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What car would best suit a weekend trip from Brisbane?

Weekend getaways from Brisbane

If you are looking to escape the city and discover Brisbane’s surrounding towns and regions, there’s no better way to do so than on a road trip from the capital city of Queensland. From relaxing on sandy beaches to wine tasting and dining at amazing restaurants, this region has it all. Start comparing rental cars at VroomVroomVroom today to find the perfect vehicle for your next road trip adventure from Brisbane.

Explore the Granite Belt region with an SUV

A boulder-strewn hill in Girraween National Park.
A boulder-strewn hill in Girraween National Park.

Top attractions: Girraween National Park, Wyberba Walk, The Pyramid, Granite Arch, The Junction, Castle Rock, The Sphinx and Turtle Rock.

Girraween National Park is situated on the Granite Belt outside the charming town of Stanthorpe. The park is known for its dramatic landscapes, gorgeous wildflowers, and unique wildlife. Spring is the best time to visit if you want to witness stunning wildflower displays. Camp at Castle Rock or climb the big granite pyramid to enjoy great views over the park.

The area has some of the most spectacular scenery in Queensland, including beautiful natural settings, rolling hills, award-winning wineries, and national parks. This region is well known for its stone fruit and apples, and there are plenty of cafes and pubs that serve up mouth-watering food.

Tips: Keep in mind that you will need a vehicle access permit (VAP) to drive in recreation areas such as national parks and beaches. The Queensland Government states that “all vehicles must be registered and your permit clearly displayed on your vehicle for inspection by authorised officers.”

Recommended car: Rent a full-size SUV such as a Ford Expedition, which has plenty of room for passengers and luggage, making it an ideal option if you want a more comfortable ride.

Travel time: About three hours

Directions: Only three hours’ drive south-west from Brisbane, visitors need to take the New England Highway 26km south of Stanthorpe or 30km north of Tenterfield to reach the park. Note that the alternative road from Stanthorpe to Girraween via Eukey and Storm King Dam has some gravel sections.

Drive a compact car to Samford then go bushwalking in Cedar Creek

Cedar Creek in Samford.
Cedar Creek in Samford.

Top attractions: Samford District Historical Museum, Cedar Creek, Store of Requirement, Lyell Deer Sanctuary, D’Aguilar National Park, Trevena Glen Farm.

Just a short drive from Brisbane’s CBD takes you into the heart of Samford, which is composed of Samford Village and Samford Valley. Once there, take a look at the fascinating history of Samford and its surrounding areas by visiting the Samford District Historical Museum. Operated by the Samford District Historical Museum Society, the museum is open only on Wednesday and Sunday.

Check out The Flying Nun Cafe, Happy Berry House, Buzzstop Espresso and its twin Ya Ya Bar for some delicious food. Continue yout drive to the charming town of Mount Nebo. Get back in touch with nature and visit the Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre. While you are there, treat yourself to a late lunch with fantastic views at The Walkabout Creek Restaurant.

Tips: Take a drive through the rural and nature-filled areas near Samford to discover more hidden hinterland gems. Don’t miss a visit to Trevena Glen Farm and Cedar Creek. Note that there are privately owned blocks of land along the creek south of the car park, so make sure to follow the signage and be careful not to trespass.

Recommended car: Book a compact car like a Kia Rio or Hyundai Accent — this type of vehicle is a wise choice for a short road trip with a small group of family or friends.

Travel time: 30 minutes

Directions: You can either take the longer route by driving along Waterworks Road and through Mt. Nebo, or take the shorter and more direct route by taking Samford Road through suburban Ferny Grove.

Relax and unwind in Rainbow Beach with a full-size car

The impressive Carlo Sand Blow by Rainbow Beach.
The impressive Carlo Sand Blow by Rainbow Beach.

Top attractions: Carlo Sand Blow, Poona Lake, Carlo Point Marina, Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area, Seary's Creek, Double Island Point.

Although Rainbow Beach is quite small, there are a plethora of activities and stunning locations to explore in the area, including Carlo Sand Blow and the coloured sands. Spend the morning swimming, fishing, and surfing at Rainbow Beach before going to one of the local restaurants for lunch and drinks. Be cautious when driving around Mudlo Rocks near Rainbow Beach.

The mind-blowing Carlo Sand Blow is the perfect place for travellers looking for a dose of sandy fun. Easily reached via Cooloola Drive, take time to watch the sunset — it's a beautiful sight to behold. Other fun things to do around Rainbow Beach include a trip to Cooloola Recreation Area in Great Sandy National Park, dolphin and whale watching in Tin Can Bay, or gliding above the Carlo Sandblow cliff. Please note that Rainbow Beach is within close proximity to the world’s largest sand island: K’gari (previously Fraser Island).

Tips: Follow all the laws and regulations relating to the use of vehicles on beaches. Take note that travel is not permitted to many islands off the coast of Queensland in a rental car, and you are not allowed to take your vehicle on beaches.

Recommended car: Rent a full-size car like a Toyota Camry for extra storage and seating capacity. A full-size car is a better option than a small car if you need more passenger room and luggage space.

Travel time: About three hours

Directions: Head southeast on Albert St toward Elizabeth Street and turn left onto Gipps St/State Route 15. Take the exit toward Stafford Rd/Everton Park/Metroad 5/A3/Gympie Rd/Sunshine Coast until you reach Rainbow Beach.

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