If you are reading this around the time I wrote this, you probably realise why I have a list of things I really want to do. But at any time, it is worth putting together a great bucket list of things to definitely do and experience. Here is my list of things I must do or redo in South East Queensland.
If you have bucket list items for South East Queensland that are not on this list, feel free to add them in the comments. I am always open to new ideas and adventures and I am always discovering new things in this wonderful region.
Day Hike: Mt Greville
So many walks and so little time, South East Queensland is a hikers paradise. For the one unique walk that everyone should do, it has to be Mt Greville. It is hard enough to be challenging, but easy enough that anyone who is fit can handle the walk. Its main feature is the two gorges that you use to hike up and down the mountain. I recommend heading up Waterfall Gorge and heading down Palm Gorge.
Mt Greville is a hike worth putting on any hiking bucket list
Taking a boat tour always feels a little cheesy, and doing one on the Brisbane River might seem a little lame, but the Kookaburra Queens deliver on food, entertainment and views for a price that won't break anyone's bank. Everyone I know who have done these tours really enjoy the experience.
The must do tour in Brisbane is to take a Kookaburra Queen river cruise
There is so much great food in South East Queensland, but given that the Lockyer Valley is one of the 10th most fertile regions in the world and which Australia relies on for its winter fruit and vegetables, you will want to do a food tour of this great area. The valley's landscape includes flat plains, rolling hills and the rising foothills of the great dividing range. Whether you are stopping in a great country pub like the Porters Plainland Hotel or visiting a farm such as Awassi Cheesery, there are many options for dining across the valley. Or if you are staying overnight at places like Branell Homestead or Stockton Rise, then you can pick up food to self cater from places like Schulte's Gourmet Market and Butcher.
Moreton Bay is full of islands, that include isolated places you need to have your own boat to visit, laid back suburbs and islands that attract tourists. Many of the islands combine different aspects. The island that attracts visitors from around the world to visit is strictly speaking not in South East Queensland, but we will claim it for the purpose of this bucket list, K'gari, also known as Fraser Island. You can take a 4WD and drive the island yourself, jump on a tour, just head to a resort or walk the Fraser Island Great Walk. Whatever way you visit the island, you won't be disappointed with the unique landscapes.
Wine Tour: Mt Tamborine
South East Queensland has a number of great wineries and you can go on a range of day or weekend tours. However, I think that Mt Tamborine is in many ways one of the best places for a wine or booze weekend. The mountain is just over an hour from Brisbane and features numerous wineries as well as craft breweries and even a distillery. If you are staying overnight, you can easily find a place to stay within walking (or staggering) distance of the wineries you want to visit. For example Witches Falls Cottages is close to Witches Falls Winery, Mason Wines and Red Baron Craft Brewery. You can also join a tour to learn more background about the wines and have someone drive you around.
There are so many places worth trying in Brisbane and I love everything from cheap street food through to fine dining. If there is one dining experience that I would really like to get back to, it would be the Eat Street Markets. My suggestion is that you meet your friends in the city or somewhere along the Brisbane River, and take a ferry down to Hamilton. It is best to time it so that you cruising the river as the sun is setting. Then jump into the pressing crowds at the market, grab different foods from the vast arrange of food venues, and hopefully find a spot to sit, listen to music and just enjoy the vibe.
No matter how many times you return to Eat Street, you are sure to find something new to try
The Eumundi Markets are so legendary that there are now multiple markets in Eumundi, but the original Eumundi Markets are on Saturday and Wednesday mornings. You can shop for homemade products, or fresh locally grown fruit and vegetables, then enjoy a snack from a food truck, but mostly soak in the vibe that makes this one of the most legendary and long-surviving markets in South East Queensland.
Adventure: Canoe or Kayak the Noosa Everglades
Everglades are natural tropical wetlands, and there are only two everglade systems in the world. The more famous one is in Florida but there is also one on our doorstep in Great Sandy National Park up at Noosa. The best way to enjoy this wetland area is to go by boat, canoe or kayak along the Noosa River. Many people paddle up the river, camp overnight or over several nights, then paddle back following the current. You can also book tours where you are taken up by boat and your kayak or canoe back down the river.
