Nothing planned for the weekend? I’ve got you covered.
One reason Brisbane is such a liveable city is that it has a multitude of day trips in every direction. Outdoor lovers are especially spoilt for choice with national parks, picturesque waterfalls and majestic mountains just waiting to be explored.
Here’s a few of the top spots only a couple of hours drive from Brisbane. So grab some friends, hop in the car and head out to these scenic spots.
#1 Lamington National Park
Here you will find walking trails, caves, swimming holes, waterfalls and rainforest views all on offer!
Lamington National Park has two sections – Binna Burra and Green Mountains – which are reached from different access points.
The Binna Burra section is the closest to Brisbane and is about a 90 minute drive. Caves Circuit or the Gwongoorool Rockpool track are moderate trails that offer eucalypt and rainforest views along a winding path.
The Green Mountains section (better known as O’Reilly’s) will take about two hours to reach from Brisbane. Recommended trails are the easy Moran’s Falls, which takes you to the top of a beautiful waterfall, or the scenic 10.9km Box Forest Circuit, which winds through lush rainforest and past several small waterfalls.
You can also head over to the Tree Top Walkway. It’s a short but beautiful walk that takes you 16 metres up into the rainforest canopy along a series of hanging bridges. Climb up to a 30 metre platform into a fig tree for views of the surrounding area.
#2 Noosa National Park
Allow about two hours for the drive to Noosa from Brisbane. Head to the Noosa Surf Club for a feed while looking out on to the beach – maybe even hire a paddleboard for an hour or two – then head down to the Noosa National Park.
The Coastal Track starts from the carpark at the end of Park Road. The trail offers beautiful coastal views at every turn and you might even spot a koala or two up in the trees, or dolphins and turtles swimming not far from shore.
The Coastal Track winds past Tea Tree Bay, Winch and Picnic Cove. The full track is 11km return but even doing just a short section of it will provide you with spectacular views. You can break up the walk with a swim stop at one of the beaches along the way.
#3 North Stradbroke Island
Water taxis to North Stradbroke Island depart daily from the Cleveland Ferry Terminal on Brisbane’s bayside every hour starting between 5.30am and 5pm, and meet with a local bus.
Take the bus up to Point Lookout and follow the signs to the North Gorge boardwalk – an easy 1.2km walk along the headland to take in great coastal views and the wild gorge carved into the cliffs.
Look for the blowhole, and if you’re there between June and November – keep your eyes peeled for migrating whales – as well as dolphins and turtles.
There’s a number of beaches across the island including several within walking distance of Point Lookout.
The return water taxi trip to North Stradbroke Island is $20. You can just walk up, buy a ticket from the ticket office, and get on your way.
#4 Glasshouse Mountains
The Glasshouse Mountains are located about 90 minute drive north of Brisbane.
For spectacular views over the Glasshouse Mountains head up Mt Beerburrum or Mt Ngungun.
Don’t feel like walking? You can also get a good view of the Glasshouse Mountains from Mary Cairncross Reserve and then explore the Sunshine Coast Hinterland towns of Maleny and Montville.
Want to go for swim? Then head to Kondalilla Falls at Montville.
#5 Springbrook National Park
Springbrook National Park is a waterfall lover’s paradise and it’s only about a 90 minute drive from Brisbane. You can check out Purling Brook Falls from the lookout only metres from the carpark, or take the 2km hike down to the base.
From the Tallanbana Picnic Area, you can reach Twin Falls with a relaxing 30 minute walk along an easy trail fringed by huge boulders.
About 20 minutes drive up the road from Purling Brook Falls, you can take a relaxing short walk to the Natural Arch waterfall.
Aren’t we spoilt?
Enjoy! If you know of any other great day trips, please share!
Lisa Owen is a Brisbane local following her dreams to travel to as many places as she can. She loves to share her travel stories, photography, hiking adventures, and food discoveries along the way.
When at home, she works in public relations but makes the most of her weekends by discovering hidden gems in South-East Queensland’s great outdoors.