The Best Day Trips Near Brisbane

The Best Day Trips Near Brisbane

Let the adventure begin!

By Melissa Myrteza | 19th May 2020

While international travel is still out of reach, we're making the most of exploring close by destinations. These undiscovered gems are waiting for you, right here in our own backyard!

We’ve rounded up the hottest destinations within 150km of Brisbane City for you to stretch your legs, reset and appreciate our Sunshine State until we can traverse further.

Dreamy Drive | Main Range National Park | 1 hour 25 min drive (112km)

South East Queensland, you never seem to disappoint. Just over an hour from Brisbane City is one of Queensland’s best kept secrets. The Main Range National Park is home to mountain peaks, rare wildlife, native flora and breathtaking views. A Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, you can choose from walks under a kilometre long to extensive 12km tracks, with platform and natural lookouts for optimal viewing of the beaut surroundings. What’s better? You get to drive through Scenic Rim to get there. (Yes, this means you can pop by the Granite Belt for a tipple afterwards!)


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Pawfect Fun | Nudgee Beach Dog Park | 26 min drive (19.5km)

Your doggos may now be used to extra walks and belly rubs due to most of us working from home, so perhaps it’s time for some off leash fun? Hit up Nudgee Beach Dog Park for some salt and sand to have their tongue hanging and tail wagging. It’s just far enough to excite them on the drive but not so far that mum will have to make an unplanned toilet stop! 


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Walk On By | Mount Coot-Tha | 20 min drive (13km)

Now, Mount Coot-Tha may not be a secret, but did you know about their brand spankin’ new 2.4km walking track? The trail has just opened in the last week and it leads to the summit which is definitely a must-see! If you’ve already concurred the J.C. Slaughter Falls walk or Honeyeater track, this is for you. With new areas of the forest now accessible, you’ll be one of the first to wander through the existing informal paths (which means little clearing was needed to form the trail). While you’re there, hit up the Mt Coot-Tha Library for a quick gander at world-class botany literature! 


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Movie Mayhem | Yatala Drive-In | 30 min drive (38.6km)

Need another excuse for a Yatala pie? Buckle up for the ultimate movie night! We’ve had Netflix marathon after marathon but that hasn’t satisfied our craving for salty popcorn, and the experience of ‘the big screen’. This month we’re being treated to a range of flicks headlining at the Yatala Drive-In. From the comfort of your car see Bad Boys For Life on May 21, 1917 on May 25, Days of Thunder on May 30 and so many more!


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The Perfect Picnic | Bellthorpe National Park | 1 hour 27 min drive (91.9km)

Whether you’re up for a dip or want to create your most picturesque picnic yet, Bellthorpe is your destination. Located just west of the Glass House Mountains, you’ll find this eucalypt forest a well-loved spot by locals and adventurers alike. Mobile service is limited which is an extra bonus for tuning out of the nine to five life and tuning in to nature. Are you up for it?


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Magic Mountains | Mount Mee | 1 hour 10 min drive (73.1km)

Part of the D'Aguilar Range, Mount Mee Forest Reserve is known for its open farmland and striking mountain ranges. The peak gives views to the seaside of Caloundra and Moreton Bay, meaning epic IG snaps are borderline guaranteed. You can thank us later (and tag us @stylemagazines!).

As of 11:59pm, Friday June 12, we’ll see Queensland’s Stage Two of the COVID-safe recovery roll out. Alongside exciting changes like gatherings jumping up to 20 people, we’re especially keen for holiday travel being allowed! Stay tuned for our list of hot spots you’ll need to visit.

Locals, tourists and everyone in between, this is for you. If you’re after a day trip from Brisbane or a weekend escape from the ‘big smoke’, there’s plenty to explore within close reach! Take a few days off to unwind beachside just 40 minutes up the road or duck-out for a 24-hour adventure, the choice is up to you! Here’s our go-to suggestions to get your head clear and your adventures into gear.


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Island Hopping | Tangalooma | 30 min drive + 1.5 hours' ferry (47.2km)

Tangalooma – the home of nightly dolphin feeding, Australia’s most famous sand dunes, and the beloved snorkelling around the Moreton Island shipwrecks. The little paradise overlooking 30km of Moreton Bay boasts faint views of the Brisbane skyline for an idyllic day-scape. A small-scale version of Hawaii, you’ll want to make your day a week-long holiday at the famous and loved Tangalooma Island Resort! Decked out with cafés, restaurants, swimming pools, convenience stores, and endless activities to choose from, there’s no better escape than Tangalooma. Everything from adrenaline-induced activities such as quad biking and helicopter flights, to those who want to simply enjoy the sea and sand, there’s something for everyone (we suggest: kayaking, whale watching and snorkelling around the wrecks). Jump on the ferry and you’re in paradise in no-time.


