Brisbane Surrounds

Consider extending your stay after the Conference and visiting one of the below attractions whilst in Queensland. 

Day Trips

Brisbane whale watching

Drive time: 30 mins

Brisbane Whale Watching invites you to come on board the magnificent ‘Eye-Spy’ for an encounter with the whales. Of all the great whales, the humpback is the most surface active displaying behaviour that will not only inspire you but leave you in awe. There quite clearly is no better place to observe the mighty humpback than Brisbane’s Moreton Bay, recognised as one of the world’s best whale watching areas and only 30 minutes north of Brisbane.

For more information please click here.

Bribie island

Drive time: 45 mins

As the only island in Queensland connected to the mainland by bridge, Bribie Island projects a carefree community feel with a combination of calm bay beaches and surf beaches ideal for either a leisurely swim or surfing safari. Bribie Island makes for a gorgeous island escape and is popular with nature lovers, water sport enthusiasts and families alike.

For more information please click here.

D'Aguilar National park

Drive time: 1 hour

Discover remote gorges, sheltered pockets of subtropical rainforest, expanses of eucalypt woodland and spectacular views to Moreton Bay, all within an hour and a half’s drive of Brisbane. D’Aguilar National Park (formerly Brisbane Forest Park) protects the D’Aguilar Range’s vast bushland area. The park is striking in its diversity of environments and plant communities. Take a journey through open eucalypt woodlands, scribbly gum forests and lush subtropical rainforests.

For more information please click here.

australia zoo

Drive time: 1 hour

Australia Zoo, home of the Crocodile Hunter, is world famous and much more than a wildlife park – it’s an adventure of a lifetime! Every corner turned reveals another amazing animal discovery with world-class enclosures and interactive opportunities galore. Kids will love feeding the kangaroos, camels and farm animals, and the unique wandering wildlife team will personally introduce you to snakes, talking cockatoos, baby alligators, lizards and all kinds of mammals as you navigate your way through 28 hectares and visit more than 1000 animals.

For more information please click here.

Gold COast

Drive time: 1 hour

Just an hour drive south from Brisbane brings you to the glitz and sparkle of Surfers Paradise.  Choose your adventure – take in the long stretches of golden sand from Southport to Palm Beach, dine at The Boat House, shop the day away in Surfers Paradise, or join the dolphins for some fun at SeaWorld.

From the iconic Surfers Paradise beach and the dining precincts of Main Beach and Broadbeach to the lush, green hinterland, there’s an experience waiting for you at every turn on the Gold Coast. In Australia’s “theme park capital” see native Australian wildlife, meet your favourite movie characters and superheroes, or swim with dolphins.

For more information please click here.

Gold coast hinterland

Get in touch with nature in the Word Heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests, the most extensive subtropical rainforest in the world. Making up the Springbrook and Lamington National Parks in the Gold Coast hinterland only a short drive from the beach life. 

Be spoilt for choice in Springbrook National Park, home to native wildlife and 4 sections of walking trails with stunning lookouts. Capture the flowing water stream at the Natural Bridge or enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Springbrook Plateau to be blown away by waterfalls, breathtaking views & lush rainforest.

Enjoy over 160 kilometres of walking trails scattered with waterfalls, ancient fauna and flora through the Lamington National Park

Walk amongst the treetops on the 1-½ kilometre Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk that takes you from the canopy floor up to a 40 metre cantilever with a viewing platform over Cedar Creek. 

Take a step back in time in Gondwana Rainforests, one of the few places in the world where the plants and animals closely resemble their ancestors. 

Indulge in a relaxing weekend away at O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat in Lamington National Park.

For more information please click here.

sunshine coast

drive time: 1 hour 30 mins

Gorgeous relaxed beaches stretching up the coast just over an hour’s drive from Brisbane, perfect for a day trip – our top pick, Noosa Heads (postcard perfect and headland protected beach lined with elegant casual bistro dining.  Spend the morning relaxing on the sand or surfing the rolling waves, lunch in your kaftan at Bistro C (casual elegant overlooking the beach) or surf club, walk it off in the afternoon through Noosa National Park to take in the spectacular vista from Main Beach and watch the whales playing off the coast, and then grab an ice-cream from Massimo’s before heading back to Brisbane.

For more information please click here.

sunshine coast hinterland

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland provides a spectacular backdrop to any type of holiday, especially a self-drive adventure.

Reward your cravings 

Devour award-winning Thai food in a magical setting and learn the chef’s tricks in a cooking class in Yandina, sample local organic wine or splurge on a degustation in a luxury Montville homestead. Explore the art gallery trail, hunt for antiques and devour homemade fudge in Montville or shop til you drop at the Eumundi Markets. Tour a dairy farm in Maleny or sample some of Queensland’s best produce at farmer’s markets and roadside honesty stalls. 

The power of natural rejuvenation 

Drive the 26-million-year-old Blackall Range and walk, rock climb or abseil in the Glass House Mountains. Tackle a section of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk and cool off under Kondalilla Falls.


Further Afield / overnight trips

byron bay

Byron Bay is a coastal town in the southeastern Australian state of New South Wales. It’s a popular holiday destination, known for its beaches, surfing and scuba diving sites. Cape Byron State Conservation Park is on a headland with a lighthouse. Between June and November, humpback whales can be spotted from headland viewpoints such as the Captain Cook Lookout.

For more information please click here.

hervey bay

The safe, sheltered waters of Hervey Bay make it one of the best places on Earth for whale watching. In winter months (July to November), humpback whales travel north along the Queensland coastline from Antarctica to the warm waters of the Whitsundays, stopping in calm Hervey Bay to breed and nurse their young.

great barrier reef

The living masterpiece that is the Great Barrier Reef stretches for more than 2000 kilometres (1200 miles) along the Queensland coastline. There are hundreds of tours and experiences available along the Great Barrier Reef coastline – most notably from the towns of CairnsPort DouglasTownsvilleAirlie BeachHamilton IslandSeventeen SeventyBundabergGladstone and Mackay – but whether you snorkel, scuba dive, fly, motor or sail over it, you simply must experience the colours and textures of this natural wonder. 


With its international airport and excellent shopping, the tropical city of Cairns, in Queensland’s far north, is a convenient access point for the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, but don’t miss the great things to do in and around town. You’ll find brilliant cafés, bustling markets and plenty of beaches nearby. Relax by one of the pools at a five-star resort, day trip to the nearby stylish villages of Port Douglas and Palm Cove, or spend your days out and about exploring this city oasis.

daintree rainforest

The Daintree, a two hour drive north of Cairns, is the world’s oldest tropical rainforest and so beautiful that it provided inspiration for the movie Avatar. Stand in awe under the branches of the 600-million-year-old Zamia Fern, which has an underground trunk system evolved in defence against dinosaurs. Cruise the Daintree River, where you might spot a crocodile waiting in the mangroves or glimpse a turtle in the clear, sparkling streams below. Stay at one of the luxury eco lodges nestled in the rainforest such as Silky Oaks Lodge, or in the lovely beach village of Port Douglas nearby. 

whitsunday islands

Made up of 74 tropical islands, the Whitsundays archipelago lies just off the Queensland coast next to the Great Barrier Reef. Here, you’ll find some of the world’s best island resorts, including qualia, as well as Whitehaven Beach – regularly voted into top 10 round-ups of the world’s most beautiful beaches for its powder fine sands and dazzling aqua water – and the incredibly shaped Heart Reef.


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