Brisbane’s become a reference point in Australia for great restaurants, galleries and retail experiences. No longer a city to bypass as you head north, it’s vibrant and fun without being frenetic. It’s developed a reputation for warmth and a lack of pretension.

Regardless of whether you’re flying in, the airport with its conveniently located Betta Auto Hire pick-up point is the go-to location for your Brisbane hire car. Why not get more from your Brisbane holiday hire car with one or two side trips?

Find out the best places to go as we take you on a ride to our carefully selected day trip destinations from the River City and its airport.

Brisbane is a fantastic destination for a family holiday as the city itself has a lot to offer yet is also quite central to some of South East Queensland’s best attractions. So pack your day trip bag, pick up your Brisbane hire car and see some of the best of what this area has to offer.

North Stradbroke Island

It all starts with a 40-minute car ferry ride from Cleveland’s Toondah Harbour in Brisbane’s East. It’ll take you around half an hour to get to Toondah Harbour from the airport.

Covering an area of 68,000 acres, the island, known as Straddie, is the second-largest sand island in the world. There are 5 major beaches that offer surfing and fishing opportunities. Main Beach is 32 kilometres long and a real surfers’ paradise.

Cylinder, Home, and Flinders Beaches are all popular swimming spots. Frenchman’s Beach has a plethora of rock pools to enjoy too.

Straddie is a hiker’s heaven. There are more than 100 freshwater lakes and endless trails including the popular 7km loop to Blue Lake via Kabul and Karboora Tracks.

The island is home to vulnerable and endangered animals. Keep your eyes peeled for the Wallum Froglet and rare wading birds. There are almost 800 plant species to check out too.

North Stradbroke Island is the nearest place to Brisbane to enjoy land-based whale watching. Pack a pair of binoculars in your holiday hire car and look out to sea. You’ll see whales at almost any time between late May and early November.

The Gold Coast

There are some very famous names here. The Gold Coast is home to Surfers Paradise, Currumbin Beach, Tallebudgera Creek, Burleigh Heads, and Broad Beach to name but a few. Around an hour’s drive south of Brisbane, there’s plenty to pack in along the 40km stretch of coastline.

The Gold Coast has made a name for itself as a nightlife Mecca for clubbers across the globe. However, you’d be doing the Gold Coast a disservice if you thought that cocktails, world-class DJs and deck-spinning were all there was to it.

Check out the theme parks for sheer exhilaration. Dreamworld is fun for all the family and boasts some of the world’s most thrilling rides including the Giant Drop. This is the tallest free-falling ride in Australia. You’ll plummet almost 120 metres accelerating at the speed of gravity!

The Sunshine Coast

About 100km north of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast is a short drive in your holiday hire car bringing you to the natural magnet for more than 3 million visitors every year looking for a laid-back scene with plenty of points of interest.

Key attractions include Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo where you can hand-feed kangaroos, pat a koala and come close to a croc or 2. You’ll also see tigers, giraffes and rhinos. Or, you could pay a visit to UnderWater World with its famous 80-metre shark tunnel.

Noosa National Park, also on the Sunshine Coast, boasts the spectacular coastal scenery of Noosa Headland. The park has become a wildlife sanctuary, protecting woodland, eucalyptus forests, dense vine-strewn rainforest and melaleuca wetland.

You’ll see lace monitors, honeyeaters and koalas while you are walking on Noosa’s tracks. Evenings as dusk falls along with early mornings offer great opportunities for birdwatching and observing wildlife.

You’ll also be able to catch a glimpse of humpback whales, again between late May and November-time. This is when they head past the coastline en route to and from northern breeding grounds. The best places to spot the whales are Hell’s Gates and Dolphin Point. You’ll also often be able to see turtles and dolphins from these points.

Mount Tamborine

A road trip isn’t just about the destination, its also about the journey. The road up to Mount Tamborine has become almost as famous as the mountain itself. ​​Tamborine Mountain Road starts out as State Route 95 at an intersection in Tamborine.

Drive your Brisbane hire car along the twisting route up the mountain and then you’ll continue southeast. This is a must-do drive for nature lovers who want to take in the breathtaking scenery, stunning rainforests and great views.

There are plenty of vineyards in the area where you can stop for a spot of wine tasting. And, take in some of the natural waterfalls with a hike to Cedar Creek and Witches Falls. These are enchanting places to enjoy a well-deserved picnic and cool down by the water.

Lamington National Park

This famous park lies 100km south of Brisbane on the McPherson Range’s Lamington Plateau on the border between Queensland and New South Wales. It’s become famous for its birdlife, waterfalls rainforests, ancient trees, and walking trails, including the famous Border Track.

It may be last on our list but there are lots of reasons you may choose to make it your favourite day trip. Although most of the park is 900 metres above sea level, it’s just 30 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean’s shores.

There are hundreds of waterfalls in the Lamington National Park, including Yarrabilgong and Coomera Falls both of which flow into Coomera Gorge.

There’s a vast array of wildlife including rare animals under threat like the Coxen’s fig parrot, Albert’s lyrebird and Richmond birdwing butterfly. You’ll also find the blue Lamington crayfish in pools and streams above an elevation of 450 metres. In damp conditions, you might spot them moving about on the forest floor.

Book Your Brisbane Hire Car Today!

So much to see, so little time. It’s an expression that feels appropriate when you consider what Brisbane and the surrounding area have to offer. It is an area rich with natural beauty, culture and countless attractions.

Make the most of your holiday hire car in Brisbane to explore the areas north and south of the city with our range of day trips. Whether you’re a seasoned clubber or prefer to get in touch with nature (or both!), there is something for everyone, including couples and families.

Book your Brisbane hire car today with Betta Auto Hire, ideally located at Brisbane’s international and domestic airport.