12 Awesome Day Trips From Brisbane

 

A winding river through the CBD, close proximity to golden beaches and national parks and regular sunshine all year round.

This is Brisbane, Queensland. 

Our current address and Jasmine’s home town. Sure, it’s taken Bevan a little longer to develop a fondness but over time, his affinity for the Sunshine State has grown. 

As much as we love Brisbane, we also enjoy getting out and exploring her surroundings. What is there to do near Brisbane? Morning strolls along the coastline, hiking through ancient Gondwana rainforests and hunting for gastronomic treasures in quaint cottage towns are all accessible from places near Brisbane.

We’ve compiled a fabulous list of day trips from Brisbane for you to consider when you visit the Sunshine State. There are towns to visit near Brisbane and Gold Coast day trip ideas too. Most of these suggestions are best accessed via car but if you’d prefer a guide, day tours are also an option.

Let us know when you’re in town – we’d love to meet you!

Jasmine stands atop Mount Ngungun in the Glass House Mountains - places near Brisbane

MUST EXPLORE | DAY TRIPS FROM BRISBANE

FOR THE BEACH GOERS

Moreton Island

Moreton Island is a 37km sand island located off the coast of south-east Queensland. With magnificent coastal sand dunes, unique vegetation and wildlife, a day trip to Moreton Island promises adventure with a side of history.

Moreton Island has a colourful Aboriginal history and played a role in World War II. Relics of the past are dotted around the island.

The famous Tangalooma shipwrecks sit metres from the edge of the beach, perfect for diving and snorkelling. If you prefer to stay on terra firma, take a refreshing dip in the Champagne Pools at North Point or try your hand at sand tobogganing down one of the many sand dunes.

There are plenty of opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Whale watching is best during their migration season (July – August) while green and loggerhead turtles come to nest on the beaches between November – February.

Passenger ferries run daily to and from Brisbane – it is recommended that you book your tickets in advance online. Alternatively, there are all-inclusive day trip tours from Brisbane. There are no sealed roads on Moreton Island. If you wish to explore the island further than walking distance from the ferry drop off point, you will need a 4WD vehicle. If you do decide to visit Moreton Island without a tour or a vehicle, you will not be able to venture far from the beach and you will need to bring your own food and water.

How far is moreton island from brisbane?

Moreton Island is 40 kilometres east of Brisbane. It is only accessible by ferry or private boat. The ferry journey is approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.

Interested in booking a tour? This full day tour option includes transportation to and from Brisbane, snorkelling, sand duning, kayaking and 4WDing.

Aerial shot of Tangalooma shipwrecks off Moreton Island - day trips from Brisbane

Noosa

The Gold Coast is not the only place to find bronzed beauties and fitness fanatics. Beautiful Noosa sits at the top end of the Sunshine Coast, approximately two hours north of Brisbane. Fringed by national parks and the Coral Sea, there is no shortage of outdoor activities.

Get the blood pumping with a brisk walk through Noosa National Park, where many of the shaded trails come out at glorious lookouts over the ocean. The Fairy Pools are a popular spot for photographers and from here, you can glimpse surfers trying to catch a break.

If you visit on a Sunday, explore Noosa Farmers Markets in the morning before popping down to FOMO for a spot of breakfast and an easy stroll along Sunshine Beach. On a clear evening, head inland and after a short paved hike, watch the sunset from Mount Tinbeerwah Lookout.

How far is noosa from brisbane?

2 hours drive – 150 kilometres north of Brisbane.

Follow the M1 northbound towards the Sunshine Coast. Take exit 224.

This route includes tolls.

Fairy pools in Noosa | free day trips from Brisbane

Surfing at the Gold Coast

This beautiful pocket of South East Queensland boasts some of the best golden stretches of sand you’ll find in the Sunshine State.

Faded beach shacks have had to give way to towering skyscrapers and chain restaurants but thankfully, you’ll still find friendly locals and community businesses with laid back vibes synonymous with Aussie beach culture.

One of the surfing meccas on the Gold Coast, Snapper Rocks is where you’ll find bucketloads of surfing enthusiasts carving up waves almost every day of the year.

Sitting on the Queensland and New South Wales border, the Coolangatta area offers a glorious day of sun, surf and sand. Groovy cafes sit a few blocks back from the beach, trendy boutiques welcome sandy-toed holidayers and there are many surf schools around to help aspiring surfers hang ten out on the water.

