Relax on Moreton Island. (©Tourism and Events Queensland)
Discover regional produce, vineyards and wineries, cute boutiques and stunning views, all just a few hours drive from Brisbane. Here are five of our favourite spots for a day trip.
You’ll find plenty of country charm at the Scenic Rim, a picturesque rural area located in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range two hours south of Brisbane. Stalls selling everything from local avocados to freshly cut roses line the grassy roadside and everything is impossibly green.
Canungra Valley Vineyards is perfect for a picnic lunch before you tackle the drive up the mountain. There are two roads to choose from, both stunning in their own way. Narrow switchbacks offer plenty of white-knuckle thrills on the way to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat whereas the winding road to Binna Burra is a little more sedate with beautiful views.
At O’Reilly’s you’ll find brilliantly coloured parrots in every spectrum of the rainbow, a free treetop canopy walk and well-signed trails winding through the rainforest. Binna Burra is easier and quicker to reach and has some truly spectacular walks. If you have time, why not visit both?
This pretty mountaintop community is an easy 40-minute drive from the Gold Coast but feels like a world away. Galleries and restaurants line the picturesque main street known as Gallery Walk and Queensland’s oldest national park, Tamborine National Park, offers stunning scenery and impressive views of the distant high-rises.
Wineries and providores are scattered throughout the area which means stumbling across yet another lovely place to stop is part of the fun.
It’s hard to believe this natural wonderland is just 75 minutes from Brisbane with the ferry terminal located just 10 minutes from Brisbane Airport by taxi. Moreton Island is home to the world’s highest coastal dune, Mount Tempest, which offers stunning views of the surrounding area. The top thing to do, however, is to feed the wild dolphins which have been visiting the Tangalooma Island Resort jetty since the 1970s.
If you would like to swim with some underwater wonders, there is a snorkelling tour of the Tangalooma Wrecks dive and snorkel site, home to stingrays, wobbegong sharks and a kaleidoscope of colourful tropical fish. If you would prefer to stay dry, a Segway tour offers a unique way to enjoy Moreton Island’s pristine surrounds.
The Blackhall Ranges
High on the Blackhall Ranges you’ll find Maleny and Montville, two pretty, rural communities with artistic heritages and stunning ridgetop locations.
Day trip to Montville, a popular tourist hub where galleries line the street, sitting side by side with quaint gift shops and cafés serving Devonshire tea. A picturesque 10-minute drive away you’ll find Maleny, a laid-back country town with a friendly, community vibe and excellent cooking schools.
Things to do include honing your wok skills with a Stir Crazy session, cooking Thai-inspired Dude Food or whipping up tasty yum cha treats at a Dim Sum and Then Some class at the Spirit House.
Spicers Tamarind has classes ranging from French and Italian to bread making and delectable desserts.
Nearby you’ll find Spa Anise where romantics can enjoy a private steam and spa overlooking rolling green hills prior to their treatment.
Noosa has always been known for its natural beauty and there are many ways to enjoy it. Go for a walk in the National Park or explore the Noosa Biosphere Reserve, a series of freshwater tidal parklands covering 150,000 hectares.
Noosa Everglades Discovery runs serene boat tours which glide through dark tannin-stained water that acts like a mirror, reflecting the beauty of the surrounding bush.
Hastings Street is a top spot for shopping with an impressive choice of boutiques and homeware stores.
If you feel like a coffee or a glass of wine, drop into Aromas Noosa where wicker chairs face outwards in classic European style and everyone comes to see and be seen.
If you are after something more low key, million dollar views can be yours for the price of a drink at the Noosa Heads Surf Club. There is no better spot for a beer on a lazy Sunday afternoon and the chicken parmigiana is a delicious blast from the past.