10 epic summer day trips from Brisbane

On any summer day in Brisbane there are two options: sit under the air conditioner, or head out and explore this gorgeous patch of the world. If you’d rather watch Neflix reruns, then you’re on the wrong website. If you’re chasing ideas for summer day trips around the Brisbane region, read on, champ.

Chase waterfalls on Tamborine Mountain

Curtis Falls

When the city gets hot, head for the hills. There are plenty of waterfalls to chase down in the Scenic Rim area, but for a short walk with plenty of reward go to Tamborine Mountain. After you’ve reconnected with nature there’s a few wineries and local breweries to reward yourself with - not to mention the fudge shops and galleries to explore.

Get there: 80-minute drive or join a day tour with

Get out on the water: go boating

Kookaburra River Queens

Leave dry land for dead and feel the wind in your hair as you cruise up and down the Brisbane River or out around Moreton Bay. Take in beautiful scenery, sip on a glass of champagne, cook up a storm, throw a line in and just sit back and relax or even learn a new skill on a day out on the water while sailing, cruising or fishing. We couldn’t pick one, so here’s a guide on boating in Brisbane.

Choose-your-own-adventure on Bribie Island

Oceanview Helicopters

Brisbane’s most accessible island, Bribie is connected to the mainland by bridge making to easy to pop by for a day. On the far side Woorim Beach is a great place to catch a wave or learn to surf, while on the western side Pumicestone Passage is calm and crystal clear with more than 300 types of birds to spot. Personally, we like to hire a BBQ Boat and putt around on the water - all you need is a car licence. The island is also known for great op shopping and the Bribie Island Seaside Museum. Find 21 other things to do in a day there here.

Get there: 90-minute drive

Head out onto Lake Moogerah

Moogerah Dam

The expansive Lake Moogerah is quite the sight, surrounded by rolling hills and mountains of the Scenic Rim on every side. Park the car at PARK NAME, pull on joggers or hiking boots and set off across the dam wall to climb Mt Edward. It’s 90 minutes return, and while at the top you don’t get lake views the endless green fields are a worth second best. Back in the park, grab a towel and dive into the lake for a refreshing dip.

Get there: 70-minute drive

Hot air ballooning

Floating Images

Beat the summer heat and head out before dawn for a memorable experience like no other. Float high above fields in Ipswich with Floating Images, or over pastures of Scenic Rim with Hot Air Ballooning Brisbane. Each experience finished with a champagne breakfast, but best of all, you’ll be home in time for for an afternoon siesta. Bliss.

Get there: hotel pick-up or self-drive

Action adventure on Moreton Island

Tangalooma Wrecks

Want a back-to-basics day in nature? Brisbane’s Moreton Island is the third largest sand island in the entire world, and it is 95% national park. Catch the MICAT ferry over to the island and enjoy a day splashing in the cool blue water and bring your own gear to snorkel around the Tangalooma Wrecks. If you want to really see the island though you’ll need a 4WD to tackle the sand. Australian Sunset Safaris will take you on an adventure day snorkelling, sand boarding the giant dunes and kayaking the Wrecks.

Get there: 90-minute ferry ride

Brewery hop

Hop On Brewery Tours

How’s this sound – you, your mates, an air-conditioned van and ice cold craft beer? Great, right? There’s a side of education too when Hop On Brewery Tour take you on a crawl around Brisbane’s top craft breweries.

Get there: pick up from city

Wine time

Drinking Wine on Tamborine Mountain

You, your mates, an air-conditioned van and unlimited wine tastings. Bliss. If you don’t drink beer, the obvious next choice is a wine tour – and there are plenty to jump aboard around Brisbane. Keep calm and stay hydrated with a Brisbane winery tour – The Vino Bus and Tash Maree Travel can take you there.

Get there: pick up from city

Gorge yourself on North Straddie

North Gorge Walk, North Stradbroke Island

If you’re yet to visit North Stradbroke Island and wander the incredible Gorge Walk at Point Lookout, then there’s no time like this summer. After stretching your legs on the 40-minute track (but speaking honestly, you’ll stop a bunch of times to spot dugongs, turtles, rays and dolphins) reward hard work with an icy treat from Oceanic Gelato and a dip at Main Beach. Do swim between the flags.

Get there: 40-minute drive from CBD, plus a 25 or 50 minute ferry, then a bus or drive around to Point Lookout.

Boogie down to the bay

Shorncliffe Pier

Summer days call for sea breezes and simplicity – north of the city, boogie down Bee Gees way in Redcliffe before going for a dip at man-made Settlement Cove, or kick your shoes off and splash along the shore at Suttons Beach. Drive over the Ted Smout Memorial Bridge towards Sandgate for fish ‘n’ chips by the bay, and then walk it off on the Shorncliffe Pier. Breathe in that salty in. Breathe out. Relax.

Get there: self-drive 40-minutes

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