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Discover the Best Day Trips From Brisbane for a Dreamy Escape

When you need a break from it all, hit the road to discover the best day trips from Brisbane.

Montville (Photo credit: Tourism & Events Queensland)

When you're in need of some inspo outside of Brisbane, hopping in the car for a day trip is easy done. Choose to explore stunning coastlines with big-name tourist attractions, hidden waterfalls, rainforest walks or even island paradises teeming with marine life.

And the fun doesn’t end there. Wineries, sandboarding, snorkelling, boating, treetop skywalks and surf beaches aplenty are all just a car trip away. Want to discover where all these wondrous locations lie? Just keep scrolling for our guide to the best day trips from Brisbane.

Gold Coast (Image Credit: The Langham Gold Coast)

Gold Coast

With holiday vibes kicking year-round, the Gold Coast sure knows how to delight. From iconic surfing spots to designer 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.

Live like a tourist in your own backyard, and spend a day taking 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.

There are so many fun things you can do on the Gold Coast, you’ll be able to make this day trip time and time again.

North Stradbroke Island

Minjerribah (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. If it’s freshwater swimming you’re after then Keyholes, a freshwater swimming lake, is a must.

Otherwise, you can spend the day kayaking, hiking, four-wheel-driving or simply relaxing on the sandy shores.

Moreton Island

Moreton Island

Set sail to an island paradise that is teeming with marine life, sand dunes and national parks. A 75-minute ferry ride from Brisbane, Moreton Island makes for one of the best day trips from Brisbane.

Go sand tobogganing or sand boarding at The Desert (some of the biggest sand dunes around), climb Mount Tempest – the largest stabilised dune in the world or deep dive into the ocean and explore the shipwrecks and offshore reefs. 


Noosa Heads

From national parks to surfing beaches and a world-class dining scene, Noosa Heads is a standout when it comes to coastal getaways, and lucky for Brisbanites, it’s less than two hours away. Meaning, if you’re short on time, Noosa Heads makes for a perfect day trip from Brisbane.

Noosa National Park has coastal walks and hidden beaches in abundance. It’s the perfect place to work up an appetite before settling into a leisurely lunch at one of the many cafes and restaurants that line Hastings Street. For waterplay, Noosa River is the perfect backdrop.

Lamington National Park

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 the goods; waterfalls, forested mountains and about 160km of hiking trails catering to various skill levels. One of the most popular trails is O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat to Morrans Falls, where you’re guaranteed plenty of photo ops along the way.



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 are popular among young families. Add a thriving street art scene into the mix, and you have one amazing Brisbane day trip to make your weekend extra special.

Tamborine Mountain

Tamborine Mountain

A lush mountain haven that was seemingly made for day trips from Brisbane, Tamborine Mountain is pretty as a picture with its small village-like feel and national parkland. Tamborine Rainforest Walk takes you through the middle and upper canopies of the trees, while the Botanic Gardens shine a spotlight on tropical plants.

Go underground at the glowworm caves and stop by the cellar doors. In the national park itself, there are natural swimming holes and walking trails.    

Toowoomba (Image Credit: Visit Toowoomba Region)


Ninety minutes inland of Brisbane, Toowoomba is a country town with a whole lot of personality. One of the few places in Queensland where you can feel all four seasons, plus they have quite the reputation for being a garden city.

Boasting over 150 parks and gardens, you’re guaranteed a quiet spot for a picnic, and the burgeoning foodie scene is sure to delight. If heading out around Spring, check out the events calendar for their annual festival, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.

Bribie Island

Bribie Island

Connected to the mainland by a bridge, Bribie Island is the only Moreton Bay island that you can drive to. With pristine beaches, untouched wilderness, and a marine park with the oldest fish habitat in Queensland (Pumicestone Passage), Bribie Island makes for an incredible day trip from Brisbane. But that is not all this island paradise offers; boutique shopping, restaurants, cafes and galleries all make this island a standout.



Once a popular holiday destination, the seaside village of Redcliffe is experiencing a revival of sorts. Playing to its proud history as one of Brisbane’s earliest settlements, people are once again flocking to its shores.

Here, it’s all about relaxing beaches, beautiful foreshore parks, and a burgeoning dining scene. The man-made Redcliffe Lagoon sits in front of the sea, while another family favourite, Sutton’s Beach has calm bay waters and a playground.

The weekly markets are a real crowd-pleaser, and music buffs will get a kick out of Bee Gees Way. If you time your day trip from Brisbane just right, you may also get a look at the well-known Redcliffe Markets, allowing you to indulge in some local produce, artisanal goodies and local creators.

Warrie Circuit (Springbrook) (Photo credit: Tourism & Events Queensland)

Springbrook National Park

Another gem in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Springbrook National Park is known for its picturesque waterfalls, ancient forests, and panoramic lookouts. The Natural Bridge and Purling Brook Falls are Springbrook’s claim to fame and have made many an Instagram-worthy moment in their time. Your day trip from Brisbane to Springbrook National Park will see you travel through the Gold Coast, so you can pick up some delicious snacks on the way to put together a picnic to enjoy in the serenity of the National Park. Just remember to leave nothing behind, to preserve the stunning surroundings for years to come.

Maleny (Photo credit: Tourism & Events Queensland)

Maleny and Montville

A short day trip from Brisbane and closely side by side, Maleny and Montville are two charming hinterland towns in the Sunshine Coast region. You can easily spend a day exploring these sleepy spots, traipsing through boutique shops, art galleries and cafes. There are plenty of bush trails and waterways to wander through, or you can take a scenic drive through the Glass House Mountains to chase a connection to nature.

Mount Coot-Tha (Photo credit: Tourism & Events Queensland)

Mount Coot-tha

You won’t need to travel far at all on this day trip from Brisbane! Just a hop, skip and a jump outside of inner Brisbane lies Mount Coot-Tha, a mini-metropolis of adventures for your upcoming day trip.

Take in panoramic views of the city skyline, take a bushwalk, dine at the cafe or the restaurant, or explore the gorgeous Botanical Gardens. Almost everything at Mount Coot-Tha is free, so it makes for an easy and low-cost escape from the city when you want to wind down on your weekend.

Bitten by the wanderlust bug? Perhaps it’s time to book a proper vacay away from the city’s centre. Plan your dream itinerary in Tropical North Queensland, or escape into the bold landscape of Australia’s outback for a new connection to the countryside.

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