5 Short Trips for Brisbane Students

Make the most out of living in the tropical state of Queensland and get out of Brisbane this weekend. From beachy towns and buzzing nightlife to endless coastline and ancient rainforests, there’s so many beautiful places right on your doorstep waiting to be explored. 

The Gold Coast 

The Gold Coast glitters along the coastline about an hour’s drive from Brisbane, and is a major tourist destination famous for its sun, surf and shopping. You’ll find plenty to do with endless golden beaches, world-class theme parks, outdoor markets, national parks and major shopping centres such as Westfield Coomera, Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre, Pacific Fair and Robina Town Centre. If you’re there after sunset, Surfers Paradise nightlife has an epic reputation that’s backed up by the sheer amount of nightclubs and bars lined up along the streets. You can catch a direct train to the Gold Coast from the Brisbane CBD. 

Tamborine Mountain 

About an hour from Brisbane, Tamborine Mountain makes for an idyllic day trip to escape the city. Set high up in the Scenic Rim, this tiny resort town oozes country charm with picturesque cottages, hidden waterfalls and lush rainforests packed with native wildlife and subtropical plants. Gallery Walk is the main street in town where you can pick up unique gifts in boutiques before stepping into one of the many cafes for a bite to eat. There are several walking trails to take you deep into the rainforest, while Hang Gliders Lookout offers panoramic views of the lower Gold Coast Hinterland and the Great Dividing Range. 


Eumundi is a small, lively rural town located around 90 minutes from Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast. Set amongst the countryside, Eumundi has a quirky village feel with a vibrant community of artists, musicians and writers. It’s characterised by its historic houses and buildings that line the streets. One of the biggest highlights of the town are the famous Eumundi Markets, which draw big crowds every Wednesday and Saturday. Locals, domestic visitors and international tourists flock to the markets to browse over 600 stalls selling everything from local produce, handmade arts and crafts to souvenirs, fashion and accessories, with live music for entertainment.

Byron Bay 

Just over two hours from Brisbane and across the New South Wales border, Byron Bay has been a favourite getaway destination for decades. A haven for surfers, hippies and creatives, Byron Bay is a laid-back beach town with big community vibes, colourful shops and friendly locals. You’ll find a wealth of vegetarian and organic cafes along the streets, as well as yoga centres, spiritual sanctuaries and beach-bohemian fashion boutiques. Pick up something unique at the monthly Byron Bay Markets or plan a trip to some of Australia’s biggest music festivals like Splendour in the Grass and Bluesfest, which both take place here. 

The Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast starts around 100 kilometres north of Brisbane and stretches along 60 kilometres of stunning beaches and rolling green hinterland. It’s the perfect excuse for a road trip, with many major resort towns dotted along the coastline including Caloundra, Noosa Heads, Mooloolaba and Maroochydore. Away from the white sands and deep blue waters, you’ll find charming country towns scattered across the hinterland such as Mapleton, Flaxton and picturesque Maleny. Venture off the beaten track and you’ll discover some of the most awe-inspiring scenery Queensland has to offer, with rainforests, lakes, valleys and mountain ranges such as the spectacular Glass House Mountains.