The best attractions in Brisbane best visited by car
10 Best Scenic Spots in Brisbane to Visit by Car Brisbane is a city best visited by car. There are lots of scenic spots dotted around the Greater Brisbane Area worth making a trip just to visit. These are the 10 best places I know in Brisbane worth driving to.
Get in your car to head to some of the best places around Brisbane
This is not a complete list but a selection of places I would recommend visiting. All of them are free to visit, some have public transport but are easier to visit if you have a car.
Mt Coot-tha and attractions
I hope that readers don't mind me starting with the obvious. Everyone who comes to Brisbane heads up Mt Coot-tha. The Summit is nice enough to visit with its views of Brisbane and a nice cafe where you can sit and enjoy that view.
Also in on the way up to Mt Coot-tha you will pass by the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. You can a day just driving around to the various spots, walking through the bush or the gardens and of course enjoying a picnic, barbecue or a meal at the cafe.
Sandgate is a wonderful suburb to visit. The town centre has a nice village feel with a couple of historic buildings, cafes, a regular little market and great restaurants and pubs. But the main reason to come here is the beach. Not really a great place to swim, Sandgate is often best visited at low tide for walking on the mud flats.
The beach extends to Shorncliffe which includes the newly rebuilt pier, a small beach which is great for kids to swim at during high tide and a cliff walk, where you can walk along the path under the cliffs and return by the footpath above the cliffs.
Basically, Sandgate is for the cafes, food and shopping. In particular, at night there are a number of cool bars worth making the trip for. Shorncliffe is for the seashore and swimming. Combined they make a great trip.
The Shorncliffe Foreshore with the pier in the background
North Lakes is a fast-growing suburb situated to Brisbane's north. A lot of people may have driven through this suburb to somewhere else. However, North Lakes is well named because of the large number of lakes in the area. The most famous is Lake Eden in the shopping and business heart of this suburb.
There are lots of lakes around Brisbane. The current government policy is to open these up as much as possible for recreational activity. At the forefront of this is Lake Enoggera, which is not far from the city centre and a great place for a wide range of activities, include visiting the Green Tree Frog Cafe, popping into their zoo, swimming, kayaking, hiking and other activities.
Lake Enoggera, has been opened up for swimming and kayaking
The most recent addition is the opening of Walkabout Creek Adventures. Here you can hire kayaks, standup paddleboards, mountain bikes and Segways. Overall, Enoggera is now the perfect bush escape without leaving Brisbane.
There are a number of beautiful beachside locations in the Redlands district of the greater Brisbane area. The most interesting I think is Wellington Point, in the suburb of Wellington Point. The area includes a short mangrove walk where you walk along the side of the bluff overlooking the wetlands, a nice park for walking, barbecuing or just relaxing and a beach suitable for swimming at high tide.
Walking at low tide to King Island at Wellington Point
The main attraction though is King Island, which you can walk the 1 km to at low tide when the sandbar is exposed. Some people worry about becoming stuck out on the island when the tide comes in. But in reality, you would have to spend hours out there on the little island for the tide to cover the sandbar. Also, when the tide covers the sandbar, the water is still fairly shallow and you can wade back to shore before the tide fully comes in.
Wellington point also has a nice seafood cafe and an okay seafood takeaway restaurant. Eat here though for the setting rather than food, go back into the township of Wellington Point for a great selection of restaurants or bring your own food to enjoy with the view.
Daisy Hill Conservation Park and Koala Zoo
There are a lot of bushland reserves around Brisbane. The largest and most popular is the Daisy Hill Conservation Park in Daisy Hill. This area features a number of attractions that make it worth the drive.
One of the many barbecues at Daisy Hill Conservation Park
What sets it apart from other bushland reserves is the small free koala zoo. As koala populations in South East Queensland dwindle, this is a great spot to be guaranteed to see a koala or other native wildlife.
However, the area of Daisy Hill abounds with wild animals. We were even lucky enough on one occasion to spot a koala in the wild there. When you visit, look for the signs close to the ground, including recent scratch marks on the trees and koala droppings. Also, cast your eyes up into the trees for the koalas themselves.
If you are lucky you might spot a koala in the wild
Koalas are fairly difficult to spot as they are usually sleeping during the day and their skin colour blends in with the bark of the trees but you are likely to see other animals around. Wallabies are fairly common and I have a fondness for the red-necked wallabies that are easiest to spot early in the morning or close to sunset.
Redneck Wallabies are among the wildlife you can spot at Daisy Hill
Brisbane has a distinct lack of decent beaches and in the greater Brisbane area Redcliffe is really the only worthwhile choice. However, there is a much more to Redcliffe than just the beach and you can easily make a day of a trip to the peninsula.
Redcliffe has done a lot to make it an attractive destination. On the weekends, locals around the peninsula come to enjoy its pleasures as well as attracting people from far and wide. Just a walk along the waterfront is worth the trip. There you will have great views of the ocean, see artworks on the foreshore and you can even look for whales through the binoculars provided along the waterfront.
There are two main places to swim at Redcliffe. At high tide, Suttons Beach is nice enough for a swim, though most people prefer to swim at Settlement Cove Lagoon. This artificial lagoon gets busy every day during the summer months.
If you are still unsure about visiting Redcliffe, then the Sunday market makes it worth your while.This popular market features everything, but for the casual visitor, the arts and crafts by local producers are the most interesting. Don't forget to grab lunch from the stalls and do your fruit and veg shopping for the week. If eating at the markets doesn't appeal to you, there are numerous cafes, restaurants and takeaway restaurants along the beachfront as well.
Other attractions include the Redcliffe Museum and of course, Bee Gee Way. This tribute to the international music sensation of the 70s was built to acknowledge the fact that the Gibb brothers grew up in Redcliffe. The short street includes statues of when they were young, murals of how they looked at the height of their success, and a timeline of their career.
The Brisbane area has a number of wetland areas. While Boondall Wetlands is probably the most famous my favourite is Tinchi Tamba north of Brisbane. This great wetlands area teems with wildlife, including migratory wading birds, kangaroos and more.
Tinchi Tamba is a great place to spot wading migratory birds
It is a great place for walking. You can head off along the boardwalk or take one of many trails around the area. This is very different from the Boondall Wetlands, where there is one short walking trail that floods at high tide and an another trail that is dominated by cyclists.
One of the great drives in the Brisbane area is Mt Nebo. This wonderful national park area that starts on the outskirts of the Brisbane City Council Area is a popular quick escape from the heat of the city in summer. Just heading up the mountain into the rainforest you find the air cooler and fresher.
The area is full of great little hikes with several at Mt Nebo, including the Thylogale Walking Track between Boombana and Jollys Lookout and the Morelia Track. Both end up at lookouts with great views down the Samford Valley. Mt Glorious is also home to a number of walks, including Greenes Falls and the Westside Track.
Both Mt Nebo and Mt Glorious have a number of lovely cafes worth visiting. Cafe in the Mountains (previously known as Cafe Boombana) is the only one on Mt Nebo, while the Mount Glorious Cafe is the most popular on that mountain. However, I have a soft spot for the beautiful setting of Olleys Honey and Coffee.
The Boombana Cafe is a popular place for hikers, drivers and motorcycle riders to stop