When we think of day trips from Brisbane, the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast often come to mind. These regions are spotted with great places to visit for a day trip or to stay longer and enjoy a local holiday. However, there is another region just outside of Brisbane that is sometimes forgotten. When you consider the great food, scenery and experiences on offer, it becomes another must-visit destination.
This region is so close to Brisbane’s doorstep. This region is the Moreton Bay Region, located between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. The Bay itself is just 14 kilometres from the heart of Brisbane and is beautifully formed by Moreton Island and North Stradbroke Island, with Bribie Island lying further to the north. It is one of Queensland’s most important coastal resources.
Besides the great country towns like Samford and Dayboro, the hiking trails and National Parks, including Mount Glorious, D-Aguilar, Bribie Island National Park and Belthorpe National Park. There are also swimming holes, farms, Australia’s largest strawberry growing area, and great food stops (more on this below). Plus many parts of the region aren’t highly trafficked by tourists. For these reasons, we love the Moreton Bay Region to experience an adventure in our own backyard.
If you are travelling with the family, you may like to include some of these additional stops:
- Lake Samsonvale,
- Trevena Glen Farm (you can also book behind the scenes animal experiences),
- Bunya Swimming Hole,
- Rocky Hole at Mt Mee, or
- Aqua Splash at Redcliffe.
Like the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, the Moreton Bay Region has both a spectacular Hinterland and Coastline, offering very different experiences. Fortunately, they are close enough that you can easily enjoy fresh produce from the local farms and ocean in either area.
You may want to consider a day of hinterland exploration or coastal exploration, or even a combination of both. So, to inspire your adventure in the Moreton Bay Region, here are just two sample itineraries.
Brisbane Day Trip Idea #1
Drive-up through the Northwestern suburbs of Brisbane and stop in the quaint town of Samford. Visit the local icon, Samford Patisserie and Cafe for morning tea and maybe collect some treats for your trip.
Following morning tea, take a drive up to Clear Mountain. Take in the hinterland beauty and forest views with a walk through the Clear Mountain Conservation Park.
Drive Back down the mountain and past Lake Samsonvale towards Dayboro. Here, we recommend a visit to the infamous country pub, Crown Hotel Dayboro. If you are also feeling a bit peckish at this stage, stop in at The Old Storehouse, or the Dayboro Bakery for some great country delights.
After wining and dining, make your way back on the eastern side of Lake Samsonvale, and perhaps take a moment to stretch your legs with a walk along the lake at Bullocky Rest.
If you’re up for one more stop before returning to the city, stop in at Brendale Brewing for a drink or even to pick up some beer to take home with you.
Brisbane Day Trip Idea #2
This second itinerary will give you a taste of the coast with a little farm experience thrown in.
Heading Northeast from Brisbane will take you to the coastal towns of Shorncliffe, Sandgate and Brighton at the start of the Moreton Bay Region. Whilst all are worthy of stops, we recommend taking in the waterfront views of the Bay from Baaia Cafe in Sandgate. The food here is seasonally sourced from local, sustainable producers, which means you’ll also be supporting the local producers.
After your brunch or morning tea, take a stroll along the esplanade or even feel the sand between your toes.
If it happens to be whale watching season, you may like to continue north up the coast to Redcliffe and take a whale watching trip with Brisbane Whale Watching.
From here, make your way back to the M1, and head up the coast to the largest strawberry producing area in Australia. During June to October, you can make a visit to many of the producing farms for a pick-your-own experience at farms like Rolin Strawberry Farms, or do a farm tour. Some of these farms have small shops full of local produce that you can pick up year-round too.
After your trip so far, you may just be getting a little peckish for something savoury, which our next stop will provide. Making your way east towards Bribie island, you will find a great spot for some fresh seafood or traditional pub fare at Sandstone Point Hotel. Or if you want to start making your way back to Brisbane, you could also make your way to the popular local spot for Seafood, Morgan’s Seafood in Scarborough.
For something a little different, head over the bridge to Bribie Island, which not only has some great beaches and a National Park to explore but is also home to the Bribie Island Butterfly House. Here you can learn about the wonderful world of butterflies and do a good deed by helping needy people locally and overseas with profits from your entrance fees.
If you’re up for more eating on your way back to Brisbane, end with an early dinner at Tempest Seafood Restaurant in Scarborough.
These itineraries are just two ideas of how you could spend a Brisbane day trip in the Moreton Bay Region, and hopefully, they’ll inspire to you take more #adventuresinyourownbackyard.
If you would like further inspiration for day trips from Brisbane, make sure you check out our post on 7 reasons foodies will love the Sunshine Coast food scene.