10 Best Day Trips from Brisbane, Australia

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Keep reading to discover the best day trips from Brisbane to see more of what Australia has to offer.

Taking a day trip from Brisbane is the perfect opportunity to escape the busy city and immerse yourself in the diverse landscapes, attractions, and experiences that Queensland has to offer. The surrounding region is FULL of natural wonders, charming towns, and adventure-filled destinations waiting to be explored.

I have always been AMAZED at the diversity and variety of day trip options from Brisbane. Simply renting a car and driving an hour or two in any direction – which I did for 14 days while visiting Queensland – and you will be welcomed by a completely different landscape, culture, and activity options.

Below are the top day trips for you to enjoy!

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10 Best Day Trips from Brisbane, Australia

Moreton Island

Moreton Island is a stunning natural beauty with diverse range of activities. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or wildlife encounters, Moreton Island offers an unforgettable day trip experience.

🛥️ How to Get There: To reach Moreton Island from Brisbane, you will take a ferry from the Port of Brisbane. Ferries depart regularly.
Time to get there: Brisbane to Moreton Island takes ~ 75 minutes by ferry.

Top 5 Things to Do While There:

  1. Snorkeling and Diving: Explore the Tangalooma wrecks, a popular snorkeling and diving spot teeming with marine life.
  2. Sandboarding: Experience the thrill of sandboarding down the island’s towering sand dunes.
  3. Champagne Pools: Relax in the natural rock pools of the Champagne Pools, overlooking the sparkling ocean.
  4. Bushwalking: Discover the island’s lush forests and scenic bushwalking trails.
  5. Dolphin Feeding: Enjoy the opportunity to feed wild dolphins at Tangalooma Resort.

Noosa

A visit to Noosa promises stunning natural landscapes, beautiful beaches, vibrant dining and shopping scene, and opportunities for outdoor adventures. This is one of my favourite day trips from Brisbane that is more of a local gem than a touristy hot spot!

🚗 How to Get There: Drive along the Bruce Highway, ~136 kilometers north of the city. If you don’t drive, you can take a bus from Brisbane to Noosa and back.
Time to get there: Brisbane to Noosa takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours by car.

Top 5 Things to Do While There:

  1. Noosa National Park: Explore the coastal trails, spot wildlife, and enjoy stunning ocean views.
  2. Noosa Main Beach: Relax on the pristine sandy shores or take a dip in the azure waters.
  3. Hastings Street: Stroll along the vibrant street lined with boutiques, cafes, and galleries.
  4. Noosa Everglades: Take a boat tour or kayak through this unique ecosystem.
  5. Noosa River: Enjoy water activities such as kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or a leisurely river cruise.

Read More: 3 Week Australia Itinerary


Lamington National Park

Lamington National Park is best known for its breathtaking natural beauty, diverse hiking trails, stunning waterfalls, and opportunities for wildlife spotting. It is such a unique place that I absolutely LOVE! It feels like you’ve left Australia and are in the jungles or Fiji.

🚗 How to Get There: Drive south along the Pacific Motorway (M1) and then follow the signs to the park entrance.
Time to get there: ~1.5 to 2 hours by car.

Top 5 Things to Do While There:

  1. Hiking: Explore the park’s extensive network of hiking trails, including the popular Border Track and the Toolona Creek Circuit.
  2. Waterfalls: Visit stunning waterfalls such as Moran Falls, Elabana Falls, and Box Log Falls.
  3. Birdwatching: Spot a diverse array of bird species, including the rare Albert’s lyrebird.
  4. Treetop Walk: Experience the rainforest from above on the O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk.
  5. Wildlife Viewing: Keep an eye out for native wildlife such as wallabies, pademelons, and brush-tailed possums.

Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast offers a diverse range of attractions, including stunning beaches, lush hinterland, and unique cultural experiences.

Highlights include the beaches of Noosa, the wildlife encounters at Australia Zoo, the vibrant atmosphere of Eumundi Markets, the breathtaking views of Glass House Mountains, and the relaxed coastal vibe of Mooloolaba.

🚗 How to Get There: Take the Bruce Highway (M1) northbound.
Time to get there: 1.5 – 2 hours

Top 5 Things to Do While There:

  1. Visit Noosa: Relax on the pristine beaches, explore the National Park, or enjoy shopping and dining along Hastings Street.
  2. Australia Zoo: Experience close encounters with native wildlife at the iconic zoo founded by Steve Irwin.
  3. Eumundi Markets: Browse unique arts, crafts, and local produce at the vibrant Eumundi Markets.
  4. Glass House Mountains: Hike or drive to scenic lookouts for panoramic views of the iconic Glass House Mountains.
  5. Mooloolaba Beach: Enjoy swimming, surfing, or dining at the lively seaside town of Mooloolaba.

Byron Bay

A Byron Bay promises stunning coastal scenery, a relaxed vibe, a diverse range of activities, and vibrant cultural scene. Byron Bay offers something for every traveler, making it a perfect day trip destination from Brisbane.

