Ready to hit the bitumen for a day trip but not sure where to go?
Southern Queensland Country has you covered with country drive trails, historical national parks and waterfalls, all yours to discover within 200 kilometres of Brisbane’s CBD.
Whether you’re an art connoisseur, history lover or foodie – there’s a day trip from Brisbane to Southern Queensland Country with your name on it.
Find your perfect day trip match with this guide.
1. Cafe, culture and art trail
No need to fly interstate or overseas to experience a thriving café culture and street art scene. Toowoomba has been considered a coffee and street art heavyweight for over seven years now.
Brew a day out of it by making your coffee crawl progressive, sampling some of the best java west of the big smoke, before exploring the 55 murals dotted around the streets of the city.
We’d recommend starting your coffee and art trail at Ground Up Espresso – not only to boost your caffeine levels before heading out on foot but because The Elephant mural by Brisbane artist Fintan Magee is less than 100 metres across the road.
2. Visit Queen Mary Falls
While 80s R’n’B band TLC may have advised against chasing waterfalls, we think waterfall chasing makes for the perfect day trip from Brisbane.
Put Queen Mary Falls into your GPS and drive 150 kilometres south-west to Main Range National Park, near Killarney.
Park the car in the day-use area and step it out towards the lookout to see Spring Creek plunge 40 metres to the valley floor below.
While the two-kilometre circuit is achievable for most fitness levels, walking in a clockwise direction is easier on the legs.
3. Take a wander through Warwick
If old-world charm and country hospitality are your driving factors when planning a road trip, navigate yourself to Warwick – 150 kilometres drive from Brisbane CBD.
Follow the self-guided History and Heritage Trail to learn about the historic houses and public buildings as you stroll through the town.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a table at Bluebird kitchen for a meal created with fresh, locally-sourced produce.
4. Explore Crows Nest
Head 150 kilometres west of Brisbane (via Gatton or Esk) to find yourself in the old timber town of Crows Nest for a spot of antique shopping.
After you’ve explored the local shops and galleries of this quaint town quench your thirst at Crows Nest Soft Drinks.
Established in 1903 and still operating today, you can sample one of their 20 flavours from the oldest surviving small-town drinks manufacturer.
Once you’ve peeled yourself away from the main town, drive 11 kilometres to Bunnyconnellen and stop by the cellar door at this dairy farm turned olive grove and winery.
Sample their wine, olives and seasonal produce and relax on the grass overlooking the vineyards to round out your day trip from Brisbane.
Make sure you stop by Crows Nest National Park before heading back to Brisbane to stretch the legs along the nature trails of this eucalypt forest.
5. Head for the High Country
Surround yourself with majestic Sydney blue gums, staghorns, elkhorns and rainforest vines at Ravensbourne National Park.
Plan your first stop at Highfields, a short 13 kilometres north of Toowoomba and relax at the Village Green.
Refuel at one of the local cafes or grab your coffee and snacks to go, to enjoy at your next stop – Ravensbourne National Park.
Park the car at Cedar Block picnic area to access four short walking tracks or throw down the picnic blanket under the giant fig trees at Gus Beutel Lookout.
Before heading back to Brisbane, we’d recommend a detour to the town of Hampton to pick up local produce for the week ahead.
Known as one of the most productive food bowls – supplying most of Queensland’s rhubarb and avocado – you’ll want to make sure you’ve got plenty of room in the boot.
6. Take the Open Plains Steele Rudd Country Drive
From murals in Millmerran to the Historical Village in Pittsworth and Rudd’s Pub in Nobby – there’s plenty of history and local characters to discover on this day trip from Brisbane.
Make sure you set out early for this one, to make sure you have enough time to explore each town.