5 Weekend Trips From Brisbane
By Laura Hitchins
While Brisbane is a great place to live, sometimes you just need to get out of town for a bit. Thankfully, there are plenty of options for weekend trips just a stone’s throw away from the city. Check out these five top spots within easy reach of Brisbane to make the most of your next long weekend.
#(1) GOLD COAST
Just an hour's drive south of Brisbane, the Gold Coast is famous for both its beaches and its nightlife. Take your pick of white, sandy beaches from The Spit to Currumbin and spend the day enjoying crystal clear waters. If you're into surfing, the Gold Coast is a must-visit. With waves that are some of the best in Australia, both seasoned surfers and even newbies can give it a go with plenty of surf schools and rentals available.
For the adventurous, you can get your adrenaline pumping at Dreamworld or Movieworld - or take it easy with a meander through the extraordinary hinterland and discover secluded bushwalks and quaint waterfalls.
And of course, don’t forget the lively nightlife scene of the Gold Coast. Hit up any one of the cocktail bars and nightclubs that sprawl along the main drag from Surfers Paradise to Broadbeach.
If you're looking for a more casual outing, there's no shortage of incredible bars, eats and entertainment running right down to Coolangatta. The Burleigh Pavillion, which sits atop the rocks right on Burleigh Beach is the place to be for a summer afternoon.
About an hour and a half north of Brisbane, Noosa is known for its beautiful beaches, national parks, and trendy shopping and dining. Spend the day exploring the Noosa National Park, or relaxing on the white sands of Noosa Main Beach.
When you’re feeling peckish (or parched), Noosa won’t disappoint when it comes to its food and beverage offering. With a buzzing hive of restaurants and cafes available around Hastings Street, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Enjoy a taste for tapas? Miss Moneypenny will be your go-to. Prefer pizzas and cocktails? Try El Capitano for an incredible feast – or to takeaway with you.
If you're in the mood to impress, there's nothing like Bistro C, with is open-air its dining area parked on Noosa Heads Main Beach – or for something a bit more casual, head to Boardwalk Bistro for even more beachside dining.
While you walk off lunch, stroll through any number of luxury boutiques for a spot of shopping, or take a wander through the local galleries to get your art fix.
#(3) SUNSHINE COAST
Just shy of Noosa, about an hour north of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast is a stretch of coastline that is home to plenty of popular beaches and holiday towns. Be it Maroochydore or Mooloolaba, Buddina or Bokarina, endless coastline awaits on the Sunny Coast. Spend the day relaxing on the sands of the famous beaches in Caloundra, or flex your fishing obsession with plenty of options for both freshwater and saltwater angling.
If you have an aversion to the salt and sand – move offshore to the gorgeous hinterland and visit any number of national parks in the region. Maleny is famous for its food, wine and culture – plus you can’t really beat the scenery. Take a day to stroll around town, then take another to cruise the region’s best wineries – or better yet, jump on a tour bus to be chauffeured from door to door while you enjoy a vino or two.
Venture further south and visit the famous Glass House Mountains. Only about an hour’s drive northwest from Brisbane, the Glass House Mountains are a group of ancient volcanic peaks that offer stunning views and epic hiking trails. Spend the day exploring the mountains, just making sure you stop for a tipple at one of the local wineries or breweries.
For those wanting to take in the entire landscape, why not take a quick hot air balloon ride with Sunshine Coast Ballooning also a great spot for hot air ballooning, with a number of companies offering flights over the area.
#(4) SCENIC RIM
Located about an hour's drive southwest of Brisbane, the Scenic Rim is a region of stunning natural beauty that is home to national parks, forests, and mountain ranges. Spend the day exploring the Lamington National Park, or hiking and mountain biking in the Main Range National Park.
Not only is the Scenic Rim a feast for the eyes, but for the bellies as well with heaps of amazing food and wineries to visit. Take your pick from Witches Falls, Sarabah Estate or the famous O'Reilly's Vineyards, where you're welcome to enjoy a lazy afternoon with a picnic basket or a cheese board.
If you're looking for a little more substance, there's plenty of farm-to-table restaurants available in the region, where you can chow down on locally-grown and produced food.
You can experience it all on our Scenic Rim Trail coming up this April, with The Long Sunset set to return to Elysian Fields with an incredible lineup of homegrown talent. Camp (or glamp) on the grounds with us for the weekend and take advantage of the free shuttle in town so you can explore the area while you're there.
Stanthorpe is a slightly longer drive out west – approximately 3 hours from Brisbane – but it’s certainly worth the trip. Choose to visit one of over 50 wineries, an apple or a truffle farm, or indulge in countless cheese tastings – this small region packs a punch when it comes to food and wine.
The weather is generally much cooler than you expect to see in the rest of Queensland (particularly in the evenings), due to the region's higher elevation. At an altitude of 811 metres, Stanthorpe holds the record for the lowest temperature ever recorded in Queensland at -10.6 °C! Paired with its low humidity, this makes the region the perfect climate for grape-growing, with an abundance of vineyards and cellar doors available to visit.
Stay in town or a little further south, such as Glen Alpin or Ballendean, with quaint Vineyard Cottages available for couples or families, allowing you to revel in the region.
Once your belly is full up on wine and cheese, make sure to explore the breathtaking Girraween National Park to see the famous Pyramid and take in the view from the top. If it's warm enough, go waterfall hunting in the Southern Downs region, or take a dip in Storm King Dam right in Stanthorpe.
No matter where you go, there are plenty of stunning destinations within easy reach of Brisbane for a quick weekend getaway. So why not pack your bags and hit the road for a memorable weekend trip? The Qld Music Trails are set to take on the Scenic Rim – so start trip planning now for an awesome weekend adventure.
Images courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland.