Brisbane has a lot of places to go around especially those you can cover in a day. We usually prefer starting in the morning at about 8 am and reach back by around 2-3pm. Most of the places we carried food and do kind of a small picnic and my son, Gautham enjoys it a lot as we do. This is all possible because of my wife, Parvathy and special kudos to her culinary skills.
Lake Moogerah makes an excellent place for a day trip or even camp overnight with its scenic beauty and activities around. You can go boating, take a stroll over the Moogerah Dam Wall or hike up the mountains for a great view. This place has got everything in one spot and makes a perfect place for the entire family.
Venman Bushland National Park is still one of my favorites walks around Brisbane. The park is also home to a lot of wildlife, and you might be lucky to see some if you keep your eyes open. We spotted a wallaby towards the end of the walk.
Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast
Gold Coast needs no introduction. If you are in Brisbane, there is every chance that you have already heard and been there. There is something here for everyone. Beaches, surfing, theme parks are to name a few. There are around five theme parks which in itself takes a day each. Getting a yearly pass helps and you can go back as many times as you want. Sealife and Wet’n’Wild are the ones that we go often.
Head over to the opposite direction of Gold Coast, and you can reach Sunshine Coast which also has a lot to offer for a day tripper. The Sealife is the right place for a day trip, and it has a Octonauts zone which is one of Gautham’s favorite.
Tin Can Bay
If you fancy feeding wild dolphins, Tin Can Bay is the place to do that. It does get a bit crowded (even on a weekday), but everybody gets a chance. You might have to start early if you want to make it by 7 in the morning at the center. We stayed there overnight and clubbed Noosa Heads on the way. On the way back we went to the Rainbow beach, where you can drive along the beach if you are interested.
Great White Rock
At the Great White Rock, you can enjoy a wide range of activities including hiking, bird-watching, horse riding, mountain bike riding etc to name a few. There are multiple hiking trails and makes it perfect for all ages.
Located close to the city, Mount Coot-tha has a lot to provide. Don’t miss the scenic views from the lookout especially great during sunrise and sunset. There are also multiple bushwalking trails including a kids trail.. There is a Planetarium located in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens which has various shows and activities. The lookout is also a good ride up from the city if you are into cycling.
Glass House Mountains are remnants of volcanic activity and these volcanic mountains is a perfect day trip location. Good trails and lookouts along the way makes the drive there an enjoyable one as well.
The Tamborine mountains has a lot to offer and will make you come back for more. Lots of different trails, Skywalk, Glow Worm Caves, waterfalls are just a few. The glow worm caves is a unique experience and worth visiting and helping them serve a cause of protecting the species.
Standing on top of an ancient volcano, Springbrook is just an hour drive from Brisbane and has views that stretch forever. You can see some of the oldest trees in Australia, cooling swimming holes and walking trails. Don’t miss out on the Natural Bridge, a picturesque rock formation, formed naturally by the waterfall over the basalt cave.
Nerima Gardens are the Japanese Gardens of Ipswich and makes it an excellent getaway for the family. Right next to the gardens is the Ipswich Nature Center which houses a variety of animals and birds. Admission is free to these parks which makes it even better (however hey really appreciate some donations)
Mt Nebo and Mt Glorious
Mount Glorious and Mount Nebo and know for their bushwalking trails. The mountains are next to each other however best enjoyed over multiple days. There are tracks of varying levels making it suitable for people of all fitness levels.
With great city and river views and open only from Friday to Sunday, the Eat Street is a unique experience that you can get in Brisbane. Lots of food options and entertainments make this a lively place. Make sure to check out their site for special events, jumping castles, etc to keep the little ones in the family busy. There is a small entry fee, but make sure you get stamped if you are going out and want to return the same day.
The Carseldine Farmers and Artisan Markets is a great way to spend your Saturday morning checking out the local produce, arts, and crafts along with some good food and coffee. There is no entry fee and has lots of parking as well. There are a lot of other similar markets as well around Brisbane. A quick googling should help you find out the ones nearer to you.
Always make sure to check out the place details and general tips before heading out especially if you are hiking. Carry enough water, sunscreen, insect repellants, etc. I take along the Camelbak Octane XCT on such trips which hold enough water for three of us. Check out the hiking checklist for more detailed instructions.
Enjoy your weekends and sound off in the comments what other places you recommend checking out in and around Brisbane.