Stars come out in Noosa: Why the world?s celebrities just love it here

By Nicola Kerkenezov

She knows all the top names in Hollywood and invites them all to visit.

But there is no red carpet on arrival, just glorious stretches of golden sand.

Yes, starlet Noosa is the loving friend of countless celebrities who make special trips to sample her divine restaurants, quality art scene, stunning beaches and forests, and of course the laid-back atmosphere.

The latest guest to grace Hastings Street was heart-throb actor Matthew McConaughey, 37, last week.

The so-called 2005 Sexiest Man Alive took time out from filming his new flick Fool's Gold with fellow A-lister Kate Hudson to kick back on the famous tourist strip last week. But the muscled and tanned movie star is just one of countless celebrities who have come to town over the years.

Past visitors have included Tom and Nicole before the split, Russell Crowe, cricketer Brett Lee, as well as actor Greg Kinnear and Bono and U2.

Tourism Noosa's Diane Ainsworth suspected word of mouth within Hollywood's A-list community was playing a significant role in attracting celebrities.

"I think people can come here and relax, yet still enjoy that sophisticated or cosmopolitan feel," she said.

"Clearly the natural green environment is a very big attraction not only to celebrities but everyday tourists too."

Perhaps one of the biggest names to grace our presence was Prince Harry back in 2003.

Noosa Heads Shell Service Station's Jenny Mason was wondering whether the well-dressed young man flicking through the Woman's Day ? featuring a picture of Prince William ? was going to buy it or keep reading.

"I said, 'You right there mate?'," the console operator recalled of Harry's visit.

"He said, 'No, no we're just waiting while we get some petrol'."

One visiting celeb who was keen for a round of golf was Greg Norman.

In September last year, the man dubbed the Great White Shark sparked a wave of interest on the shores at Noosa spit.

The golf legend was in town on a working holiday to film the first of several interviews with Channel Nine's Peter Overton.

Although able to fly to space if he wanted to, Sir Richard Branson just loves relaxing in down-to-earth Noosa and is reported to visit between four and five times a year.

You may have seen him around yourself. Everywhere he goes, people want to be photographed with him. And he always obliges with good grace and a smile.

In Noosa in January with his wife, daughter and son for a family holiday, Sir Richard took in all the favourite Noosa sights.

The New Year holiday season also saw the return of television personality Bert Newton ? who plans a visit nearly every year.

In town with his wife Patti and daughter Lauren in January, Bert said he had been coming to Noosa since his honeymoon, 32 years ago.

Making the move have been tennis stars Pat Rafter, Thomas Munster and Evonne Goolagong, as well as acclaimed music producer and songwriter Mike Chapman, among others.

But one thing is for sure. Noosa is certain to extend her charm to all, regardless of your status.

Voters quick out of blocks with record early turnout

Premium Content Voters quick out of blocks with record early turnout

Historic surge in early voting could kill off the democracy sausage

Noosa Magistrates Court appearances today

Premium Content Noosa Magistrates Court appearances today

Here is a list of matters listed at Noosa Magistrates Court

Millions in COVID fines, penalties unpaid

Premium Content Millions in COVID fines, penalties unpaid

Nine out of 10 people issued with COVID penalty have not paid