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Day Trips from Brisbane

When it comes to Australian cities, Brisbane is often underrated compared to the country’s other major tourist destinations. While travellers seek out Sydney and Melbourne, they ignore Brisbane at their own expense. The city is located near the gorgeous Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast of Australia. It is an area with some of Australia’s most splendid sights and many of them can be seen on days trip from Brisbane.

Tourists to Brisbane are spoiled for the amount of day trip destinations located near the city. Beautiful beaches, incredible islands, and wonderful wildlife and nature parks are all available to explore on a day away from Brisbane. If you are an outdoor lover, there is plenty to see and do. The area’s immense walking trails are great for hiking. You can also visit the Australia Zoo to learn more about the country’s wildlife. If shopping and visiting cool cafes is your thing, then there are plenty of great places to stop off as well.

There is something for everyone on a day trip from Brisbane. With so much to see and do just a few kilometres outside of Queensland city, it is no wonder that it is a popular base for travellers.

Surfers Paradise

With a name like Surfers Paradise , it has to be good, right? You will find the gorgeous beaches of Surfers Paradise just two hours south of Brisbane. Located on the Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise is a hub for tourists and surfers looking for great waves. The area is always filled with life and has an incredible atmosphere throughout the year.

If surfing and spending days lounging at the beach isn’t your thing, then head to the town’s glitzy boutiques to buy some designer clothes. You will find the best shopping and entertainment options on Cavill Avenue.

One of the most popular tourist attractions is SkyPoint Observation Deck. The observation deck soars 230 metres in the air and offers 360-degree views across the Gold Coast and north towards Brisbane. If you have had enough of the beach and shopping, head to one of the theme parks located around the area. Movie World, SeaWorld, and Dreamworld are three of the popular theme parks that welcome visitors from across Australia every day.

To finish off a trip to Surfers Paradise, head out on a humpback whale spotting tour. The waters off of the coast are popular routes for migrating humpback whales. You can see the mighty whales as they swim through the region on their way to find food.

Springbrook National Park

Hit the road south of Brisbane to find Springbrook National Park , some 100 kilometres away. The park is a part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. It is a park filled with natural wonders and you can explore it on a day trip from Brisbane. Springbrook is a must-visit destination with its waterfalls, canyons, and eucalyptus forest. The fragrant smells of the eucalyptus trees are enchanting and make for the perfect scent on a hike through the lush park.

Canyon Lookout is the most popular viewing point in the park. It offers visitors views of the surrounding Gold Coast. You will also find the Best of All Lookout, which provides visitors breath-taking views of New South Wales.

The hiking trails are the main reason to visit the national park. Outdoor lovers will fall head over heels for the varying terrain and challenging trails. There are cliff-top hikes, circuits that take you past gushing waterfalls, and dusty trails that will get the heart pumping. Springbrook National Park is a part of the Q150 Icons, a list of must-visit cultural hotspots in Queensland. It truly is a great place to spend a day as you get away from the hustle and bustle of Brisbane.


Redcliffe is situated between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast and is roughly 106 kilometres away from Queensland city. If you are a music fan, Redcliffe is a popular place to visit. Why? It was the childhood home of the Gibb brothers, who famously played in the Bee Gees. They spent part of their youth in Red Cliffe in the 1950s. Redcliffe celebrates their native sons with a 70-metre multimedia walkway between the waterfront and Sutton Street. It is free to explore 24-hours a day.

The waterfront, Redcliffe Parade, is a great place to spend some time wandering around a beautiful day. The town’s seaside location makes it ideal for seafood lovers. Boat hire allows you to hit the high seas and explore the coastline. From June to November, you can spot humpback whales off the coast. Redcliffe has been updated over the years but it has retained its charm as an old-time fishing village.

The great thing about Red Cliffe’s location is that you can leave Brisbane on the way to the Sunshine Coast and stop off for a few hours. If you need a relaxing day out or want to let the kids run about for a while, then be sure to stop off in the quaint town.

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo is home to the legendary Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. The amazing zoo is just an hour north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast. If you expect Australia Zoo to simply be your typical animal experience, then you are in store for a rude awakening. It is completely different than anything you have ever seen previously.

The animal experiences are incredible and the zoo’s staff works 24-hours a day to provide you with an unbelievably fun time. Irwin may have died in 2006, but the family continues to run the famous wildlife conservation.

Australia Zoo covers 110 acres and is home to some of the most exotic animals in the world. You will find Sumatran tigers, elephants, zebras, cheetahs, and rhinos roaming around the zoo. Crocoseum is the best reason to visit the animal habitat. You will see animal shows, demonstrations, and feedings throughout the day. A trip to Australia Zoo takes all day, so schedule you day trip from Brisbane carefully to spend as much time as possible taking in the animals.

North Stradbroke Island

Known locally as ‘Straddie’, North Stradbroke Island offers up a laid-back atmosphere full of days at the beach. If you want a quiet day trip away from the hustle and bustle of Brisbane, then this is the place to go. Straddie is 57 kilometres from Brisbane and you will find the stereotypical Aussie holiday treats on the island. Golden sand beaches, amazing surfing, and unique wildlife can all be found there.

Although only 57 kilometres away from Brisbane, it takes over two hours to get to North Stradbroke Island due to the ferry. The ferry runs from Brisbane’s southern suburb Cleveland. May through October is an ideal time to visit Straddie for whale watching. Migrating humpback whales make their way through the area and the ferry makes a great viewpoint to see them.

Even if you don’t fancy taking the ferry across from Cleveland to North Stradbroke Island or vice versa, you can see the migrating whales from the shore with a set of binoculars. Humpback whales swim close enough to the shoreline that it is possible to spot them from land. If you do make the trip across the water to North Stradbroke Island, you will be rewarded with endless summer adventures. Cycle the island and hire a tent for glamping in style for a truly unique holiday.

Moreton Island

You can reach Moreton Island via ferry from Brisbane’s city centre. The ferry journey takes around 75 minutes. Once you reach the island, you will find it to be one of the most peaceful locations around the Brisbane area. It is claimed that Moreton Island is the perfect remedy for Brisbane locals dealing with stressful work days thanks to its landscape. The island is 40 kilometres off the Aussie coast. If you happen to know someone with a private boat or fancy renting one, you can make the trip on your own rather than the ferry.

The island is the third largest sand island in the world. You are bound to see Brisbanites wandering Moreton Island since it is a popular day trip destination for locals. Outdoor lovers have plenty to do once they arrive. You will find freshwater lagoons and creeks, lush beaches, and fields of wildflowers. Around 98% of Moreton Island is protected as a national park.

Visitors to the island enjoy snorkelling around the shoreline, hiking, and sandboarding down the rising dunes that are found there. Just off the shore are 15 shipwrecks. You can scuba dive in the shallow waters to explore the wreckage. Tours are available on the island that take you to see its many wonderful spots.

Brisbane is a thriving paradise with a cultural scene all its own. Its location to the nearby Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast makes it ideal for day trips. So, if you want a home base that allows you to explore further afield and see some of Australia’s best treasures, then book a trip to Brisbane and plan a day trip or two.