Hit The Road: Top Country Towns To Visit Near BNE

Explore the great outdoors


By Guest Styler | 3rd May 2022

Sick of the concrete jungle? An abundance of natural wildlife and scenic peaks lie just outside of the city, waiting for you. The beauty of South East Queensland is like no other, and there’s nothing more refreshing than exploring the endless rolling hills and national parks. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the quaintest country towns you must visit on your next weekend escape. Throw on your cutest pair of boots, it’s time to see the country. 

Mount Nebo, Moreton Bay

45min drive (32km)

Located just 45 minutes from Brisbane’s city centre, the charming township of Mount Nebo is the perfect day trip destination. While you’re here, you must visit the Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre, home to various marsupials including wombats and platypuses as well as birds and reptiles. If you decide to take a bushwalk (which we highly recommend), you’ll discover amazing natural wonders including rocky waterholes and mountain streams, as well as stunning views of course! Looking for a bite? Located close by is Walkabout Creek Restaurant. Nestled in the D’Aguilar National Park and overlooking the Enoggera Reservoir, it’s the perfect location to enjoy a Sunday lunch with the whole family!

Canungra, Scenic Rim

1 hour drive (78km)

Just a short one-hour drive from Brisbane, Canungra is a small rural town located in the Scenic Rim Region. What Canungra lacks in size, it makes up for in activity. Built in the foothills of the Lamington National Park, the destination has lush rainforests, extensive walking tracks, and spectacular views, making it the ideal location for bushwalking and bird watching. If you’re feeling like something a little out of the ordinary, check out Mountview Alpaca Farm, where you can pat, feed, wal,k and even have a picnic with a herd of fluffy alpacas! The hardest decision you will have to make all day will be which alpaca you’d like to walk – picking between unique names like Pancake, Ed Sheeran, and Tim Tam.

Tamborine Mountain, Gold Coast

1 hour drive (72km)

Despite being located on Brisbane’s doorstep, Tamborine Mountain will make you feel like you’re a world away. The beautiful destination is situated in the Scenic Rim and offers an array of activities for the whole family. The Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk is one of the best ways to see the beauty of the location, with the opportunity to walk among the treetops, standing 30 metres above the valley. The walk takes approximately 45 minutes, including a pit stop at the Eco Gallery, perfect for those wanting to gain some knowledge about Mount Tamborine’s Indigenous and local history. There are four waterfalls located on the mountain ready to explore, too. Follow the 1km track through the lush forest to Curtis Falls, or pack a picnic and follow the trail to Cedar Creek Falls to marvel at the magnificent waterfall. And of course, in a location like this, you can’t forget to pack your camera – the Insta opportunities are endless!

Maleny, Sunshine Coast

1 hour 15min (92km)

Perched high above the Sunshine Coast hinterland, this postcard perfect rural community boasts a myriad of sightseeing opportunities, including panoramic views of the Glass House Mountains. To see these views you need to head to Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve. A remnant of the rainforests that once covered the Blackall Range, the Reserve is a living museum of diverse flora and fauna. With several walking tracks, viewing platforms and picnic tables, this reserve is a perfect place for a day trip with the kids or a romantic weekend getaway. A visit to one of Australia’s most renowned dairy producers, Maleny Dairies, is essential (cheese lover or not)! Their farm tours are perfect for those looking to occupy small kiddies, with tractor rides through beautiful paddocks and the opportunity to feed the calves and emus! 

Montville, Sunshine Coast

1 hour 30min (98km)

Fancy whiling away the hours in a quaint village? It’s difficult to find a town more charming than Montville. Nestled deep in the lush greenery of Sunshine Coast’s hinterland, this gem is filled with beautiful natural wonders. One of the most spectacular is Kondalilla National Park, with an incredible 90-metre waterfall, rockpools, and bubbling creeks, the park is the perfect location for day trippers seeking adventure, whether you plan on swimming or just admiring the magnificent surroundings! Vibing a fancier eating experience? Spicers Clovelly Estate is the ideal spot, just minutes from Montville Village. The estate’s highly awarded Long Apron Restaurant specialises in French inspired cuisine, tres bien! Relax in the estate’s tranquil gardens with a glass of Champagne in hand and a charcuterie platter before taking a scenic drive home. 

Maryborough, Fraser Coast

3 hour drive (252km)

Have an interest in unique history, heritage buildings, and beautiful surroundings? Maryborough is the place to visit. Every Thursday, Maryborough’s city centre undergoes an amazing transformation into an outdoor marketplace. Soak up the atmosphere with live entertainment and a myriad of stalls boasting a range of fresh produce and unique wares. Another must do while in Maryborough is to check out the lookout tower at the Bristol Hill Reserve. It offers an amazing outlook over Maryborough, including the surrounding forests and countryside – perfect scenery pics for Instagram to break up all the selfies! Another destination in Maryborough that the whole family will enjoy is the Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary. The little ones can feed the camels, kangaroos, and wallabies, while learning about Australia’s native animals.

Dalby, Western Downs

2 hour 30min drive (210km)

Dalby, also known as the ‘hub of the Darling Downs’ is a lively little town with a rich history. Take a guided tour of the station’s historic buildings, machinery, and equipment and learn about the region’s rich farming history, before fueling up and tucking into a parmi at the local pub, the Criterion Hotel. Wildlife lovers should make a right for the Darling Downs Zoo, located 90-minutes from Dalby, as its the only zoo in Queensland where you can see African lions, white lions, and a pygmy hippopotamus. It also hosts a variety of other animals from South America and South-East Asia. A two-and-a-half hour drive from Brisbane, your next family road trip is sorted!

Stanthorpe, Southern Downs

2 hr 40min drive (214km)

When it comes to wineries in Queensland, no town does it better than Stanthorpe. Nestled in the heart of the Granite Belt, this picturesque town is filled with vineyards and fruit farms – a foodie’s ideal destination. It’s no New York, but Stanthorpe has one thing in common with the city: its own big apple! Being the apple capital of Queensland, you can’t go to Stanthorpe without visiting Sutton’s Farm – a family-run apple orchard boasting just about anything you could turn an apple into! A must try? Their renowned apple pie. Just over a two-and-half hour drive from Brisbane, it is the perfect location for a city escape with the fam.