Ten Amazing Weekend Road Trips from Brisbane

Couped up in Brisbane city for too long? Like to explore more of Queensland that’s within easy reach of Brisbane? Here are our picks with travel times and destination highlights for ten amazing weekend road trips from Brisbane. Some can easily be done by public transport too.

 

noosa beach photo
Photo by brewbooks

Noosa Heads

For many Brisbanites, Noosa Heads is a long-time favorite getaway destination offering sheltered beach, laid-back and low-key atmosphere, trendy shops and cafes, easy to access to the national park, and an array of nearby places for 4WD adventures and camping. Maroochydore is only 30 mins away with Mooloolaba being a popular spot for nightlife.

Noosa Highlights

  • Main Beach, Sunshine Beach, Sunrise Beach, Marcus Beach, and Peregian Beach
  • Noosa North Shore
  • Noosa National Park

Getting from Brisbane to Noosa

  • Drive: an easy 1 h 48 min (134.8 km) drive via M1
  • Coach: Connexion and Greyhound offer buses from Brisbane to Noosa approx 2h 50m
  • Train/Bus: Take the Nambour Train to Nambour station then bus 631 – 3 hrs 23 mins

 

tangalooma resort photo
Photo by robstephaustralia

Moreton Island & Tangalooma Island Resort

Moreton Island offers a unique escape with a ferry ride to what is the world’s third-largest sand island featuring spectacular pristine waters, wildlife, and places to explore. You can take your 4WD across and explore the island that way or by bike, or enjoy the facilities and services at Tangalooma Resort.

Moreton Island Highlights

  • Tangalooma Island Resort
  • Snorkeling at shipwreck sites
  • Mt.Tempest – hikes and lookout
  • natural scenery, pristine waters, whale watching
  • 4WD adventures

Getting from Brisbane to Moreton Island

  • Drive/Ferry: from the Port of Brisbane, board the Micat Ferry to Moreton Island (75-90min)
  • Taxi/Ferry: Taxi from the city to Port of Brisbane then take the Micat Ferry. There is no public transport to the Port of Brisbane, the nearest train stop is Wynnum Station. Taxi from the city to Port of Brisbane then take the Micat Ferry
  • Tangalooma Resort Ferry: Departs from Holt Street Wharf in Pinkenba heading to Tangalooma Resort, Moreton Island (75 min)

 

dalby mountains photo
Photo by denisbin

Dalby & Bunya Mountains

A journey best enjoyed by self-driving, you can take the Great Bunya Drive from Dalby to the Bunya Mountains National Park. The Bunya Mountains are famous for its green rainforest, eucalypt forests, and bunya pines. The park has various scenic trails to explore while the charming country town of Dalby offers loads of heritage and history.

Dalby & Bunya Mountains Highlights

  • mountains, rainforests, waterfalls, panoramic views, colourful birdlife
  • Dalby Heritage Trail
  • Pioneer Park Museum

Getting from Brisbane to Dalby & Bunya Mountains

  • Drive: 2 h 25 min (210 km) via Warrego Hwy/A2 to Dalby, then Dalby to Bunya National Park 60 min

 

bribie island beach photo
Photo by bertknot

Bribie Island

The mostly uninhabited 34 km long sandy island offers lots of beaches, many with calm waters, dugong and dolphin watching, fishing spots, marine life, WWII-built forts, along with adventure activities including skydiving, jet ski hire, 4WD tours and more.

Bribie Island Highlights

  • white sand dunes and unspoilt beaches
  • bushwalking trails
  • beaches including surf beach

Getting from Brisbane to Bribie Island

  • Drive: 1 h 30 min (88.8 km) via M1
  • Shuttle: there are numerous companies offering shuttle transfers from Bris Airport to Bribie
  • Train/bus: take the Brisbane City to Caboolture train and exit at Cabooltoore station (1 hr), then take bus 640 to Bribie (40 mins)

 

montville photo
Photo by Tatters ✾

Montville

Montville is a small township located in the Sunshine Coast hinterland that oozes with otherworldly charm. Featuring old cottages, art galleries, vineyards, and a growing cafe and coffee culture. It’s also the perfect base to explore the beauty of Kondalilla National Park and its spectacular walking trails with forest canopy and rock pools.

