As Queenslanders, we’re absolutely blessed.
We have access to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world; from tropical jungles and dense bushland to vast open spaces and breath-taking beaches. There are people overseas who will save for years for a chance to visit our home state, a place that may very well be high up on their bucket list for most of their lives.
With easy access to one of the world’s most desirable holiday destinations, it seems a staycation may be the way to go for Brisbanites. But what is there to do and where should you go?
Quiet beach breaks don’t get much better than a trip to Agnes Water, an hour north of Bundaberg. It takes around 5 1/2 hours to drive there, which makes it easy to pack up the car with everything you need and head up for a week’s getaway. Being able to take your essentials with you also helps keep this getaway budget-friendly. The drive takes you through Gympie, Maryborough and Bundaberg, prime territory for stocking up on trays of mangoes at roadside fruit stalls.
Once you’re there, check into one of the local beachside hotels or rent a holiday house from a friendly local. There are a number of great local restaurants and cafes offering delicious food and wine, as well as a number of fun local attractions. Explore the magical paperbark forest, watch the sunrise over the deserted Chinaman’s Beach, visit Cook’s Monument or spend a day out on the Great Barrier Reef, exploring Lady Musgrave Island.
If a trip up to the Gladstone Region seems a bit too far, keep things closer to home by stopping in at Rainbow Beach. This sleepy little coastal down town sits just east of Gympie and takes about 3 hours to reach from Brisbane by car.
Aside from a number of fantastic local restaurants and cafes, and a local pub that absolutely goes off, the town is home to some of the most picture-perfect beaches you’ll find anywhere. Drive out to Inskip Point and stand among the mangroves and sand banks for great fishing. Take a dip in the channel for the chance to get up close to dolphins or take a pre-dawn drive up to the breathtaking Carlo Sand Blow to watch a sunrise you’ll never forget.
For a break closer to home and away from the crowds, head west toward the Scenic Rim and the Great Dividing Range. It takes around 1 1/2 hours to get there and offers visitors absolutely stunning views beyond compare. It’s a chance to get back to nature, breathe in some fresh air and, if you stay over night, see a night sky like rich blue velvet covered in lights.
There are a number of cosy cottages, cabins and bed and breakfasts in the area and plenty more if you drive the extra hour to Stanthorpe. Just be sure to pack your beanie. Imagine snuggling up in front of a fireplace with a glass of wine in hand, listening to the sounds of our bushland all around you.
Absolute bliss, and all just a few hours away from Brisbane.