Other popular surfing spots include Kirra Beach, Currumbin Beach and Burleigh Heads. Check out the surf schools in the area to determine the best spot to pick up a lesson or to paddle with the pros.

How far is the Gold coast from brisbane?

It depends on which part of the Gold Coast you wish to explore!

Surfers Paradise is 60 minutes drive – 78 kilometres south of Brisbane. Follow the M1 southbound towards the Gold Coast. Take exit 69.

Snapper Rocks is 90 minutes drive – 110 kilometres south of Brisbane. Follow the M1 southbound towards the Gold Coast. Take the exit for Gold Coast Highway from M1.

Surfers riding waves during Sunrise at the Gold Coast | Gold Coast day trip ideas

VISITING THE GOLD COAST? CHECK OUT 12 BEST BRUNCH CAFES ON THE GOLD COAST

FOR THE NATURE ENTHUSIASTS

Springbrook National Park

Strap on your walking shoes and pack your swimsuit. A day trip to Springbrook National Park is a day immersed in nature.

Spectacular waterfalls, ancient forests, expansive views and unique wildlife make this national park a fabulous spot to enjoy the impressive beauty of the Gold Coast Hinterland. The World Heritage site has several walking trails taking you through lush vegetation to gushing waterfalls, scenic lookouts and cool swimming holes. Top attractions include Natural Bridge (1 kilometre circuit), Purling Brook Falls (4 kilometres circuit) and Twin Falls (4 kilometres circuit).

The hiking trails are all marked and require an average level of fitness. For more information of the trails and circuits, read here to help plan your route. Please ensure that you stay on the marked trails and respect signs to not cause harm to yourself or others, the vegetation and the wildlife.

Whilst there are several cafes at the edge of the park, Springbrook has several designated parking lots, picnic areas and toilet facilities for picnic lunches and rest stops. Don’t forget to take all your rubbish with you.

How far is Springbrook national park from brisbane?

90 minutes drive – 100 kilometres south of Brisbane.

Follow the M1 southbound towards the Gold Coast. Take exit 79 and follow Gold Coast – Springbrook Road from Mudgeeraba.

Sunset from Moran Falls in Springbrook National Park | day trips from Brisbane

North Stradbroke Island

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How far is north stradbroke island from brisbane?

2 hours travel time – 60 kilometres east of Brisbane.

Opening Hours
  • Monday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Tuesday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Wednesday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Thursday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Friday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Saturday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Sunday 6:30am – 4:00pm
12 Awesome Day Trips From Brisbane | day trips from brisbane 1

Glass House Mountains

Formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago, the craggy peaks of the Glass House Mountains tower over pineapple plantations and pine forests in the Sunshine Coast region. 

The Glass House Mountains offer challenging summit routes and climbing sites for experienced rock climbers and abseilers, and should only be undertaken by those with considerable experience and appropriate equipment. 

For less-experienced hikers, Mount Beerburrum only takes a couple of hours while Mount Ngungun features a marked walking trail with minimal rock scrambling. The latter offers spectacular views of the nearby peaks and surrounding landscape.

Given the distance between the peaks, packing your own food and water is recommended. Don’t forget to practice your hiking etiquette! Alternatively, the small Glass House Mountains township has a few cafes and bakeries.

How far are the glass house mountains from brisbane?

60 minutes drive – 70 kilometres north of Brisbane.

Follow the M1 northbound towards the Sunshine Coast and follow the signs for Steve Irwin Way.

This route has tolls.

Sunset view from Mt Ngungun, Glass House Mountains

Mount Tamborine

For those who prefer a combination of breathtaking scenery and clean mountain air with local culinary delights and artworks, a day trip to Mount Tamborine is the perfect choice and one of the easiest towns to visit near Brisbane.

Start your day trip to Mount Tamborine with a bushwalk through Tamborine National Park. The cascading waterfalls are particularly spectacular after prolonged periods of rain. Native flora and fauna thrive here. Keep an eye out for lyrebirds, scrub turkeys, possums and elusive platypus. Take care where you step as harmless snakes and giant earthworms sometimes appear on tracks. Curtis Falls Walking Track is a short trail that leads to a wooden platform where you can view the pretty waterfall from a safe distance.

