There’s plenty of places to explore, sights to see and things to do in Moreton Bay Region’s hinterland as my hubby and I discovered just last weekend. Travel our route, or pick your own adventure, journeying north of Brisbane CBD for a fun-filled day of discovery.
As we headed off, leaving Strathpine, we started our day’s travels by making a pit-stop for a caffeine jolt to awaken the senses and shake-off the sleepiness at Wheelhouse Coffee, an unexpectedly packed, rustically decorated, Lawnton café.
Upon the first sip of my life-giving latte (made using Wolff Coffee beans), I detected honey undertones amidst the familiar caffeine flavours. The pleasant surprise prompting me to make a mental note to return to this popular local haunt at a later date.
If, unlike us, you are not coming from the direction of Brisbane CBD, but instead from the direction of the Sunshine Coast, Bribie Island, or Redcliffe, you can find a coffee shop or cafe along your route by checking the eat and drink section.
Once we’d gotten our tires rolling again, we headed past the Old Petrie Town Sunday Markets venue, the gateway to the hinterland, towards quaint Dayboro town, an approximate 20-minute jaunt from Lawnton.
Driving through Dayboro’s main street, the sight of old Australian colonial style buildings juxtaposed with colourful Sunday market stalls conjured feelings of nostalgia. The throngs of local shoppers intermingled with curious day-trippers adding a rush of excitement to the mix.
We parked and went for a stroll, admiring the few remaining vestiges harking back to the township’s early sugar plantation and sawmill beginnings such as the Crown Hotel, its oldest structure, built in 1887 using bricks from the old sugar mill.
To learn about all the things to do in Moreton Bay Region’s Dayboro we popped into the Dayboro Visitor Information Centre housed within Dayboro Cottage along the main street to pick up a copy of the Dayboro Heritage Trail, amongst other maps and brochures for safekeeping until we return to town for another adventure.
Just next door to the info centre sits the Hay Cottage Arts and Crafts Association, and nearby you’ll find the Dayboro Art Gallery which is also worth a look if you’ve time to spare.
We finished our walk heading through the bustling markets for a browse before jumping back in the car and continuing on towards D’Aguilar National Park.
Driving along Mount Mee Road we passed picture perfect Glengariff Historic Estate, Dayboro Cottages & Llama Walks (which offer llama experiences and guided llama walks) and the biker hangout, Pitstop on Mt Mee.
We turned-off Mt Mee Road onto Sellin Road, driving past forested areas and open pastures into D'Aguilar National Park to pull-up at the Gantry Day Use Area. As we left the car my eyes were drawn to the huge old shed-like structure, the last remnant of the old sawmill which operated here from 1933 to 1981.
Once done checking-out the park’s focal point we returned to the car and four-wheel drove our way up rugged Lovedays Road which winds and twists through rainforest for about 13km. The rough terrain ensured a bumpy ride as we passed the signposted turn-off to Rocky Hole and other side routes leading deeper into the bush.
If you’d prefer an easier four-wheel driving experience we recommend taking Mount Mee Forest Drive which runs almost parallel, past Bulls Falls and Rocky Hole. It meets up with Lovedays Road at the northern end of the park, levelling out to an easy 4WD track as it nears Broadwater.
Stopping for a break at Broadwater we were surprised to find the secluded oasis home to a large swimming hole adjacent to a quiet picnic area with table and toilet nearby. We took our time rock-hopping along the water's edge, enjoying the sounds of the birds as we braved the water with the tips of our toes.
For those keen for a swim, a tree rope swing dangles above the water from an overhanging branch, perfect for making a splashing entrance, but make sure to check the depth prior to jumping.
After considering all the things to do in Moreton Bay Region’s D’Aguilar upon a return visit, we said goodbye, leaving past Archer Campgrounds along Rasmussen Road, heading to Woodford.
The little town of Woodford is home to the annual Woodford Folk Festival, a huge bohemian event for all ages held over New Years – one which has been on my bucket list for a long time (maybe this December will be a first!).
We pulled over near Cruice Park and, with husband in tow, I spend some time poking around the collection of small fashion boutiques, gift and antique stores dotted along the main street before heading into Braisen Hussy for our second coffee of the day made using Natural Bean Coffee beans.
Once re-energised, we turned our attention to the beautiful water tower adorned with panels of artwork which is part of the Windows of Woodford Art Trail.
Before jumping back in the car a visit to CJ’s Bakery was in order to grab some takeaway pastries to enjoy at the last stop on our day trip itinerary.
Stony Creek Swimming Hole, located in Bellthorpe National Park just north-west of Woodford was a perfect choice for a last look-see. Keep your eyes peeled for the Stony Creek Road turn-off which takes you on a scenic, meandering drive over rolling hills and past paddocks filled with grazing cattle.
Sitting on Stony Creek’s rocks watching the water, we took in the familiar scent of campfire embers while polishing-off our apple turnovers. The serenity of the moment puncturing my thoughts, reminding me of how lucky we are to live nearby such a beautiful area, teeming with nature and wildlife, offering a reprieve from the brick and mortar of the inner city.
One thing is for certain, this won’t be our last hinterland trip. Perhaps our next will be a romantic weekend escape in Dayboro.