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Top Eight Best Day Trips in Brisbane

Home > Brisbane > Day Trips | Escape the City | Fun Things To Do | Lists | Weekend Escapes
by Tracey Winning (subscribe)
A freelance writer who can't resist good food and exploring new places. Visit my blog at
Published April 21st 2014
Escape the daily grind and have some fun
Vibrant Brisbane is full of great options for the very best day trips, from bustling markets to beautiful islands with shipwrecks and dolphins. There is something for everyone whether it be a romantic day out for a couple or fun in the sun with the family.

I have come up with eight great days out all within two hours drive of Brisbane CBD. And yes, I've personally done them all and had bucket loads of fun in the process.

Moreton Island
A day trip spent snorkelling shipwrecks, swimming in the natural champagne pools and the blue lagoon is certainly one way to laze away the day at Moreton Island. Alternatively, just sit at the Tangalooma Resort beach bar with a cool beverage and enjoy the gorgeous views.

Part of the fun is getting to this pristine island paradise. Ferries leave Holt Street Wharf in Pinkenba seven days a week, taking one and a quarter hours to get to the island. Pinkenba itself is about seventeen minutes from Brisbane CBD. Ferry prices and departure times are listed on the Tangalooma website.

I can't get enough of Springbrook. With breath-taking rainforests and fresh mountain air, it's the kind of place that becomes the go-to day trip for escaping the city. Don't miss Best of All Lookout and Purlingbrook Falls.

Gwongorella Picnic Area located near the falls offers a large rotunda, BBQ's, toilets and loads of picnic tables, while Dancing Waters Café, a short two minute walk from the picnic area, is furnished with a fireplace, balcony overlooking the forest and fine organic home cooked food, coffees and desserts.

Best Brisbane Day Trips, escape the city, Brisbane, Springbrook, brisbane day trip, things to do

Montville oozes charm and seduces visitors with its English style cottages and Swiss and Bavarian architecture. I am personally not a big shopper, but even I could not resist walking the pavements to visit the quaint and unique shopfronts which line the pretty streets – spent a whole day doing so and wanted more.

After enjoying lunch in one of the many cafes or restaurants, visit nearby walking trails, lookouts and waterfalls for a truly complete and memorable day out.

Montville is less than an hour and a half's drive from Brisbane and well worth every minute.

South Bank
For those who really don't want to see the insides of a car, South Bank on the river in Brisbane offers the day tripper beautiful walks along the river, wonderful markets for trinkets and crafts, dynamic places to eat or drink and Streets Beach. Yes, that's right, a sandy beach with a beautiful lagoon right in the heart of the city.

With spectacular beaches fringed by National Park and walking trails, Noosa offers visitors the 'wow' factor. A swim at pristine Main Beach on a beautiful sunny day still lives in my memory as something even beyond divine. Crystal clear waters, a deep sandy beach and a main street dotted with wonderful café's make Noosa prime day trip territory.

I couldn't imagine spending a day at Noosa Heads without walking along the boardwalk from Main Beach straight into Noosa National Park. With lots of nooks and crannies, there are great stops for surfing, swimming or playing. Just don't walk the whole way on a hot day without water like I did.

Tamborine Mountain
About an hour from Brisbane quietly lurks one of the best places to escape for the day that you'll ever find. There are so many different great day trip options on Tamborine Mountain it is difficult to choose. With a village like atmosphere, English trees, and beautiful gardens, trails and waterfalls, you will be spoilt for choice.

For an easy and wonderful nature walk try Sandy Creek Circuit with Cameron Falls in the morning, followed up with a visit to the Cheese Shop and lunch at St Bernards Historic Hotel overlooking the valley.

Alternatively, pamper yourself senseless at Getaway Day Spa and follow it up with lunch at The Polish Place or High Tea at Tea and Niceties.

Australia Zoo at Beerwah
Australia Zoo is filled with crocodiles, Sumatran tigers, elephants and much more. I took a picnic lunch, and ate it watching the tigers. There is so much to see. To really fully observe the animals and watch the shows, I spent a full day there. Don't forget a hat, sunnies and sunscreen.

The Zoo is located about an hour north of Brisbane on Steve Irwin Way in Beerwah.

Glasshouse Mountains
The Glasshouse Mountains are scenic volcanic peaks listed on the National Heritage Register just an hour's drive from Brisbane. They offer great walking trails, fantastic views, rock climbing and plenty of places to have a picnic or BBQ.

Well, there you have it! Lets hope this list gets you up and going. Escaping the city offers a big release from the pressures of work and life. The best day trips recharge human batteries and put a relaxed happy smile on your face.

Just quietly, I'm going to make this a top ten list for those who want more. To do that, I'd add Mooloolaba with a visit to Underwater World and a kayak on the Pumicestone Passage. To round out the list of ten, I'd include a day spent in Stephanie's at the Sofitel in Brisbane indulging in a spa retreat for two which would include the luxurious Opal Rasul Steam Temple, followed by a river stroll and late lunch at South Bank.
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Why? Escape the city, relax, have some fun!
When: Anytime
Where: Brisbane
Your Comment
Wonderful capture of that rainbow.
by Bastion Harrison (score: 4|12630) 3221 days ago
Wellington point is great for a day trip too, not too far from brisbane
by Aarus (score: 0|4) 3212 days ago
A great article Tracey and jam packed with excellent info.
by Lucy (score: 3|1157) 3221 days ago
Great summary of my home stomping grounds Tracey.
by Jenny Prior (score: 3|4270) 3202 days ago
Try visiting Coochiemudlo Island. Ferries leave from Victoria Point Jetty every half hour. It only takes around 15 mins to get there and it has nice beaches, and is a lovely place to walk around.
by janet (score: 0|2) 2363 days ago
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