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18 Magical Places You Won't Believe Are In Brisbane

Your next adventure isn't far away.

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1. Cedar Creek, Samford

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Distance from the CBD: 45 minute drive.

North west of Brisbane, the rock pools of Cedar Creek join to create a picturesque watering hole for locals to cool off in. To get there you have to pass by the super cute Samford Village, which is a magical gem of a town that's always a good coffee stop.

2. Spring Hill Baths, Spring Hill

Instagram: @baum2031

Distance from the CBD: Five minute drive.

The oldest surviving public baths in the Southern Hemisphere, Brisbane's cutest pool opened in 1886. Almost 24 metres long, this small pool is beyond charming with wooden change rooms and grandstand seating. Pop by for a swim and ask about their regular movie nights.

3. Mount Tempest, Moreton Island

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Distance from the CBD: 25 minute drive to the port.

Looking for something a little ~adventurous~ to do this weekend? Why not climb the highest coastal sand dune in the world. The climb is challenging (hello, soft sand) but when you reach the top of the 285m high dune you'll be rewarded with 360 degree views across the island and back to Brisbane.

4. Tropical Display Dome, Mount Coot-tha

Brisbane City Council / Via Flickr: brisbanecitycouncil

Distance from the CBD: 10 minute drive.

The Brisbane Botanic Gardens at the base of Mt Coot-tha are a bit of a secret spot themselves, but the tropical dome within is a rarely visited must-see. Enjoy the cactus garden, bamboo forest, and Japanese garden.

5. Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, Mount Coot-tha

Johnny Worthington / Via Flickr: johnworthington

Distance to the CBD: Eight minute drive.

Head along for a educational space show with a date (choose a theme, then book a ticket online) and get cosy under the light of the galaxy. Learn how to spot constellations and walk away feeling a little bit wiser.

6. Epicurious Garden, South Bank

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Distance from the CBD: 20 minute walk.

If you're keen to learn more about how food is actually grown, pop past the Epicurious Garden in South Bank. Located down near River Quay, everything in the garden is edible, and taking samples from the cart is encouraged.

7. Fort Lytton, Lytton

Pam Rosengren / Via Flickr: pamrosengren

Distance to the CBD: 22 minute drive.

A stone's throw from the city, Fort Lytton housed soldiers who defended Brisbane from colonial times until World War II. Today, the historic fortifications and national park hear only the occasional cannon firing for the sake of historical reenactment, which makes the area a whole lot friendlier for visitors. Admission and guided tours are free on Sundays and most public holidays.

8. Secret Bar at Kwan Brothers, Fortitude Valley

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Distance to the CBD: Five minute drive.

A lot of people in Brisbane don't know about the secret 15-seater bar at the back of Kwan Brothers, which explains why it's able to remain, well, secret. Walk past the kitchen, slide open the freezer door, and you'll find an unnamed bar filled with specialty Japanese whisky and an ice-carving station.

9. North Gorge Walk, North Stradbroke Island

Michael Dawes / Via Flickr: tk_five_0

Distance to the CBD: 38 minute drive or 50 minute ferry trip.

The beautiful North Gorge Walk is an easy 1.2 kilometre trek on North Stradbroke Island. Follow the boardwalk along the rocky cliff face of Point Lookout, and throughout June and November watch for whales just offshore on their annual migration.

10. The Old Windmill, Spring Hill

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Distance to the CBD: 10 minute walk.

Spring Hill is full of little historic surprises, and this windmill is actually one of Brisbane's oldest buildings. Built by convicts, the Old Windmill sits in Wickham Park with views over the CBD.

11. Gold Creek Reservoir, Upper Brookfield

Instagram: @tessfortheanimals

Distance to the CBD: 34 minute drive.

The second dam ever built in Queensland, this little gem is hidden away in Upper Brookfield down the end of Gold Creek Road. The reservoir backs on to the stunning D'Aguilar National Park and is a great place to hike around after a cheeky dip.

12. Mount Gravatt Lookout, Mount Gravatt

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Distance to the CBD: 17 minute drive.

Everyone has taken their visiting friends up Mount Coot-tha to see the city from afar, but did you know that Mount Gravatt has a lookout too? While the views aren't quite as breathtaking, getting away from the crowds makes it all worth it.

13. Elabana Falls, Lamington National Park

Florian Rohart / Via Flickr: frohart

Distance to the CBD: An hour and 45 minutes drive.

Drive to Lamington National Park and trek 1.7km down the Main Border Track. You'll then reach the Elabana Falls Track, which takes around three hours to complete. Be sure to take a camera along - you're going to want it when you reach the end.

14. Chung Tian Temple, Priestdale

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Distance from the CBD: 25 minute drive.

Leave Brisbane as you know it and get to know the Chinese community at this incredible Buddhist temple. Join a tea ceremony, look through the art gallery, grab a bite to eat, meditate, and pay respect to this beautiful place of worship.

15. Underground Opera at Spring Hill Reservoirs, Spring Hill

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Distance to the CBD: 10 minute walk.

Brisbane doesn't have an opera house, but it does have historic water reservoirs, which seem to have great acoustics. The Underground Opera Company move in from time to time and perform under the depths of Spring Hill.

16. Enoggera Reservoir, The Gap

Instagram: @eliaroehrs

Distance to the CBD: 19 minute drive.

Can you believe Brisbane locals have only been able to swim here since December last year? What a joy we were being kept from. Pull on your togs, grab a floatation device or canoe, and get to Enoggera Reservoir ASAP.

17. Cleveland Point Lighthouse, Cleveland Point

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Distance from the CBD: 40 minute drive.

Cleveland Point is home to this super cute wooden lighthouse. Built in 1864, this mini lighthouse is only 12m tall. Swing by the restaurant next door for dinner by the sea, and enjoy the sunset.

18. Rocky Hole, Mount Mee

Tatters / Via Flickr: tgerus

Distance to the CBD: 75 minute drive.

Rocky Hole is the ultimate summer rock pool. Reached via an unsealed road, 8km from The Gantry, this refreshing water hole is a great space to spend a day with friends.

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