Sick of spending your weekends on your home turf? Time to load up the car and take a day trip, to explore more of what our gorgeous state has to offer. Here are 9 awesome day trips to take around Brisbane.
#1 Girraween National Park and the Granite Belt
Drive a few hours south-west and you’ll find yourself in the heart of Queensland’s Granite Belt. Not only will you find incredible fresh produce and delicious food, the area is famous for some of the best wines in the country. Spend a few hours exploring the Giraween National Park, clambering over huge boulders and soaking in the iconic Queensland landscape, then refuel at a local restaurant with an exceptional meal. You can also visit wineries, cheese factories and stock up on local produce.
#2 Eumundi Markets
Head up to the Sunshine Coast and catch the Eumundi Markets, held on Saturdays and Wednesdays. The markets here are huge and it’s worthwhile getting there early. It’ll take you a good few hours to slowly explore every inch of the markets, which sell absolutely everything you can think of, from arts and crafts, clothes and toys to jewellery, amazing food, crystals and much, much more. Load the car up with fudge, fresh food then head out to the coastline for an afternoon picnic.
#3 Mount Warning Hike
Get outdoors and get active by spending the day exploring Mount Warning. The 8.8km Summit Walk should take around five hours and, at the top, you're rewarded with incredible 360 degree views stretching from the Gold Coast to Byron Bay. Do the hike early, to catch the sunrise, then drive down to Byron Bay or a Gold Coast cafe for a big breakfast, coffee and a morning spent exploring local farmers markets.
Feel the need to escape the mainland for a day? Hop aboard a day cruise and get yourself over to Tangalooma. You leave the Holt Street Wharf at 7am or 10am, returning at 4pm. This gives you plenty of time to spend the day snorkelling, sand tobogganing, ripping around on ATV Quad Bikes, parasailing or just chilling out and eating lots and lots of food.
#5 Coochiemudlo Island
If Tangalooma feels a bit too familiar, try a day trip to Coochiemudlo instead. Hop a ferry from the Victoria Point Jetty, which leave ever thirty minutes from 5am until 11:30pm. It only takes you 10 minutes to get across to Coochie and should cost around $4 each way. Once you’re there you can set up camp at one of the beaches, set up a picnic, host your own BBQ or hire a bike and explore the island yourself.
#6 Samford and Mount Nebo
It should only take around 45 minutes or so to get from the heart of Brisbane out to Samford, but it’ll feel like you’re a world away. Once there, visit one of the great local cafes or restaurants in the area, then continue the drive to Mount Nebo or Mount Glorious. Stroll through the bushland, have a leisurely afternoon picnic or check out some of the great local shops, selling everything from sweet treats to books, used goods and arts and crafts.
#7 Montville and Maleny
Drive up to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland hotspots Montville and Maleny and explore the local area with a good old fashioned self-guided driving tour. Stop in for lunch at one of the fantastic local restaurants, stock up on all the home-made fudge your arms can carry and spend a few hours wandering the main streets, exploring book shops, antique stores and more. You’ll find yourself spoilt for choice with great viewing points, amazing cafes and plenty of charming places to pull up and enjoy a picnic lunch.
#8 Rainbow Beach
For the committed day-tripper, load up your car and drive the 3 hours north, to Rainbow Beach. You can spend the day swimming, fishing and snoozing in the cool shade of trees near the water then head up to one of the local restaurants for lunch and drinks. Be sure to take a trip up to the mind-blowing beautiful Carlo Sand Blow, one of the most beautiful spots in the whole state. If you have the time, be sure to stick around for the sunset here, it’s something to behold.
#9 Springbrook National Park
Probably one of the best day trips in South-East Queensland, Springbrook National Park offers you amazing scenery and plenty of places to explore, not to mention the insanely good views. Be sure to visit the Purling Brook Falls, Canyon Lookout, Wunburra Lookout and the amazing Best Of All Lookout. Here you’ll find panoramic views stretching across both Queensland and New South Wales. Finish it all of with lunch, drinks and enjoy your relaxing day spent out in nature, soaking in the fresh air.
Image credit: Ariana Gillrie
Looking for more things to do in Brisbane? Check out our article 9 Brisbane Weekend Escapes To Plan Now!