Check out these awesome itineraries for serious summertime fun!
Cuddle an alpaca
They really are the cutest creatures and at Mountview Alpaca Farm at O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards, they have the cutest names too. Thor, Noodle, Pancake and Ed Sheeran (he even has red hair like his famous namesake) are just a few of the furry friends we met on our visit to this lush green farm in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Alpaca experiences start at $18 for 15 minutes. You’ll walk your alpaca on a lead around the grounds and you can also buy food to feed them. Such fun. Just be sure to book ahead as it gets busy in holiday times.
Mountview Alpaca Farm, 852 Lamington National Park Rd, Canungra, open Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, Sat & Sun 10am-4pm. mountviewfarm.com.au
Breathe the country air
Maleny is a must if you have a hankering for some sweet mountain air. Get here bright and early for your best chance to spot a platypus in Obi Obi Creek, which runs through this town high on the Blackall Range, 90 minutes north of Brisbane by car. The platypus viewing platform is on the Maleny Trail, a 6.7km (return) walk from Maleny Showgrounds. Afterwards, shop on Maple Street for books, antiques and gourmet eats and be sure to try an award-winning meat pie from the Maleny Pie Guy. visitsunshinecoasthinterland.com.au
Step back in time
Toowoomba is famous for its annual Carnival of Flowers, when the city’s public gardens break out in a riot of springtime colour, but this inland city about 120km west of Brisbane is worth a visit any time of year. Start at Picnic Point Lookout, perched high on the Great Dividing Range with its panoramic views of the Lockyer Valley, then admire Toowoomba’s glorious camphor laurel-lined streets and period homes before taking a trip back in time at the Cobb & Co Museum to the era of horse-drawn carriages and steam trains. At the museum you will find interactive displays and workshops in time-honoured trades such as silversmithing, blacksmithing and millinery. southernqueenslandcountry.com.au
Take a walk on the wild side
Want to immerse yourself in a 40 million-year-old rainforest? You got it. Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland is an ecological gem, right on our doorstep. For one of the best views in the forest, visit O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk, a 180m boardwalk made up of nine suspension bridges 15m in the air. It’s a free walk nestled in the rainforest canopy and you can learn about various species of flora along the way and enjoy the view from two observation decks. oreillys.com.au
Explore the cosmos …
… without leaving Brisbane. That’s right. You can explore the great unknown from the comfort of the Cosmic Skydome at the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium at Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha. The Skydome is a 12.5m-diameter projection dome which is now showing various films including Explore the Cosmos. Produced by Melbourne Planetarium and narrated by Australian actor Geoffrey Rush, Explore the Cosmos probes the early Universe and the forces that shaped it. Tickets are $10 for adults with bookings on 3403 2578 or [email protected] Check here for updated show schedules and be sure to allow time for a stroll through the gardens afterwards. Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, 152 Mt Coot-tha Road, Mt Coot-tha.