Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
By far one of the best things about Brisbane is its location. Situated on the eastern coast, there are so many great holiday spots within only a few hours drive. If you’d like to get a taste of Australian life beyond the city, check out these quick trips for some ideas.
Fraser Island: This is a MUST do! One of the most beautiful spots within all of Australia, Fraser Island is the biggest sand island in the world. Not corrupted by paved road, Fraser operates on sand highway where 4WD vehicles are a necessity. You can rent your own or go with a tour, but either way you’ll be transferring to the island via the Fraser Venture Barge. Once on the island you’ll want at least a couple of days to explore. Don’t miss Eli Creek, Lake McKenzie, Lake Wabby, the Champagne Pools, or Indian Head. The natural beauty will floor you, making you wish you’d never have to go home. A couple of pointers for first timers: 1. Sand is EVERYWHERE! This means that it has a large chance of getting into your cameras or electronics and messing them up. So bring apt protection, at least as much as possible to keep the sand out. 2. Once you’re on the island, food and alcohol become expensive considering there’s nowhere else to get it. Make sure you pack and purchase a lot before getting on the barge otherwise you’ll quickly be going broke or hungry.
Sunshine Coast: Spanning Caloundra to Rainbow Beach, the Sunshine Coast has great sandy beaches and clear blue waters. Trekking to Sunshine from Brisbane takes about 2 hours and can be reached via bus, train, or car. Go sea kayaking, learn to surf, or hit up Noosa National Park. A good side stop is to the Australian Zoo, located just off Bruce Highway. If you’re a fan of the famous Steve Irwin or just have a thing for crazy, wild animals, the Australian Zoo is the one zoo you can’t miss.
The Gold Coast: Known for the glitz and sometimes the gaud of its street scene, the Gold Coast balances it all out with its unadulterated white sand beaches. Stretching for about 70 km, the beach is famous round the world. If you want a little excitement along the way, don’t pass up Gold Coast’s theme parks: Dream World, Warner Brother’s Movie World, and Sea World. There are plenty of opportunities around the Gold Coast to get adventurous, so be sure to mark out a weekend to hit the waves.
Byron Bay: Situated about two hours south of Brissie, Byron Bay is one of the ideal spots for a fantastic weekend road trip. Surfing down in Byron is great for beginners and experienced alike, but for those who don’t care for riding the waves, the scenery is gorgeous. Hike up to the lighthouse and get a picture standing on the most easterly point of mainland Australia. The lighthouse is also a great spot for whale and dolphin watching. If the day is looking rough, head into town and go for a little shopping spree at the quaint shops that are scattered throughout the center. Be sure to stop at Bella Rosa. It has the best ice cream in all of Australia hands down.