Brisbane offers an abundance of opportunities for weekend getaways and interstate exploration, with every type of adventure on offer from coastal jaunts and scenic country drives to mountain meanderings and island-hopping adventures. Here are five of our must-do Brisbane weekend getaways.
If you love heading to the coast for a weekend escape from Brisbane, head north to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Drive through the gorgeous panoramas of the Glass House Mountains, and stop off awhile for a bushwalk, a visit to Australia Zoo or (for the uber-adventurous) an abseil of these lofty peaks.
Further north, Moffat Beach at Caloundra offers would-be surfers the perfect point break, and keep your GPS tuned to the coast as you head north towards Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland, Coolum Beach and Sunshine Beach. All offer the perfect opportunity for paddling, seafood feasting and (if an overnighter is your ultimate goal) beachside slumber.
Twenty minutes up the road you’ll find Noosa, which fringes a lush national park filled with local wildlife. Healthy-up your pantry with a few treats from the Farmers Market, climb the summit of Mount Tinbeerwah for 360-degree views, or indulge in a spot of sunset river kayaking.
If you’re heading out of town in the colder months, detour your way into the pretty little towns of Montville, Maleny or Mapleton where a cosy B&B awaits, complete with a fireside platter of locally-made cheeses (complimented by a robust red of course!)
If a mountain-style Brisbane day trip is on the cards this weekend, why not set your sights south and the state’s oldest provincial city, Ipswich, and a bit of train action at the Workshops Rail Museum. Then travel further out through the beautiful scenic rim to Boonah where you can stop off for a photo opportunity at sky-high Cunningham’s Gap.
Enjoy a country coffee stop at picturesque Warwick where you can soak up the history of its historical sandstone buildings, before heading south-east to the ranges of the Queensland/New South Wales border.
Here you can forego the air conditioning for a whiff of divine country air before passing through the tiny township of Killarney and one of its most famous spots, the breathtaking Queen Mary Falls. Take in the amazing views from Carr’s Lookout then wind your way through greener-than-green countryside until you reach Mount Tamborine. Here you can indulge in a blissful massage and pick up a couple of artworks while strolling down Gallery Walk. Keen for an overnighter? End your day with a home-cooked meal before retiring to a comfy bed at one of the local B&Bs.
Why not indulge in a weekend trip from Brisbane with a journey towards the Lockyer Valley in the west? Affectionately known as ‘Queensland’s salad bowl’ due to the variety of its organic farms and family-owned businesses, here you can pick up a picnic basket full of handmade chocolates, boutique wines and delectable cheeses perfect for a daytime feast.
Toowoomba’s Farmer’s Markets offer another smorgasbord of tempting delights before you make tracks to Dalby, the regional centre of the Western Downs and an area filled with heritage trails and pioneer museums. Pass by the Lake Broadwater Conservation Park (with its birdlife-spotting opportunities), before continuing on to St George. This location is a history lover’s delight, with its old courthouse and crumbling gaol, and the perfect place to stop for a night to enjoy some local hospitality.
Heading further west the next day, you’ll reach Cunnamulla, where you can explore the Bollon’s Heritage Centre and enjoy a bushwalk, a sandboarding experience or partake in a spot of fishing or boating. Finish your adventure with a stop off in Eulo, where you can enjoy a relaxing mud bath in the area’s ancient artesian springs.
One of the best Brisbane weekend getaways, if you’re after a bit of island action, is a visit to Moreton Island. A dream destination for those wanting to combine the three coastal S’s (sand, sun and snorkelling), Moreton is a quick three-hour trip from Brisbane, and home to the world famous Tangalooma Wrecks.
A thriving reef environment for local turtles, dolphins, dugongs and wobbegong sharks (don’t worry, they’re pretty harmless!), here you can snorkel among the wrecks and enjoy face-to-face close-ups with a rainbow of curious tropical fish.
Moreton is also home to some of the biggest and best sand dunes in the country, so if you’re up for an adventure, grab a skimmer or boogie board and enjoy a day of ‘sand surfing’ these glorious natural phenomena.
Prefer more relaxing pursuits? Take a trip to Cape Moreton Lighthouse, paddle about the Blue Lagoon or take a 4WD adventure that will have you experience the best that this 44-kilometre-long island has to offer. Not ready to go home? Experience the thrill of feeding a dolphin or two upon sunset, before you enjoy a night of ‘glamping’ under the stars.
Around three hours east of Brisbane is one of the jewels of the crown of south-east Queensland, and a spot the locals affectionately call Straddie. Consisting of two islands (North and South Stradbroke Island) separated by the Jumpinpin Channel, North Straddie is the more developed of the two, is car friendly (hello, island road trip), and is just a short 45-minute ferry ride from Toondah Harbour in Moreton Bay.
A great spot for a Brisbane day trip, Stradbroke Island offers sunrise dolphin watching from the jetty at Amity Point and breakfast time kangaroo spotting at the top of the North Gorge walk. Because it’s Queensland’s most easterly point, it also offers the opportunity for whale watching from June to November from the tops of the cliffs from Cylinder Beach through to North Gorge.
Scuba diving is also a must-do activity here with an average visibility of 15 to 20 metres. Shag Rock and Flat Rock offer the ideal locations for spotting the resident Manta Ray pod, and leopard sharks and turtles also tend to hang about here. Brown Lake is ideal for lazy paddling, and if you’re keen to explore out a bit further, consider a kayaking tour of Peel Island, where you can view the shipwreck of the Platypus wreck and get up close and personal with dugongs and dolphins.
Need a transfer from the airport to start your Brisbane weekend getaway? Hughes Limousines have all your business travel needs covered with our range of luxury chauffeured cars and shuttles! Get in touch today on 1300 615 165.