The Sunshine State is home to many underrated natural wonders. While we tend to make day trips for the beach, we tend to forget that there are plenty more natural attractions all within an easy drive of the city. So, next time you’ve got the day off, why not head to one of these gems instead? We’ve compiled a list of the 6 most spectacular local natural wonders to head to for your next adventure – all with a short drive from Brisbane. Spend the day amongst nature, and take a spare moment to appreciate the beautiful surrounds we live in.
MOUNT BEERWAH | GLASS HOUSE MOUNTAINS | 1.3 hours’ drive
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.
GOLD CREEK RESERVOIR | BROOKFIELD | 1 hour drive
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.
LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK | BINNA BURRA | 1.5 to 2 hours’ drive
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.
THE GORGE | STRADBROKE ISLAND | 3 hours’ drive
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.
GLOW WORM CAVES | MOUNT TAMBORINE | 1.2 hours’ drive
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!
TALLEBUDGERA CREEK | PALM BEACH | 1.2 hours’ drive
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.
Feature image: iStock
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