With its strong cottage industry, Tamborine Mountain is home to many talented artists and local produce. Boutique wineries and craft breweries invite you in for gastronomic experiences whilst galleries and boutiques along the Gallery Walk offer unique pieces for you to take home. Pop into Truffle Discovery Centre and Angela’s Pantry for homemade jams, chutneys, oils, dukkah and honeys. The Fountain of Juice offers seasonal soul food in the form of vegan and vegetarian pies and dairy free smoothies. You’ll find artisanal homewares in Village Folk and make sure to stop by Fudge Heaven for a free sweet tasting.

How far is Mount Tamborine from brisbane?

60 minutes drive – 70 kilometres south of Brisbane.

Follow the M1 southbound towards the Gold Coast. Take exit 38 from M1. Take Stanmore Rd to Beaudesert Beenleigh Rd/State Route 92 in Wolffdene. Follow Beaudesert Beenleigh Road/State Route 92 and State Route 95 to Curtis Road in Tamborine Mountain.

Interested in booking a tour? This full-day tour option includes hotel pick-up and drop-off in Brisbane, a wine & distillery tour plus a 2 course lunch.

Curtis Falls in Tamborine Mountain | towns to visit near Brisbane

FOR THE CULINARY LOVERS

Sirromet Wines

A winery in Queensland you say? How can that be? 

Thanks to a large dose of determination mixed with plenty of ambition. Sirromet was founded by Queensland businessman and entrepreneur, Terry Morris, who set out to prove to his Victorian counterparts that great wine can be produced in Queensland. 

The multi-award winning winery is located in Mount Cotton, approximately 35 minutes drive from Brisbane CBD. Visitors can participate in wine tours or visit the cellar door for tastings. Dining options include fine-dining at Restaurant Lurleen’s (named after Terry’s wife) or Italian fare out on the Tuscan Terrace. For a comfortable night away in the Queensland bush, consider a stay at Sanctuary, Sirromet’s very own on-site glamping accommodation. Sirromet is also a lauded venue for weddings and annual music event, A Day on the Green.

How far is Sirromet wines from brisbane?

35 minutes drive – 30 kilometres south of Brisbane

Interested in booking a tour? We were gifted this 2.5 hrs experience which included a winery tour, wine tasting and Tuscan terrace lunch. You will need to drive yourself to Sirromet Wines or organise a taxi/rideshare to and from your Brisbane accommodation.

Alternatively, if you prefer hotel pick up and drop off and a fine-dining lunch menu, this half-day tour option is a solid choice.

Cellar Door at Sirromet Wines | book a tour for a day trip from Brisbane

Husk Distellers

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How far is Husk Distillers from brisbane?

90 minutes drive – 120 kilometres south of Brisbane.

Follow the M1 southbound towards the Gold Coast and Chinderah. Take the exit for Tweed Valley Way from the M1. Follow Tweed Valley Way to Dulguigan Road in North Tumbulgum.

Opening Hours
  • Monday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Tuesday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Wednesday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Thursday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Friday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Saturday 6:30am – 4:00pm
  • Sunday 6:30am – 4:00pm
12 Awesome Day Trips From Brisbane | day trips from brisbane 1

FOR ADRENALINE SEEKERS

Village Roadshow Theme Parks

Adrenalin seekers, animal lovers and cartoon enthusiasts – a Village Roadshow Theme Park will be an epic day out for you!

Located on the Gold Coast, Village Roadshow Theme Parks operates six major attractions: Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, Wet’n’Wild, Paradise Country, Australian Outback Spectacular and TopGolf.

Share hi-fives with Bugs Bunny and Superman at Movie World, learn about the plight of polar bears at Seaworld and hop on an inflatable donut at Wet’n’Wild. You can get up and close with unique Australian wildlife at Paradise Country and learn about the harsh realities of life on the land at Australian Outback Spectacular.

How far is Village Roadshow theme parks from brisbane?

45 minutes drive – 60 kilometres south of Brisbane.

Follow the M1 southbound towards the Gold Coast. Take exit 60.

12 Awesome Day Trips From Brisbane | day trips from brisbane 1

Dreamworld

Another one on the list of Gold Coast day trip ideas, Dreamworld is Australia’s biggest theme park with over 40 rides and attractions.

Thrill rides, family rides and water parks mean that you will have adrenaline coursing through your veins all day. ABC Kids World and the Dreamworks Experience will keep the little ones happy and occupied while Tiger Island is not to be missed. One of the more recent additions is Dreamworld Corroboree, where visitors can explore and appreciate the Australian land, its ancestors, people and native animals.

