Get Off the Beaten Track
New experiences in Brisbane and the Gold Coast? Sign us up! Whether you’ve lived here for years or are visiting in search of something new, there is so much to discover in our own back yard.
Here are some of the best ways to get off the beaten track and experience something new in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Experience Something New in Brisbane and the Gold Coast
Spirits of the Red Sand | Beenleigh
Immerse yourself in an interactive cultural experience like no other. Spirits of the Red Sand celebrates one of the oldest continuous cultures on earth. Dine on excellent Australian cuisine while you engage with a historical re-enactment exploring Indigenous culture and the arrival of the British. Or during the day, take part in interactive cultural education programs where you can get hands-on and learn more about Aboriginal history and way of life.
Summerland Camel Farm | Harrisville
Camels have a long and interesting part in early settler history. Uniquely adapted to the dry climate, these fascinating animals have been a part of Australia for many years. Get up close on the Summerland Camel farm, and enjoy camel rides, unique skincare products, and regular events.
Noosa Everglades | Noosa
There are only two everglade systems in the world, and one of them is on the Sunshine Coast! Come visit this incredible slice of natural history, home to over 40% of Australia’s bird species. The River of Mirrors is perfect for kayaking, bird watching, and relaxing in the unique natural environment.
Wild Dolphin Feeding | Moreton Island
On Moreton Island, experience wild dolphins in their natural habitat. The bottlenose dolphins visit every night at sunset, to be handfed by visitors near the Tangalooma Resort. Moreton Island has plenty more to discover, with thrill seekers arriving for 4WDing, exploring the shipwreck on kayaks, and sand boarding on the impressive dunes. Boats to the island depart daily if you want to experience the island without having to stay.
Zoos | Various Locations
Brisbane has many different wild life centres, each one with something different to offer. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular destination on the Gold Coast, and you can check out the wild lorikeet feeding for a memorable experience (and some great photos!). Not far away is the lesser known David Fleay Wildlife Centre. Heading up the coast, you might have heard of Australia Zoo – but have you stopping in at Wildlife HQ? It’s the perfect place to see some rare animals and spend the day.
Queens Park | Ipswich
The Ipswich Nature Centre is such a great little gem it deserves its own post. Celebrating animals that are naturally found in the region, you’ll see bilbies, wombats, quolls, kangaroos and more! Best of all – it’s free, with an optional donation to help support the great work they do. The Nature Centre is set in the beautiful Queens Park gardens, with a great playground for the kids once they’ve enjoyed viewing the native wildlife.
Fruit Picking | Various Locations
Queensland is known for its range of delicious fruit, and you can get them as fresh as possible by picking them yourself. Mangoes, strawberries, longans, dragon fruit, apples, and peaches are just some of the fruits you can pick while in season. Visitors with working visas often choose fruit picking on commercial farms as a way to experience the Australian outdoors on a working holiday.
Fort Lytton National Park | Lytton
Built in 1881, the fort was built to defend Brisbane’s shipping lanes. Nestled in a beautiful bushland, this historic structure is still standing and open for visitors to come and check out an important part of Brisbane’s military history.
Coochiemudlo Island | Moreton Bay
Three sandy beaches, calm water, and plenty of beautiful picnic areas make Coochiemudlo a fantastic place to take the family. The island is accessible by barge or ferry, and at just 1 km across it’s easy to explore, fish, and play the day away. Brisbane and the Gold Coast have plenty of island escapes to experience – check out some more here.
Blackcard Cultural Tours | Brisbane
Get off the beaten track in our own back yard. With Blackcard Cultural Tours, you’ll be invited to view Brisbane from a new perspective. Guides will help you discover Indigenous art installations, learn from hands-on cultural experiences, and understand more about Brisbane’s Indigenous history. It’s a fantastic option for new experiences in Brisbane.
Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Caves | Tamborine
Tamborine is a lush, vibrant area full of natural hills and waterfalls. It also boasts some hidden secrets – like the glow worm caves, where you can book a tour and view the glistening points of light emitted by the tiny creatures. The Caves are located on the Cedar Creek Estate, which is also home to an excellent winery where you can finish off your tour by sampling some of the local wines.
Local Wineries | Sarabah
A hidden gem in the Gold Coast hinterlands, the family-owned Sarabah Estate winery is a must-see destination for lovers of local wines. Rows of vines adorn the hills, and a farm-to-table bistro invites visitors to relax and enjoy the food and stunning scenery. Take a picnic among the vines, visit the farm animals, sample some of the excellent wine, or enjoy a meal at the Chalet Bistro for a fantastic day out. Albert River Wines are also nearby, offering their own take on regional wines, another excellent restaurant, and a historic chapel.
Treetop Walk | O’Reilly
180 metres in length, 15 metres off the ground – see the Australian bushland from a new perspective as you walk amongst the canopy of the forest. It’s free, and has no age or height restrictions. The Lamington National Park has plenty more to experience, with glow worms, waterfalls, wheelchair-accessible paths, and is brimming with native flora and fauna. Afterwards, head to the O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat to stay or indulge yourself at the Lost World Spa.
Manta Bommie | North Stradbroke Island
Considered one of the top ten dive sites in Australia, Manta Bommie is a rocky reef located off North Stradbroke Island. Depending on the time of year (and your luck!) you might spot many species of sharks, rays, pelagic fish, and turtles – and even the manta rays from which the reef takes its name.
Getting to Your New Experiences in Brisbane and the Gold Coast
As you arrive at the Brisbane Airport, Airtrain will be there to transport you to your destination. Airtrain will get you quickly and comfortably from the airport to Brisbane City in 20 minutes. You can disembark or transfer at your chosen city station – Airtrain runs express from the airport, but stops at Fortitude Valley, Central, Roma Street, and South Brisbane stations. Trains continue on to Helensvale. From there, heading to the Gold Coast is a simple change onto the G:link tram, which arrives every 7.5 minutes in peak times.
Short term visitors should check out the go seeQ card, which allows you unlimited travel for 3 or 5 consecutive days on buses, trains, ferries, and trams. It also includes 2 Airtrain journeys to/from the Brisbane Airport. For longer stays, travel like the locals with a go card – just touch on at your station of departure and touch off when you arrive at your destination.
Brisbane and the Gold Coast are serviced by buses, trains, and trams that cover most destinations. To get even further off the beaten track, check out tour buses or rideshare services like Uber to experience those hidden delights.
New Experiences in Brisbane and the Gold Coast
If you’re in the mood for exploration, it’s time to experience some of the hidden gems dotted all around Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Get off the beaten track to find something new! You’ll be delighted with all the places that await your discovery.
As you journey to and from the Brisbane Airport, let Airtrain connect you with your adventures. Reliable, safe, and comfortable, our modern fleet of air-conditioned trains help you beat those unexpected incidents and arrive at your destination on time. Discover Brisbane and the Gold Coast with Airtrain.