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Brisbane Road Trips
Whilst there are plenty of things to do in Brisbane, we understand they don't necessarily meet your needs for freedom and adventure. Whether you go north to the Sunshine Coast, Noosa, the Great Barrier Reef and beyond, or south following the stunning coastal road to Sydney, you're in for a treat. Pick up a campervan and explore the real Brisbane attractions.
Heading North of Brisbane
Heading north from Brisbane you'll be spoilt for choice on places to visit with iconic locations like the Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Fraser Island just a few hours drive away. On the way out of town, take in the sights and sounds at Australia Zoo, home to Steve Irwin. Kids and adults alike will love the interactive displays and the opportunity to get up and close with the animals, including feeding the kangaroos and camels. Continue north to the tropical beaches of Sunshine Coast & Noosa where you can lose yourself in the blissful surroundings and perfect sandy beaches.
From here, the world is your oyster - you can continue north and experience the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef, or head inland and explore one of the many national parks in the area. Do something a little different, stay in a bushcamp with your campervan, hike in the rainforest and enjoy the exotic bird and wildlife that dominates the area. On the way back into Brisbane, take in those epic views again from the Glass House Mountain Lookout.
Heading South From Brisbane
Driving south from Brisbane provides an excellent 7-10 day road trip in a motorhome, depending on how far you choose to go. Head south-west from the city to explore the Tamborine National Park and Mount Tamborine itself. Covered in lush rainforest and full of vibrant bird song, it's a great location to explore, hike and camp in. Be sure to reserve your spot in advance at the Tamborine Mountain Caravan & Camping Park.
From here, you must visit the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise. Home to long sandy beaches and theme parks such as Dreamworld, Seaworld and Wet'n'Wild, this place has something to entertain all ages! Depending on how many days you have left, Byron Bay is another must-visit location, just for the beaches, diving and humpback whale watching alone! Be sure to park your RV / Motorhome in the allowed areas in Byron Bay, and book your caravan park in advance during high season!
Brisbane to Sydney Itinerary
If you've got 7-10 days with your rental and want to see the East Coast of Australia, this trip is the one! As you drive down the famously scenic coastline, drop into Mount Tamborine for a rainforest adventure before taking in some relaxation time on the long sandy beaches of the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise. Byron Bay is a great next stop and perfect location for some whale watching, an experience that everyone should do at least once.
Continuing south, Coffs Harbour is your next spot with its abundant wildlife, seasonal whales and coral reefs to enjoy. If you have the time, a guided boat trip is a great way to enjoy all this place has to offer. The drive to Port Macquarie past the Nambucca Heads is spectacular with the option to camp beachside here - a perfect place to soak up an east coast sunrise. The final leg of the journey takes you through the Myall Lakes National Park, with its abundant hiking trails is prime for a half day walk, before threading through Newcastle and onto Sydney.
For more information, see our full Brisbane to Sydney Itinerary.
Things to do in Brisbane
Whether you want to soak up the arts and culture, eat your way around the city or explore the outdoors with your camper, you won't be short of things to do in Brisbane. The only limiting factor will be the hours in a day.
Rated as one of the top 10 zoos in the world, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary's other claim to fame is as the worlds largest Koala sanctuary. Home to over 130 koalas, you'll be able to get up close to the wildlife, hug a koala as well as hand feed kangaroos and lorikeets.
Australia Zoo, the home of the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, is regarded as an adventure of a lifetime. World class enclosures and interactive opportunities let you and the kids get up close to the wildlife - feed the kangaroos and camels, and meet face to face (including personal introductions from the wildlife team) with the snakes, baby alligators and talking cockatoos just some of the 1000 animals here.
If you're more interested in animals that swim, then a day out with Brisbane Whale Watching will tick your boxes. Marvel at the giant whales as they migrate to and from Antarctica, and look on in awe as they breach, bow and play all within meters of the boat.
