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Top Ten Things to do in Brisbane with a Campervan

Need more Brisbane and Queensland travel inspiration? Here are the top 10 spots to visit.

Airlie Beach & the Whitsunday Islands (1,100 km from Brisbane)

As the launching pad for the Whitsundays, Airlie Beach is a swanky seaside town with a hedonistic drinking scene. While gorgeous swimming spots like Boathaven Beach appeal, it’s the offshore adventures that lure visitors in droves. A sailing trip around the blissful Whitsunday Islands is a highlight of any East Coast road trip.

Brisbane City

Stroll the scenic South Bank Parklands and summit Mt Coot-tha for panoramic lookouts and lush botanical gardens. Jump on a CityCat Ferry to cruise the river, then hit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary to cosy up with Australia’s most loveable marsupial. Line the stomach at Eat Street Northshore before scoffing pints at a humming Fortitude Valley pub.

Byron Bay & the Northern Rivers (164 km from Brisbane)

The Northern Rivers are ripe for adventure. Framed by the awe-inspiring Mount Wollumbin, these dramatic volcanic landscapes come chock full of teeming forests and tranquil waterways. You’ll find plentiful world-class national parks, quaint hinterland villages, and jaw-dropping coastal stretches here. Base yourself in Byron to sync with its hip, bohemian scene.

Fraser Island (350 km from Brisbane)

Fraser, or K’gari in the Butchulla tongue, is the largest sand island on earth. But there’s more to this World Heritage-listed wonderland than shape-shifting dunes. Highlights include ancient tall tree forests, shimmering turquoise lakes, and photogenic shipwrecks. Take your 4WD camper on the ferry to Kingfisher Bay Resort, where you can join a 4WD tour.

Gold Coast (80 km from Brisbane)

Australia’s most famous beach destination, this glitzy resort city heaves with holidaymakers. Sprawling mega-malls, glam oceanfront bars, and spectacular surf beaches abound. The kids mustn’t miss the Holy Trinity of East Coast theme parks: Movie World, Seaworld, and Dreamworld.

North Stradbroke Island (56 km from Brisbane)

A 50-minute car ferry whisks your camper from Cleveland to North Stradbroke Island. This inhabited, mostly 2WD-friendly island is famous for its secluded beaches and pretty woodland lakes. Laidback seaside villages like Point Lookout, Amity Point, and Dunwich have picturesque campgrounds.

Seventeen Seventy (485 km from Brisbane)

Named after the year Captain Cook landed here, this sleepy coastal hamlet retains a laidback, underdeveloped charm. The pint-sized town boasts beautiful surf beaches and a pointy peninsula to watch the sunset over the sea (a rarity on the east coast). Don’t leave town without wandering along the fairytale-like Paperbark Forest Boardwalk.

Sunshine Coast (120 km from Brisbane)

As Queensland’s other big-name beach destination, the Sunshine Coast boasts 60km of breathtakingly beautiful shores. Climb the monolithic Mount Coolum and traverse Noosa National Park cliff tops. Beer lovers should know the Sunny Coast has become the micro-brewery capital of Australia.

Sunshine Coast Hinterlands (90 km from Brisbane)

Easy access to Brisbane makes this lush hinterland region a hit among stressed-out city-dwellers. Sample fresh creamy produce from its verdant dairy farms and plunge into cool waterfall-fed pools. Hike the spiked Glass House Mountains or meander gentle forested boardwalks.

The Brisbane Experience

Brisbane City

Despite being Australia’s third largest city, Brisbane remains famously laid back. Unpretentious inhabitants and unhurried lifestyles differentiate the state capital from its southern rivals.

Yet the River City is far from sleepy. Its bustling CBD brims with suit-clad corporate types, while nearby Fortitude Valley teems with sleek restaurants and bars. Trendy riverfront suburbs like New Farm and Teneriffe have become a mecca for hip young upstarts.

Brisbane is a brilliant place to get outdoors, thanks to its warm year-round weather. A string of scenic parklands straddles the South Bank, perfect for cycling and strolls (don’t miss the Roma Street Parkland, too). Mt. Coot-tha has hilly hikes with panoramic lookouts, plus luscious Botanic Gardens bursting with subtropical flora.