A place of entertainment and education will make this day trip an unforgettable one!

How far is Dreamworld from brisbane?

40 minutes drive – 55 kilometres south of Brisbane.

Follow the M1 southbound towards the Gold Coast. Take exit 54.

12 Awesome Day Trips From Brisbane | day trips from brisbane 1

FOR QUAINT TOWNS

Montville

The charming township of Montville is located in the Sunshine Coast region and is home to cosy coffee shops, art galleries and bespoke boutiques. Known for producing some delicious fudge dairy delicacies, Montville is popular with city-dwellers looking for a weekend of peace and quiet. The mountain retreat area offers plenty of accommodation ranging from rainforest cabins to hinterland cottages. 

Montville is located close to Kondalilla National Park. ‘Kondalilla’ is an Aboriginal word meaning “rushing waters”, a particularly apt name to describe the dramatic waterfall which gushes beautifully during the summer wet season. The park is a beautiful place for bushwalking and provides an opportunity to see native frogs, reptiles and birds.

Visitors to Montville can also access part of the Sunshine Coast Great Hinterland Walk, a 58 kilometre trail offering panoramic views of the coastline and hinterland.

How far is Montville from brisbane?

90 minutes drive – 90 kilometres north of Brisbane.

Follow the M1 northbound towards the Sunshine Coast and follow the route to Steve Irwin Way. Continue on Steve Irwin Way. Take Landsborough Maleny Road and Maleny – Montville Road to Main Street in Montville.

This route has tolls.

12 Awesome Day Trips From Brisbane | day trips from brisbane 1

Toowoomba

Australia’s largest inland city (by population) is often overshadowed by the golden beaches of the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast. Yet Queensland’s Garden City is one of the best spots to enjoy the beauty of Australia’s native flora and learn about the state’s colonial history.

Situated 130 kilometres west of Brisbane, Toowoomba sits 700 metres above sea level on the edge of the Great Dividing Range. The city hosts several festivals throughout the year, celebrating regional flavours, traditional trades and artisanal arts and crafts.

In Spring, Toowoomba comes alive as it hosts the Carnival of Flowers. The ten-day festival features floral exhibitions in the parks and gardens, fireworks, parades and sensational produce from the local region. While in Toowoomba, you’ll come across a number of historic buildings showcasing memorabilia and artworks telling the stories of the history of the Southern Queensland country’s region. The Cobb + Co Museum is the most famous, with the National Carriage collection detailing the importance of horse-drawn vehicles in Queensland’s development. 

For those who prefer the charm of the past combined with a picnic in the park, Toowoomba is a wonderful day trip for you.

How far is Toowoomba from brisbane?

2 hours drive – 130 kilometres west of Brisbane.

Follow the M5 westward and join the Warrego Highway. Follow the signs for Toowoomba Connection Road/A21.

12 Awesome Day Trips From Brisbane | day trips from brisbane 1

Kooroomba Vineyards and Lavender Farm

If a ticket to Provence, France is proving a tad too expensive, consider a day trip to Kooroomba Vineyards and Lavender Farm instead.

Six types of lavender, varieties hailing from France and Italy, flower almost all year round, meaning you can nab that perfectly symmetrical Insta shot without travelling too far! Visitors can visit the lavender fields and shop lavender products in the gift shop. There is an art studio on-site, a cellar door showcasing wines cultivated from the Mt Alford region and a restaurant, headed up by European trained chef, Daniel Groneberg. 

As Kooroomba Vineyards is a popular functions and wedding venue, it is often closed on weekends. Plan your visit and make a reservation for lunch on a weekday if your itinerary permits.

How far is Kooroomba Vineyards and Lavender farm from brisbane?

90 minutes drive – 100 kilometres south west from Brisbane.

Follow the M5, National Highway 15 and State Route 93 to Mount Alford Road in Dugandan. Continue on Mount Alford Road to your destination in Mount Alford.

12 Awesome Day Trips From Brisbane | day trips from brisbane 1

WHERE TO HIRE A CAR IN BRISBANE

If you’re arriving to Brisbane via airplane, the most convenient place to hire a car is at Brisbane International Airport or Brisbane Domestic Airport. The well-known agencies, such as Avis, Hertz, Budget and Europcar, also have offices in Brisbane City and key locations.

Check rental availability, select your preferred vehicle and compare rates between car rental agencies below!

Considering one of these day trips from Brisbane?

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