20 Day Trips From Brisbane

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Brisbane is a popular city for its vibrant, natural atmosphere, but sometimes we all need to get out of a buzzing city for fresh air, no matter how much we enjoy it. Brisbane, thankfully, is very conveniently located so that it’s very easy to jump into a train, bus or car and be right at the doorstep of a national park, world-renowned beaches, countryside and lush rainforests. So, set your alarm clock, down hot cuppa coffee, pack your can-do attitude and enjoy one of these day trips from Brisbane.

20 Day Trips From Brisbane

1- Stradbroke Island

brisbane day trips stradbroke island beach
Stradbroke Island is one of those hidden day trips from Brisbane everyone loves once they have been once. Photo: Christina Pfeiffer.

Traditionally known as Minjerribah, North Stradbroke Island is the second largest sand island in the world.

While that alone gives us reason to visit on a day trip from Brisbane, there are many more things to do on this wild island.

Arriving on the island, head over to Point Lookout for a quick bite to eat and either go shopping or walk down to the grassy area to chill out with some of Australia’s wildlife.

If you feel the adrenaline kicking in, go sand tobogganing at Deadman’s Beach and don’t forget to bring your own board.

Before you leave, take a dip in the unique Tea Tree Lake, which gets its deep brown colour from centuries of tea leaves soaking in the water that has fallen from the surrounding trees.

It’s a 36.2 km (22.3 miles) drive to Brisbane’s outer suburb of North Cleveland, taking you about 36 minutes of driving to get there. Head to the ferry station in North Cleveland, and from there, you can either drive your car onto the ferry or just hop on and grab a seat. The ferry ride is around 50 minutes, and there’s a good chance of spotting whales.

2- Gold Coast

day trips from brisbane by car aerial view of surfers paradise
One of Brisbane’s most popular day trips is to the Gold Coast. Photo: Christina Pfeiffer.

Slipping onto the highway and heading down to the Gold Coast is the most popular day trip from Brisbane, and there’s a reason for that.

As you enter the Gold Coast from the highway, you will immediately notice the rollercoasters and giant water slides.

Gold Coast is Queensland’s amusement park capital and home to Warner Bros Movie World, Sea World, Wet n Wild and Dream World.

All of these fantastic amusement parks are a must-visit for all ages.

Theme Parks Australia has passes that give you access to multiple amusement parks.

While it might be a bit too much to juggle visiting all the theme parks in one go, the passes give you the chance to split up your visits over time at your convenience.

A little bit further, you will find world-renowned beaches but skip past the touristy beaches and head to Tallebudgera, where you can stroll through the trees along the creek and find little picnic spots, ocean-water swim holes and swings that sway across the creek.

The Q1 skyscraper in Surfers Paradise is perfect for those seeking something more thrilling, where you can experience Australia’s highest external building climb.

The theme parks are 60 km from Brisbane and about a one-hour drive.

3- Moreton Island

best day trips from brisbane line of people walking up sand dune
Sandboarding on Moreton Island is one of the best day trips from Brisbane for families. Photo: Christina Pfeiffer.

Ever had the dream of snorkelling in old shipwrecks amongst tropical fish, coral and turtles?

Moreton Island houses 15 sunken vessels from 1963. They are home to beautiful marine life and are only a day trip away from Brisbane city.

On the shores of the Tangalooma Resort, you will be able to see the masts of the sunken ships gleaming in the sun, and either swim out to the wrecks or rent a kayak to paddle around them.

After swimming or paddling, take a 2.5 km (1.5 miles) return hike up Mt Tempest to see views of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast across the ocean.

Passenger ferry services from Pinkenba in Brisbane to the Tangalooma Jetty on Moreton Island take about 75 minutes.

4- Go Yachting

Brisbane is a short drive from a few popular yachting destinations that are perfect for a day out in the ocean breeze with friends or family.

A highly recommended location to sail around would be off the shore of North Cleveland, as it has sparkling blue water and sea life to see (pun intended).

It’s a perfect day trip from Brisbane to avoid the noise of people and just to be wrapped in the peaceful sound of the ocean’s waves.

Several yachting companies provide sailing trips to suit your needs and budget, ranging from A$45.

5- Tamborine Mountain

day trips from brisbane fantasy building
Mount Tamborine is a charming place to go on a day trip from Brisbane. Photo: Christina Pfeiffer.

Taking a day trip from Brisbane, a busy city, to the Tamborine Mountains feels surreal, as you’ll be driving in thick traffic through a concrete jungle right into a wild tropical one.

This charming mountain community is well-known for its rainforest walking trails, swimming creeks, market stalls and shops.

Long Street has quaint shops and restaurants perfect for finding gifts, a bottle of local wine or a tasty bite.

While there are many different hiking trails and walks to choose from, a favourite on warm days is Cedar Creek for its swimming holes and waterfall slides (to get there, you will have to climb over a fence but don’t worry, this is allowed as there are signs indicating so).

After a day on the mountain, watch the sunset at Hang Gliders Lookout.

Tambourine Mountain is 72 km (45 miles) from Brisbane and over a one-hour drive.

