Studying at Embassy Brisbane is a wonderful experience because you are very close to Australia’s many beautiful beaches, islands and World Heritage areas.
There are many weekend getaways and day trips to choose from. The Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast are great day trips and can be organised by going on Translink public transport. It’s a good idea to have an early start and catch a train and bus to your destination.
There are a number of popular beaches on the Gold Coast including Coolangatta, Currumbin and Burleigh Heads.
Mooloolaba and Caloundra are beautiful places to visit on the Sunshine Coast and make great day trips as well.
As Noosa is situated slightly further north, it’s more suitable for a weekend trip.
Popular tourist attractions close to Noosa include the Saturday Eumundi Markets and the Glasshouse Mountains. They are a very remarkable part of the landscape and you will be able to see these mountains from the train.
Noosa National Park is worth a visit and you may be lucky enough to spot a Koala.
Make sure you have a coffee or lunch on Hastings Street.
My two favourite weekend getaways from Brisbane are Stradbroke Island (or ‘Straddie’ as locals say) and Byron Bay (often referred to as ‘Byron’).
Stradbroke Island has gorgeous beaches including Home Beach and Cylinder Beach.
Why not go on the Point Lookout Gorge Walk and try and spot a kangaroo or a turtle?
If you are planning to spend the weekend at Straddie, a great place to stay is the Manta Lodge YHA. Twin rooms, double rooms and dormitory accommodation is available.
There are also lots of fantastic places to camp, if you have some camping gear. Camping grounds are located at Adder Rock, Cylinder Beach, Home Beach and Amity Point.
I recommend trying fish and chips at the Straddie Pub which is just near Cylinder Beach. Why not try the Blue Room Café at Point Lookout. The Surf Lifesaving Club opens at 2pm. This is a great place to sit and relax while enjoying the stunning views over the ocean.
Straddie hosts a reggae festival every year in October called Island Vibe.
Byron Bay is just over the border in New South Wales and a two hour drive from Brisbane. If you are travelling to Byron on public transport there are two express bus services: Brisbane 2 Byron and The Byron Easy Bus.
These buses leave from outside the Roma St Transit Centre. Cape Byron is the most easterly point on the Australian mainland.
There are great walking tracks to the lighthouse which has panoramic views of the ocean and is a great place for whale watching (from July – September) and you can see dolphins all year round.
As Byron Bay is on the backpacker trail there are many hostels to choose from.
If you feel like a more challenging walk you could try hiking to the summit of Mt Warning to watch the sunrise.
Byron Bay is a popular place for music festivals. At Easter, The Blues Festival is held just outside of town.
Moreton Island is another magnificent island to visit. You can participate in dolphin feeding, which is really a unique and incredible experience.
Fraser Island is approximately 5 hours north of Brisbane.
Fraser is just off the coast of Hervey Bay which is where the humpback whales migrate to, in order to have their calves (babies) in warmer water.
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and is World Heritage listed for its exceptional beauty and diverse flora and fauna.
There are many beautiful lakes including Lake McKenzie and also the spectacular rain forest at Central Station.
If you are interested in exploring Queensland further, I thoroughly recommend flying to Cairns or Airlie Beach, so that you can visit the spectacular Great Barrier Reef.
The most beautiful beach I have ever seen is Whitehaven Beach. It is on one of the Whitsunday Islands.
The Great Barrier Reef is also World Heritage listed as it is the largest coral reef ecosystem on earth.
Ocean Spirit and other tour operators run daily cruises to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns.
I hope you have a great time discovering the natural beauty of Queensland!
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