Mountain Off-Roading in Queensland's South East - It's Not ALL About the Beach!

South East Queensland is famous the world over for its beautiful beaches, and for good reason. But if you stick solely to the coastline as you travel through the Sunshine State, you’ll miss out on the natural beauty, breathtaking views, and numerous must-do activities that the mountainous regions of the Gold Coast Hinterlands, the Brisbane Hinterlands, and the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands have to offer. Take just a short drive from the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast, Brisbane, or the Sunshine Coast and you’ll be rewarded with lush rainforests, spectacular waterfalls, sweeping valleys and stunning vistas.   

Hinterland Adventures:  Brisbane Caravan Destinations

Why not ditch the bright lights of the city, and head off to Brisbane Hinterlands to enjoy the fresh mountain air and magnificent views? If you like picturesque waterways, quaint, friendly townships, stunning bushland and getting up close to local wildlife, the hinterlands of Brisbane have much to offer. Some of the top Brisbane caravan destinations to try are:

  • Cedar Creek Camping at Amamoor Creek
  • Lake Moogerah Caravan Park
  • Lake Wivenhoe Campgrounds
  • Bigriggin Park
  • Mount Barney National Park
  • Flanagan’s Reserve Bush Camping
  • Rangetop Farm
  • Sandy Creek Camping
  • Jack’s Place Toogoolawah
  • The Thagoona Block

While in Brisbane’s Hinterland, I’d highly recommend getting around to see some or all of these places, if you have time:

  • D’Aguilar National Park
  • Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre
  • Jolly’s Lookout
  • Mount Glorious
  • Mount Mee

Hinterland Adventures:  Sunshine Coast Caravan Destinations

From Caloundra to Noosa Northshore, the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands have much to offer travellers looking for a green-escape experience. Head away from the coast and towards the majestic mountains and you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice when it comes to Sunshine Coast caravan camping spots. The Sunshine Coast Hinterlands have an abundance of places to stay with your camper. Here’s just a few popular ones, but this list is by no means exhaustive.

  • Lakeview
  • Wild Horse Retreat
  • Aussie Camp
  • Riverside Farm
  • Belli Glades
  • Woombye Rainforest Escape
  • Hidden Camp Pie Creek
  • Canecutter’s Rest
  • Granite Cascades

If you are planning a getaway in the hinterlands of the Sunshine Coast, I recommend making a short-list of places you’d like to visit and activities you’d like to do, and then find a campsite in that general area.

Some places of interest in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands you might like to consider are:

  • Australia Zoo
  • Glass House Mountains
  • Buderim Forest Walk
  • Bellingham Maze
  • Kondalilla National Park
  • Melany Botanic Garden and Bird World
  • Artists Cascades

Hinterland Adventures: Gold Coast Caravan Destinations

Aptly named the Scenic Rim, the Gold Coast Hinterlands include the Tweed Range, Nimmel Range, Tamborine Mountain, Niminbah Valley and the eastern parts of the McPherson Range. The hinterland of the Gold Coast boasts six national parks including Lamington National Park and countless natural beauty spots. Popular Gold Coast Hinterland caravan destinations include:

  • Natural Bridge Retreat (adults only)
  • Gumridge
  • Misty Mountain – Kunghur
  • Larapinta
  • The River Orchard
  • Stonesthrow
  • Christmas Creek Bush Retreat
  • Kingsland Camping Mt Maroon

I’d recommend doing your own research into what the Scenic Rim has to offer and whittling down the many options to plan your own itinerary, but some must-visit places include:

  • Thunderbird Adventure Park
  • Curtis Falls and Cedar Creek Falls
  • Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Caves
  • The Gallery Walk in Tamborine (cafes, restaurants, breweries, wineries, art galleries, antiques, hand-made goods, and gourmet food)
  • Tamborine Forest Skywalk
  • The Binna Burra Walk in Lamington Park
  • Summer Land Camels

So, whether you’re passing through the Gold Coast, Brisbane, or the Sunshine Coast, or you’re a local looking to take a weekend break somewhere not too far from home, you can’t go wrong if you head in-land to the beautiful mountain regions. With gourmet food trails, breweries, and wineries galore, you won’t have time to miss the beach!

About the Author

John Perry is a business owner with 35 years of experience as an automotive and transmission specialist and a passion for exceptional customer service. John combines his love of camping and exploring the great outdoors with his expertise in the automotive industry to offer high-quality, innovative, and award-winning hybrid caravans and campers designed specifically to withstand harsh Australian conditions. A well-travelled, self-confessed family man, John is a wealth of knowledge and is always keen to share his handy hints and insider tips on the best places to go in Australia, and how to make the most of your outdoor camping adventures.