Known for its warm tropical climate, Queensland's weather is often described as being "beautiful one day, perfect the next". World-class beaches, inland mountains, majestic rainforests and the outback plains that stretch on and on and on, make Queensland THE place to take your 4WD for an adventure. For this article, Offmain handpicked the best spots for 4WD day trips near Brisbane for those days you’re feeling spontaneous. These locations are only 1.5-2 hours away from the city, ideal for a quick getaway or an overnight trip! Read on to find out where they are, what’s around and how to get there.
FYI, water available at below campsites are not suitable for drinking. Check out our tips for clean drinking water while camping.
1. Bribie Island
Bribie Island is located in Moreton Bay just over an hour (80 kms) from Brisbane with access via a road bridge. To access the beach track, head to the North Street car park. 4WD Tip: avoid getting bogged by taking it easy and leaving plenty of space between you and the car ahead.
What to do & see:
- Relax in shade, calm water, picnic facilities, boat ramps and a playgrounds with flying fox at the Bangaree’s Foreshore
- See hundreds of colourful butterfly species at the Butterfly House
- See contemporary art pieces at the Art Gallery. Kids’ classes and paint ‘n’ sip workshops can be booked in advance
- Learn the history of Bribie Island at the Seaside Museum. The interactive exhibitions are great for kids
There are a few options for campsites to choose from. Ocean Beach and Poverty Point are the ones with showers and toilets. Fires are allowed at these campsites but firewood is BYO only.
2. Moreton Island (Moorgumpin)
Only 75 minutes from Brisbane via ferry. 4WD tip: Moreton Island is known to the Ngugi people as Moorgumpin (the Sandhills). As the name suggests, there aren’t any paved roads! You’ll drive straight off the ferry onto the sand so its a good idea to bring your tyre deflator with you. (Air hoses are available on the ferry to re-inflate your tyres on your way home). The island stretches on for about 38 kms. Shops are few and far between on the island so make sure you’re stocked up!
What to do & see:
- Diving enthusiasts can explore shipwrecks, beautiful tropical fish and colourful reefs at several dive sites on the island
- Tangalooma Island Resort is a fancy accommodation with lots of free and paid activities such as Kookaburra and Dolphin feeding, desert safari tour ATV quad bike rides (exclusive to resort guests only)
- Climb Mount Tempest and enjoy the million-dollar view of the Moreton Island National Park
- Cape Morton Lighthouse was built in 1857 by tradesmen and convicts of almost entirely sandstone. Observe the migrating humpback whales in winter
The closest and easiest campsite to access from the ferry is Ben-Ewa. Toilets and showers are available.
3. North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah)
Only 30 kms southeast of Brisbane to the ferry terminal (45 minute-drive) then 1 hour on the ferry to the island. 4WD tip: Stock up on supplies at shops and cafes once you get off the ferry in Dunwich. Beginners should stay on the Flinders track (during low tides only) while experienced 4WDers can explore Main Beach as sand dune can be tricky to navigate.
What to do & see
- Enjoy golfing with the views of Brown Lake and the Glasshouse Mountains at the North Stradbroke Golf Club. Hire electric golf buggies for a self-drive eco tour
- Experience the history of the island and find out about the Dunwich Benevolent Asylum at the North Stradbroke Island Museum
- Diving enthusiasts can check out Amity Point, Shag Rock, Middle Reef, Boat Rock & Manta Bommie dive sites
- Picnic in the shade on Cylinder Beach. Great swimming spots for the kids, with life guard on duty
Plenty of options for campsites on the island. The Main Beach is dog-friendly and can be your base for fishing, hiking and wildlife watching. Flinders Beach is also dog friendly and has toilets.
4. Noosa North Shore
It’s a little bit further than we promised. Located north of Sunshine coast (2 hours and 21 minutes from Brisbane) but trust us, it’s worth it. It’s a 4WDing playground where you can drive over the beach, up the sand dunes and stop along the way for fishing, surfing or just chill.
What to do & see:
- Noosa Shore Retreat is a perfect family holiday destination. Swimming, tennis, kayaking & bistro with fresh local seafood
- Double Island Point is rated one of the top ten dive spots in Australia. See mackerel, leopard sharks, manta rays and grey nurse sharks. Only accessible at low tide. Drive from here to Rainbow Beach. Remember to check the tide times
- Drive your 4WD along the beach or take the Cooloola Way and Freshwater Road through the forests and heathland
There are two campsites in the area: Teewah and Freshwater. Teewah is a sand campground with no facilities. Open fires are not allowed except for heating or cooking. Freshwater has toilets and showers. Open fires are not allowed at all. Water at both sites need to be treated before drinking. Make sure you book in advance because Noosa North Shore camping can be very busy, especially during peak season!
5. Mount Mee (D’Aguilar National Park)
90 minute drive northwest of Brisbane (71 kms). 4WD tip: Mount Mee in D’Aguilar National Park has a variety of terrains for all skill levels. The main off-road track is suitable for beginners while the smaller ones are more for those more experienced.
What to see & do:
- Bellbird Grove is a beautiful picnic area with short walking tracks
- Drive your 4WD to the northern end of the national park for a perfect swimming & sun baking spot
- Boulder hopping and soak in the beautiful waterfall at the Rockyhole
Neurum Creek and Archer are bush camps with septic toilets but no shower facilities. Water at both sites needed to be treated before drinking. Open fires are allowed in the fireplace provided. BYO firewood. Keep your eyes peeled for the beautiful bird life, like this little guy!
Alright, that’s our selections of the best 4WD spots near Brisbane. We hope you enjoy reading, but more importantly, we hope you’ll take your 4WD out there and quench your thirst for adventure! Let us know how you go and tag us on Instagram @offmain.offroad
At Offmain, we believe that 4WDing and outdoor adventure is for everyone, and getting started should be easy. Founded by a team of female 4WDers and a rookie hiking adventurer, Offmain is a positive and inclusive community for people of all experience levels, from those researching Vehicles, Camping and adventure options - all you need is the love to explore.
Come on an adventure with us 🥳
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