The Roadtrip Series: explore the great outdoors with our favourite natural hideaways
Ahh, winter – we hardly knew ye. Not that this corner of the earth ever really gets very chilly, but it seems like we’re headed towards a particularly steamy spring and summer. You have two choices here – you can engage in full hermit mode and turn your apartment into an air-conditioned bunker where you only emerge for snacks (boring), or you can absolutely make the most of our state’s amazing pockets of natural splendour by getting out and amongst it all (that’s more like it). We’ve teamed up with our official site partner Mercedez-Benz Brisbane and its nature-lovin’ ambassador Sofie Formica to bring you a list of our favourite natural landscapes in and around Brisbane – secret water holes included.
Parks and recreation
For those who love to keep active, these are some pretty beautiful places to get out and about. If hiking is your jam, look no further than Mount Ngungun – this challenging summit provides spectacular views of Mt Tibrogargan, Mt Coonowrin and Mt Beerwah. Moogerah Peaks is another great destination for those craving a climb – the summit of Mt Edwards has a view that’s well worth the effort.
Looking for something that will please the whole gang? The Bunya Mountains National Park ticks all of the boxes – weave through walking tracks to gaze upon beautiful trees, waterfalls and shelters. Baroon Pocket Dam is the perfect location for those seeking some leisure time, providing the ideal environment of picnics, fishing and kayaking.
We’re going to go right ahead and disregard TLC’s immortal advice, because these waterfalls are well worth seeking out. The Sunshine Coast hinterland provides the goods with Kondalilla Falls, a great spot to head for a day of picnicking, rockpool swimming and wildlife watching. Another hinterland hideaway is Gardners Falls in Maleny, a popular spot for all ages due to the natural freshwater swimming hole. While you’re in the area, Buderim’s Serenity Falls are a sweet scenic spot boasting caves and secret swimming spots to boot. The Gold Coast hinterland yields some spectacular sights in the form of Killarney Glen Waterfalls, with stunning jade-hued water that flows into a flippin’ heart-shaped pool (time to live out that mermaid fantasy, guys). Down south, Protesters Falls within Nightcap National Park are surrounded by a spectacular rainforest haven, perfect for a day trip if you’re keen on something a bit further away.
If you’re keen on a little swim action minus the surf, there are a couple of gems here that you’ll want to pop on your bucket list. Pencil in a drive north to the Noosa fairy pools, which are as magical as the name suggests – nestled between Granite Bay and Hell’s Gates within the Noosa National Park, these tidal pools are crystal clear and picture perfect. Closer to home, Cedar Creek in Samford is a prime spot to cool off on a warm day – rockpools, rainforest, waterfalls and wildlife make it a great place for families.
Make sure you’ve got space left on your phone to snap endless pictures before you visit these destinations – these are the sort of natural phenomenon you have to see to believe. The Noosa Everglades is one of only two Everglade environments in the world, with the pristine waterways playing host to stunning natural wildlife (our tip: kayaking through is the best way to see it all). Tamborine Mountain’s glow worm caves are another must do – venture underground into purpose-built caves to see thousands of little creatures illuminating the space.
If you head deep into the Binna Burra section of the Lamington National Park, you can find the Coomera Gorge – the view of this lush, plunging natural valley will take your breath away. Another fluke of Mother Nature lies in the Springbook National Park – the Natural Bridge rock formation looks like something out of a fairytale kingdom.
This post was created with our good friend Sofie Formica, ambassador for our official site partner Mercedes-Benz Brisbane. Vehicle pictured is the Mercedes-Benz CLS250 d. All other images appear courtesy of Tourism Queensland.