If you’d love to search the four corners of the world these summer holidays but your budget has different ideas, why not try simply day trippin’ the four corners of our local area. Grab your compass and let’s go!
Walk into any resort at Caloundra, take one look at the stand of brochures advertising things to do, see and eat, and you’ll realise that one day will probably not be enough. One of the first stops on the Sunshine Coast, Caloundra offers the quintessential Sunny Coast experience – without the crowds. You’re always close to the beach at Caloundra, and the boardwalks and wide paths offer a plethora of options for getting from A to B. Pop up from the beach for a bite, sneak off for a quick dip, or pack up and make your way along the coast in search of the best break. While it’s a similar vibe to our local Gold Coast, breaking new ground in search of adventure is always worth the drive.
The quaint and cosy town of Yamba quite literally has everything you need for the perfect family day trip. Pristine secluded beaches, an ocean pool and a tonne of restaurants are what you’ll find along the coast. Head south and plunge into the deep rock pools of Angourie. Whatever the weather, Yamba is the ideal destination for a memorable day trip (or stretch it to a weekend, if you’re lucky). Spend sunny days by the ocean or rainy days in the historic Yamba cinema, before hitting up the iconic Pacific Hotel for sundowners. Then, immerse yourself in the Yamba nightlife at the Twilight Street Markets and the gourmet foods, arts and crafts and shopping it has to offer.
North Stradbroke Island is so close, but yet, you’ll feel so far away from the daily grind here. Head to Cleveland and jump onboard one of the Stradbroke Ferries for the 45-odd minute trip to the island. The barge trip is actually part of the adventure for kids who like the wind in their hair and to partake in a solid game of jellyfish spotting. When you get to Straddie you’ve got the choice of laid-back fishing village life at Amity Point (fish off the jetty, explore the rock wall, watch dolphins play just metres away), the beaches and amazing rock pools of Point Lookout, swimming in the cool natural stream at Myora Springs or a picnic and freshwater swim at Brown Lake, for example. Stock up on fresh seafood, straight off the local trawler, before you head home.
Toowoomba is one of largest inland cities in Australia. This thriving area, high atop the Toowoomba Range, is quite the cosmopolitan city with great boutiques, an uber-cool alleyway café scene and some incredible street art murals. In fact, you could base a day trip to Toowoomba purely on tracking down all the hidden street art gems that seem to pop up as you turn every corner. The street art scene up here has really blossomed with thanks to the annual First Coat Festival. And, a bit like Straddie, the journey to Toowoomba is part of the adventure as you traverse fields of glorious farming land and other unusual sights before climbing the range and finding a historic regional paradise at the top.