Planning little trips away with the kids can be tough. It’s hard to please everyone and even harder to think of new places to go that don’t require a plane ticket. So, we’ve pulled together five of the best day trips in South East Queensland to try this weekend.
Mount Mee Tourist Drive
Escape to the countryside for the day on the Mount Mee Tourist Drive. The route begins in the rural town of Samford, thirty minutes from Brisbane’s CBD.
Take the scenic route to Samford through the D’Aguilar National Park, stopping at Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre. It’s a great place for small kids to get a close look at animals including platypus, wombats, rainforest birds and snakes. If you phone ahead, you can time your visit to join fun activities and a guided tour by a wildlife ranger.
From Samford, drive 25km through rolling farmland to the historic village of Dayboro. Pop in at Hay Cottage, built in 1869 as a worker’s cottage and now a charming arts and crafts centre.
Continue for another 20km or so for stunning views as you wind your way up Mount Mee. Stop at the top for a picnic at The Gantry day area.
To finish off the day, take the easy 1km Piccabeen forest walk or one of the longer hikes to settle your lunch. Plus it’ll tire out the kids, so they sleep all the way back to town.
Tangalooma Resort Dolphin Feeding Cruise
Sail away to spectacular Moreton Island for the day and relax on the beach at Tangalooma Resort.
As the sun sets, the resort’s world-famous resident bottlenose dolphins swim into the shallows, and the chance to hand-feed them makes for an unforgettable experience.
The package costs $95 per adult and $50 per child, and includes a 90-minute return catamaran cruise departing from Holt St Wharf in Pinkenba, free access to the resort’s swimming pool and other facilities for the day, and hand-feeding of the dolphins under the guidance of resort staff.
Crikey, it’s hard to beat this for a fun-packed day trip. Made famous by the legendary Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, Australia Zoo is about an hour north of Brisbane.
You’ll need a full day to take in all there is to see here, with over 1,000 animals on display, from giant saltwater crocs to tigers and elephants.
Wildlife teams rove the park carrying anything from koalas to pythons, and are happy to stop for a chat and a photograph.
There are shows on all day, but make sure you don’t miss the spectacular Wildlife Warriors extravaganza, which runs at noon every day at the Crocoseum.
A family pass for two adults and two children costs $172.
Perched high in the cool hills above the Gold Coast is the little town of Tamborine Mountain. It’s an easy one-hour drive from Brisbane, and there’s a huge range of attractions to keep the whole family happy.
Take the kids to see the amazing glow worm caves at Cedar Creek Estate Winery.
If you’re feeling adventurous, tackle the high ropes of the TreeTop Challenge at Thunderbird Park. For safer access to the canopy, there’s the 30-metre high Rainforest Skywalk.
The spectacular waterfalls and rock pools of Cedar Creek Falls in nearby Tamborine National Park are a great place for a swim and a picnic, or stroll down bustling Gallery Walk to choose a restaurant for lunch.
Make a final stop at Granny Mac’s Fudge Store, where the sweet treat comes in 80 different flavours, and pick up a bit extra for the car ride home.
Montville and Maleny
Drive 100km north of Brisbane into the green hills of the Blackall Ranges to spend the day in the delightful towns of Montville and Maleny, set 15km apart.
Known for its artists and craftspeople, the region is a shopper’s delight – packed with galleries and boutique gift and craft shops.
The kids will love a visit to Maleny Dairies, where you can call ahead to book a tour and pat some cows. Stop in for a tasting at the Maleny Cheese Factory before a stroll in the rainforest at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve.
You won’t find an eatery in Australia with better views than Montville’s The Edge Restaurant, where the family can eat on the big deck and take in the sights all the way to the beaches of the Sunshine Coast.
Whether you escape to the mountains or the beach, you need to know that your car is covered. If your car broke down or there was an accident, could you afford to replace it?
Should the unexpected happen, Coles Car Insurance can help get you back on the road sooner.
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