Next time you are stuck on a slow-moving drive back to Brisbane from the Sunshine Coast, I can recommend taking a pit stop at Boondall Wetlands. Twenty minutes drive North of the CBD, just off the Gateway Motorway, the Reserve is a great alternative to a service station for a 'bio break' and a blast of fresh air before getting back to the city.
There are picnic tables and toilets at the Visitor Information Centre near the car park. The 2km Billai Dha-gun track is a great scenic walking circuit to stretch your legs after a long car journey. The track is flat and suitable for strollers and junior walkers. Weaving through casuarina forest, with boardwalk sections over salt marsh and grasslands, you would never guess you are so close to the motorway.
You might spot pelicans, darters, mangrove herons and other wading birds from the bird watching hide in the mangroves, overlooking Nundah Creek. Look out for Nurri Millen art totems amongst the trees along the circuit.
There's no petrol or coffee available at this rest stop, but you're guaranteed to leave feeling emotionally re-fueled and ready to face the rest of your journey.