The best day trips outside of Brisbane 3

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Of all the cities I’ve visited, Brisbane is high on the list of places I would like to live. Brisbane has busy city streets, quiet outskirts, enjoyable nature right in the city, and I’ve never people watched like I people watched at the Queen Street Mall. There are riverboats on Brisbane river which are not only for tourists, but are also a sensible and beautiful way to commute to different areas in the city. There’s even a (fake) city beach in South Bank!

As wonderful as Brisbane is, it’s always nice to get on the move and explore what the surrounding area has to offer, especially if you can still make it back in time for the Brisbane nightlife!

Here is my list of some (but certainly not all) of the best day trips outside of Brisbane, Australia, ranging from the nearest to the furthest away from the city center.

Stradbroke Island

First of all, if you want to fit in at all, call this island “Straddy Island” instead of Stradbroke. That applies to a lot of words, actually. Sunglasses? Sunnies. Barbeque? Barbie. Cooler? Esky. Real and genuine? Fair Dinkum, obviously. You get it.

Straddie is an island in Moreton Bay with a scenic ferry ride that takes you to it’s pristine white beaches. Once there, you have a list of activities to choose from. There’s whale watching, fishing, and beaches to enjoy. If you’d like to add a bit more adventure into your time on this beautiful island you can go diving, rent a scooter to explore the island, take surfing lessons or go on a tour.

Image via Compare the Market

A day trip to Straddie Island is doable and enjoyable but no one will blame you if you want to stay a night or two to take in all you can. Deciding to extend your island adventure means you have more decisions to make. There are resorts, campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, cabins, and my personal favorite, beach shacks.

Mt. Tamborine

Mt. Tamborine is not just a grueling hike to the top of a mountain for a stunning panoramic view. The views are there, mind you, but there are also wineries, festivals, markets, and outdoor adventures.


Australia Zoo

Home of the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin! Now, normally I don’t go around advocating for zoos but the staff at the Australia Zoo call themselves “a team of passionate conservationists” and that makes me feel a bit better. The Australia Zoo does a lot of work with research, conservation, and encouraging people to say no to wildlife products.

I’ll stop shoving it down your throat now.

The animals weren’t abused and in cages, okay?


Seeing Steve Irwin’s wife and kids put on a show with the crocodiles, feeding and elephant, petting a koala, and chillin’ with a kangaroo were the highlights of my time at the zoo. Or so I thought. All of a sudden a wombat, walking with a zoo keeper, just ambled along past me. You know, just out for a stroll.

Springbrook National Park

Springbrook National Park is a protected national park in the Gold Coast, which is also a pretty awesome spot to find a beach. This beautiful forest wilderness was created when a volcano erupted 23 million years ago.

Springbrook National Park

If you’re looking to fill your day with impressive natural beauty, waterfalls, and caves filled with glowworms, Springbook Park is your spot.

Byron Bay

My favorite place in the world is last on the list! Byron Bay is where I found my home within myself and decided that I could live there forever no matter where I was in the world. Does that sound a little too hippy dippy? If so, it makes sense coming from Byron Bay.

byron bay

You can mountain bike, golf, surf, snorkel, kayak, skydive and more. I didn’t do any of that nonsense as I was much too busy walking around at a snails pace squinting (from the sun, not the cookies), smiling, eating gelato for breakfast, and laying in the sand thinking about life. I did, however, go on hikes and “like, totally become one with the nature, dude”. Plus camping in Byron Bay is also a big highlight.

It was awesome.

I tried to keep Byron with me but when I came home, although one of my favorite sayings instead of saying “calm down” became “be Byron”, I had to remember how to be a responsible adult. I digress…

Though my list isn’t complete, it’s a pretty good place to start if you’re looking to get out of the city to explore, adventure, and relax.

What day trips outside of Brisbane would you add to this list?

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About Trish McNeill

Trish is a freelance travel and lifestyle writer from the East Coast of Canada. Travel lover. Humor finder. Story teller.

3 thoughts on “The best day trips outside of Brisbane

  • Blake

    I really wanted to go to Australia because of kangaroos. Just kidding [chuckles]. Australia seems to be so nice to live in. Hope I can visit soon.

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