South East Queensland has an amazing mix of sandy white beaches and dense sub-tropical rain forests. We have endeavored to share with you some of our favourite driving routes which take in local attractions, great rest stops, scenic wonders and of course some of the little known secrets reserved for the locals.
We will regularly add to these routes as well as update our Blog and Facebook Page with ideas on how you can experience the very best of the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and the Brisbane areas. Be sure to subscribe to find out how to make the most of your time in an Andy’s Auto Rental.
Brisbane Driving Routes
Despite being the States capital and a major commercial and business hub, Brisbane City is a very scenic location. Based on and around the Brisbane River, the inner city features beautiful gardens, scenic parklands and historic building and museums.
One of the best drives is the path out East. Within 20 minutes you can make your way through Wynnum, out to the bay, following a 50km drive down the coast, a road not often travelled by local commuters. There you will discover fabulous locations and eateries. The drive will culminate near the Sirromet Winery, home to regions outdoor concerts, 5 star cellar dinners and a magnificent restaurant that overlooks the grape vines.
If you follow the river the other way towards the South-West you will discover the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. This park has over 130 of Australia’s favourite creatures, as well as Kangaroo’s you can hand feed and plenty of other native animals and critters.
Gold Coast Driving Routes
For many years the Gold Coast has been recognised for it miles of sandy white beaches. The main Gold Coast highway will let you drive very close to the shore line, to give you at times, fabulous glimpse of the ocean. Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads, Currumbin and Coolangatta offer the best scenes and photo opportunity. You drive will conclude at Point Danger, which lies on the Queensland and New South Wales border. A confusing place to cross the road in summer with day light savings creating a one hour difference on each side of the main street, but that’s just part of what make the place so much fun.
The biggest secret driving route on the Gold Coast is often dubbed the ‘green behind the gold’. Less than an hours drive from the rolling surf, sub tropical rain-forests hide the village of Mt Tamborine. Sunday visitors will enjoy local craft markets, cafes specialising in organic foods and produce and friendly locals. Be sure to stop into Songbirds Rainforest Retreat for lunch or dinner, but be sure to book, especially on weekends.
Sunshine Coast Driving Routes
The Glass house mountains are inland from the main coastal highway, but through these you must travel if you are going to find Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo. The legacy of the much loved and countries biggest’s conservationist, it is a must see on your drive north.
The coastal drive is also a must do. Heading north from Brisbane you will pass through Bribie Island, Caloundra, Kawana Waters, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Coolum and finally arriving at Noosa. Each of these places are popular as getaway destinations for South East Queensland residents and interstate tourist alike. Plenty of accommodation from camping and Backpackers, through to 5 star Hotels and Apartments are available and offers great access to the shopping, dining and of course the beaches.
Northern New South Wales Driving Routes
Venture 40 minutes south over the border into New South Wales and you will find Byron Bay. The region has long been a popular destination for Sydney-siders, however in recent years, due largely to the improvements made to the M1 highway, the township has become almost a must see location for those visiting the Gold Coast.
The first thing that grabs you about Byron Bay is the laid back attitude. It’s not just the locals that are relaxed with thousands of international backpackers there at any given time. As you walk the street you will no doubt hear accents and dialect from European countries and a few beers at the Beach Hotel will have you making friends from all over the globe.