Leave skyscrapers and suburban streets behind and head out on a Brisbane day trip to discover the country beauty on a Brisbane road trip. Maybe it’s even time to rediscover the Sunday drive!

Within easy day trip reach of the heart of the city, you’ll find rainforest, rich farmland, scenic views and seaside bliss.

Start up the engine and head out to these five Brisbane road trip destinations that will wash away city vibes with clean air and wide, open spaces.


Read more about Brisbane day trip destinations

  • Australia’s salad bowl
  • Mountain high
  • Rainforest getaway
  • Brisbane’s lake district
  • Island hopping

Australia’s salad bowl is a Brisbane day trip!

Journey west on a Brisbane road trip for 75 km, and you’ll discover the Lockyer Valley, a region blessed with some of the most fertile soil in the world. Be sure to pack an esky as there will be plenty to with which to fill it.

Sheltering under the Great Dividing Range in South East Queensland, the valley grows the most diverse commercial range of vegetables and fruit of any area in Australia and is often referred to as ‘Australia’s salad bowl’.

Guided by the delicious aroma of smoked meat, start your visit with a stop at Shultes, a ‘meat tavern’ on the Warrego Highway at Plainland.  Just down the road is Coolana Olives at Lowood where you can taste locally grown olives and olive oil products at Ian and Dot Roy’s cellar door.

Forest Hill’s Café 4342, which combines a Post Office and gift shop built around 1908 with a casual café restaurant, is your lunch stop. Head up the range to Preston Peak Wines to taste local wines and enjoy panoramic views of the valley.

This is my favourite Lockyer Valley road trip route.


Mountain high Sunday drive

The village of Tamborine on Tamborine Mountain, about 60km south of Brisbane, makes a perfect city Brisbane day trip or Sunday drive.

The lush rainforest that surrounds Tamborine Mountain is a strong contrast to the area’s main shopping and eating street, Gallery Walk, where you’ll find local craft and local produce. Try a TM Brewery boutique craft beer and tuck into local cheese at Witches Chase Cheese Co.  Stop at a local winery and taste premium wines then follow with a rainforest walk.

Get snap-happy along the picturesque roads especially on Main Western Road. This a spot favoured by hang gliders where there are spectacular views of the valley below. 

Don’t forget to pick up locally grown avocados and fruit from the many roadside stalls and take home a bottle of award-winning liqueur from Tamborine Mountain Distillery.

Rainforest getaway on a Brisbane day trip

A 30km drive from Brisbane’s CBD is the rainforests of Mount Nebo and Mount Glorious.   The steep road is lined with small cafes and offers impressive views back over the city. The route is a favourite with cyclists and motorcyclists.   There are many scenic lookouts with both short and long walk opportunities where bird spotting is an easy feat. On the way back to the city, take the road through Samford and explore this rural residential community.

Brisbane’s lake district

Neatly cradled by a ring of hills, Somerset Dam near Kilcoy and the D’Aguilar National Park is a great destination for a Brisbane day trip.

It’s one of the region’s most important water catchments but is also a recreational venue for water skiing, wake-boarding, sailing and fishing.  The road curves around the lake offering scenic vistas for many miles. Nearby, Lake Wivenhoe is a mecca for campers, kayakers and those looking for a lakeside picnic spot.

Stop at Fernvale to try a meat pie from the Old Fernvale Bakery or enjoy a coffee at Cormorant Bay Café overlooking the lake.  Find it all about 80 km north-west of Brisbane’s CBD.

This makes a great Sunday drive from Brisbane.

Island hopping

There are plenty of islands in Brisbane’s Moreton Bay that can be visited as a day trip but if you’d like to snorkel around a reef, toboggan down a massive sand dune and hand-feed wild dolphins then Moreton Island and Tangalooma should be on your list.  A ferry from the Port of Brisbane will take you to Moreton Island and back in a day.

Here is a Stradbroke Island road trip that will take you to the best places and spots only the locals know.

Glamping on Moreton Island is a great way to experience the island without the effort of setting up a campsite.

Stradbroke Island is another great Brisbane day trip via a one-hour ferry ride.  You can also glamp on Stradbroke Island near Adder Rock.