Travel diary: 48 hours in Noosa with our digital editor on the Shark Smoothcation

3 May 2024
By Louise Dunn

Trading flyaways and frizz for voluminous roots and billowy bounce, we put the new Shark SmoothStyle to the test.

Digital editor Louise Dunn. at the Smoothcation House, Noosa Heads.

I hadn’t been to Noosa, let alone Brisbane, since I was thirteen years old. I returned home after one school term feeling not so hot (which I later learned would be the early stages of dengue fever) with a few new freckles, an affinity for cold rock ice cream, and a ream of transactions from Sirianni’s – the fine foods grocer in walking distance of the boarding school I attended on exchange. In and out of Palmerston North hospital for the weeks that followed, you could say the memory of my stay was somewhat of a wash. 

Fast forward to an ordinary late-April Thursday morning in my early-30s and I was touching down in Brisbane yet again, congregating in the gate hallways with the three other women I was travelling with from other publications. 

Thursday afternoon: Arriving in Brisbane

A quick glance in the airport bathroom mirrors reflected a significantly more dewy complexion back at me than the one I’d left in New Zealand – a sample of the heat and humidity that would soon envelop us once we left the building. We passed through screening and customs before stepping into our transfer vehicle driving us two hours north to Noosa Heads.

Hosted by Shark Beauty, the four of us were here to attend a ‘Smoothcation’, reporting on their new SmoothStyle hair tool. My weather app read 27 degrees and more than 75 percent humidity – the confidence in the product to stand up against flyaways and frizz was fearless.

Thursday afternoon: Arriving in Noosa

Before checking into the Sofitel, we wandered the main street dipping in and out of a few boutiques. ‘What do you wear to a Smoothcation?’ reverberating throughout the Dissh store. Settling on loose-fitting elevated loungewear, we cemented our choices before walking along the beach with cold Happy Pops and carry bags in tow.

Thursday evening: Checking in

Once our room keys were provided, we parted ways and trailed off to explore our respective rooms. Inside, Shark Beauty paraphernalia was carefully plotted throughout: there were stickers of palm trees and flamingos on the mirrors; a Shark SpeedStyle on the vanity; and on the table in the suite, a selection of goodies to ensure a memorable stay centred around a new unboxed Shark Smoothstyle tool including hot pink crocs (Shark branded jibbitz, and all), beauty products, chocolate, tea, and more.

I returned a few emails, changed into my Form and Fold bikini, and headed down to the hotel pool. Lounging in the last few minutes of sunshine with a young coconut and a tray of oysters, the grey day I left back in Auckland suddenly felt a world away. Trading a social evening out in anticipation for the Smoothcation which followed the next day, I kept it conservative ordering a burger from the swim-up bar before retreating to my room for lights out.

Friday morning: Waking up in Noosa

Waking early, I watched sherbet hues of lilac, pink, and orange erode the dark sky as I moved through my morning Fluidform workout using a hotel towel as a makeshift Pilates mat. With my body clock running a few hours ahead of Australia, I used my ‘bonus’ time to nip down to the beach for an ocean swim before heading back to my room to get ready.

Friday mid-morning: Inside the Shark Smoothcation

Arriving at the Smoothcation House set above Noosa National Park, the four of us were greeted by the radiant Shark team in a home that looked like it was plucked from the cover of Architectural Digest. Oak herringbone floors guided us down to an expansive living area where a Hamptons-inspired open living area overlooked the pool hugged by white reclining lounge beds and a backdrop of tropical trees. To the left, a marble kitchen bench with a spread of decadent breakfast foods awaited, and to the right, a beauty bar with individual hair styling stations complete with their own Shark® SmoothStyle™ Heated Comb Straightener + Smoother tool – the event’s guest of honour.

I accepted an iced oat matcha and immediately got into capturing content. Australian media slowly dripped in to join, and after a few unforgettable conversations and paleo kumara and date breakfast muffins later, it was time for our masterclass. Shark Beauty ambassador Chris Hunter demonstrated how to use the new SmoothStyle tool, creating full-bodied volume, Hollywood blowouts, and even some playful ’90s updos. Finally, it was our turn to experiment.

Next, we divided into three groups to engage in some pampering. I was bound for the styling station first where my hair was given a new lease on life using the SmoothStyle. I came in flat and frizzy and left with a billowy bouncy blowout. Using Kevin Murphy styling products (Blow Dry Ever Bounce through my lengths and Anti Gravity at my roots), I relished in my new hair and subsequent personality as a result.

The groups rotated twice more, receiving neck, shoulder and forearm massages by Noosa’s renowned masseuses, and an ethereal sound healing and breathwork session. I took my cloud nine zen and higher-than-heaven hair to lunch where the group indulged in an asian-inspired degustation seeing us through to 5pm.

Friday evening: Pre-dinner drinks

Back at the hotel. I changed into my Anine Bing blazer minidress, knee-high boots, and smoothed out my hair using the dry heat setting on my Smoothstyle tool. Though it only took mere minutes, I still managed to run late to pre-dinner drinks at the hotel bar with the girls. We sipped on cocktails on the balcony and reviewed the magical day that was as the sky fell dark around us.

Friday evening: Dinner

Across the street overlooking the ocean was the bustling Boardwalk Bistro restaurant where the group reconvened for dinner. Shark set menus laid out, we savoured artisanal fare (I had oysters, confit duck, and sorbet) and chatted the evening away. Though it had only just gone past 10pm, my body was still running on New Zealand time so it was a premature departure from my new Australian friends and back to the hotel for some much-needed slumber.

Saturday morning: Checking out

I squeezed in another early-morning ocean swim, packed my bags and met the girls at breakfast (read: sprinting down because I underestimated the time it takes to do, well anything). Our airport transfer had befallen a flat tire on the motorway so it was down to us to arrange alternative transport back to Brisbane. Having recently finished re-reading The Secret I trusted that the universe knows only perfect timing. And as it turned out, the Uber XL we were able to secure at the last-minute was driven by the most sensational woman offering a comfortable drive and easy conversation to the international airport. We boarded our flight and would be home – back to the rain and cold – only a few short hours later.

Words: Louise Dunn
Images: Supplied


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