There are plenty of things to do in Brisbane within the city. For those seeking something a little different, checkout The Story Bridge - climb to the top of the bridge for panoramic 360 views to the Glasshouse mountains and the World Heritage Listed Gold Coast hinterland. If you're feeling adventurous there's an optional 30-meter abseil down! Kangaroo Point Cliffs also offers an abseil down the cliff faces, as well as some great walking and cycling tracks along the river's edge, and of course some of Brisbane's most popular picnic spots. All these activities are accessible by car and motorhome.
One of the best ways to soak up Brisbane is from the water. For those keen to get hands-on, rent a kayak and take a guided tour from the city's waterways. If physical activity is not your thing, then a cruise down the river on a paddle steamer is a great way to explore with a different perspective. Increase the experience by combining your cruise with a meal, there's nothing quite like seeing the city at night from the water whilst sipping on a locally produced wine.
For those after an adventure outside of the CBD, Mount Coot-tha Reserve is the place to go. Once you've ascended by vehicle or on foot, soak up the city views from this city high point and wander through the manicured Brisbane Botanical Gardens and surrounding natural bushland of Brisbane Forest Park.
Arts & Culture
Spirits of the Red Sand is a thrilling live theatre experience that provides a great insight and connection to Aboriginal culture. Powerful storytelling will take you back to the 1800s and immerse you in the trials and challenges faced as the British and Aboriginal people collide.
There are a number of museums to inspire and educate you whilst in Brisbane - the Queensland Museum specializing in the natural history and science of the region, whilst the Museum of Brisbane explores the contemporary and historical aspects that have shaped the area.
With multiple art galleries located just a few minutes from each other, you're spoilt for choice. A favorite among visitors tends to be Queensland Art Gallery & the Gallery Of Modern Art. Located centrally, both these highly acclaimed galleries will provide an insight into the art that has shaped the city.
Brisbane is home to a number of exciting restaurants and cafes where the focus is on utilising the local produce. There's plenty of choices to excite your taste buds and get your foodie fox on - Esquires sophisticated degustation, Gauge's imaginative and cutting-edge take on local produce-driven and wine, or Gerard's Bistro for an inspiring taste of global flavours. A family favourite are the burgers at Miel Container - filling, affordable and packed with flavour!
For those after a little action post-dinner, Up on Constance and Eleven provide cocktails in the quaint setting of a rooftop bar overlooking the city sights. A perfect way to finish a day enjoying the Brisbane attractions.
Where to Stay
Whether you're in need of a high-class hotel, budget-conscious motel or feature filled Air B'n'B there's plenty of options. There's even a number of campgrounds close to the city where you can park your campervan whilst you head into the city to explore the sights and sounds. Our favourites are -
- Newmarket Garden Caravan Park - 199 Ashgrove Avenue, Ashgrove, Brisbane
- Monte Carlo Caravan park 1189 Wynnum Rd, Cannon Hill, Brisbane
- Aspley Acres Caravan Park - 1420 Gympie Road, Aspley, Brisbane
Whilst you're out on the road in the areas surrounding Brisbane, there's plenty of camping and caravan park options too. Jump onto the Campermate app on your vehicle tablet to find the closest ones.
Did you know Brisbane has 260 sunny days a year? You'd better believe it! With an average of 7 rainy days per month in winter (vs up to 14 in summer), you've got a much better chance of fine weather over winter. Combine this with the much more comfortable temperatures over winter-spring and more competitive prices as it's outside of peak summer, and you'd be crazy not to be visiting Brisbane between June and October.
Brisbane is packed full of events - The Royal Queensland Show (also known as Ekka) visits every August providing a week of culture, entertainment, fashion and live music. If you're a more sporty type, the Suncorp Stadium holds the State of Origin rugby league which draws massive crowds in this part of the world. Splendour in the Grass is a must visit event for music fans - hosted in Byron Bay every July, the event has grown from a one-day event to a 3-day festival attracting revellers such as Elon Musk and Amber Heard. Failing that, or to find events at your own pace, take a wander down the South Bank where there tends to always be something on.