For more things to do in Queensland, read:

6- Lamington National Park

day trips brisbane man having a cool dip in waterfall
Lamington National Park is a lovely spot for day trips from Brisbane for nature lovers. Photo by: Tourism and Events Queensland

Lamington National Park is a rainforest filled with hiking trails that wind through some of the most ancient trees in the world, dating back to around 200 million years ago.

Just standing amongst the old trees and rock formations will take your breath away with its magnitude.

If that isn’t motivating enough, O’Reilly’s has its treetop walking adventures to bring you to the same level as some of these wooden giants of the forest.

Lamington National Park is 105 km via the M1 and 1.5 hours from Brisbane.

7- Springbrook National Park

day trips around brisbane
Natural Arch in Springbrook National Park is an iconic natural landmark. The park is one of the top places to go on day trips from Brisbane if you love nature. Photo by: Tourism and Events Queensland

Waterfalls, cascades, trails and glowworms.

Visiting Springbrook National Park is like walking into a time capsule back to when the land was unpopulated by humans and all the noise that comes with us.

Take a day trip from Brisbane and get lost in nature along the walking routes that weave through the trees.

You’ll discover different hidden waterfalls and swimming creeks.

Take your time exploring because you will want to be there for nightfall as Springbrook is famous for its magnificent glowworm caves.

Lamington National Park is on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. It’s 106 km (66 miles) and about a 1hr 30-minute drive.

8- Get Outdoors On A Bike

Outdoor biking is a great way to have fun and exercise during a visit or on a day off from work or school.

Brisbane has many excellent biking trails in the surrounding areas. Here are some that tick the top boxes:

Boondall Wetlands: Arriving in what feels like a scene from the Lord of the Rings, you will be biking through twisted and winding paths in dense woodland trees surrounded by the wetlands. Just a 15 km (9.3 miles) drive out of the Brisbane CBD will get you right where you need to be.

Daisy Hill Conservation: A tranquil getaway out of the city, cycling through one of the densest koala reserves. It’s a 26.3 km (16.3 miles) drive from the Brisbane CBD.

Tewantin National Park: Queensland is not short on national parks as it is bursting with so many protected and well-cared-for areas. Tewantin National Park is on the Sunshine Coast and is popular for its views across the hinterlands. Drive to the Cooroy-Noosa road (20km/12.4miles) from Brisbane.

Brisbane Valley Rail Trail: Cycle part of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, Australia’s longest rail. The 161 km trail follows the disused railway line between Wulkuraka (near Ipswich) and Yarraman, winding past farms, country towns and forests. 

9- Get An Adrenaline Rush SkyDiving

Now here is a gem for adrenaline junkies.

The Sunshine Coast offers some of the most scenic skydiving off the coast, with blue ocean views and the green slopes of the hinterlands.

While skydiving will take approximately three hours, you would have worked up quite an appetite, so head to one of the seaside towns to grab something to eat in an oceanside cafe.

The Sunshine Coast is the perfect getaway for a day of excitement, relaxation and good food. You can do skydiving in Noosa or Caloundra.

It takes around 1.5 hours to drive to the Sunshine Coast, depending on where you choose to go skydiving.

10- Go Sandboarding

North Stradbroke Island and Moreton Island are popular sandboarding destinations as both islands are in the world’s top four largest sand islands.

As explained above, to get to Stradbroke Island, catch the ferry from Cleveland and for Moreton Island, catch the ferry from Pinkenba.

Moreton Island has three sandboarding slopes – Little Sand Hills, Big Sand Hills and The Dessert.

So slap on some sunscreen, pack a picnic basket and enjoy a fun day trip from Brisbane for the whole family.

11- Visit A Winery

Queensland has a few vineyards close to Brisbane that produce wine, such as:

Flame Hill Vineyard in Montville

This popular winery is nestled amongst the vines overlooking the ocean and where you can spend a day strolling through the vines and sipping on a glass of your favourite wine.

The drive takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes (100km/62.6miles).

Ocean View Estate

Ocean View Estate has lovely grounds and offers tours of the estate followed by wine tastings.

A vineyard picnic is an option, or if you are feeling adventurous, they have a fly and dine option.

This winery is a lovely spot for an easy day trip from Brisbane.

Ocean View Estate is at 2557 Mount Mee Rd, Ocean View, 55 km (34 miles) and about an hour from Brisbane CBD.

12- Suttons Beach

This little beach is perfect for swimming and basking in the sun if you want to avoid busy beaches.

With gentle waves, it is perfect for kids to enjoy the water safely and is a short 45-minute drive from Brisbane to this family-friendly paradise.

With many cute cafes and restaurants, finding a bite to eat and refreshing drink is easy.

Suttons Beach is 39 km (24 miles) in the Redcliffe area.

13- Australia Zoo

short day trips from brisbane tiger enclosure
You’ll want to spend all day at Australia Zoo and it can easily be visited as a day trip from Brisbane. Photo: Christina Pfeiffer.

Queensland’s most famous zoo has stacks of different wildlife, live animal shows and friendly education staff.

