Base-camp Brisbane: Exploring the Sunshine State

Mooloolaba Beach
Mooloolaba Beach

Discover these Sunshine State destinations worth exploring on a weekend away from Brisbane.


Those wanting to escape from the bustle of Brisbane should crawl north up the highway to the Sunshine Coast. Surfers throng the streets of Caloundra to paddle out to its many varied breaks that necklace the coast. Those who enjoy a day on the water can also kayak, paddleboard and hire a catamaran in safe, protected waterways.


The chic town of Noosa leads a distinctly double life. While those partial to swanning around in beaded kaftans like to explore the village boutiques, grizzled surfers happily unwind here looking for waves. The contrasting tribes then repair together in restaurants clotted around the beachside town’s glitzy arteries.

View of Noosa

Glass House Mountains
Those attempting to climb the Glass House Mountains should do so prior to sunrise, when the sky is the colour of bitumen and the weather is not too warm. Mount Ngungun and Mount Beerwah are suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Start training now for the Six Mountains in One Day experience to experience this dramatic and diverse landscape.  

Mooloolaba Beach

Those swayed by the seductions of sea and sand should take a short break to Mooloolaba Beach just a 97-km drive away from Brisbane. The casual beachside town has everything from a tidy little harbour, with boats bobbing on the water, to wind-sculpted beaches over the Alexandra Headland. The Wharf in Mooloolaba has had a makeover and is a must for fish and chips by the sea.

Mooloolaba Beach


The Spirit House in Yandina is a destination in its own right. Part cooking school, part restaurant and bar, the Spirit House is all tinkling wind charms, burnished Buddhas and tropical gardens. Just one hour out of Brisbane and you could be in Asia on the al fresco deck canopied by palms while enjoying Thai-inspired dishes such as Moreton Bay bug on betel leaf and whole crispy fish with chilli tamarind sauce.

Sunshine Coast Hinterland

While the palette on the Sunshine Coast is often limited to blue on blue, the countryside in the Hinterland reveals a contrasting spectrum of greens. The Hinterland is already on the radar for food tourists and those in the know have already circled the inaugural event, The Curated Plate, on their culinary calendar for August 2019.

Mary Valley
Get onboard the newly restored Mary Valley Rattler as it pulls out of historic Gympie Station and slices through the verdant valley. The rail route travels across the Mary River and into the valley beyond. The Rattler’s round trip starts at Gympie and chugs around a 46 km loop that reveals some of the hinterland’s history and the vital role the century-old railway played in the lives of local residents.



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