Where to go on holiday when you live, or are staying near Brisvegas (Brisbane)?! The options are thankfully endless. But this time we were looking for places to go roadtrippin’. With the lush green bush on the North West of Brissie, and the sparkling Sunshine Coast on the North East – we were ready to see a bit of both! Roll on the roadtrip north of Brisbane!
With paradise just hours from the city, what could be better than a road trip in a luxury motorhome? We lined things up with Apollo Motorhome Holidays and prepared ourselves to head north of Brisbane for 7 days. Our plan was to venture from bush to beach and explore places we hadn’t been to previously.
Picking up the motorhome was ‘easy as’. We were given a quick guided tour and off we went. We left Brisbane with a fair amount of traffic, but it wasn’t long before we were driving through the lush countryside. We spent much of the journey spotting sea eagles soaring, freshly born calves finding their feet, and many a kangaroo. The excitement was already mounting as we drove along with big smiles upon our faces in our awesome Apollo Euro Deluxe.
Here’s where our short bush to beach road trip took us (and at the end of this article you’ll find an amazing 20% discount that Apollo Motorhomes has given to our readers – for a limited period of time – so get booking if you like the sound of it – ps we do not make any commission from bookings – we just like sharing the love):
Day 1 and 2: Neurum Creek Bush Retreat and the Somerset Region
Neurum Creek Bush Retreat is a secluded countryside campsite, surrounded by lush hills, creeks, and lakes. Perfect to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s also bang in the middle of the Glasshouse Mountains which are an absolute must for either a sunrise or sunset hike. Be careful hiking at sunset for obvious safety reasons. We were faced with a pretty grim weather forecast so neither was possible, but here’s what you can look forward to most of the time (image by Kristen Jones).
With the Glasshouse Mountains looking overcast we decided to explore the Somerset Region. Lake Somerset, Wivenhoe, and Atkinson give you various options for sightseeing and water sports.
At Lake Somerset you’ll find plenty of people jet skiing, wakeboarding, and generally enjoying the need for speed. At Lake Wivenhoe you’ll find a slower pace with restricted motorised sports and a maximum 6 knot speed limit. If you don’t have the equipment to get on the water, then you’ll find several companies that hire the likes of canoes and kayaks. You’ll also find designated swimming spots at these freshwater lakes. When the sun is shining these places would be just perfect for a nice chilled day by the water.
There is a great viewing spot along the road of Lake Somerset called Shiels Lookout. Whilst it was pretty cloudy when we were there, it still gave us some amazing panoramic views.
We decided to drive towards Esk for a pub lunch as we had heard that the food was pretty good. At first glance the pub was…let’s say…’interesting’, but we learned to not judge a book by its cover. The food was great – Pork Belly and Apple Slaw Bao Buns, Crocodile and Lemon Myrtle Spring Rolls, and Lobster and Seafood Risotto just some of the dishes we enjoyed. We had a stroll through the town and came across a quirky little antique yard, full of characterful goodies that I would have loved to have taken home. But we were traveling light, so on we went.
Back at the Neurum Retreat we were surrounded by Kangaroos and butterflies. The butterflies were really quite magical. They were absolutely EVERYWHERE! Take a look at our Instagram story highlights to see just how many there were.
Each allocated campsite had its own fire, and groups of families and friends spent the evening enjoying nature, shortly before being rained off back into their tents, caravans, and motorhomes. We were just slightly smug about our luxury motorhome life at that point.
Day 3 and 4 – Lake Cootharaba and Habitat Noosa
Our drive north through the hinterland took us through a town called Pomona – a great little spot for breakfast/lunch/coffee – with a few cute little cafes and shops selling local produce.
Not far from Pomona was our new campsite, Habitat Noosa – located bang in the middle of the National Park, and only 25 minutes from Noosa itself. But we weren’t here for Noosa (yet). This eco-camp is right on the water’s edge and offers solar-powered sites and direct access to the lake and beaches that run around it. Again, water sports are available, along with numerous trips to the Noosa Everglades. The campsite also has the most fantastic bar and bistro called the CootharaBAR. The food is brilliant and to top it off they have a micro-brewery on-site – the perfect way to end a day’s adventuring.
You really are in the heart of the wilderness at Habitat Noosa. Surrounded by kangaroos and birdlife, you’ll start to really feel like you are separated from the rest of the world. Such a welcome break.
Our day started with a short walk from the campsite, through the bush, and onto the boat that would glide us across the salt waters of Lake Cootharaba, and take us into the magnificent wetlands of the Noosa River – the start of Australia’s Everglades. We jumped into a canoe and took one of the most peaceful journeys we’ve ever been on, through mirrored waterways and sub-tropical rainforest.
Switching off on this tour was so easy and definitely gifted us the family time we’d come away for. After morning tea, we had a short stroll through the rainforest and visited Harry’s Hut, before hopping back on the boat to return to Habitat Noosa for a delicious lunch. Such a great way to experience our surroundings and one I would highly recommend.
Day 5 & 6 – Noosa
It was time to head from the wilderness to the vibrant and upmarket holiday town of Noosa. The river in Noosa is a really big part of its character so don’t forget to experience it, and what better way to see it than on a bike. But with a 9-year-old in tow, electric bikes seemed like a better idea at the time. We went through Eco Tekk and biked along the main stretch of the river and right into town. There’s a path the entire way, and electric bikes it turns out are super fun. You still bike like normal but get an extra thrust to help you along your merry way. So, no whining or excuses from anyone on the tiny uphill stretches.