Montville Highlights

  • Kondalilla National Park
  • Baroon Pocket Dam
  • Vineyards, cafes, and country charm

Getting from Brisbane to Montville

  • Drive: 1 h 28 min (112 km) via M1
  • Train/bus: take the Springfield line – Nambour line (SPNA) train from Roma St to Nambour Station (1 h 56 m) and then take bus 890 to Montville (35 min)

 

toowoomba Picnic Point Lookout photo
Photo by josselin.berger

Toowoomba

A historic town and Queensland’s largest inland city that is home to a number of heritage sites and lovely parks and gardens. It also boasts a thriving food culture scene with loads of cafes and restaurants.

Toowoomba Highlights

  • Cobb & Co Museum
  • Laurel Bank Park, Picnic Point Lookout and Parkland, Japanese Garden
  • Empire Theatre
  • Transport and Main Roads Heritage Centre

Getting from Brisbane to Toowoomba

  • Drive: 1 h 30 min – 2 h (127 km) via Warrego Hwy/A2

 

Sundown National Park queensland photo
Photo by Tatters ✾

Stanthorpe and the Granite Belt

Stanthorpe is a rural town located at the heart of the Granite Belt. The town dates back to the 1870s and is famed for its produce including olives, apples, pears, berries, persimmons, figs, and much more. It also has a museum, gallery and is a gateway to the Sundown National Park which is great for fishing and hiking.

Stanthorpe Highlights

  • Vineyards of the Granite Belt wine region
  • Stanthorpe Heritage Museum
  • Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery
  • Sundown National Park

Getting from Brisbane to Stanthorpe

  • Drive: 2 h 30 min – 3 h 10 min (218 km) via National Highway 15 and National Highway 15

 

Queen Mary Falls photo
Photo by Tatters ✾

Main Range National Park

Main Range National Park, part of QLD’s Scenic Rim, features rugged mountain ranges, spectacular lookouts, and rare wildlife. The 3 hour by foot Mount Mitchell track is a popular way to explore the park. Another track someways away is the Queen Mary Falls track leading to views over the waterfall of the same name. There are campgrounds here too which can be booked with Queensland Parks.

Main Range National Park Highlights

  • Mount Mitchell track
  • Queen Mary Falls
  • Cascade Trail, Spicers Gap & the Goomburra Section
  • Camping

Getting from Brisbane to Main Range National Park

  • Drive: 2 h 30 min – 3 h 10 min (218 km) via National Highway 15 and National Highway 15

 

coolangatta snapper rocks photo
Photo by holidaypointau

Coolangatta

Coolangatta is the laid-back locals’ paradise that offers a peaceful alternative to the tourist mecca of Surfers Paradise. The beach is impressive as is the coastal walk and views, great cafes, and restaurants.

Coolangatta Highlights

  • Coolangatta Beach & nearby Kirra Beach
  • Snapper rocks
  • Point Danger headland

Getting from Brisbane to Coolangatta

  • Drive: 1 h 10 min – 1 h 40 min (101 km) via M1
  • Train/Bus: take the train from Brisbane to Varsity Lakes Station in Robina (1 h 20 min) and then take the 760 Tweed Heads bus and get off at Coolangatta (39 min).

 

springbrook national park photo
Photo by ESSKJP

Gold Coast Hinterland & Mt Tamborine

The Gold Coast Hinterland offers so much to explore including Mt Tamborine and its unique craft and artisan shops, wineries and restaurants, Springbrook National Park, Lamington National Park, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, and much more. The national parks offer waterfalls, lookouts, walking and hiking trails, picnic spots, and camping spots.

Gold Coast Hinterland & Mt Tamborine Highlights

  • Springbrook National Park
  • Lamington National Park
  • Thunderbird Park, Gloworm Caves, Rainforest Skywalk, wineries and more at Mt Tamborine
  • restaurant, lookout, fishing at Hinze Dam

Getting from Brisbane to Gold Coast Hinterland

  • Drive: 1 h 25 min – 1 h 50 min (107 km) via M1