As someone who's grown up all their life in Brisbane, I've basically seen all there is to see in South East Queensland. I feel like because I'm so familiar with this place I call home it's easy to call it boring, and often times I say to myself 'If only I was overseas.' But if I'm being honest with myself I can say without a shadow of a doubt that being in Brisbane - let alone Australia - I am so incredibly blessed to be at the doorstep of some of the greatest landscapes in the world. From waterfalls, epic mountains, to beautiful beaches that no where else in the world can come close to comparing to, all within a few hours of Brisbane.
I have decided to put together a list of some of the places that have simply blown me away so that hopefully you can go and enjoy them as much as I did. If you've been to some places that haven't been featured on this list I'd definitely love to hear about it in the comments, I'm always looking for new places to see and explore.
I've been pretty restricted and haven't had the chance to go up further north than Inskip Point, so after you've finished reading this blog head on over to Experience Oz and check out their Top Things to do in Queensland and check out what else you can do in Queensland. These are the guys that I always go to for inspiration when I'm in search for new stuff to add to the list of stuff see and do in Queensland.
1. Catamaran Cruise Through Moreton Bay
Half an hour from Brisbane is the amazing Moreton Bay. Gather up to 25 of your friends and sail through The Bay on a catamaran, eating food and drinking to your hearts desires. Stop off at Peel Island and jump into the water where you could even swim with some dolphins if you're lucky enough. The company we booked through was Aria Cruises.
2. Purlingbrook Falls (Just After it's Rained)
I'll be straight up with you, I hate the rain but there is one exception to this and that's going to a waterfall JUST after its rained. This can turn a trickling waterfall into an absolute behemoth. One of my all time favourites is located in the Gold Coast Hinterland and it's called Purlingbrook Falls. The water falls with so much force that you get sprayed with water and whipped with wind 20 meters away.
3. The Sunflower Fields
You can't come to South-East Queensland and not visit the sunflower fields. The only thing that I will say is that to see the sunflower fields you'll have to come between the end of November all the way up to late Feburuary (and sometimes even March if you're lucky). My favourite time to visit them is at sunrise or sunset, it makes the experience so much better. I actually wrote a blog post about the sunflower fields which you can check out HERE and it'll give you all the info you need to go there.
4. Carlo Sand Blow
Carlo Sand Blow has got to be hands down my favourite spot for sunrise in all of South-East Queensland. There's honestly no where else that even comes close to comparing to seeing the sunrise from over the ocean here (that might be a lie, but this is still my favourite). Carlo Sand Blow is a huge sand dune that overlooks the ocean in the Rainbow Beach area about 3 hours north of Brisbane.
5. Devils Kitchen, Noosa National Park
Located up the Sunshine Coast is Noosa National Park. One spot I like going to in particular is called Devils Kitchen, it's not as packed as other spots because it's harder to find which for me is a must. There's no better way to watch the waves roll in than sitting up at the 50m high cliffs that overhang the shore.
6. Point Cartwright, Mooloolaba
Another sunrise spot that I'm in love with. Point Cartwright has a lighthouse that's set on top of a cliff which are able to climb down and head out even further, right up to the coastline. I love this spot because the sunrises directly over the ocean and there are rock pools that are so still they are literally like mirrors that reflect the morning light. It's about a 10 minute drive from Mooloolaba and it has heaps of cafe's that I love going to afterwards.
7. Camping at Inskip Point
My favourite spot to camp in South-East Queensland and also my favourite spot to see the stars. This place has everything right there at your finger tips: the beach is 10 meters from where you camp, there's an awesome café 15 minutes away, and you can sit out on the beach at night around a fire (yes, they're allowed), listening to music under the stars. If you're feeling up for it, the ferry to Fraser Island is also a couple hundred meters away from the camping spot. It's also super cheap to camp at $6 a night.
8. Mt. Barney
Not for the faint hearted, Mt. Barney is located 90km south east of Brisbane and is the six highest mountain in Queensland at 1359m (4459ft) in height. Climbing and summiting the mountain has got to be one of the most difficult things I've done in my life, owing to the fact that myself and my group got lost on the way down the mountain. We didn't get back to our car until 11pm that night (we started hiking at 8am). Don't let my story deter you though, the hike rewarding and the views at the top are just incredible. I made a video of the ordeal and you can watch that HERE.
9. Stradbroke Island
Also located in the Moreton Bay Region, its a 20 minute passenger ferry ride or 1 hour car barge ride (a return passenger ticket costs $20 or $155 for the car barge) which takes you to Dunwich. From there you can easily catch a bus to Cylinder Beach or Point Lookout where the best beaches, cafes and swimming spots are. The Gorge is one of my favourite spots to swim as it's located between two sheer rock faces and shaded from the sun for a lot of the day.
10. Burleigh Heads
A local classic. Burleigh Heads never gets old, it has another epic spot for sunrise and you can watch the sunrise over the ocean. After this you can head down to the many cafe's and grab an acai bowl and coffee before heading to the beach, or even head 20 minutes down the coast and check out Snapper Rocks at Coolangatta (another epic spot). The only downside for this one is that often times on the weekends other people are also here throughout the day as it's become quite a popular spot.
Let me know of any spots you'd recommend checking out and I'd love to take a look.
Until my next post, stay safe but not too safe!