Brisbane's best weekend getaways
18 January 2016
In need of a holiday but don't want to travel too far from home? Brisbane's regions are jam-packed with exciting things to see and do that are suitable for families, adventure seekers and those who just want to indulge.
Read on to find out what you could be doing on your ultimate weekend getaway in the Brisbane Region.
Indulgent Weekends Escapes
Fun and adventure in Logan City and Redlands
Get super soaked at Logan City's super park Darlington Parklands which features a water play area with fountains and outdoor climbing equipment. For the young and young at heart, Kingston Park Raceway is a great place for some healthy family competition. Who will take pole position? Rest your head after a day of thrills in a spacious, self-contained Eco Pavilion at Mt Cotton Retreat.
Round up the kids for a morning paddle on the bay with Redlands Kayak Tours. Meet at Thompsons Beach, Victoria Point, 30 minutes before the tour starts. Wind down your weekend at the Daisy Hill Koala Centre where cute and cuddly koalas are waiting for their close up.
Back to nature in the Scenic Rim
Head down to the Scenic Rim region for a nature escape. Take suitable bushwalking shoes to explore Lake Wyaralong’s trails or the Lower Portals Walk near the base of Mt Barney and be sure to check out the sculpture park on a hill overlooking Wyaralong Dam.
Settle in for the night at Lillydale Farmstay where kids will love taking part in farm activities including horse riding. Alternatively, stay in a family lodge at Mt Barney Lodge, or camp under the stars by a creek side campfire with marvelous mountain views.
An island escape on North Stradbroke Island
Take the family on a weekend island escape to North Stradbroke Island. Straddie Kingfisher Tours cover all the must-dos on the island including sandboarding, a 4WD eco tour, and seeking out native wildlife. After exploring the island, perk up with a healthy, gourmet-style café meal at the Island Barn Cafe in Dunwich.
Retire for the night at Whale Watch Resort in an oceanview room where you’ll drift to sleep to the sound of the waves.
If the family are keen on surfing, the North Stradbroke Island Surf School run 1.5 hour lessons in the crystal clear waters off Point Lookout. After, be the family’s champion of the bowling green at the Point Lookout Bowling Club with a game of barefoot bowls and lunch in the bistro.
Feed wild dolphins on Moreton Island
Hit the third biggest sand island in the world for two jam-packed days of family adventure from sand tobogganing and quad bike riding to stand up paddleboards and segways. Have a casual lunch at the resort before diving back into a new activity or dine at the beach side Fire and Stone Restaurant.
Rest and recoup at the Tangalooma Island Resort where a pod of up to 10 wild dolphins appear each evening who are able to be hand fed. The dolphin feeding program is a delight for both spectators and participants which has been a regular occurrence since 1992.
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Get your thrills in the Somerset region
The Somerset region has it all when the adventurous spirit calls. The Lake Somerset Holiday Park includes a variety of activities including mini golf, water skiing and wakeboarding for those days when you just can't sit still. If you're feeling wild, young and free (and don't mind heights) then Skydive Ramblers will give you all the thrills and spills you're looking for.
If recreational trails are what you're after, then try the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. It follows the disused Brisbane Valley rail line from Wulkuraka to Yarraman and covers 161km of trail which provides walkers, cyclists and horse riders with an outstanding historical and rural landscape. Read more here on how to break down the trail into more manageable journeys.
Explore Moreton Island
The friendly crew from Sunset Safaris offer a unique two-day adventure experience on Moreton Island. Snorkel with the fish at the Tangalooma Wrecks and stay in optional eco-glamping tents. Experience marine life like never before with night time transparent kayaking with underwater LED lights before winding down next to an open campfire with roasted marshmallows.
Be charmed by Ipswich
There’s much adventure to be had in the charming historical city of Ipswich. Pterodactyl Helicopter Tours or Floating Images Hot Air Ballooning will have you challenging your inner monologue, while Spicers Hidden Vale includes activities like 4WD tours, bush walks, mountain biking, archery or laser clay shooting to ensure your feet are planted firmly on the ground.
Soar above the Moreton Bay Region
Experience the wind in your hair as you feel the freedom of flight like never before in an open-air Tiger Moth. Antique Airways operate Tiger Moth joy flights around the Redcliffe Peninsular and Moreton Bay. For the animal lover, Slickers Horse Riding will make those equestrian dreams come true. For the ultimate feed, hire a boat from BBQ Boat Hire Bribie Island. Catering for groups, there are three boat sizes for 6, 8, and 12 people with full or half-day option. Cruise around the bay while enjoying a great Aussie snag on the barbie.
Bust out the camping gear for a night at the Bribie Conservation Park. Some sites are accessible via 4WD, others by boat. Be sure to check out the Queensland National Parks'; website for details on where you can camp and how to organise permits.
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Indulgent weekend escapes
Float around the Scenic Rim
Early risers will enjoy a romantic hot air ballooning experience over the Scenic Rim with Hot Air Balloon Brisbane which includes a vineyard breakfast at O'Reilly's Canungra Vineyards. Take part in the ultimate foodie experience at Tamborine Mountain Cooking School. Learn to cook delicious dishes with professional French trained chef Terri Taylor. Classes run from 10am-2pm.
Set among lush rainforest surrounds, Pethers Rainforest Retreat is the height of indulgent relaxation at Tamborine Mountain. Fall asleep to the sound of a gentle flowing creek in one of 10 private cabins. You'll feel completely isolated from the outside world until you decide to satisfy your grumbling tummy with a three course dinner at the onsite restaurant. Find joy in discovering that the ingredients have been sourced locally.
Spend day two exploring Witches Chase Cheese Co. with lunch at the Long Road Bistro. Learn how The Fortitude Brewing Company make nine different brews from knowledgeable staff at the onsite 24 hecto-litre brewery.
Trace local produce around Lockyer Valley and Somerset
Head out to Preston Peak Winery from 11am-3pm for a few hours of wine testing while enjoying sweeping vistas of the property before checking into Branell Homestead B&B in Laidley. Make the trip to nearby Forest Hill to dine alfresco-style at Café 4342 where delicious food is accompanied by locally produced award-winning Golden Grove Estate wines from Ballandean.
Roll out of bed and take the scenic drive out to the Coolana Olives farm at Minden where visitors are assured of tasting Australia's finest olive oils produced using organic farming principles.
Treat yourself in the Moreton Bay Region
Take a weekend to explore the indulgent side of the Moreton Bay Region. Head north-west of Brisbane and you'll find quaint antique and vintage shops in Dayboro Village. From here, take a drive to nearby Ocean View Estates Winery and Restaurant where you can wander the vineyards and sample eight wines.
After tasting your way through the winery, take the short drive to the Dayboro Cottages where you will spend the night in beautifully appointed cottages overlooking the valley. That afternoon, join a llama walk where you can lead your own llama some of the 85 hecatres of bushland and rainforest on the property. Following the walk, enjoy afternoon tea in the garden before returning home.
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