Do you study or work? Can’t go on long holidays out of Brisbane? Well I guess you don’t have to, the other option is to go on day trips. Day trips are the best way to enjoy your weekday or weekend while exploring nearby places. If you live in Brisbane then you are very lucky. Brisbane is surrounded with amazing exotic places. Let me tell you my top 5 destinations for a day trip, which I always prefer to go out with my friends and family.
5. Surfers Paradise Gold Coast
Well, Surfers Paradise is mainly popular for the surfing on the main beach. But there is much more to explore than just walking on the sand or swimming in the ocean. Unlimited fun is waiting for you in the Gold Coast. Popular activities in the Gold Coast are SkyPoint Observation Deck, SkyPoint Climb, Time Zone, Aquaduck and Bowling. A new iFLY Indoor Skydiving attraction has been opened recently.
Food: Gold Coast is the right place to eat food from different origins. It is available right next to the beach.
How to get there: Apart from personal vehicle, train service is also available from Brisbane to Gold Coast. Plan your journey using the Translink website.
Quick tip: Same as Brisbane, parking is an issue in the Gold Coast. So wherever you see parking available, just park there. Do not expect to find parking in Surfers Paradise.
4. Mt Tamborine
There is an endless list of activities in Mt Tamborine rainforest. It will be better to plan, what you are going to explore, before popping out there. Main attractions are Rainforest Sky walk, Botanic Garden and nature at its best, Waterfalls. If you’re looking forward to doing some daring adventurous activities then go to the Thunderbird Park. Breathtaking courageous activities like paragliding can be experienced at the Look-Out point.
Food: Gallery Walk is food hub, having a number of different restaurants.
How to get there: Cheapest way to reach there is by using personal vehicle. Public transport is very expensive and time consuming option.
Quick tip: Don’t get lost on the roads and drive through the mountains carefully.
3. Springbrook National Park
Same as Mt Tamborine, Springbrook National Park can not be explored in one day. This rainforest has multiple lookout points. Even, there is a lookout point called “Best of All the Lookout“, which gives you the breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains. If you are interested in seeing two waterfalls at the same time then go for Canyon lookout point. It gives the spectacular sight of the Rainbow Fall and Twin Fall. The walk from the Canyon lookout point to the bottom of the Twin Falls is one of the best bush walks. Where swimming in the amazing natural pool at the bottom of this waterfall is allowed. The Natural Bridge is also a must see, it is carved by the water though the rocks (see the picture below). The glow worm cave is also a unique thing to see in itself. Make sure you go in the night to see the worms glow.
Food: There are options available across the national park but it is better to pack your lunch and enjoy a picnic.
How to get there: Best way to go there is by your own car.
Quick tip: Make sure you wear a proper outfit to walk through the rainforest.
2. Queen Mary Falls
I bet you might not have heard of this place before. Queen Mary Falls is the place where one of the highest waterfall can be viewed from the bottom of the falls. When you leave the busy city life, driving through the country side and then go straight into the mountains, trust me, it is a great experience in itself. Apart from the driving experience the walk to the waterfall across the flowing water, with cool breeze and adventures crisscross path, is the best thing you will experience in life.
Food: There are options available on the way to the waterfall but not at the actual place. So it is better to carry your food.
How to get there: It is situated to the south west of Brisbane almost 150kms away. The only way to reach there is by personal vehicle.
Quick tip: Pack your lunch with you and a blanket for a picnic.
1. North Stradbroke Island
The best place to feel Mother Nature while leaving behind the hectic city life is North Stradbroke Island. 50 minutes ferry trip can take you to the tremendous Stradbroke Island. I personally will recommend you to take a car on the ferry because of the limited bus service on the island. Buses can take you to only half of the island such as to Cylinder Beach and lookout point. The true beauty of the island are Brown Lake and Blue Lake. Brown Lake is merely 500 metres on the side of the road, whereas for the Blue Lake, 4 kms of bush walking is waiting for you. There are special 4WD tracks on the island through the rainforest.
Food: There are plenty of options available, depending on your choice.
How to get there: Go via first ferry which departs around 5:00AM from Cleveland Ferry Terminal and come back on the last ferry which departs from the Dunwich Ferry Terminal around 7:00PM. Actual timing can be seen on the Water Taxi Timetable website.
Quick tip: I will recommend to go to Blue lake and Brown lake first and then in the evening its good to go for a lookout point (unless you want to do swimming).