Pub: Sandstone Point
I feel a little bad about playing favourites with pubs in South East Queensland, as there are many different pubs providing great food, entertainment and atmosphere, however, there are really only a few that you would need to put on your list of places to visit, and only one that I know of that really stands out. The Sandstone Point Hotel, at Sandstone Point is set on a wide-open area of land opposite Bribie Island. They often use the space to host events, from concerts to family days. They will setup outdoor stages, rides, market stalls and more. This is the one pub that should be on everyone's bucket list.
The Sandstone Point Hotel is a great place to visit for many reasons including their regular family events
There are a lot of great events across South East Queensland that have a great vibe. Some standout examples include the Blues on Broadbeach on the Gold Coast, Jazz and Jumpers out at Warwick, CMC Rocks country music festival in Ipswich among many others. But the most legendary is the Woodford Folk Festival held every year from December 27 to January 1. Many people see their new year in at this festival, while others will camp out at the festival for the whole 6 days. If you want to go there for free, then you can volunteer, but you have to get in early, with people who have volunteered before often getting the volunteer slots.
Local tour: Kayak Brisbane River
If there is one activity to do in Brisbane, it has to be taking a Riverlife kayak tour along the Brisbane River. They have day, night and twilight tours. You paddle out against the tidal current and then return back with the flow. Included in the tour is kayak hire, including lights for night paddling, two tour guides and commentary. After the tours, you get drinks and food. My prefered one is the twilight paddle as you leave while the sun is up, experience the sunset, then return back to the starting point in the darkness.
If you haven't done it already, kayaking Brisbane river should be on your list of Brisbane adventures to try
Moreton Bay is home to a wide range of aquatic wildlife. It is common to see sea turtles and dolphins when out on the bay in a boat, but if you are lucky you may also see dugongs and wales. Should you want to get up and personal with dolphins, then head out to Moreton Bay's Tangalooma resort to get the chance to feed the dolphins as part of a tour.
Take the opportunity to get up and close with some friendly dolphins
It is easy to dismiss the Gold Coast as a trashy touristy location, but you can also celebrate the fact that there is such a place nearby that people travel to from around the world just to visit. It is well worth seeking out ticket deals for the various theme parks on the Gold Coast. Often these deals give you 6 months access so you can go back as often as you want during that time. While they are cheesy, they also have more than rides, including shows and other entertainment. Surely, going to one of these worlds should be on everyone's bucket list.
Multi Day Hike: Conondale Range Great Walk
There are lots of multi-day hikes in South East Queensland. The Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk is probably the most famous, but the most interesting parts of that walk are also easily done as day hikes. I think the one walk that most people could add to their list is the Conondale Range Great Walk. This walk has 4 sections with an option to add in a 5th section over Mt Allan. This is the walk to get away from others for several days and delve deep into the lush subtropical rainforest.
Conondale Range Great walk is one of many multi-day hikes to add to your bucket list
Obviously, the best option is that this has to be third game in the series with the Blues and Maroons tied going into the final game. NSW needs to be leading all the way until Queensland begins to claw back, but with only seconds on the clock, the only way that Queensland can win is to score a try starting just past their own try line. It should be one of those length of the paddock, every person touches the ball at least once, goes on past the siren tries that Queensland loves to pull off.
Your bucket list ideas
This list isn't even a complete bucket list for myself, with many more things I would love to see, do and experience in South East Queensland. I am sure readers have other ideas for their own lists. If you have any ideas and suggestions, please add them to the comments.
I really enjoy your articles. One thing you did not mention that is close to home and a great day out is a day trip to Tangalooma with a whale watching tour included. If you do your resaeach and book ahead you can buy discounted tickets with a box lunch included. it’s a great day trip and I saw saw lots of whales on both occasions I have done this day trip.
When all this is over, looking forward to the following (in order)
1. Visit my grandchild who I have not seen now for over 4 weeks.
2. Thoroughly enjoy going to visit friends again or meet for a coffee
3. Get out and hike again. Did not realise how much it meant to me
4. Spend some money to help the economy recover, particularly businesses hard hit
5. Enjoy sitting on a park bench again
6. Spend as little time as possible at home :)