Thanks to the great advice on this forum last year, I went to Noosa and absolutely loved everything about it: the guarded, easy to enter beach, the koalas just a short stroll away, the fun boat rides up the river, the many walking opportunities, and the markets at...I forget, but it was a short bus ride away and began with an "M."
This year, if I get the chance, I'd like to see more beaches in the same corridor, but want to figure out the differences ahead of time.
I also wonder which of the islands I've heard about - is it Magnetic or Hinchinbrook? - might be a good way to spend a few nights?
Last year I also spent time in Mission Beach (a little too young for me, and the beach too scary...I left a day early), Palm Cove (perfection) and Cairns (fine for a night as I like a shop).
This time I'm having trouble understanding the various Brisbane beach "areas" and their characteristics.
So this is a long way of asking: is Surfer's Paradise something I might like? Would you combine it with another destination such as Byron Bay, if I am arriving from Brisbane and driving this time?
Is there a beach town with a rural weekend market not too far away?
Sorry for the very broad question, but I want to do a lot of research on the right place and this was a great resource last time around.