Looking for an adventure holiday, but don’t have more than a weekend?
If you can’t get away for long, we found the best spots less than 2 hours from the city limits.
Mount Barney Lodge is right in the middle of one of most picturesque spots in the Scenic Rim region, a rural retreat nestled against Mount Barney National Park. Best of all, its just two hours south of Brisbane, via the Mount Lindesay Highway on your way down to the NSW border.
The Lodge has sites set up to cater for all types of travellers, from couples who want to book a cabin for a romantic getaway, to families with their own tent set up (or who want to get into one of the homesteads on the grounds) and even grey nomads parking their caravan.
Hiking Mount Barney’s tracks range from bushwalks that take less than an hour to 10km off track trails that require difficult rock climbs. See a full list of bushwalking trails and whether you want to tackle them or find another way to stretch your legs (like mountain biking on trails around the lodge, or swimming in the nearby creeks.)
During school holidays, the Lodge also runs outdoor activities for children of guests with the help of qualified instructors. You can also make your own holiday, with the town of Boonah nearby for that country feel and local wineries to sample.
The Lodge becomes busy around long weekends and school holidays, so make sure to book ahead if you want to secure your campsite. Pets are not allowed at the Lodge, because Mount Barney sits in a conservation area.
Above: Sunset at Lake Moogerah. Credit: Lake Moogerah Caravan Park
If Mount Barney is already booked out, take a short drive west through Moogerah Peaks National Park to Lake Moogerah (aka Moogerah Dam.)
If you’re keen to put some more adventure into your swim, the lake is a popular place for water-skiers, kayakers, paddle boarders and even sailing in the right weather.
Lake Moogerah Caravan Park can even provide everything to get out on to the water from kayaks to tinnies, as well as fresh and frozen bait (and fishing permits) for campers trying to land the big one to tell everyone when they get back to school or work.
There are powered and unpowered camping sites as well as a waterfront Queenslander home available for rent for large groups, and big families.
There are nearby hiking tracks, as well as the sights of the Scenic Rim (including nearby Kooroomba Vineyards and Lavender Farm) and the national park next door.
Dogs are not allowed here, either in the camp or in the national park surrounding the area.
From nearby Boonah, you can head another hour south west and find the Condamine River's 14 Creek Crossings at Killarney, where the Motorama 4X4XMORE Team headed on a recent adventure.
Above: Dawn over Neurum Creek campgrounds. Credit: Facebook, Neurum Creek Bush Retreat
Neurum Creek Bush Retreat is a privately owned campground just outside of Woodford, in between the Glasshouse Mountains and D’Aguilar National Park – inland from Caboolture on the southern end of the Sunshine Coast.
The retreat itself is large with over 100 sites across 312 acres, and the sites are grouped into eight clusters, so you’re not piled on top of fellow campers.
You can obviously bring your own caravan, campervan or tent to set up for the weekend, but there are also options for pre-built tents available for couples and families if you haven’t got a whole camping setup ready to go. There are amenities onsite including showers, toilets, water and power to certain sites. There are no cooking facilities, but you can rent BBQs from the management.
The management live on-site, and organise regular activities themselves or with the help of nearby businesses, including weekend discos for kids, movies during school holidays, as well as nearby 4WD tracks and semi-regular wine tasting events held onsite. There’s even an annual country music festival and camp oven cook off held in August!
All the campsites are also dog friendly, so you don’t need to worry about finding weekend accommodation for the four legged family members.
Kids are well catered for, with bike tracks and heaps of creeks and swimming holes to jump into or canoe down. School holidays, long weekends and other peak times are listed on the website and drive prices up with minimum booking periods for most long weekends and some peak times – you can do a price estimate before confirming your booking online.
Mt Mee (in the northern part of the D'Aguilar National Park that surrounds Neurum) has several off roading tracks that don't require a permit, and are rated from basic forest drives to trickier paths that are best attempted with a couple of mates who can pull you out of any trouble if you get stuck. A full list of trails is available thanks to the Department of National Parks, Sports and Racing.
Before you head off, make sure your car is working exactly as it should and bring it in for a comprehensive service at Motorama. The expert technicians at Motorama see over 30,000 vehicles per year pass through our service departments, and our friendly service advisors can go for a drive with you to see if there’s anything that doesn’t show up when your car is parked on the service driveway.