The Roadtrip Series: explore beyond Brisbane with our top five weekend escapes
We all know the feeling – you come back from Christmas break and within a week you’re already itching for another holiday. What to do when you’re fresh out of leave but still craving adventure and a change of scenery? The answer, dear readers, is a roadtrip. Together with our official site partner Mercedes-Benz Brisbane and its wanderlust ambassador Sofie Formica, we’ve rounded up the best weekend escapes that are just a lazy Sunday drive away from Brisbane.
Just 90 minutes south of Brisbane is a pocket of nature so lush that you’ll feel like you’ve driven straight onto a movie set. The Lost World Valley is flanked by the majestic mountains of Lamington National Park and dotted with the crisp rockpools of the Upper Albert River and Christmas Creek, sprawling green across the Scenic Rim. There are plenty of self-guided walks available if you’re keen to stretch your legs after the drive, and some pretty delicious food options from paddock-to-plate hampers to homestyle restaurant meals. If you’re keen to stay, the area is brimming with a variety of accommodation options for all tastes and budgets. There are romantic candlelit cabins, rollicking farmstays and even a glamping opportunity.
Image: Lost World Valley
Want to take a journey through a living postcard? Look no further than The Settler’s Route. This 72 kilometre trail will take you through a variety of breathtaking scenery that changes before your eyes – plunging gullies, mountain peaks and babbling river crossings are all contributing factors to the beauty of the route’s landscape. The drive starts by heading north from Warwick and turning right onto Yangan Road. Yangan is a tiny town but it’s definitely worth a pit stop – you will find charming historic buildings, idyllic parks and delicious food. From there all you have to do is keep following the road until you reach Killarney, a scenic gem nestled in the Southern Downs. To keep the party going you can head out towards Dagg’s Falls, Brown’s Falls, Queen Mary Falls National Park and Carr’s Lookout.
Take to the mountains
There’s something about mountains that just radiates serenity, so naturally they’re a great destination for a little weekend escape. Less than an hour northwest of inner Brisbane is the charming town of Mount Nebo, so named for the 550-metre peak that lives there. There is a heap to see and do, including bushwalks through Brisbane Forest Park and checking out native creatures at the Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre. Continuing north through winding mountain roads is Mount Glorious, a spectacular little piece of the D’Aguilar Range – this is a great place for a mountaintop barbecue. Even further north (about an hour, to be more specific) you will find Mount Mee, a picturesque ending point punctuated with stunning vistas.
Parks and recreation
Girraween National Park straddles the Queensland and New South Wales border, clocking in at just over three hours south-west of Brisbane. The drive to the park takes you through a great number of gorgeous towns like Warwick, Stanthorpe and Glen Aplin just to name a few – plenty of chances to take a break and soak up some true country vibes. Once you arrive at your destination you will be greeted by massive granite outcrops, weird and wonderful rock formations and stunning greenery. If you plan your trip around spring, there are some truly spectacular flower displays to be seen dotted amongst the granite.
Image: Darren Jew
Fancy yourself a bit of a history buff? The Brisbane Valley Heritage Trail is definitely the drive for you. Stretching a pleasant 160 kilometres between Yarraman and Fernvale, this ultra-scenic route is studded with loads of markers indicating historical points of interest. Featuring 13 stops overall, you can learn about centuries-old farmsteads in Caboonah and the Williams family in Moore (who have lived in the town since 1910). As well as the rich history, this trail is loaded with scenic value – think lush dairy farms, quaint cottages and even some creepy-cool abandoned structures.
This post was created with our good friend Sofie Formica, ambassador for our official site partner Mercedes-Benz Brisbane. Featured vehicle is the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 in South Seas Blue. Available at Mercedes-Benz Brisbane.