Top Six Day Trips out of Brisbane

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A perfect base to explore further afield, Brisbane has many options for travellers keen to see more of south-east Queensland. These day trips from Brisbane are highly recommended for whether you want to explore the Hinterland region or the beaches of the Sunshine Coast or nearby islands. 

O’Reilly’s Rainforest 

Just under a two-hour drive from Brisbane is the World Heritage listed Lamington National Park and O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, which plays a big part in the conservation of some species of threatened birds. Start exploring the natural beauty with the Tree Top Walk, a 180-metre walkway around the rainforest canopy with nine bridges suspended 15 metres above the rainforest floor. 

For a magical view above the trees, climb the enclosed ladders at the strangler fig lookouts. You can also pick up some bird food ($4 per packet) and feed the lorikeets before enjoying a bushwalk to one of several waterfalls. 

Insider Tip: Look out for the bowerbirds. To attract a mate, the males collect blue items to create a colourful and intricate nest – making for a very cool photo. In the evening, take a ranger-led tour for a spectacular view of a gully filled with glow worms. 

Moreton Island Water Play

Take the ferry to Moreton Island, the third largest sand island in the world, with great diving, glorious beaches and steep sand dunes. Watch the wild dolphins come in for nightly feeding, go snorkelling among the Tangalooma wrecks, experience four-wheel-driving on the beach, and look out for whales, dugongs and turtles. This little piece of paradise is just 40 kilometres north-east of Brisbane. 

Historic Ipswich 

Ipswich, Queensland’s oldest provincial city, is a 40-minute drive or an hour by train west of Brisbane. Here you can learn more about the local history at the Ipswich Art Gallery, which offers several heritage and historical exhibits. 

Pick up your own piece of yesteryear at the Ipswich Antique Centre located in a restored 1895 heritage-listed building, and explore Queens Park, the Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve and the River Heart Parklands – all within walking distance from the CBD. After a day of walking about, recharge at Four Hearts Brewing Pumpyard Bar and Brewery – a microbrewery located in a century-old historic building – with an ale or a beer ice cream! 

Cedar Creek Rock Pools 

Escape Brisbane’s heat and cool off in the refreshing waters at Cedar Creek Rock Pools at Samford, a 45-minute drive northwest of the CBD, not to be confused with Cedar Creek in Mount Tamborine to the south. Bring your swimming gear and soak the afternoon away in the cool waters. 

Nearby Andy Williams Park has barbecue facilities if you plan to do lunch outdoors, but otherwise stop at the atmospheric Samford Valley Hotel and enjoy a gourmet pizza. 

The Sunny Sunshine Coast 

Just under a two-hour drive north of Brisbane you can dip your toes in the water at Noosa’s famous beaches. Despite it being a tourist mecca, Noosa really is the best place to soak up the laid-back vibe of the Sunshine Coast. 

At Noosa Heads, take a dip in the ocean at Main Beach, eat with the locals at the surf club, browse the boutiques on Hastings Street and stroll the beach-hugging boardwalk into Noosa National Park. 

Redcliffe Discoveries

Head about 40 minutes north of Brisbane’s CBD and you’ll end up on the Redcliffe Peninsula, home to family-friendly beaches and some of the best sunset views around Brisbane. Visit Pelican Park to see the pelicans gather in the mornings, and do some jive talkin’ at Bee Gees Way, a multi-media installation that honours the Gibb brothers who grew up in Redcliffe and began their musical career there. 

Take a swim in Suttons Beach or visit the Redcliffe Museum to learn how Redcliffe was the site of the first European settlement in Queensland. If you’re visiting on a Sunday, be sure to make your way to the Redcliffe Markets for your pick of fresh produce, homewares, fashion and craft goods.


Base yourself in the heart of the city at Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane or Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane Anzac Square. With kitchen and laundry facilities in every apartment, these inner-city hotels are perfect for anyone wanting to self-cater, particularly guests seeking family accommodation or a little extra space. They make the perfect base for day-tripping from Brisbane in any direction. 

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