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Let’s face it, the beach is packed in summer making it hard to find that perfect spot.

Let’s make it easier for everyone else and skip a couple of beach days in favour of one of these exciting summer day trips.

We have listed our top three recommendations for Brisbane, Byron and the Gold Coast this summer.

BRISBANE

The Cultural Precinct
If you’re looking to beat the heat you should definitely head to the art galleries and museums. Most of the exhibitions are free – we really recommend the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at GoMA.

Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens
If you’re looking for the perfect spot for a picnic this summer check out Mt Cotha Botanical Gardens. There is 56-hectares of subtropical botanic gardens featuring native and exotic plants and plenty of space for a family lunch. If picnics aren’t your thing, check out the restaurant on-site.

Holey Moley
Fortitude Valley’s Holey Moley is a cocktail bar that meets golf course. During the day it is family friendly and the 18-hole novelty golf course even includes The Simpson’s couch and a Pacman-themed hole. Due to liquor license laws, if you’re under 18 you have to leave before 5pm.

GOLD COAST

Tamborine Mountain
There is so much to do on Tamborine Mountain, whether its walking through the rainforest, shopping or gallery walk or something a little more adventurous like Thunderbird Park. Regardless of what you’re looking for – Tamborine Mountain is perfect for summer day trips.

Killarney Glen Waterfall
Just 45 minutes from the Gold Coast is this spectacular waterfall and swimming hole – which is shaped like a love heart. It’s the perfect day trip and you can either dive into the heart-shaped pool or swim up to it via the creek. It is truly magical.

Springbrook National Park
Natural bridge at Springbrook National Park is the result of millions of years of water tumbling through the roof of a basalt cave. It is home to a large colony of glowworms that can be seen after sunset. On summer nights there are also fireflies and mushrooms that glow in the dark.

BYRON BAY

Bangalow Markets
If you’re not looking to go far, Bangalow is just 15 minutes from Byron Bay. Bangalow’s main street which is filled with cafe’s, clothing stores, antique furniture, toy stores, book shops and a historic pub. We really recommend visiting the Bangalow Markets at the showgrounds on the 4th Sunday of every month.

Mullumbimby
Just 20 minutes north of Bryon Bay you’ll find Mullumbimby. The town is full of locally grown coffee and produce, clothing and accessories, arts and crafts and even Tarot Card Reading. You definitely need to check it out this summer.

Mt Warning
If you’re looking to stretch your legs and do something a bit more adventurous you should climb Mt Warning. The trek will take you around five hours in total so make sure you have packed food, water, sunscreen and your smartphone.

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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.