Our top 5 drives to explore south east Queensland

We’ve picked our top five drives for sightseeing, scenery and serenity.

Canungra – Beechmont

This is a drive that leads to the aptly named Scenic Rim. The route to Canungra itself is picturesque – farmland, hay bales and livestock, while Canungra is a cute town, boasting traditional pubs, a famous pie shop and a quaint set of markets. To delve into the history of the region, visit the heritage-listed Laheys Tramway Tunnel. You can no longer walk through it but it’s worth a look. The information sign tells of the timber and cedar harvesting that began there in the late 1800s, and the privately built tramway.

From Canungra, you can drive to almost anywhere in the Lamington National Park. Head to Beechmont for the Lip Falls which are situated at the bottom of a steep 3km bush track, well maintained by the local community. Take a swim in the pool at the base of the waterfalls for a magical experience.

Springbrook

Famed for its waterfalls, Springbrook is a destination that lives up to its reputation.

A winding drive up to the UNESCO world-heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests boasts great views. A short walk from the carpark, a path leads to the top of the Purling Brook Falls. From there, you can see for kilometres, into New South Wales and on to the coast in the distance.

You can take a 4km hike to the base of these waterfalls. Another kilometre further on from the bottom, there’s a swimming hole, so pack something to swim in if you’re keen for a dip. The loop track leads back up the mountain to where the water cascades off the cliff. Truly spectacular.

Mt Tamborine

Mt Tamborine is an easy destination for a Sunday drive for motorists based on the Gold Coast and Brisbane. Pass through horse-filled paddocks on your way up to Mt Tamborine’s “Gallery Walk”. Here you can find art galleries, gluten-free fudge shops, Polish food delicacies and more. Lunch at the Eagle Heights Mountain Resort comes highly recommended with breathtaking views to the Gold Coast.

The Knoll National Park is just a stone’s throw away. There, there is a beautiful 2.6km walk through rainforest (complete with ferns and strangler figs) to Cameron Falls. A true delight.

Lake Wivenhoe to Mount Glorious

Situated just one hour from Brisbane, Lake Wivenhoe is well worth a look. Meander around the vast water system and drive over the dam wall for a unique view. There are several inlets where you can take a walk along the banks of the dam and the Tourist Information office offers insights into Brisbane’s flood history and the purpose behind Wivenhoe Dam.

Head back to Brisbane via Mt Glorious and Mt Nebo. A zig-zagging road up through trees affords a great lookout over the lake you’ve left behind.

Dayboro – Mt Mee

Travel through Brisbane’s northern suburbs until you hit the delightful town of Dayboro. The annual Dayboro Festival is one to mark in the calendar. It boasts everything from camel rides, ambulance displays and a float race.

From Dayboro, continue on the drive to Mt Mee. The vibrant green valleys are truly spectacular and at the top of Mt Mee you will be rewarded with a view over the Glass House Mountains and on to Bribie Island.