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Where's the Best Weekend Getaway From Brisbane?

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by Geraldine Massey (subscribe)
I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
Published April 11th 2013
The bright lights and hustle and bustle of our Bris Vegas can sometimes wear a little thin. Thankfully we're blessed with some great options for rest and relaxation within a few hours drive of the city - just perfect for a weekend getaway.

brisbane city
Brisbane city

Often Brisbaneites find it hard to think outside the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast boxes, but for me silence, solitude and sanity can be better found in other charming and more relaxed retreats.

Details of my top 3 tried and tested getaways, in no particular order, follow. They're all less than 2 hours from Brisbane. But what about you? Where do you go to "get away from it all"? We'd love it if you would reveal your getaway secrets to our readers.


Mount Tamborine

tamborine rainforest skywalk
Image from Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk website.

This one's so close and has everything you need for doing nothing or doing everything. It's only a little over an hour from the centre of Brisbane city to Mt Tamborine and it's the closest thing south east Queensland has to a winter resort. Ancient rainforests combine with glorious views, bracing mountain air and log fire ambience.

Things to Do
Get close to nature at Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk or watch the hang gliders and para-gliders soar. Visit the local wineries - Heritage Estate Wines, Cedar Creek Estate - or the famous, quirky Tamborine Mountain Distillery for distinctive liqueurs and spirits.

Where to Stay
Lisson Grove Boutique Resort (couples only) has five cottages and a castle (yes, a castle). This place is a delightful romantic indulgence.

Where to Eat
The Heritage Restaurant for lunch or dinner (a beautiful building, great food and superb views to the Gold Coast), the Verandah Cafe for coffee and cake (comes with wide verandah and its own art gallery).


Point Lookout, North Stradbroke Island

the gorge walk, point lookout, north stradbroke island
View from Point Lookout, North Stradbroke Island

I know that "best keep secrets" is a cliche but I'm constantly amazed at the number of Brisbaneites who've never taken the refreshing forty-five minute trip across Moreton Bay to Straddie on the Big Red Cat. Once there you are totally removed from life's everyday cares.

Things to Do

Take the Gorge Walk from Point Lookout, have a lazy afternoon at Straddie Pub, try some whale watching from May to November (no special tours necessary, you can see them off Point Lookout) or go 4 wheel driving along the 32 kilometre stretch of Main Beach.

Where to Stay
Point Lookout has a number of resorts or self-contained houses or unit accommodation. You can choose from those close to the beach or those up on the hill with magnificent views. Try Point Lookout Realty or Discover Stradbroke for accommodation.

Where to Eat
Try Fishes At The Point Cafe & Restaurant or Straddie Pub.



Byron Bay

byron bay lighthouse
Byron Bay Lighthouse

Australia's most easterly point is less than 2 hours from Brisbane. Famous for its beaches and alternative culture, in reality Byron Bay is a curious but entertaining mix of playground for the rich, hippie haven, family fun and gourmet paradise. The 'something for everyone' tag fits Byron well.

Things to Do

Visit the iconic Byron Bay Lighthouse, Australia's most easterly point, have some locally brewed beers at the expansive Byron Beach Hotel or visit Byron Community Markets on the first Sunday of the month for some fine local produce and crafts.

Where to Stay
Cavvanbah Beach House is a tranquil bed and breakfast retreat.

Where to Eat: One One Cafe Restaurant for fabulous dinners featuring fresh local produce or Fish Heads overlooking the beach for a casual brunch.

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