If you are anything like me, after a week stuck indoors at the office, as soon as the weekend rolls around you want to get outside and make the most of it! I have spent the last few years trying to make the most of these little day trips from Brisbane and so I have compiled the essential ones below that I think everyone needs to visit.
1. The Natural Bridge
An hour and a half drive from Brisbane located within Springbrook National Park, you will find The Natural Bridge. This beautiful waterfall and the unique rock arch that surrounds it make this a must see attraction to visitors to both Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Take a leisurely yet picturesque walk around the short one kilometre track that takes you through the rainforest, into the cave below and up to the river. Bonus Tip: Stick around after dark to see the glow-worms light up the natural cavern!
2. North Stradbroke Island
Located just off the coast of Brisbane, North Stradbroke Island is the perfect day trip when you are craving a tropical paradise. It is around a 40 minute drive from Brisbane CBD to the ferry terminal at Cleveland and the ferry ride across will take 25 minutes. Once on Straddie, a bus will collect you and take you across to the other side of the island which is where most of the action is. Get off the bus at Point Lookout and enjoy your day swimming in the crystal clear water and walking along the pristine sand, marvelling that this little slice of paradise exists so close to the city.
3. Lake Moogerah
Popular for recreational boating and fishing, Lake Moogerah is the perfect place for a relaxed BBQ along the water with the dramatic backdrop of mountain ranges. Located just an hour and a half from Brisbane, spend the day catching up with friends on the water’s edge, or rent a kayak and explore the dam from the water.
Explore the town of Maleny within the Glass House Mountains to get a fix of art, music and food. Wander around the local craft shops, indulge in local produce and then get outside and explore some of the beautiful landscape that surround this little town.
5. Byron Bay
Head 2 hours down the highway along the coast into New South Wales and you will find yourself in the very popular Byron Bay. A place known for chilled vibes, incredible beaches and even better coffee. Head up to the lighthouse for some beautiful views and make the scenic walk out to the most eastern point of Australia.
6. O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat
For a serious nature hit, head up the mountain to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat within Lamington National Park. There are quite a few walks to choose from but my favourite is the incredible cascading Elabana Falls. It is a bit of a scramble over the rocks to view, but totally worth the trip. If bushwalks are not your thing, make sure you check out the O’Reilly’s Winery at the bottom of the hill for a tasting.
7. Mt Nebo & Mt Glorious
For a trip closer to home, take a drive through the scenic Mt Nebo and Mt Glorious. Begin your drive from The Gap end and make your way through the mountains marvelling at just how quickly you seem to leave the city behind you. There are many stops along the way for lookouts and bushwalks so take your time. Finish your journey at Mt Glorious where you will take a steep and windy road back down to Samford.
8. Coolangatta, Gold Coast
If in doubt, head down to Coolangatta on the Gold Coast for some beautiful beaches and a double scoop of Gelato Messina. Without the crowds of Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta has everything you could want to keep everyone entertained. Enjoy the vast white sandy beaches and beautiful blue water before cooling off with a cold beer at one of the many pubs and clubs along the oceanfront.
What is your favourite day trip from Brisbane? How many of these have you done?