Brisbane City - view from Mt Coot-tha

Still, need more ideas? Cuddle cute critters at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, savour sweeping views on a Story Bridge Climb, or cruise the winding Brisbane River on a CityCat Ferry.

Foodies mustn’t miss the vibrant Eat Street Northshore, a buzzing riverfront container village flogging flavoursome international street food. Quench your thirst at one of Brisbane's finest breweries with a waterfront view at the Howard Smith Wharves.

Story Bridge, Brisbane Australia

South East Queensland & Beyond

While Brisbane boasts great attractions, most campervan itineraries focus on the outlying region.

A quick one-hour trip south leads to Tamborine Mountain, a lush hilltop famed for its waterfalls, wineries, and rainforest-shrouded walks. Further south, Lamington National Park boasts tree-studded ridge hikes and gorgeous campsites. The nearby Springbrook National Park features a cascade-eroded basalt cavern named the Natural Bridge, plus many more stunning waterfall hikes.

Gold Coast Hinterland views

The coastal route south leads you through Australia’s most famous tourism destination: the Gold Coast. Home to booming surf breaks, vibrant nightlife, and family-friendly theme parks, this glitzy city has something for every taste.

Broadbeach, Gold Coast

Over the NSW border, the Northern Rivers broods with natural beauty. Motorhome-friendly national parks include the Border Ranges, Nightcap, Wollumbin, and Mount Jerusalem—most have campsites and jaw-dropping trails.

If surfing—or plain-old beach bumming—is more your jam, cruise down the coast towards seaside hamlets like Brunswick Heads, Ballina, and the perennially popular Byron Bay. Quaint Tweed Hinterland villages like Murwillumbah, Mullumbimby, Bangalow, and Nimbin nestle amid verdant hills.

Wategos Beach, Byron Bay

It’s all too easy to taste a slice of the island life from Brisbane. Car ferries can whisk your camper to North Stradbroke Island, AKA “Straddie,” a sprawling sand island famed for its secluded beaches. Nearby Moreton Island requires a 4WD to explore in-depth, though you can find water sports and resorts at Tangalooma Beach. Closer to the coast, Bribie Island has chilled-out towns, beautiful beaches, and scenic canals.

Moreton Island, Queensland

The Sunshine Coast is the sparkling diamond in South East Queensland’s jewel-encrusted crown. Long sandy stretches interconnect via breezy oceanfront footpaths, with plenty of lofty lookouts to admire the view. Beachfront towns range from flashy (Noosa Heads) to casual (Coolum) and hip (Mooloolaba). Don’t leave without wandering around the breathtaking Noosa National Park.

Noosa Beach, Sunshine Coast

Venturing inland leads you to the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands, a prime agricultural zone framed by verdant undulating hills. Rural villages like Maleny, Conondale, and Kenilworth showcase top-shelf produce through colourful markets and dairy farms. Hit Mapleton Falls National Park for easy-going trails or the Glass House Mountains to scale jagged, vertigo-inducing peaks.

Glass House Mountains, Sunshine Coast

Central Queensland sits within easy reach for campervanners with time up their sleeve. Fraser Island (K’gari) is home to picture-perfect lagoons and staggeringly tall trees—jump on a 4WD tour from the resort.

Champagne Pools, Fraser Island, Queensland

Further north, inland towns like Maryborough and Childers ooze with old-world architectural charm. Back on the coast, Harvey Bay is a humpback whale-watching hotspot. Nuzzling a panoramic peninsula, Seventeen Seventy is a gorgeous coastal town with an unspoiled, easy-going vibe—get in quick; some say it’s the next Byron Bay.

Laidback Yeppoon is a chilled Capricorn Coast town. Use it as a base to explore the sugary white sands of Great Keppel Island or the thick forests of Byfield National Park.

Further up the Bruce Highway, you’ll find Airlie Beach, the glamorous gateway to the world-famous Whitsunday Islands. Ditch the van for a day (or more) and jump on a sailing tour to cruise between these mind-blowing squeaky white isles—Whitehaven Beach is heavenly.

Whitsundays, Queensland

Still, got some lingering wanderlust?

Hit Eungella National Park to spot playful platypi, Cape Hillsborough to watch the sunrise alongside kangaroos on the beach or Bowen for otherworldly horseshoe-shaped coves.