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The winter school holidays are the perfect time to enjoy a family day trip, and we’re spoilt for choice here on the Gold Coast. Here are no less than 11 perfect day trip locations to choose from!

North Straddie 

It’s just a short water taxi trip from Brisbane’s east coast, but a day at North Stradbroke will have you feeling like you’ve escaped to an island paradise for an extended holiday. From surfing the breaks at one of the many picturesque beaches to trekking the scenic ‘Gorge Walk’ – and ending your adventure with some gelato and whale watching – check out our official guide to North Straddie right here.

South Straddie

Have you ever thought about renting a boat and exploring the many islands off the Gold Coast? These school holidays are your perfect opportunity, and one island you simply can’t miss is South Stradbroke. It’s less populated than its northern counterpart, but it still promises plenty of island fun! Enjoy lunch at Tipplers then take your pick between the calm waters on the island’s west side, or the surf beaches on the east.

Coolangatta

Our city’s southernmost suburb is full of natural beauty, unique charm and fun activities. Tread the coastal walking path from Kirra to Point Danger and enjoy standing in two states at once when you reach the top of the hill. After that, cool off with a dip at Greenmount Beach or Rainbow Bay, or surf the world-famous Duranbah Beach or Snapper Rocks. For lunch, refuel at one of the many restaurants nearby or enjoy lunch with a view at one of the Gold Coast’s best surf clubs, Rainbow Bay.

Mt Tamborine

A drive up Tamborine Mountain is always a good idea! Make sure you stop to admire the mysterious ‘piano rock’ on your way, then fill your day with horse riding, bird watching, glow worm tours, thunder-egg fossicking, fishing, walks and some window shopping along Gallery Walk. For lunch, check out Café Alpine in the Birchgrove Nursery or opt for one of the many wineries, breweries and distilleries in the area. Then, finish the day with a bit of fudge (naturally).

Brisbane

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there is no shortage of things to do in Brisbane. The state capital offers culture, history, adventure and fun education all in one, and the multitude of delicious restaurants is just the icing on the cake! From cuddling koalas in the city’s western suburbs to hidden beach parks in the east – even right to the top of Brisbane City Hall – check out our top twenty ways to spend the day in ‘Brisvegas’ right here.

Byron Bay

Beautiful Byron Bay isn’t just loved by influencers and celebrities – with calm beaches, great food and fun markets, it’s a haven for families, too! Work a sweat up with a hike to the beautiful Byron Lighthouse (and enjoy being the easternmost person in Australia, even if it’s just for a moment) then treat yourself to a shop along the town’s main streets. Make sure you pay a visit to The Farm on the way in to cuddle some cute animals, and enjoy a play at Apex Park in Byron central for some beachside playground fun.

The Tweed

Don’t get us wrong – we love life here in south-east Queensland. But sometimes we find ourselves dreaming of a day trip south of the border. There, we said it. When adventure calls, we love heading to Tweed for good food, great sights and more family fun than you could poke a stick at. From frolicking amongst sunflowers to Instagram-able lunches at even-more-Instagram-able restaurants, here’s a round-up of a few of our favourite things to do…

Burleigh Heads

One of our haven team member’s 15-year-olds once said: “Burleigh is such a vibe.” While we’ll turn a blind eye to the grammatical incorrectness, we do have to agree. It’s one of the Gold Coast’s most bustling suburbs for a reason! We suggest starting your morning by hiking the headland, then cooling off with a swim and a gelato from none other than Burleigh Gelato Co. Try to time your visit with the Village Markets for a local shopping fix!

Moreton Island

We’re seriously spoilt for choice when it comes to islands here in South East Queensland. In addition to North and South Straddie, we’ve also got Moreton Island just a ferry ride away. It’s here that you’ll find beautiful bay water, great surf, resident wildlife (hello, dolphins!), scuba spots, 4WD tracks and sprawling Tangalooma Resort. Fun fact: Did you know that Tangalooma Resort was the filming location for the iconic 2002 film ‘Scooby-Doo’?!

Scenic Rim

West of the Gold Coast is a region steeped in history – we’re talking as far back as the dinosaurs! The Scenic Rim is a truly magical place; it was voted one of the Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Regions in the World in 2022, and with locations like ‘The Lost World’, we’re not surprised. Spend the day there and you’ll be treated to stunning landscapes, national parks and World Heritage-listed rainforests, eco-adventures, fresh local produce and beverages, and many a colourful character.

Toowoomba

South East Queensland’s coastal cities tend to steal the spotlight, but for the residents of our biggest rural city, Toowoomba, that’s just fine – they get to enjoy their outback oasis in relative peace and quiet! However, Toowoomba’s secret is getting out. More and more city-dwellers are enjoying a tree change, drawn west by the region’s delicious food and wine, beautiful scenery and rich history. These school holidays are the perfect opportunity to find out what makes the ‘Garden City’ so special.

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haven  

haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.