Want to make the most from your Brisbane holiday? Escape to these nearby destinations for something memorable.
Discover wonders outside of Brisbane.
Thanks to its thriving art scene and culinary adventures, Brisbane is the perfect stop for your Down Under getaway. But if you really want to make the most of it, then why not check out these other destinations that are a short drive away from the city. From island fun to coastal cities, here are the best spots.
WHALE WATCHING AT FRASER ISLAND
Just six hours by car from Brisbane, the World-heritage listed Fraser Island is the perfect place to go if you want to watch whales jump from the water. August to October is the best time to spot these whales, in particular humpback whales that come up quite close to the boats as they take time out from their migration to nurture their calves in the sheltered lee of Fraser Island. However, it’s best to plan your trip in advance as tours can get booked up quite quickly.
Fraser Island is also the world’s largest sand island so there is plenty to do. Start your trip to some of the island’s clearest water at Lake Mackenzie and then take a drive along the stunning sands of 75 Mile Beach. Make sure to look out for those wild dingos, Australia’s favourite wild dog, if you’re taking a walk around the island. Calling Fraser Island home are also over 350 species of birds, possums, wallabies, sea turtles and dolphins.
If you really want to make an adventure out of your trip to Fraser Island, you can consider camping on the beach. For safety reasons, choose a public campsite. Do take note that you will need to obtain a camping permit from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services. You can apply online (qpws.usedirect.com) or in person at any one of their offices.
BE CHARMED AT SUNSHINE COAST
With its beautiful coastline and that cool relaxing beach town vibe, it’s no wonder why Sunshine Coast is a popular spot to visit just out of Brisbane. It’s a 90-minute drive away, which makes it easy to get to for a trip.
Start your excursion at Noosa where you’ll find beautiful beaches and seaside restaurants to dine on some of the freshest ingredients. From Noosa, you can make your way to Lake Cootharaba. This spectacular body of water with its mirror-like reflections is part of the Noosa Everglades – one of only two everglades system in the world (the other being Florida).
More than 44 percent of Australia’s bird life flock here so if you catch this at the right time, it’s truly a wonder of nature. From the Noosa Everglades, it's time to check out Rainbow Beach, named so because of the 72 coloured sands that feature in the sandy cliffs.
Make sure to go to the Glass House Mountains, just an hour’s drive from Noosa. With its craggy cliffs and endless vistas, these make for the best scenic views and wonderful holiday snaps. Hike through the mountains or take short walks to spectacular lookouts.
The Sunshine Coast is also an animal lover’s dream come true – visit the Australia Zoo (founded by the late Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter) for some fun times with feathered, scaly and furry friends like koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils and yes, crocodiles. Fun fact: The wildlife hospital here has treated nearly 70,000 animals!
GET YOUR HEART PUMPING AT GOLD COAST
A trip to Brisbane is not complete without an excursion to the Gold Coast. Brimming with world-class beaches, amusement parks and nightlife, the Gold Coast is an adventure lover’s paradise.
Try your hand at surfing if you’re up for it (you can sign up for a day class) or bring the family to amusement parks like Wet ‘n’ Wild for a splashing good time or Warner Bros. Movie World, Australia’s number one theme park and home to the tallest, longest and fastest Hypercoaster. If thrilling rides are not your thing, you’ll want to head to Sea World, Australia’s number one Marine Park where you’ll discover a whole new world below the surface.
Want to up the adrenaline? Explore the wild treetops of the hinterland at O’reilly’s Rainforest Retreat Treetop for an adventure among amazing bushland and rainforest. Or climb your way to the top of the Q1 building in Surfers Paradise at 270 metres in the air at the Skypoint Climb. This heart-stopping experience will definitely be something you won’t forget!
Royal Brunei Airlines flies Brisbane 4x weekly. Discover things to do in Brisbane in www.muhibah.com.bn
01 Crystal-clear waters all around at Fraser Island. 02 Humpback whale watching.
03 03 Spectacular views at Glass House Mountains, Mary Cairncross Lookout. 04 Koala spotting at the Australia Zoo. 04