We love the Gold Coast.
We love our favourite coffee and acai spots; hitting up The Village Markets or Pac’ Fair for some retail therapy or a movie; lazing on Burleigh Point with cheese, crackers, bevvies, and our besties; and we know we’re spoilt when it comes to living in such a fab location. Variety they say, however, is the spice of life and travelling (even if only a few hours away) is food for the soul.
We understand the Goldy is hard to leave, but we also reckon there are some epic places nearby worth visiting that you might love just as much. So, prepare that playlist, grab some buddies, jump in the car, and get ready to tackle some of the best day trips from the Gold Coast.
Stanthorpe and the Granite Belt
Set the alarm early for this one, as this charming wee town is an ambitious 3.5-hour drive away but well worth the bleary-eyed start. Known for apples and wine, this little charmer has plenty to see and do. With no less than 42 wineries in the surrounding area, if you don’t go down there as a wine drinker, you’ll certainly leave as one (note to self: designated driver required). One of our faves is Heritage Wines, and don’t miss Anna’s Italian for some seriously authentic and damn tasty Italian fare. Work off all those delicious arancini balls with an adventure through Girraween National Park where epic bushwalks and views abound. Don’t leave without stocking up on the beautiful local produce; we love Sam’s Farm Fresh Fruit and Veg, bursting with an incredible range of goodies from Mother Nature and lovely local service.
Just north of Brissie, is where you’ll find lovely Moreton Bay. Comprised of a number of quaint seaside suburbs, this super-chilled area will see you wanting to command the nearest sailing boat and enjoy the salty sea breezes. Wellington Point is well worth a visit, take a stroll out to King Island on low tide and enjoy the picturesque surroundings. Afterwards, it’d be a travesty not to devour locally-caught fish with chips for lunch, so head to famed Bart’s Place in Lota for some seriously good eats. Good news, whale migration has just started so keep those peepers peeled *cue whale noises*.
The “Other” Coast
We don’t think it’s possible to visit the Sunshine Coast without a stroll down Noosa’s Hastings Street. Lined with a multitude of lust-worthy boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and bars, it’s never hard to find somewhere to relax. We also love cute-as-a-button Peregian Beach; home to some seriously fine shops and darling cafés, this gorgeous seaside town will melt your heart. Whatever your final destination, we don’t want to see you wasting your time or money in ho-hum eateries. Did you know Metropolist is also on the Sunshine Coast? We’re confident you’ll be blown away by all the epic things happening on the “other” coast these days!
If you haven’t visited this little cutie yet, get yourself down there—stat! Full of charm and speckled with sweet shops and lovely locals going about their business, you’re sure to fall in love with M’Bah. It’s no wonder this is one of the best day trips from the Gold Coast, especially if you approach on the scenic route via Currumbin Valley. Don’t miss Keith Coffee and Barber, taking care of all your hairy slash caffeine needs. You’ll find excellent coffee, delish bakery snacks (hard to go past their pie) and some fresher-than-fresh haircuts. Just down the road is the divine Tweed River Art Gallery; check out their website for current exhibitions or head to the café and enjoy some incredible views with your lunch.
Brisvegas is like our level-headed, older sibling who lives in a cool share-house, has impeccable taste in music and doesn’t care what you think. Get all sorts of nostalgic with a trip to the Queensland Museum and neighbouring gallery GoMA, or hitch a ride on the free ferry, or perhaps laze away the afternoon in hip New Farm Park. Queen Street will have all your shopping needs covered, but we always beeline to James Street in the Valley. And remember, while you’re waiting for Mr Fitz to open in Cooly, Brissy has TWO locations. Need more inspo for the best places to eat, drink, and caffeinate? Hit up our sister site, The Urban List.
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 (suitable footwear essential, as this is NO walk in the park) and, at the top, you’ll be rewarded with incredible 360-degree views stretching from our dearest Gold Coast all the way to Byron Bay. To catch the sunrise you’ll need to set your watch for a ridiculously early pre-dawn wake up, but the best part is you’ve still got the rest of the day to play with, so reward yourself with brunch at one of our fave cafés in the Northern Rivers region such as Doma in Federal, Harvest in Newrybar, or Woods in Bangalow.
Even though it’s only a short drive from the Goldy, Tambo can feel like a heart-achingly beautiful other world. Pack your active wear and enjoy some of the most lush rainforest walks accessible from the Coast. Hit up Eagle Heights for incredible views back towards the GC, then eat your weight in cakes at Tea and Niceties, without doubt one of the best spots for high tea. How about cheese and locally-brewed beer for lunch? Yes, please! Witches Chase Cheese Co. has got you covered. Lastly, don’t forget fudge at Granny Macs on Gallery Walk for the way home. No trip to Mount Tamborine is complete without it.
What are your faves among the best day trips from the Gold Coast? Tell us in the comments.
Photo Credit: Brooke Darling for Metropolist