The Roadtrip Series: our top five super-scenic Sunday drives for maximum weekend vibes
Lionel Richie and Faith No More’s involvement notwithstanding, there’s a reason the phrase “easy like Sunday morning” really took off – the latter half of the weekend is all about keeping things chill. One of the best ways to make the most of your precious day off is to jump in your automobile and treat yourself to a journey someplace real pretty. We’ve teamed up with our official site partner Mercedes-Benz Brisbane and its leisure-loving ambassador Sofie Formica to bring you the top five Sunday drives to max out your weekend vibes.
Beaudesert and Lost World Valley
You may have written off this Sunday drive because it starts with Beaudesert, but don’t be so quick to judge – this quaint country-style town is actually loaded with hidden gems. Head off on your journey with a view to hit town at around lunchtime, and then seek out one of the ridgey-didge authentic pubs like the Beaudesert Hotel for a cheeky pint and a feed. Carry on south towards Lamington National Park and you will find Lost World Valley, an ethereal wonderland that (as the name suggests) looks untouched by time. Soak in the serenity of the creeks and streams or get a bit more hands-on with a spot of fishing if you prefer. Finish it off with some horseriding at Cedar Glen and you’ll sleep like a contented baby when you get home.
Girraween National Park and the Granite Belt
If you’re after a Sunday drive with a side of seriously stunning vistas, head to Girraween National Park and carry on to explore the towns of the Granite Belt. Girraween is a healthy three-hour drive from Brisbane, so when you get to the park you’re going to want to stretch your legs – exploring one of the many lush trails is a great option. Make sure you take a sober mate with you, because the next part of the journey involves all of the wine – the Granite Belt is famed for its amazing wineries and wine trails that you can check out here. If you don’t do vino, other things to seek out in the region include Sutton’s Farm in Stanthorpe for fresh apple products, the very Instagram-worthy Aloomba Lavender Farm in Tenterfield and the Wallangarra Railway Station and Museum (you can straddle the state line here which is pretty darn cool – two places at once!).
Montville and Maleny
Most people associate the Sunshine Coast with the beach, but the real Sunday drive magic happens in the Hinterland. Let’s start with the visuals – there are so many natural wonders to explore and motor around so you’re pretty much guaranteed to be in a permanent state of eye-popping bliss. Pack some provisions and make a pit stop at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve or the Baroon Pocket Dam for a lazy picnic by the water. Foodies would do well to pencil in a lunch date at either The Tamarind or The Long Apron, a couple of award winning restaurants that both make the most of the region’s bountiful fresh produce. We’ll also let you in on a little secret – there’s a whole mother-heckin’ CHEESE CIRCUIT to follow that takes you through Maleny, Kenilworth and Cooran. If that’s not a reason to hit up the Hinterland, we don’t know what is.
Springbrook National Park
Ready to embrace the lush life? If you’re keen on a Sunday drive that isn’t too far but looks like it’s a world away, Springbrook National Park is your best bet. Just a cool hour and a half from Brisbane, this evergreen pocket has plenty of activities for nature lovers. Another major perk is that many of the walks to waterfalls and lookouts are wheelchair accessible and kid-friendly, so you get all the perks of a scenic walk without too much strain. There are plenty of grassy spots to spread out a picnic rug, but if you don’t feel like packing lunch there are some cool and casual eateries around the area – stop in at Dancing Waters Cafe for a fluffy homemade scone or sit down to a parmy and beer at the Scuttlebutt Cafe.
Dayboro and Mount Mee
This is another one for those who are keen for a drive without hefty time commitment – Dayboro clocks in at around 55 minutes away from the middle of Brisbane. The town is full of awesome things to see and do that can easily keep you occupied for the day – there are plenty of vintage and antique shops to go hunting for treasure and The Emporium Rock’n’Roll Milk Bar carries on the retro vibes with shakes and fries. There’s even a llama walk that you can check out if you’re so inclined! Once you’ve refuelled, hop back into the car and head towards Mt Mee – the drive up the mountain is a treat in itself, but the lookout at the top will take your breath away.
Image credit for images 1–4: Tourism and Events Queensland
This post was created with our good friend Sofie Formica, ambassador for our official site partner Mercedes-Benz Brisbane. The vehicle shown is the Mercedes-Benz GLE 500e, a Hybrid vehicle.