Need to detox from your working week? Want to get away from the city hustle and bustle? Then pop the esky in your car boot, pack your swimmers and jump in the driver’s seat, to head off to Samford Road in Enoggera (Tourist Route 22) to start your day trips near Brisbane adventure into the hinterland.
Drive north-west along Samford Road for a day filled with picturesque Queensland hinterland getaways to Samford, Dayboro and Mt Mee. Or if you’re coming from the Sunshine Coast then you’d best tackle this road trip in reverse, starting atop Mount Mee and finishing in Samford.
A 15km drive brings you to the small country town of Samford. There are many niche art and craft stores to browse here, and a great range of cafes to check out, including the popular Flying Nun Cafe within a renovated old church.
If you’re feeling energetic wander along the heritage walk starting at John Scott Park, home to a railway-themed playground.
Take a look inside the Samford Visitor Information Centre on Main Street near John Scott Park to find out what else this quaint town has to offer visitors.
Originally called ‘Terror Creek’, this charming town was renamed ‘Dayboro’ in 1917. The town is steeped in rural Aussie history, even boasting an ‘Old Cream Truck Road’ among other restored blasts from the past.
Park the car and at the historic Crown Hotel for a coldie out on the deck under the magnificent old fig trees and soak up the country vibes.
Next up, take a stroll down the main street to purchase gourmet meats from the famous ‘Sausage Man’ butcher shop which opened its doors way back in 1919. If you forgot your esky (or simply don’t eat meat) and your visit happens to fall on the first Sunday of the month then stroll over to the Dayboro Markets to bring a tasty treat or two home.
The Dayboro District Historical Society within Dayboro Cottage on your way to the markets is a local attraction that literally cannot be missed – the trees by the entrance are draped in colourful jumpers!
Take a gander around inside the Dayboro Historical Society (which also houses the Dayboro Information Centre) to find out more about this historical town.
Just next door sits the Hay Cottage Arts and Crafts Association, and nearby you’ll find the and Dayboro Art Gallery, on the corner of Williams and Mount Mee Rd. Both are well worth a look-see.
When you’re done traipsing around the main street, hop back into the car and continue northwards bound up Mount Mee Rd to Ocean View, past picture-perfect Glengariff Historic Estate and Dayboro Cottages & Llama Walks, which offers visitors hinterland guided hikes with friendly llamas.
After about 10 kilometres you’ll come across the turn-off to Ocean View Estates and Winery, yet another foodie heaven located at 2557 Mount Mee Rd.
This fully-functioning winery was built in 2002 and provides guests with an opportunity to sample wines at the cellar door before heading into the restaurant for a meal, or coffee.
Fancy yourself a wine connoisseur? Then plan ahead and book in for a vineyard and winery tour prior to the day of your visit. The venue offers diverse wine tours ranging from a daily winery and brewery tour through to winery horse rides, vineyard picnics, girls getaways and more!
When you’re ready, continue your day trips near Brisbane journey towards D’Aguilar National Park.
Along the way swing a left to park at Pitstop Café. This aptly named establishment is a favourite ‘pit stop’ for day tripping weekend bikers and car club members and is filled with classic car and motorbike memorabilia. Pop out to the alfresco area to take in the incredible views across to the Glass House Mountains and beyond.
You’ll come to the Sellin Road turn-off about 5 minutes north of Pitstop Café. Make a right and follow the narrow road into the Mt Mee Section of D’Aguilar National Park.
Park at The Gantry (to your right as you drive in). Keep an ear out for the delightful chimes of Bell Birds and take in the smells of Eucalypts and earthy rainforest – you’re now in the middle of a national park brimming with bubbling creeks and majestic lookouts!
Many picnic facilities are available within The Gantry day use area – shelters, tables, barbecues, water bubblers, and toilets, however, bins are not provided.
Wander over to take a look at the old Gantry sawmill. The hulking structure operated from 1930 until 1981, its hewn timber is present in a multitude of structures including St Stephens Cathedral in Brisbane and Hornibrook Bridge at Redcliffe.
When you’re ready, follow the road onwards by foot for about 2 minutes and veer left to start a hike in D’Aguilar National Park.
The Piccabeen Walk is an easy 1 kilometre wander which should take you around 30 minutes to complete in any footwear. There are Piccabeen palms and storyboards along the way with fascinating information on the milling history of the area. The boardwalk you come across is quite spectacular as it crosses over several picturesque creeks – if you look hard enough, a Penny Turtle might pop its head up to greet you.
The popular 14-kilometre Somerset Trail offers views of Somerset and Wivenhoe dams far-off in the distance. This hike passes through a myriad of forest settings including scribbly gum forests, rainforest and dry open forest. It can be completed in about 3 to 4 hours. Runners/sneakers and a reasonable level of fitness is required.
If you’re day tripping in a 4WD then head to Falls Lookout for spectacular views on the northern side of the D’Aguilar Range and Neurum Valley and don’t skip a dip in the refreshingly cool Rocky Hole swimming hotspot.
When you’ve had enough of nature, drive back onto the tourist drive and journey onwards to Mt Mee for a well-deserved lunch, or dinner and a church visit.
From Birches, take the first right turn down Campbells Pocket Road to wind your way towards the highway under a canopy of trees and open countryside dotted with curious cattle, lazily grazing.
Continue to the T intersection and turn right onto D’Aguilar Highway which will take you to the Bruce Highway (M1) to finish off your day trips near Brisbane adventuring. From the highway merge it’s an approximate 50-kilometre trip back to where you started on Samford Road, at Enoggera.
Did you end up snapping a lookout selfie, or photographed a sensational meal you simply must share? If so, upload your Queensland hinterland getaways happy snaps to Instagram using the hashtag #visitmoretonbayregion to join the community of people who have enjoyed this city road trip escape.
Looking for more things to do and see? Pop into one of the region's Accredited Visitor Information Centres, the volunteers have a wealth of local knowledge.