Looking to break out of the city for the weekend?
We found the best spots that you can find just down the road.
The Gold Coast’s beaches may attract the crowds every weekend but the Hinterlands, on the other side of the Pacific Motorway, is usually only visited by a handful of those in the know to avoid the glitter strip.
Settlement Camping Area is the only designated accommodation space in Springbrook, set near the majestic Purling Brook falls and the Instagram-ready Natural Bridge – the park has just switched to un-numbered campsites, this means it’s first come, first served through the online booking system.
Further west behind the Gold Coast – in the mountains before you start to hit the towns of the Darling Downs – the Scenic Rim offers lush landscapes, with very little competition for the vast amount of space.
That’s why Bigriggen Park – despite being only 90 minutes out of Brisbane – can boast 100 acres of peaceful camping bliss. With easy access for regular 2WD cars, as well as powered sites for campers and caravanners, it’s fully self-contained with amenities like hot showers and a basic store with firewood and basic groceries – no need to rush back into town if you’ve forgotten the ice. It’s also dog friendly, so four legged adventurers can come too!
Straddie is going through a boom at the moment – and why not? Fraser Island might have attracted the 4WDers, Moreton Island just next door got all the whale watchers, but Stradbroke has just been doing its own thing – rewarding Brisbanites for years with the perfect island holiday less than an hour out of town.
Amity Point, at the top of North Stradbroke, offers spectacular sunsets over the bay islands. Local dolphins visit each day, and pelicans and koalas are seen in and around the campground. The area is ideal for fishing & boating, and it’s a short drive to the island's surf beaches. You can even island hop with a barge from Amity to Kooringal on Moreton Island – how many holidays let you jump between two world class islands an hour from your house?
If you really want to get away from the city (but still be within driving distance of it), the trail-access only camp at Wyaralong Dam should get you away from the crowds, but keep you close enough to civilisation for that early morning meeting on Monday.
The dam is owned by SEQ Water, who maintain a tiny site that is only accessible by trails leading up to it or by kayak if you don’t feel like hauling a tent on your back – bring a swag and a weekends worth of supplies – you’ll be secluded from city life, thanks to the limited camping spots available. Hike, take a mountain bike on the trails or paddle a boat out on the dam (swimming is not allowed) – this is the closest you’ll get to getting back to nature while still being just a few kilometres away from a shopping centre.
Before you set off on your next adventure, make sure to see the friendly service team at Motorama to make sure everything is running smoothly before you hit the road.