15 Best Day Trips From Brisbane

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One of the best ways to appreciate Queensland's capital city and the surrounding area is with these epic day trips from Brisbane! The magnificent city of Brisbane is conveniently located near the coast in southeast Queensland. Though Brisbane itself is packed with fun things to do, you won't regret getting out of the city for a day and exploring!

Surrounded by tropical islands, lush national parks, and charming coastal towns, there are lots of amazing day trips from Brisbane. Day trips make a convenient and affordable way to immerse yourself in one area, especially because Australia itself is so massive. So spend at least a few days in the city and then venture to the nearby gems on a few day trips from Brisbane!

two travellers posing at sunset in brisbane

The 15 Best Day Trips From Brisbane

From unique sandy islands, to tranquil rainforests, to surf towns and more, here are some of the best day trips from Brisbane. You can easily reach these beautiful destinations with a rental car, campervan, or guided tour from Brisbane. Some nearby day trips may be reachable by public transport as well, though driving yourself or booking a tour is definitely the easiest way to explore outside Brisbane. Let's get into our list of the 15 best day trips from Brisbane!

North Stradbroke Island

  • Distance from Brisbane: 56km
  • Travel time: 2 hours

North Stradbroke Island, affectionately known as "Straddie," is a picturesque island right off the coast of Brisbane. Renowned for its beautiful beaches, diverse wildlife, and rich indigenous culture, Straddie offers a unique blend of relaxation and adventure. From the tranquil waters of Brown Lake to the expansive white sands of Main Beach, Flinders Beach, or Cylinder Beach, a day on North Stradbroke Island is sure to be full of fun and natural attractions.

aerial view of beach and golden sand in queensland

Lamington National Park

  • Distance from Brisbane: 105km
  • Travel time: 1.5 hours

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site and amazing day trip from Brisbane, Lamington National Park is a hotspot for nature lovers. This massive national park has two main areas, Binna Burra and Green Mountains. Both areas are rich in biodiversity and showcase the dramatic landscapes of the McPherson Mountain Range. Some of the best things to do in Lamington National Park include hiking, birdwatching, picnicking, or learning about nature at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

guys walking through the rainforest in lamington national park

Moreton Island

  • Distance from Brisbane: 57km
  • Travel time: 2 hours

Another one of the best islands to visit near Brisbane is Moreton Island. Home to the famous Tangalooma Wrecks, which are a haven for snorkelling, diving, and kayaking, Moreton Island has several unique natural attractions. From the famous shipwreck and its surrounding coral reefs, to the massive sand dunes and picturesque beaches, you can book exciting, action-packed day tours to Moreton Island from Brisbane!

Shipwrecks in turquoise water off the coast of Moreton Island


  • Distance from Brisbane: 148km
  • Travel time: 1 hour and 50 minutes

About 2 hours north along the Sunshine Coast lies Noosa. Though most travellers prefer to spend a few days in this gorgeous coastal town, you can also explore Noosa on a day trip from Brisbane! With lush national parks and everglades, picture-perfect beaches, and a bustling town centre full of cafes, shops, and eateries, Noosa has everything you could ever want in an Aussie destination. 

rippling waves on the beach in noosa national park

Australia Zoo

  • Distance from Brisbane: 83km
  • Travel time: 1 hour

Nestled between Noosa and Brisbane, the Australia Zoo is a quick and easy day trip from most major tourist hubs in Southeast Queensland. If you're hoping to see some iconic Aussie wildlife up close during your time Down Under, the Australia Zoo is the place to go! Founded by the late Steve Irwin and his family, the Australia Zoo allows you to interact with wildlife and learn about the importance of conservation. 

man taking a photo of a kangaroo at australia zoo

Springbrook National Park

  • Distance from Brisbane: 107km
  • Travel time: 1.5 hours

Another one of the best day trips from Brisbane for nature lovers is Springbrook National Park. Full of tumbling waterfalls, stunning hiking trails, rugged escarpments, and a diverse range of flora and fauna, you are spoilt for choice in terms of things to see and do. You can even visit the local glow worm colonies and marvel at their bioluminescence!

girls smiling at springbrook national park gold coast

Gold Coast

  • Distance from Brisbane: 77km
  • Travel time: 1 hour

Venturing just an hour outside of Brisbane will bring you to the Gold Coast, another famous metropolis in the area. With a thriving nightlife scene and wide beaches perfect for surfing and sunbathing, Gold Coast is the most accessible beach getaway from Brisbane. Have a blast at the theme parks, hit the waves in Surfers Paradise, or try a fun activity like parasailing or jetskiing!

