been on the wildest ride of our lives.

The morning after the night before
Without a hangover in sight, the following morning we walked down to Gaston Bar and Bistro for a hearty breakfast. It’s an edgy venue open all day, where the service is friendly and relaxed (just like our location). The menu is simple, but it’s obvious when the bacon and poached eggs served with mushrooms and a toasted baguette land on my table that the food is fresh.

The skies are clear and the air is fresh, making for the right opportunity to wander along the street out towards Noosa’s main beach and the headland that forms the centrepiece of Noosa National Park. I am amazed to see so many people braving the wintery conditions out in the water, and am much happier strolling along the promenade. I’m told that there are some excellent surf spots in the area, but in some conditions the large waves are not suitable for inexperienced surfers.

After a lazy afternoon, it was time to think of food again, and with a smaller group, we booked a table at the iconic Cafe Le Monde restaurant on Hastings Street. There is a wonderful outdoor dining area that exemplifies the Australian love affair with al fresco dining. The menu highlights the best food of the region, with seafood, meat and seasonal fruits and vegetables. If you like your seafood, then the crispy skin Atlantic salmon served with broccolini and choy sum, pickled ginger, wakami, lemon, tamari and a wasabi and toasted sesame mash is mouth watering. Don’t be afraid to have it served as recommended, medium rare.

Back to reality
The tension knots having well and truly come loose, we had a renewed energy to face reality. I wish we had more time to laze on the couch staring out at the boats drifitng along, but it was tme for us to leave the tranquility of The Lookout Resort. With such great company and so much laughter, I am looking forward to the next weekend.

Keen to plan your own?
The Lookout Resort Noosa is conveniently located 20 minutes drive from the Sunshine Coast Airport, or 1.5 hours from Brisbane at 1 Picture Point Crescent, Noosa Heads. Platinum water view rooms are available for $355 per night during the low season. Specials are available, and it’s best to check the website, www.lookoutnoosa.com.au for more information.

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