48 hours in Moreton Bay Region
When you roll in to the Moreton Bay Region from Brisbane or the airport, the entrance is pretty damn spectacular. To start with, you’ll be driving across the second-longest bridge in Australia, which is pretty cool in itself. Secondly, you’ll most likely be cruising in as the sun sets, which means all the pinks and oranges and reds reflecting from the generally calm waters of Moreton Bay will paint a stunning portrait for your arrival.
But as the dark descends it’s time for two days of exploration. Let’s do this.
From the airport it’s about a 25-minute drive to Redcliffe, the main hub of the Moreton Bay Region. Redcliffe Parade on the waterfront is a good place to start your exploration and once you’ve checked in (try Oaks Mon Komo, it has awesome views out to Moreton Bay and the islands) wander along the waterfront and take your pick for dinner.
Eat all the pasta
The Rustic Olive is insanely popular with locals and the Italian fare is honest, the menu well priced and the servings abundant. If you can’t get a table (you’ll need to book ahead), La Laterna just down the road offers an authentic Italian fair with simple, regional flavours and hand made gnocchi. If pasta ain't your thing, the Ceylon Inn is just a skip away for great Indian curries or you can mosey on down to Chop Chop Sushi (get ramen, okonomiyaki and ice-cold Sapporo on tap).
You should be dancing
After dinner, dance your way down the very cool Bee Gees Way. The Brothers Gibb grew up on the Peninsula and this ode to their childhood in the region and the super stars they became is a captivating, engaging journey with statues, stories, videos and nightly light shows.
If you’re in need of a night cap, Mon Komo has the Cabana Bar and Terrace, so retreat there for a quiet one. Exhale. The weekend has begun.
Rise at 6am, Moreton Bay in all its glory should be beaming in through your window. Get your phone out, take a picture and get that beauty on Instagram (#thisisbrisbane).
Breakfast at Preece’s
Head down to local institution Preece’s at the Jetty for brekky. The breakfast menu is sizeable so eat up, grab a takeaway coffee and wander across the road to Redcliffe Jetty. The morning breeze and glorious surrounds are the perfect start to the day. But don’t dawdle, you’ll be back this way tomorrow.
Get in the car, it’s Bribie Island time
It takes about 25 minutes to get to Bribie from Redcliffe and you’ll know you're there when you cross over the excessively pretty Pumicestone Passage.
Play in the Passage
Pumicestone Passage is gorgeous to look at, and even better to be out on. Hire a kayak from Bribie Hire Hut (they also rent stand-up paddleboards, paddle boats, electric bikes and 'zegways'), or join a 4WD, kayaking and beach bunker tour with G'day Adventure Tours.
Locals love this place and for very good reason. Find yourself a seat, lap up the water views across the lawn and order a dozen oysters from the Oyster Shed. And a beer. And then a dozen more oysters because you’re on holidays damn it.
Take a two-hour sunset eco-cruise
Moreton Bay’s marine life is awesome, and you can spot dugongs, dolphins, turtles, dingoes, jabiru, sea eagles, osprey and 360 other types of birds on a Ferryman Cruises eco-cruise. Make it extra spesh and take the sunset option – glass of wine, sun setting over the Glasshouse Mountains, the passage lapping at the shore. Glorious.
Rest up, tomorrow’s going to be a doozy
You’ve had a huge day so either head home and grab a feed at Mon Komo’s Restaurant Caribbee or head down the road to the Belvedere Hotel for a good steak. Sleep tight!
Seriously, your Sunday options are many and varied and depending upon which road you take you either get a sleep-in or you’re up and at ’em – both are well worth it.
For those craving a lie-in, wander down Redcliffe Parade about 8am and you’ll see the waterfront precinct transformed for the Redcliffe Jetty Markets. Heaps of yummy market food, stalls and entertainment are on offer, and you could seriously eat up half a day checking out their wares. When you're done there head down to Settlement Cove Lagoon, a seriously cool (and free) water park. The kids will go nuts.
For those up with the sparrows, get back in the car – it’s hinterland time.
Breakfast at the Flying Nun Cafe, Samford
It’s about a 40-minute drive but once the suburbs disappear you’ll be greeted by rolling green hills, quaint valleys and a stack of things to check out for the day. Breakfast at The Flying Nun is a must and we recommend the potato and persian fetta hash cakes with poached eggs, roasted carrot puree and chorizo crumb.
Samford Village in parts is a captivating snapshot of the past and this leisurely stroll has markers to guide you, each telling the story of the area. Learn the tales behind the historical museum, Samford Railway Station and Goods Yard, and the Samford Hotel, among others. It’s a must for history buffs.
Taste wine and have a picnic at Ocean View Estates
About 15 minutes from Samford Village is Dayboro, and the drive will make you want to pack up and move out to lap up the quiet life. The urge will really hit home when you get to Ocean View Estates.
Head to the cellar door and taste wine and craft beer to your heart's content, then grab a picnic hamper and blanket from the restaurant. Claim some real estate outside on the hill and breathe in the views across the vineyard with cheese, fruits, truffles (they cost a bit extra) and crackers.
Explore historic Dayboro
The village is beautiful and well worth a wander to learn about the region’s past. Make sure you drop in and check out the very cute Dayboro Art Gallery, look through the various antique stores and cool off with a drink at the historic Crown Hotel.
Watch the sun set over the water (kind of)
It’s been a huge weekend and you’ll no doubt be about to head home, but if you have time make sure you stop off at Woody Point and watch the sun dip into the west across Moreton Bay.
East coast Aussies don’t get to see the sun set over the water often but here you can watch on as the different colours reflect and refract through the water – a rare, beautiful perspective and the perfect finish to a cracking weekend.