girls walking along the beach in gold coast australia

Mount Coot-tha

  • Distance from Brisbane: 7km
  • Travel time: 15 minutes

Though Mount Coot-tha is actually located within the city limits of Brisbane, you could easily spend a whole day here so it makes a convenient day trip from the CBD. From the mountain, you can enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline, the winding Brisbane River, and the vast expanse of subtropical forests below. Mount Coot-tha boasts a diverse array of recreational activities, from bushwalking trails to botanical gardens.

travellers walking through the forest near brisbane

Bribie Island

  • Distance from Brisbane: 95km
  • Travel time: 1 hour and 40 minutes

Another one of the best day trips from Brisbane is Bribie Island. Connected to the mainland by bridge, this idyllic island offers an exciting escape into serene landscapes. With protected wetlands, pristine beaches, bushland trails, and marine reserves, Bribie Island is the perfect outdoor playground near Brisbane!

girls watching the sunrise on the beach in australia

Byron Bay

  • Distance from Brisbane: 165km
  • Travel time: 2 hours

Byron Bay is an East Coast Australia hotspot on its own. But it's only 2 hours from Brisbane so you can turn it into a day trip from the city! The laid-back vibe of Byron Bay draws in locals and travellers alike. In addition to the eclectic town centre, the marine-life-rich waters around Byron Bay are ideal for surfing, swimming, kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, whale watching, jet-skiing, and more. 

travellers jumping in front of byron bay lighthouse

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

  • Distance from Brisbane: 15km
  • Travel time: 20 minutes

For animal lovers, an alternative day trip to the Australia Zoo is the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. This wildlife haven is only 20 minutes from downtown Brisbane, and you can get there on a scenic river cruise. Once you arrive at Lone Pine, spend the day mingling with the adorable animals and learning about Australia's unique wildlife.

travellers at the lone pine koala sanctuary near brisbane

Russell Island

  • Distance from Brisbane: 60km
  • Travel time: 2.5 hours

Russell Island, nestled within the tranquil waters of Moreton Bay near Brisbane, exudes a laid-back island charm and a relaxed coastal lifestyle. It's an excellent day trip option for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. Accessible by ferry, Russell Island boasts lovely beaches, mangrove-lined shores, and abundant wildlife. Visitors can explore the island's network of walking tracks, fish off its jetties, or simply unwind amidst its picturesque surroundings. 

person walking on a white sand beach near the ocean

Rainbow Beach

  • Distance from Brisbane: 246km
  • Travel time: 2 hours and 50 minutes

Just under 3 hours north of Brisbane lies Rainbow Beach, a coastal haven that attracts water sports enthusiasts and travellers in search of unique landscapes. Top attractions in Rainbow Beach include the magnificent dunes of the Carlo Sand Blow and the crystal clear waters of Double Island Point. Rainbow Beach is also popular for 4WD beach driving, and you can drive next to the famous towering coloured sand cliffs!

paddleboarding in rainbow beach australia

Scenic Rim

  • Distance from Brisbane: 100km
  • Travel time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Another one of the best day trips from Brisbane is the Scenic Rim, a breathtaking area of dramatic landscapes and country towns. The Scenic Rim promises an enriching escape into Queensland's hinterland, where you can just drive around with no plan or take on lots of walks, wine tours, and more. Whether indulging in wine tasting at boutique vineyards, sampling local produce at country markets, or embarking on scenic drives along winding roads, the Scenic Rim is a must-see in southern Queensland.

girl patting horses in the queensland hinterland

K'gari (Fraser Island)

  • Distance from Brisbane: 250km
  • Travel time: 3 hours

K'gari (Fraser Island), a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world's largest sand island, is one of the top locations on Australia's East Coast. Though the island is most easily accessed from Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach, you can also see K'gari on a day trip from Brisbane if you leave early in the morning! Spend the day touring dense rainforests, swimming in perched lakes, and spotting wild dingos on the beach. 

person walking on the white sand of lake mckenzie kgari

Combine these epic day trips from Brisbane with an exciting East Coast Australia itinerary!

Feel free to live chat with our travel experts if you have any questions about your travels in Australia

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