There is so much happening in the waterways of Noosa, from motorised watersports through to sailing, kayaking, fishing, you name it. The river is also a great way to see the sun setting each day. In fact, I’d go as far as to say the river is on my list of top things to see and experience in Noosa.
When we reached town, we locked our bikes up on Hasting’s Street near the surf club and walked along the main beach promenade. We had a drink at Bistro C who also serve incredible food, and has arguably one of the best-positioned restaurants in Noosa. After that, we nipped to Happy Pops to create our own ice cream creations (a must with kids).
You can’t go to Noosa without sampling the restaurants and cocktail bars. I always seem to return to Locale – great atmosphere, good food, and a long cocktail list to keep you content.
A very pleasant surprise on this trip (only because we hadn’t been able to get in here before) was Rococo. The food here was next level tasty, and we had the best risotto I’ve ever eaten. This is probably my favorite restaurant in Noosa now. Another place we really enjoyed was the Noosa Beach House (think sashimi and cocktails/wine – yummy).
Our campsite this time was the Big 4 Ingenia Holidays which is just on the outskirts of Noosa – perfect because it gave us access to the surrounding region and it had several activities going on for kids (jumping pillow/games room/pool/movie and pizza nights etc). Another amazing campsite is the Noosa River Holiday Park. I stayed here when I was traveling around Australia many years ago, and remember staying right on the waterfront and fishing at sunset. But you do need to book well in advance with this one. Ask for a waterfront spot if you can, and enjoy being close to town and right on the water’s edge.
Noosa Main Beach
You can’t go to Noosa without hiring a surfboard and enjoying the clear emerald ocean that it is so well known for. There is pretty much a break for everyone in Noosa. You can hire surfboards and bodyboards from a little hut on the beach (just in front of the surf club usually). We spent a couple of hours enjoying the waves before heading to the Sofitel’s Noosa Beach House for some lunch and a cocktail (yes, I do like my cocktails).
Noosa National Park – The Spit
We’ve done the walk from the national park and around the headland so many times. It’s beautiful and you can read more about it here. But this time we decided to explore the Spit instead. The Spit captures Noosa in one stunning and easily accessible area. Shops and restaurants just to the south of it, pristine beach on the east, and the river and sand dunes to the west. The best way to explore the Spit is to park in the Spit car park itself. Be patient and you will usually find a spot. Then take one of the pretty paths to the beach. Enjoy the beach and then walk up towards the bar (entrance to the river) and then back around towards the river inlet. The views from here are spectacular. The colour of the water is breathtaking and there is just so much going on. It has to be one of my favourite places in Australia.
You can read more about Noosa here in our Take Me To Noosa article.
Day 7 – Australia Zoo – on our return journey to the Brisbane Apollo Motorhome depot.
When in Australia – go to Australia Zoo of course! I’m not a big fan of zoos, but this place has earned its place as a key venue for education and wildlife conservation. We were lucky enough to have Steve Irwin’s son Robert, and his wife Terry present the crocodile show. There is something special about his family still being so involved in the place he built from scratch. Australia Zoo provides large spacious areas (or territories) for the animals, and it is kept immaculate by the dedicated and knowledgeable staff. You can spend all day here roaming around the different regions of the zoo (Australia, Africa, Asia). Highlights for us were the epic bird show at the start of the croc show (not to be missed), and the curious and very funny Meerkats. You’ll also find rhinos, tigers, giraffes, kangaroos, koalas, and many other fascinating creatures. This really is an epic day out for kids and adults alike.
Our Apollo Motorhome
Where to even start. I have always loved camping, but honestly, I also love my comforts. I feel like the Apollo Motorhomes enable you to experience the best of a road trip and camping with all of the amenities you could possibly want. And everywhere you go you have your home with you – and nothing can quite match having your own toilet, bed, and fridge everywhere you go!
Our motorhome was the Apollo Euro Deluxe and it sure was fancy. It had three double beds, a bathroom with shower and toilet, a well kitted out kitchen with oven, gas stove, microwave, fridge-freezer, cooking equipment, a TV and DVD player, dining tables, charging points for phones, seats to fix child seats if you need them, and an outdoor awning for relaxing outside. It is just epic. I think I would struggle to go back to a tent now! It’s also really easy to drive and operate.
APOLLO MOTORHOME DISCOUNT FOR TAKE ME TO AUSTRALIA READERS
Exciting news! Apollo Motorhome Holidays has given the Take Me To Australia community an exclusive discount which will give you access to the best rates for a limited period of time.
20% off the daily rental rate for travel between now and the end of June (excluding Easter: 29 March – 5 April) across all locations in Australia and all vehicle types. The booking period is from now until the end of February 2021. So get booking now!
Welcome along. I’m Clare, Founder of Take Me To Australia. Having moved to Australia six years ago, I made it my mission to learn more about this epic country we now call home. As we travel across the country to unique destinations, we share with fresh eyes the most extraordinary places we are lucky enough to experience. We aim to inspire others to follow in our footsteps, live their absolute best life, explore what Australia has to offer, and even encourage people further afield to make a similar move. We’ve grown a like-minded community of over 120,000 people. Be sure to join them by signing up to receive all the latest inspo, and connecting with us on Instagram and Facebook. See you soon.