Amazing adventures await only a short distance from Queensland’s capital city.
Brisbane may be a hub of art, culture and experience, but there’s so much more to explore up and down the coast. These top day trips from Brisbane cover everything from animal encounters to cellar doors and more.
Less than an hour from Brisbane lies Ipswich, a town known for its culture and history.
Any visit to this region should start at the Cooneana Heritage Centre, which sheds new light on Queensland’s oldest provincial city through photographs, artifacts, traditional crafts and displays. Two days a week, local spinners and weavers show off their skills while creating unique patterns and products.
If you’re more interested in supernatural history, Ghost Tours Australia runs three major tours in Ipswich through the CBD, Ipswich cemetery or Goodna cemetery. Led by a knowledgable host, you will hear stories of creepy sightings and hauntings, as well as real stories of crime, murder and magic. This tour is definitely not for the faint hearted.
If you’re looking for somewhere to rest and enjoy a meal, The Cottage Restaurant has its own long history in Queensland. It was first built as a homestead in 1861, and is now a fine dining experience serving modern Australian cuisine.
Lamington National Park
Lamington National Park is two hours from the city, and is the perfect place for nature lovers. It is part of the Gondwana Rainforest, which is the biggest subtropical rainforest in the world. Lamington is known for breathtaking waterfalls, and a network of walking tracks that stretch ore than 130 km.
No matter your level of experience, there is bound to be a walk for you. Families will enjoy the Rainforest Return, a 30 minute trail which takes you past 23-million-year old boulders, and offers incredible opportunities for birdwatching as well. For more experienced hikers, full day treks such as the Border track will take you around 7 hours. On this walk you will pass through valleys, mountain streams and waterfalls. On clear days, the views over the rainforest from the top of the track are unparalleled.
When visiting, you should keep an eye out for wildlife. In the subtropical rainforest, you will find Antarctic beech trees, king parrots, lyrebirds, hoop vines and carpet pythons, just to name a few. If you’re hoping to stay longer than one day, there’s lots of powered and unpowered camping sites to choose from.
The best family day trip is only a 75 minute ferry away on Moreton Island. There are plenty of beaches and bays waiting to be discovered here, and friendly locals are happy to share their tips and tricks for catching the perfect wave.
For an experience like no other, Tangalooma Island Resort offers several day trips from Brisbane. The Snorkel the Wrecks cruise takes visitors on a guided snorkel through the Tangalooma shipwrecks just off the coast of Moreton. The wrecks and their surrounds are home to more than 200 species of fish and 3 species of marine turtles. While on the island, you can also join a wild dolphin feeding, and hand-feed a bottlenose dolphin at sunset. There’s no better way to make life-long memories.
Finally, no trip to Moreton Island would be complete without stopping at The Gutter Bar, a bar and general store mixed into one. They provide fresh seafood sourced daily from trawlers, as well as juicy burgers and oysters. This local institution is a hub of activity and the best place to stop for a snack on your island adventure.
Montville is known as an artists paradise, and it’s not hard to see why. 90 minutes from Brisbane’s CBD, this small town punches well above its weight when it comes to art and design.
Montville Art Gallery is housed in a 1890s Queenslander, and hosts work from over 40 award-winning artists both local and national. For a different sort of art, stopping by the Tina Cooper Gallery gives you the chance to watch Tina and her team blow glass inspired by the Australian landscape right in front of your eyes.
When it comes to shopping, Montville has lots to offer. The local market is held on the first Saturday of every month, with fresh produce from the region’s best wineries, breweries and farms. On the main street, you will also find lots of shopping opportunities, whether you’re looking for hand-crafted items, antiques or art pieces.
For the best dining, The Edge is a cafe and restaurant like no other. The building’s balcony is perched over the edge of the escarpment, offering amazing views of the valleys below. Their menu features the best produce sourced from the Gold Coast, and caters to everyone.
Thrill seekers will rejoice at the opportunities in Tamborine Mountain, only one hour from the city. This picturesque town is surrounded by tropical rainforests, which it definitely makes the most of.
At Canungra Hang Gliding Club, you can book a tandem hang gliding adventure, and soar out over the treetops. Or, if you’d rather keep your feet on the ground, you’re welcome to pull up a seat and watch the professionals take to the skies.
For even more heart-racing experiences, you should head to Thunderbird Park, home to Australia’s biggest zipline and high ropes attraction. With more than 100 challenges to complete while dangling above the forest floor, this activity is for the brave. There’s also a smaller course designed for children, so they can tag along as well.
Tamborine Mountain is the location of several award-winning wineries. Witches Falls offers a broad range of bottles at their cellar door, paired with delicious cheese platters. The tasting guide will take you through every pour with helpful tasting notes and tips.
Noosa is a perfect beach getaway two hours from Brisbane.
All trips here should start at Epic Ocean Adventures, where you can join a dolphin view kayak tour or sign up for surf lessons on the beautiful beaches. Amazingly, Noosa is the only place in Australia that boasts three UNESCO declared biospheres, with an everglade, beach and subtropical rainforest.
Visitors should take their time wandering the Glass House Mountains, with 11 peaks formed by volcanic activity more than 27 million years ago. Hiking up the Mount Ngungun peak offers unparalleled 360 degree views of the region. And, if you time your hike for sunrise or sunset, the sky transforms into an awe-inspiring rainbow.
Head to Land & Sea Brewery at the end of a long day to try their craft beers and ciders. You ca join a brewery tour to learn about the process of crafting beer, traditional brewing methods, and finish it all off with a tasting paddle. All their drinks are inspired by the Noosa region, and burst with flavour.
To read about the best day trips from Sydney, click here.
Travel to Brisbane
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