Why stay in the city when you can hit the road for a day trips from Brisbane that feels worlds away from it all? When you need a break from it all, hit the road to discover the best day trips from Brisbane.
A stunning coastline with big-name tourist attractions to hidden waterfalls and rainforest walks to island paradises teeming with marine life. And the fun doesn’t end there; wineries, sandboarding, snorkeling, boating, treetop skywalks, and surf beaches aplenty; there is never a dull moment when exploring outside of Brisbane.
Aspiring day-trippers can take their choice of quaint bayside villages to the north and east of Brisbane, picturesque country towns for antique shopping, and leisurely morning or afternoon teas and mountain hamlets with rainforest, bushwalks, and winding drives with stunning vistas and cliff-top cafes. Otherwise, the historic ex-mining town of Ipswich to the west is rich in heritage, parklands, funky cafes, and shopping.
The Best Day Trips From Brisbane
Day Trip to GOLD COAST
With holiday vibes kicking year-round, the Gold Coast sure knows how to delight. When it comes to unique and widely contrasting scenery, this is the place to experience it all. Things to do in Gold Coast vary from lounging on smooth, sandy beaches in Surfers Paradise to watching wildlife in Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Travelers can experience Gold Coast on day trips from Brisbane, but adventurous sightseers should plan a longer holiday to explore all this suburban paradise has to offer.
From surfing beaches to premium shopping destinations to an incredible line-up of global eats and tourism attractions, it’s little wonder Brisbanites make the most of living only an hour from the Gold Coast. Spend the day discovering Australia’s diverse marine life at Sea World or take in the thrills of Warner Bros. Movie World or Dreamworld. Experience some of the best swells at Snapper Rocks or relax on the golden-hued sand that stretches the length of the region.
Also head to Surfer’s Paradise, a tourist hub in the heart of the Gold Coast that buzzes with life at any time of year. High-rises and hotels line the sun-soaked sands of Surfers Paradise Beach, and designer boutiques beckon from modern shopping malls a few blocks away. Cavill Avenue is the shopping and entertainment core. For spectacular bird’s-eye views of the coast, zoom up to the SkyPoint Observation Deck or sign up for the heart pumping SkyPoint Climb.
Day Trips to North Stradbroke Island
North Stradbroke Island (or Straddie as locals like to call it) is the perfect place to get away from it all, even if it is just for the day. Catch a 45-minute ferry from Cleveland to the island where you will have your pick of beaches. Amity Beach is perfect for swimming while Bradbury’s Beach is a great spot for fishing and crabbing, but if it’s fresh water swimming you’re after then Keyholes, a freshwater swimming lake, is a must. Otherwise, spend the day kayaking, hiking, four-wheel-driving, or simply relaxing on the sandy shores.
Visit the second-largest sand island in the world on a day tour to Stradbroke Island from Brisbane. Cruise across Moreton Bay and explore a National Park that is almost completely controlled by the traditional Quandamooka people.
Experience Paradise Jet Boating’s Broadwater Adventure ride. After a 55-minute jet boat ride, experience a scenic helicopter journey taking in the iconic Sea World, Marina Mirage, Palazzo Versace, beautiful South Stradbroke Island and the picturesque Surfers Paradise skyline.
Or veer off the beaten track on this guided jet ski tour to North Stradbroke Island. Travel 80 km exploring hidden islands, meandering jet ski paradises, dense mangroves, and floodplains – a full-on mission that will have you on the edge of your ski!
Day Trips to Moreton Island
With its miles of sun-bleached sandy beaches, towering sand dunes, shimmering lagoons, and pockets of wild bushland, Moreton Island feel a world away from nearby Brisbane. As the third-largest sand island in the world and a national park, Moreton Island makes for a perfect day trip when you want to get in touch with nature. A 75-minute ferry ride from Brisbane, Moreton Island makes for incredible day trips from Brisbane.
Go sand tobogganing or sandboarding at The Desert (some of the biggest sand dunes around), climb Mount Tempest – the largest stabilized sand dune in the world, or deep dive into the ocean and explore the shipwrecks and offshore reefs.
Enjoy a day out from Brisbane on this one day Moreton Island Tours and activities. An action-packed, fun-filled day on Moreton Island awaits! Use the snorkeling equipment and enjoy 3 hours of kayaking or stand up paddle-boarding. Enjoy land activities such as tennis and mini-golf and full use of resort facilities (including the pool).
Visit the fascinating and diverse world of the Moreton Bay Marine Park, where bottlenose dolphins play and dugongs feed on seagrasses among the giant loggerhead turtles. Enjoy a snorkeling tour and a buffet lunch featuring delicious fresh prawns. Spend a day in paradise on Moreton Island. Experience 4WD driving on the beach, slide down sand dunes on a toboggan, paddle a transparent kayak, and snorkel around Tangalooma Shipwrecks
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Day Trips to Lamington National Park
If you’re craving a breath of fresh mountain air with incredible vistas, then this is it. An hour and a half from Brisbane, in the Gold Coast hinterland, Lamington National Park Rainforest delivers on the goods; waterfalls, forested mountains, and about 160km of hiking trails catering to various skill levels. One of the most popular trails is the O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat to Morrans Falls, where you’re guaranteed plenty of photo ops along the way.
Day Trips to Caloundra
A beachside town with a year-round holiday feel, Caloundra is a dreamy day trip from Brisbane. The best way to explore this seaside town is along the 25km coastal pathway which has headland cliffs, parkland, beaches, and an esplanade lined with shopping and dining. The historic bathing pavilion at Kings Beach is a must, while Dicky Beach and its aquatic-themed playground is popular among young families. Add a thriving street art scene into the mix, and you have one cool place to hang out.
If you’re looking for more inspiration on what to do in Brisbane, then be sure to check out our guide on things to do in Brisbane.
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