Escape the city to relax in this wonderful locations in SEQ
Best Relaxing Weekends Away in South East Queensland
Many people looking for a weekend away, want to find somewhere to relax. Hopefully there will some nice food, views, natural beauty and some activities to do, but the most important thing is to just be somewhere away from it all.
There are many places in South East Queensland to go away and relax
These destinations are all great places to just relax while also being interesting destinations in their own right. They can also be perfect romantic escapes.
North Stradbroke Island
The Brisbane area has plenty of islands to visit and just being on a Island means that the pace of life slows down immensely. When it comes to the best island to relax on, it has to be North Stradbroke Island.
Relaxing in a park overlooking Main Beach on North Stradbroke Island
Yes there are other islands for relaxing in Moreton Bay, but Bribie Island actually has quite a lot to do while Coochimudlo tends to be just a little bit small. While you can relax, there isn't too many choices about where to relax.
North Stradbroke Island attracts many visitors. You can go on a relaxing walk along the clifftops at the gorges walk, enjoy a meal with a view at a range of cafes, restaurants and pubs or just chill at cylinder beach.
The gorges walk at Point Lookout is a popular and relaxing activity on North Stradbroke Island
There are also a number of other places to visit, including Blue and Brown Lakes, which have short relaxing walks as well as a range of beach. There is also an art gallery and museum.
North Stradbroke wins for me because of the numerous options for relaxing. You won't get bored, but you don't need to rush through your day.
One of the best places to visit on a scenic drive is the Maleny and Montville region. Downtown Maleny gets a little crowded on weekends, but take a short drive to Montville, things slow down to the perfect relaxed pace.
Photo of the Montville Chapel courtesy of Walrus36 @ Flickr
Montville is on this list because it is the place you go to do relaxing things. It is not just about sitting around doing nothing, which is great, but Montville is where you can be unhurried about life.
Photos of shops on the main street of Montville courtesy of S. Newrick @ Wikipedia
The first thing to realise about Montville is that is very gentrified. You might be relaxing but your credit card is probably not. Accommodation, dining and some experiences are going to be a little more expensive here. If you can afford it then you deserve it.
Some of the places to stay include the modern apartments at Mapleton Falls Accommodation, The Rustic Charm of the Montville Country Cabins and the views of Clouds of Montville.
Photo of the view from Montville courtesy of Bidgee @ Wikipedia
In the Montville area you can visit natural beauty with very little effort, including a short walk to the Kondalilla Falls, a short walk at the Baroon Pocket Dam and views at the Mapleton Falls Lookout. If your idea of relaxing is to be more active you can tackle one of the sections of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk such as the one to Baxter Falls.
Don't forget to pop into the Montville Art Gallery and other shops in main street. Check out the clocks and sample the chocolate. You will find other shops and cafes in the area, including Flaxton Barn.
I think you can find a relaxed place to stay anywhere. Normally I head to the Gold Coast for the fun and excitement. However with 60 kms of beaches you can expect that you will find one for relaxing. Surprisingly enough it is Bilinga Beach, right opposite the Gold Coast Airport that fulfils this promise.
Bilinga Beach is a the Gold Coast's quietest beach
Accommodation here is mostly cheap beachfront motels. If you shop around you can find a room for the night for as little as $60. The trick is to turn up in person in the afternoon and drive along the beach front. You will see signs in front of motels advertising their cheap rates. Most of the motels have little swimming pools and access to the beach.
The area has few shops and almost none that stay open at night. In addition, there is no beachfront park or walkway. So few people come here. So imagine having the beach pretty much to yourself.
So you can't really go out at night here, but it is quick drive to Coolangatta. There are also buses that stop here that go between Coolangatta and Broadbeach. From Broadbeach you can take the tram to Surfers Paradise and Broadwater. So it is easy enough to get to any of the other beaches on the Gold Coast.
In other words it is a quiet little part of Paradise not far from the action. Of course you can just stay at the motel, cook your own food, walk on the beach and relax.
Mt Tamborine really works for me as a relaxing destination. Of course if you don't want to relax it is also perfect as well as this little mountain is jam packed with activities. On weekends the variouss bars and pubs becoming hubs of entertainment and activities. However it is also the perfect place to relax if you do it right.
If you are going on the weekends, the trick is to avoid any of the main attractions. Forget the Gallery Walk, if you don't arrive early it is impossible to find parking on the street anyway. The same goes with Cedar Creek Falls swimming hole. Go early in the morning or late in the afternoon, or forget about it.
The Gallery Walk at Mt Tamborine gets busy on weekends
What I like about Mt Tamborine is all the short walks. While I enjoy a nice 20 km walk, they are not relaxing. But Mt Tamborine you go for a quick short walk, find a cafe for lunch, buy some fudge, then do another walk. After that just sit at a lookout or picnic area and just chill with eating all the fudge that you bought (I know you bought those extra bags as gifts for friends, but it is so delicious you might as well eat it all now and buy some more tomorrow on the way home.)
The best part is finding a great place to stay in Tamborine. Mountain Edge Studios has views down to the ocean. Tamborine Mountain Bed & Breakfast is a beautiful bed & breakfast. Songbirds Rainforest Retreat is set in 52 acres of rainforest with an amazing restaurant. The caravan and camping parks such as Thunderbird Park and Tamborine Mountain Caravan & Camping are nice places to relax outside of peak times (avoid school holidays, long weekends and high season weekends).
Many places provide late checkout on Sundays. Always ask to see if that is available.
In Tamborine you can be quite active in your relaxation, including wandering around the Skywalk or visiting the beautiful 27 acre Botanic Gardens. There are all these activities, but not that are hurried. This is what makes Tamborine as great romantic escape as well.
The Skywalk is a relaxing way to enjoy the rainforest
Tenterfield is a town on the New South Wales border that is so close that they are almost Queenslanders. It is also a great place for a long weekend away. Tenterfield is not exactly a boring place, but it is also a great place to relax.
There are plenty of places to stay in town such as the Commercial Boutique Hotel. On weekends they have live music in the front bar and the restaurant and bistro is often packed. While this is fun it is definitely not relaxing.
Relax with a bit of luxury at the historic Stannum House Bed & Breakfast in Tenterfield
It is much better to stay out of town in cottages, farm stays or camping. Boonoo Boonoo National Park has one of the best campgrounds for relaxing. The shady campground is 8 kms from the day use area but is right beside a series of swimming holes. Boonoo Boonoo also has a cabin within the National Park that you can rent. This is fully featured cabin with full cooking and washing facilities. For those who need to relax, there is no mobile phone reception.
A farm stay is another option to relax. Aloomba Lavender has bed & breakfast accommodation, Hill Top Farm has both self-contained cottages as well as farm stay rooms. Mistral Hill is just one of several country cottages you can stay in.
Other relaxing activities include wandering the shops in downtown Tenterfield. Saturday tends to be the main shopping day, but many shops stay open on Sundays as well even though there are fewer people in town.
Overall a great town to escape to with friendly people and great food. You can find a great place to stay and just relax while also having options for dinner, breakfast and lunch in the town if you don't want to cook for yourself.
Thanks for this great collection! I always avoid the Gold Coast as had no idea there was somewhere like Bilinga Beach but will now venture south instead of north for a change. And a great reminder of the other spots you have mentioned. I can definitely second the suggestion of Flame Hill Vineyard...wonderful restaurant and wines! And am now yearning for a Straddie visit...