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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.