Top five long-weekend road trips

Use the Easter break to see more of our great state.

The Easter break is the last chance to enjoy Queensland’s warmer weather before winter sets in, so whether it’s a day trip or a weekend away, make the most of the four-day weekend.

Rainbow Beach

Located in the Wide Bay-Burnett region, Rainbow Beach is ideally situated for a day trip from Brisbane, Maryborough and Gympie.

The coastal town is an idyllic getaway for beach-goers, nature lovers, fishing enthusiasts and campers alike.  

Take a short nature walk along the coloured sand cliffs and the 120-metre-tall Carlo Sand Blow for views of over Double Island Point and the Great Sandy Strait.

If you stay for the weekend, visit Barnacles Dolphin Centre at Tin Can Bay early in the morning to hand-feed the wild Australian Humpback dolphins. You’re likely to get wet while feeding the dolphins so come prepared with a change of clothes.

Toowoomba

The birthplace of the lamington is just 90 minutes from Brisbane and boasts more than 150 parks and gardens.

Antique lovers will want to stop at Ipswich Antique Centre on the way for one of the widest ranges of antique goods in south-east Queensland. Ipswich is also home to the largest number of pre-WWII buildings in Queensland, many of which are heritage listed.

Once in Toowoomba, stretch your legs and enjoy the beautiful autumn colours at Australia’s largest, traditionally-designed Japanese garden or picnic amongst 1500 blooming rose bushes at Newton Park. 

Wrap up your visit with a stop at the oldest public art gallery in regional Queensland or immerse yourself in the horse-drawn era at the Cobb & Co museum.

Toowoomba Japanese Gardens

Aratula

Nestled at the foot of Cunningham’s Gap, Aratula has long been a pitstop for travellers crossing the Great Dividing Range.

Lovers of antiques, Australiana and curios will enjoy a browsing at Aratula Traders. Located in an old mechanic’s garage, complete with a smithy in the corner, Aratula Traders’ products range from books and vintage lamps to antique sulkies and wagon wheels.

Visit the surrounding Moogerah Peaks National Park and stop at Haigh Park for a dip in Lake Moogerah, a popular spot for water-skiing, boating and fishing. Walk across the 219-metre-long double curvature arch dam wall to spot turtles swimming below, or hike up Mt Edwards for panoramic views over the Scenic Rim.

Before leaving town, grab a homemade Iced VoVo or apple turnover at Arthur Clive’s whose owners have been providing Aratula with baked good since 1936.

North Stradbroke Island

Book your car on to the vehicular ferry for a 45-minute trip from Cleveland to North Stradbroke Island. 

Disembark at Dunwich and drive 20 minutes north to Point Lookout for your pick of pristine surf beaches. 

Stop for lunch at Fishes at the Point, then embark on the 1.5km North Gorge Walk overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Stop at one of the many picnic benches to spot kangaroos and, out at sea, dolphins and turtles.

Cool off with some of the best gelato on the island before stopping in at the North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum for a taste of Straddie’s Indigenous and convict history on your way back to the ferry terminal. 

Straddie gorge walk

Maleny and Montville 

Head to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland town of Maleny, perched high on the Blackhall Range, to experience the natural beauty of the Glass House Mountains.

Stop for morning tea in one of the many cafes on Maple Street and browse the range of boutiques, book stores and artist collectives and galleries.

Head 15-minutes up the road to Montville for lunch overlooking the hinterland – some cafes have views right to the coast – before exploring the main street including a German clock shop, boutiques, antique stores and a liqueur distillery.