Two scenic drives in the Moreton Bay Region
North of Brisbane, the Moreton Bay Region is a massive area with a super scenic hinterland, and a bayside of little seaside towns. Stitch the two drives together for a weekend of activity, or go exploring for the day.
Spend the day cruising through the scenic hinterland
Starting in Brisbane, head up through Enoggera towards to Samford Village. This cute town is a slice of country life by the city. It has a bunch of great cafes, our pick being The Flying Nun. Eat breakfast (or brunch) here and continue on the road.
There is the option now to divert off towards Mt Glorious and wander the Greene’s Falls Track among others. You will have to pass back through Samford Village to continue north.
The next spot to stop on the journey north is Dayboro. This historic village features a self-walk trail between the 18 heritage buildings. Stop into the Dayboro Art Gallery while here, do a spot of antique hunting and if you plan it right, make time for horse riding. Slickers Horse Riding do trail rides around the area, including from the property to the classic Crown Hotel pub in Dayboro.
There’s no rest for the wicked, back in the car because lunch is calling – but more importantly, it’s wine time. Ocean View Estates is a gorgeous winery and brewery with a top-notch restaurant and gorgeous views (hence the name, duh!). You can also order a picnic hamper to enjoy among the vines. An alternative lunch stop is Birches Restaurant a little further along the road.
It’s nature time! Pull into The Gantry in D’Aguilar National Park via Sellin Rd. From here you can ditch the car and walk to Somerset lookout for spectacular views over the Great Dividing Range, Somerset Dam and Lake Wivenhoe; or drive to Rocky Hole to enjoy a natural creek swimming pool (an off-road vehicle is ideal to tackle the 8km dirt trail). Here is a PDF map to help.
Back on the road, keep trucking along Mount Mee Rd and through Delaneys Creek. Treat yourself to something tasty at The Place 2 B before hitting the D’Aguilar Highway towards Caboolture. From here the Bruce Highway will lead you back to Brisbane town, or you can expand your day to a weekend and find somewhere to stay the night.
Catch the sea breeze as you drive along the bayside
Breathe in, and breathe out. You’re about to reach the bayside where the fresh salty air will have you dreaming of summer holidays past. Jump in the car and head north-east along the Kingsford-Smith Dr before jumping on the Southern Cross Way towards Redcliffe.
Once you cross over the Ted Smout Bridge you’ve reached the tip of Moreton Bay Region’s bayside. Jump out at Crockatt Park in Woody Point and stretch your legs. If you’re famished there’s a fish 'n' chips joint across the road that’s popular with locals. Wander around to the HMQS Gayundah shipwreck to check out the rusting shell – it’s popular with photographers.
Take the coastal road along past Sutton’s Beach and Settlement Cove (jump out for a dip in the man-made lagoon). Stop at Redcliffe Jetty and wander up and back along the pier. Around this area there are lots of cafes, restaurants and takeaway spots along the esplanade.
Arrrr-haaa! Cruise on up to Scarborough where kids young and old can conquer the seven seas at Pirate Playground. Ditch the car and wander around to Scarborough Harbour where Tempest Seafood is a top spot for lunch, or Harbourside Gelateria should satisfy for morning tea.
Sandstone Point Hotel
From here it’s a longer drive around to Beachmere via the M1. At low tide watch for soldier crabs scuttling across the mud flats. Follow the coastal drive from Beachmere towards Sandstone Point. This area is home to the epic Sandstone Point Hotel, known for its big events, oyster bar and rolling green hills down to the water. Stop here for lunch (if you didn’t already eat at downtown Redcliffe or Scarborough) or sneak in a cheeky beer with views of Pumicestone Passage.
Last, but not least, cross the bridge over to Bribie Island and experience the relaxed pace. If you’ve got daylight to kill, head over to the eastern side at Woorim and dive straight into the surf beach here. Once you’ve dried off, perhaps a round at the Bribie Island Golf Club or a flick at the Bribie Twin Cinemas tickles your fancy. Despite having a number of large townships and suburban areas, most of Bribie Island is national park, best explored by 4WD but don’t let that stop you going for a walk in the beachside scrub.
For sunset, be sure to position yourself on the western side. Up the romance with a ride on Bribie Island Gondolas, or hire a BBQ Boat with friends and cruise the very scenic Pumicestone Passage. Keep an eye out for the many, many species of bird. This side of the island is also home to the Bribie Island Seaside Museum – well worth a visit.
Phew, what a day! Drive back to the mainland, stop off at Sandstone Point Hotel for a beer and feed if you missed it on the way through and drive back to Brisbane via the M1. As said before, tee this bayside drive up with the hinterland drive and make a weekend of it.
Where to stay
Finishing one trail and tracking another back towards Brisbane the next day is a great way to make the most of a weekend. Stay at one of the following spots in the north of the region.
Uluramaya Retreat Cabins has three log cabins designed to maximise the light and spectacular views of the Glasshouse Mountains. Sounds like the perfect spot to relax, right?
Bribie Island and north bayside
Take your pick from beachside or bayside and treat yourself to a stay at the Hotel On The Bay or Hotel On The Beach resorts on Bribie Island. The well-appointed hotels have one, two and three-bedroom apartments plus pools.