There are fantastic options to interact with native animals as you learn more about their natural habitats and how we can protect them.

Australia Zoo is 74 km (46 miles) from Brisbane. The drive to Australia Zoo takes 1.5 hours, or you can catch the train (2.5 hours) from Brisbane to Beerwah Rail Station, where the zoo’s courtesy coach meets most trains.

14- Explore Esk

brisbane day trips
Esk is a lovely place to go on a day trip from Brisbane and it’s part of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. Photo by: Tourism and Events Queensland

A small historic town, the village of Esk offers a genuine country feel and is perfect for a day trip from Brisbane to the country.

Cafes serve hearty country food, and there are a few gift and antique shops.

A good day to visit the village would be Saturday, where the morning markets support local artists and farmers is always a treat.

It’s perfect for a romantic getaway as it takes you back in time to when things were more minimalist and offers a warm country feel.

Esk is 101 km (62 miles) and about a 1.5-hour drive inland from Brisbane.

15- Visit A Micro Brewery

scenic rim day trips from brisbane
Relaxing at a brewery like the Scenic Rim Brewery is a fantastic day trip from Brisbane. Photo by: Tourism and Events Queensland

Take a slow and scenic drive towards Brisbane’s backyard, a long road winding through breathtaking views of countryside and rainforests, taking you to the Scenic Rim.

With lots of different notes to the variety of beers, spend a day tasting them all and snacking on locally made treats.

Scenic Rim Brewery is housed in a 100-year-old general store and has a restaurant.

After a scenic drive stopping to enjoy the views along the way, this is the perfect place for good beer and food.

Scenic Rim Brewery is at 898 Reckumpilla St, Mount Alford. It’s 98 km (61 miles) from Brisbane and about a 1.5-hour drive to Mount Alford, where you will find the brewery and World Heritage rainforests.

Fortitude Brewing is another popular brewery as it has its own distillery, a rustic restaurant and a cheese shop in the building.

Fortitude Brewing is 72 km (45 miles) from Brisbane at 165 Long Rd, Tamborine Mountain and is about a 1.5-hour drive.

16- Lake Moogerah

short day trips from brisbane sunset
One of the tranquil places to go on a short day trip from Brisbane is Lake Moogerah. Photo by: Tourism and Events Queensland

Lake Moogerah is a tranquil lake and an attractive day trip from Brisbane for a traditional Aussie BBQ at the water’s edge.

Pack a coolbox and enough food for the day, as you can keep busy either doing water sports, boating or walking along the impressive dam wall.

Take the 3 km (1.8 miles) hike to the summit of Mt Edwards.

This is a versatile place to visit with the family for a day of eating, relaxing, hiking or water skiing.

Lake Moogerah is 103 km (64 miles) and about a 1.5-hour drive from Brisbane.

17- Byron Bay

Famous for its beautiful beaches, perfect surfing conditions and spiritual community, Byron Bay is a wonderful place to experience a beach hippy vibe.

There’s plenty to do involving relaxing and eating organic, local and delicious food.

As Byron Bay has excellent surfing waves, it’s a top spot to take a surfing lesson and there are live music events and market stalls on weekends.

Byron Bay is 164 km (101 miles) from Brisbane and a 2.5-hour drive. The trip will take you to NSW, so leave early to fit in as much as possible in this stunning coastal nook.

18- Boonah

Visit the rural town of Boonah, and you will feel like you have travelled through a time machine, with its old buildings, stores and historic atmosphere.

There are statues, buildings and an old clock tower that will remind you of its past.

is deep in some of the world’s heritage sites – making it not only charming but breathtaking as well. This small rural town will feel like

Have a bite to eat in the town, then go on The Falls Drive past Browns Falls, Daggs Falls and Queen Mary Falls for lovely views and scenic lookouts.

Boonah is 87 km from Brisbane and is about a 1.5-hour drive. The Falls Drive is another 100 km (62 miles) and adds about an hour to your trip.

19- Tropical Fruit World

A treat for the taste buds and a must-do day trip from Brisbane, Tropical Fruit World is a farm with over 500 types of fruit.

You can taste different kinds of fruit and learn about them from the friendly staff.

Tropical fruit world also has a cafe with an excellent menu, as all ingredients are homegrown or locally sourced.

A tractor train takes you through all the different tropical trees to get a real hands-on experience.

Tropical Fruit World is 118 km (73 miles) and about a two-hour drive from Brisbane at 29 Duranbah Rd, Duranbah NSW.

20- Go On A Helicopter Pub Crawl

best day trips from brisbane three men getting out of a helicopter
Pterodactyl Helicopters does incredible pub crawls that are a fantastic day trip from Brisbane. Photo by: Tourism and Events Queensland

For a unique experience, how about going on a pub crawl by helicopter?

Stops might include Moreton Island, Beenleigh Distillery to taste local rum and the Veresdale Hotel in farming country.

You will get a bird’s-eye view of the scenery around Brisbane, including Mount Tamborine, Moreton Bay, Straddie and the hinterland.

It’s a day trip from Brisbane you’ll be talking about for the rest of the year.