The Noosa area was originally home to several Aboriginal groups. These primarily include the Undumbi tribe to the south, the Dulingbara to the north, and the Gabbi Gabbi to the west.
In the last 50 years Noosa has been transformed from an isolated fishing village to a popular tourist destination. Although this has had its costs the shire is known for its generally greener approach to development. Most development in Noosa has been restrained. Noosa has no high rise buildings, due both to local community pressure and to council planning action, and much remaining native forest. 34.8 per cent of the Noosa district consists of National Parks, Conservation Parks, State Forests, and other generally protected land.