The best way to discover Queensland is to leave Brisbane city behind. If you want to get out of town and explore, but have limited time and budget, I've got you covered. These day trips from Brisbane are perfect for anyone wanting to experience Brisbane's nearby gems without going too far from the city.
8 Brisbane Day Trips
No matter what time of year, these day trips from Brisbane will not only give you an unforgettable experience but also introduce you to some of Queensland’s most iconic locations. So pack your things and read on for some insider tips.
If you are into wildlife, you have to visit Australia Zoo. This is the home of Steve Irwin's life work, where you can see many different animals from all over the world, including Australia's famous crocodiles. The Australia Zoo focuses on conservation and education.
At the zoo, you can hold and pet iconic Aussie animals like the kangaroo or koala. You definitely won't forget seeing a show in the "Crocoseum." When we went we got to see Steve's son and wife, Robert and Terri, run the show and hand-feed crocs!
If you’re coming to Queensland, Surfers Paradise is a must. Surfer’s Paradise is the Gold Coast’s famous tourist and party precinct and is renowned for being one of the most iconic beaches in the world. Located just 90 minutes from Brisbane, this place is full of fun and excitement. You can go for a swim, surf, lie on the beach, and enjoy a cocktail at one of the coastal bars.
These sun-soaked buildings are stunning. The shopping and food scene is worth spending an extra night or two if you have time. They also have lots of cool night markets along the beach. We had a wonderful stay at the Hilton. SeaWorld, Warner Bros Movie World, and Dreamworld are a short drive away if you're up for a bit more adventure.
We spent a dreamy weekend in Tamborine. The hinterland is an hour inland from Brisbane and features hiking trails, waterfalls, and stunning overlooks. We explored Witches Falls and loved it.
Hinterland: 1 : a region lying inland from a coast. 2: a region remote from urban areas.
They have a tiny downtown with cute bookshops, cafes, and shopping boutiques -- perfect for a day trip. The surrounding area features several wineries, and we stayed at the darling Witches Falls Cottages which gave us a complimentary wine flight at Witches Winery.
On our way out, we stopped off at the Glow Worm Caves, which featured live glow worms that are endangered and only found in this part of the world.
Burleigh Heads is a beautiful and scenic headland that sits on the Gold Coast. It’s the perfect place to go to admire Australia's stunning coastline. Apart from admiring the view of the sparkling blue water, you can also go for a walk on the rugged Queensland coastal path, and step into nature. If you're lucky you'll spot a kookaburra or iguana.
Burleigh Beach is one of the most famous tourist spots on the Gold Coast and is a great place to spend an afternoon. If you are feeling adventurous, you can take a surfing lesson.
If you’re visiting between May and September, you’re in for a real treat. This is the perfect time to go whale watching in Moreton Bay, just 90 minutes from Brisbane. You’ll have the opportunity to view humpback and migrating whales as they travel along the East Coast of Australia.
You’ll get up close and personal with these gentle giants as they breach and observe their behavior from the decks of the boats. You can even see baby whales called calves as they swim with their mothers.
If you are into arts and music, Byron Bay is the place for you. This is the home of many music festivals and artists, and you can visit their studios and attend live music events all year round. You can also visit the famous Cape Byron walk, a trail along the coastline that leads to a lighthouse.
Byron Bay retains its laid-back surfer vibe despite its increasing popularity, and while finding a parking spot can sometimes be challenging, you're sure to find yourself a good wave and space on the beach at any of its nine stunning beaches. Byron Bay is one of Australia’s most popular destinations. It’s about two hours from Brisbane and is located across the border in New South Wales.
Coolangatta offers a peaceful seaside retreat for visitors an hour south of Brisbane. There are lots of things to see and do, including beautiful beaches, fun activities, and good food. If you are into surfing, you have to visit Coolangatta. It’s one of the country's best places to learn to surf, and there are plenty of great surf schools nearby.
Coolangatta is Queensland's most southerly town and borders the Gold Coast to the north and New South Wales border to the south. It's also where the Gold Coast airport is located.
We had a dreamy dinner at Baskk Italian and loved the 4 Pines Brewery. We loved the food and service in this small town. We stayed in the Wyndham, which has magnificent shoreline views! We woke up two days in a row to a sunrise we'll never forget.
Wellington Point is a small coastal town near Brisbane. You can also walk across the ocean to King Island when the tide is low, or kayak or paddle board around the gentle point. There are also plenty of great places to eat or have a coffee in and around Wellington Point as well.
If you're looking for a leisurely afternoon near Brisbane, this one might be your best bet. Wellington Point is only 35 minutes from the city.
Brisbane is a lovely city, but if you want to get away and explore nature, the best way is to go on a day trip. These day trips from Brisbane are perfect for anyone visiting the Brisbane area for a few days.
No matter what time of year, these day trips will give you an unforgettable experience and introduce you to some of the state’s most beautiful locations. If you’ve only got 48 hours, check out this post.