With the good news of the New South Wales & Queensland border zone being extended, we’ve put together some of the top day trips from Brisbane around QLD and NSW - take a look at our list below!
Located 38 kilometres west of Murwillumbah, Border Ranges National Park offers scenic walks, cycling, drives and breathtaking views. You can take a closer look at this magnificent landscape by travelling via the Tweed Range Scenic Drive touring route (part of the Rainforest Way) and stopping along the way to explore the abundant wonders of the park’s rainforest. We recommend taking the Pinnacle walk to the lookout for uninterrupted 360-degree views over the World Heritage-listed rainforest, the crater escarpment, Wollumbin (Mount Warning) and the Tweed Valley.
As one of the world’s most famous coastal towns, Byron Bay is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to the NSW North Coast. From its gorgeous natural attractions to its eclectic community, there’s something for everyone in Byron. If you’re an avid beach goer - then Main, Clarkes and Wategos beaches are patrolled year-round. The quiet Belongil Beach is dog-friendly, and Australia's easternmost beach, Little Wategos, is accessible on foot from the path to Cape Byron Lighthouse. Elsewhere lies breathtaking hinterland rainforests, spectacular coastal trails, amazing marine life - all of which is just a stone's throw from the centre of town and the home of eentric boutique shops and a thriving food scene.
Just a short 15-minute drive south of Byron Bay, Lennox Head presents itself as the perfect seaside village. It is home to world-renowned surf breaks, golden beaches, tranquil lakes, cafes, restaurants, a classic waterside pub, and the famous tea-tree lined reserve of Lake Ainsworth. Popular with locals and visitors, Lake Ainsworth offers families a safe swimming area away from the waves plus excellent facilities for picnics and barbecues.
Situated in World Heritage Nightcap National Park, Protesters Falls is a must-see while exploring the Lismore Hinterland. To arrive at the base of the waterfall you’ll enjoy a picturesque 1.4km return walk through this magnificent rainforest, venturing through the tall trees and listening to the sweet sounds of the running creek.
No other place embodies the spirit of Northern NSW’s Rainbow Region like Crystal Castle & Shambala Gardens. As the home of the biggest and most beautiful crystals in the world, these private botanical gardens contain enchanting crystals and subtropical plants to create a magical hinterland sanctuary. Throughout its five hectares of splendid gardens and rainforest, you can enjoy its natural playground with tours and experiences which include the Shambhala Gardens Tour (with a guided meditation at the Blessing Buddha) and the famous Peace Experience.
Staying true to its name, there’s no surprise that the Gold Coast's main attraction is its beautiful beaches. Spanning over 57 kilometres, you can choose between the sheltered waters at Coolangatta and Currumbin beaches or the popular surfing breaks at Main Beach or Burleigh Heads. Beyond its coastline, you can discover laid-back neighbourhoods, a booming culinary scene and the Gold Coast's famous theme parks, including Dream World, Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet N Wild.
Known for its breathtaking scenery, Queensland’s Scenic Rim is a popular tourist destination offering visitors plenty to see and do. From its wineries and art galleries to expansive bushwalking tracks, state of the art equine facilities, growing rural communities and friendly country charm, the Scenic Rim region is a must-see destination.
North Stradbroke Island
Loved for its laid-back lifestyle and aquatic adventures, North Stradbroke Island is the perfect day trip or weekend getaway. ‘Straddie,’ as the locals call it, is home to some stunning beaches - such as Cylinder Beach and Frenchman’s Beach - as well as freshwater lakes you can reach on foot. To get here you’ll need to catch a 25-minute water taxi or a 45-minute barge from Cleveland which will take you to Dunwich, located at the south of the island.
A little over an hour’s drive north of Queensland’s capital awaits the beauty of the Sunshine Coast. Past the picturesque beaches and soaring hinterland lie the communities that capture the true essence of the Sunshine Coast. From the sophisticated village of Noosa, to the urban centre of Maroochydore, the easy-going charm of Caloundra and the natural beauty of the Pumicestone Passage, each seaside spot has its own personality to get to know.
Why take a day trip when you can enjoy almost 300 days of sunshine per year right at your doorstep? Aside from the River City’s beautiful weather, you can also delve into Brisbane's eclectic arts scene, eat, drink and shop in Brisbane's hippest neighbourhoods, day-trip to idyllic neighbouring islands, and stay in 5-star luxury accommodation at the Pullman Brisbane King George Square.
For even more nearby day trips from Brisbane around South East Queensland, check out our other list of popular drives around the area!