The Best Day Trips From Brisbane

| © Westend61 GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Sarah Reid

Need to get out of town for a day? Whether you prefer to kick back by the beach or climb a small mountain, sample wine from the source or chase waterfalls in an ancient rainforest, there’s an easy escape from the Queensland capital to suit every day-trip mood.

If you don’t fancy driving, many great day-trip destinations can be accessed via Brisbane’s extensive train network, with plenty of other connections available via bus and ferry. While there are dozens of spots worthy of spending a day beyond the bright lights of Brisbane, here are half a dozen top options to get you started.

1. The Gold Coast

Natural Feature

Surfer walking into surf with city skyline in background. Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
© Travelscape Images / Alamy Stock Photo

With the heart of the Gold Coast just an hour south of Brisbane (in good traffic, at least), the glitter strip makes for a great change of scenery for city slickers seeking a beachside alternative to buzzy Brisbane. Connected to Brisbane’s train network, the Gold Coast Light Rail terminates at Broadbeach, where you’ll find plenty of restaurants and bars along with the ritzy Pacific Fair shopping centre and a dazzling strip of beach. About 15 minutes’ drive south, you’ll hit hip Burleigh Heads, home to some of the Gold Coast’s best restaurants and bars including the seaside Burleigh Pavilion.

2. Springbrook National Park

Park

Inland from the Gold Coast, about 1.5 hours south of Brisbane, Springbrook National Park is a spectacular spot to spend a day in nature. Most visitors come to see Natural Bridge, a picturesque rock formation formed by the force of a waterfall over a basalt cave which turns into one of Australia’s best glow worm-spotting destinations after nightfall. Natural Bridge is reached via an easy 1km (0.6mi) walking circuit, but it’s just one of 10 walks in the national park including the popular Twin Falls circuit (4km/2.5mi).

4. Glass House Mountains

Natural Feature

Forming a natural playground loaded with walking tracks and epic lookouts, the 11 rugged volcanic peaks of the Glass House Mountains lie just an hour north of Brisbane. The area’s traditional Aboriginal owners, the Gubbi Gubbi people, consider this area culturally significant, which has resulted in Glass House Mountains being listed as a landscape of national importance by the QLD and national heritage registers. The mountains are also home to six small towns that are connected via rail and country roads.

5. Mount Tamborine

Natural Feature

Australia, Queensland, Mount Tamborine. Cedar Creek Estate & Winery, showroom and wine tasting.
© Cindy Hopkins / Alamy Stock Photo
The lush green hills of Mount Tamborine set the scene for a fun day of cellar door hopping just an hour south of Brisbane. While most local wines are made from grapes from the nearby Granite Belt region, some wineries also have their own vineyards. You’ll find several cellar doors on the main street of Mount Tamborine, but for the full winery experience, head to Witches Falls or Cedar Creek Estate. Sober up on the enchanting 1.5km-return walk to Curtis Falls afterwards.

6. The Sunshine Coast

Natural Feature

When you’re in the mood for a beach day without the razzle dazzle of the Gold Coast, head north instead. Just over an hour from Brisbane, you’ll hit the beaches of Caloundra at the southern end of the Sunshine Coast. It’ll take you nearly another hour to get up to Noosa at the northern end of the coast, but even finer beaches await if you don’t mind a longer drive. If you’re heading up the coast on a Sunday, don’t miss the Caloundra Street Fair on Bulcock St from 8am-1pm; its food trucks make a great lunch option.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article