🚗 / 🚎 How to Get There: Drive south along the Pacific Motorway (M1) OR take a bus (BOOK HERE).
Time to get there: 2 hours.

Top 5 Things to Do While There:

  1. Visit Cape Byron Lighthouse: Enjoy panoramic views from Australia’s most easterly point.
  2. Relax on the Beaches: Spend time at iconic beaches like Main Beach and Wategos Beach.
  3. Explore Byron Bay Hinterland: Discover lush rainforests, waterfalls, and charming villages.
  4. Surfing: Take advantage of world-class surf breaks along the coastline.
  5. Visit Byron Bay Markets: Browse local arts, crafts, and delicious food at the markets.

North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island is one of the best day trips from Brisbane for those seeking stunning beaches, abundant wildlife, and opportunities for outdoor activities such as swimming, surfing, and whale watching.

🛥️ How to Get There: Catch a ferry from Cleveland, located approximately 30 kilometers east of the city.
Time to get there: 45 minutes.

Top 5 Things to Do While There:

  1. Amity Point: Relax on the beach, enjoy a picnic, or go fishing off the jetty.
  2. Point Lookout: Spot whales from the scenic headland during whale watching season.
  3. Brown Lake: Swim in the tranquil waters of this natural freshwater lake.
  4. North Gorge Walk: Take a scenic walk along the coastline and spot marine life.
  5. Main Beach: Enjoy swimming, surfing, and sunbathing on this pristine stretch of sand.

Bribie Island

Bribie Island is known for its beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, and opportunities for outdoor recreation such as swimming, fishing, and kayaking.

🚗 / 🛥️ How to Get There: Drive north along the Bruce Highway (M1) and then follow the signs to Bribie Island OR catch a ferry from Sandstone Point, located north of Brisbane.
Time to get there: 1 to 1.5 hours by car.

Top 5 Things to Do While There:

  1. Beach Activities: Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing on the island’s pristine beaches.
  2. National Park Exploration: Explore Bribie Island National Park, home to diverse ecosystems and scenic walking trails.
  3. Fishing: Cast a line from the shore, jetty, or take a fishing charter to catch local seafood.
  4. Kayaking: Paddle through the calm waters of the Pumicestone Passage, spotting marine life along the way.
  5. Picnicking: Enjoy a leisurely picnic at one of the island’s scenic picnic spots overlooking the water.

Mount Tamborine

A visit to Mount Tamborine promises picturesque scenery, a charming village atmosphere, and a diverse range of attractions, including wineries, galleries, and natural wonders. I LOVED visiting Mount Tamborine and was blown away by the hikes and landscapes in this area.

🚗 How to Get There: Drive south along the Pacific Motorway (M1).
Time to get there: 1 hour.

Top 5 Things to Do While There:

  1. Gallery Walk: Explore the charming village of Gallery Walk, home to art galleries, boutique shops, and cafes.
  2. Bushwalking: Discover the lush rainforest trails and scenic lookouts in Tamborine National Park.
  3. Winery Tour: Visit local wineries and enjoy wine tasting sessions amid picturesque vineyards.
  4. Glow Worm Caves: Explore the fascinating Glow Worm Caves and witness the magical glow of these bioluminescent creatures.
  5. Skywalk: Experience the rainforest from above on the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, offering stunning views from elevated walkways.

Gold Coast

A day trip to the Gold Coast is perfect for those seeking stunning beaches, exciting attractions, a vibrant shopping and dining scene, and opportunities for outdoor adventures and relaxation.

🚗 / 🚂 How to Get There: Drive south along the Pacific Motorway (M1) OR take a train from Brisbane to various stations on the Gold Coast line.
Time to get there: 1 to 1.5 hours by car or around 1 to 1.5 hours by train.

Top 5 Things to Do While There:

  1. Surfing: Enjoy world-class surf breaks at iconic beaches like Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta.
  2. Theme Parks: Experience thrilling rides and attractions at popular theme parks such as Dreamworld, Sea World, and Warner Bros. Movie World.
  3. Beach Activities: Relax on the golden sands, swim in the sparkling ocean, or take a leisurely stroll along the coastline.
  4. Shopping: Explore vibrant shopping precincts like Pacific Fair and Robina Town Centre for retail therapy.
  5. Dining and Nightlife: Indulge in delicious cuisine at waterfront restaurants and experience the vibrant nightlife of Surfers Paradise.

Springbrook National Park

A day trip to Springbrook National Park includes its stunning waterfalls, lush rainforest scenery, and panoramic lookout points offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

🚗 How to Get There: Drive south along the Pacific Motorway (M1).
Time to get there: 2 hours.

Top 5 Things to Do While There:

  1. Natural Bridge: Marvel at the stunning rock formation and waterfall at Natural Bridge.
  2. Twin Falls Circuit: Embark on a scenic hike through lush rainforest to discover picturesque waterfalls.
  3. Best of All Lookout: Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape from this breathtaking lookout point.
  4. Purling Brook Falls: Admire the cascading waterfall and lush vegetation from various viewing platforms.
  5. Canyon Lookout: Take in sweeping views of the canyon and distant coastline from this popular lookout.

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SSW