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Burleigh Brilliance | Burleigh Heads | 1 hour drive (87.9km)

Burleigh Heads is a home away from home for many of us. Welcome to one of Queensland’s finest destinations where there are endless little boutiques, cafés, unique restaurants and more in the easy-going beachside town. Full of surf shops where regulars are head to toe in wetsuits and swimmers holding their surf boards, this is the place to absorb the fresh salty sea air and relax far away from the city. Roughly an hour from Brisbane’s centre, it isn’t far once hitting the highway, though it will feel like you’re miles away from the everyday. If you’ve been to Burleigh before and feeling the main beach is too crowded for your liking, we suggest heading around the other side of the Burleigh Heads National Park which will lead you to an untouched area of Tallebudgera Creek for stunning views where you can float in the water all day long!


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Immaculate Gardens | Toowoomba | 1.4 hours' drive (127km)

Home to some of the most immaculate and well-kept gardens, Toowoomba is one impressive town to visit! If you’re a plant or flower fiend, then this is a trip for you. Queens Park and Botanic Gardens is your best bet to see beautiful rose gardens and flourishing florals, certainly worthy of an Insta pic. After all, it is the town that prides themselves on the Carnival of Flowers annually, so why not check out what they’ve got to offer. However, if you’re up for more of a road trip when the restrictions open up, then driving another 40 minutes south to find yourself in a tiny town named Clifton, known for its stunning sunflower fields. With a fresh renovation, the Grand Central shopping centre has never looked better and is worth a pitstop too, decked out with plenty of notable go-to’s for a retail fix.


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Panoramic Natural Views | Mount Beerwah | 1 hour 10 min drive (75km)

This is the spot for early morning hikers and rock-climbers alike. The highest of ten volcanic plugs in the Glass House Mountain range, Mt Beerwah is known for its panoramic natural views from its peak (pretty damn satisfying after a hike). While this is no average hike - you’ll find it more rock-climbing than hiking – it is very do-able and worth the sweat for avid adventurists.


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A Hidden Gem | Gold Creek Reservoir | 33 min drive (23km)

Brookfield is a venture out for most, so it will surprise some that after the drive you’re still in Brisbane. The Brookie Reservoir is a notable local attraction that can be a touch tricky to find. At the very end of Gold Creek Road, you’ll find this well-hidden, exquisite gem. With several kilometres of hiking tracks carved into the Australian bush terrain all surrounding the scenic dam, get lost and immersed in nature. Constructed in 1885, it is the world’s first un-reinforced concrete stepped spillway (this means giant concrete walls to jump down!). While water activities are prohibited, it is a spectacular spot to picnic, overlooking the glimmering expanse of water.

Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls | Lamington National Park | 1.5 hour drive (106km)

With a great network of tracks, Lamington National Park is a great place to explore for all adventure levels. Walk along the West Canungra Creek Circuit and follow flowing creeks, or take the Treetop walk at O’Reilly’s, passing through lush rainforest and past various waterfalls. Abundant with wildlife and birds, keep an eye and an eat out for lyrebirds, bowerbirds and plenty of lorikeets. Kids (or big kids)? Break up the trip with a stop at Mountview Alpaca Farm and feed the alpacas while taking in the scenic views stretching across to Tamborine Mountain and the Gold Coast.

Around The Island | The Gorge, Stradbroke Island | 2 hour drive (64km)

This stellar swimming spot is loved by many Queenslanders. Attracting the boldest cliff jumpers and rock climbers, there are several daunting levels to this rock formation. For the more-timid, however, there are smaller rock climbs and jumps that are still especially exhilarating. The crystal water is enough to get us to jump! This narrow stretch of beach will seem more like Crete than Queensland, with blue and white umbrellas perched on the sand.

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Do The Worm! | Glow Worm Caves, Mount Tamborine | 1 hour drive (74km)

This is a light show you’re not going to want to miss. With no lines and no entry fee, you’ll be in awe of the natural wonder that is the glow worm caves. Once an eerie rail tunnel dismantled in the 40s, it now provides us with an ethereal source of underground light. Although sounding unpleasant, you’ll quickly get over the fact you’re looking at larvae and fungus. They are a spectacular site, right next-door in NSW. You’ll think someone has been walking around spraying glow sticks through the depths of the cave!

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For The Kids | Tallebudgera Creek | 1.1 hours’ drive (97km)

This creek will fuel your swimming spot goals for months to come. Bordered by Palm Beach and Burleigh Heads National Park, Tallebudgera Creek is known for its calm, glimmering water – it’s easy to see the appeal. This long-stretching creek spans several kilometres; however, its main swimming section is situated next to the Tourist Park. Water sports are a go on this creek with canoeing and paddle boarding being our top pick! After catching a wave nearby at Tallebudgera Beach, inflate that pink flamingo ring and spend the rest of the weekend floating on the creek’s tranquil water line. Your Instagram followers will love you for it.

- Looking for more travel-related content? Head here!
- Explore 5 of the best walking trails near Brisbane
- Discover 9 of Brisbane's best picnic spots
- 10 hidden Gold Coast hot spots the locals love
- Book at these Brisbane restaurants reopening after COVID-19


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Article by Melissa Myrteza

Mel always has one eye on the grooviest happenings around town and the other one on the best foodie hotspots. When she’s not crossing another country off her bucket list, she’s either reading, eating Genkotsu Ramen or sippin’ on a glass of red.


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