Day Trips From Brisbane #1: Killarney

Looking to switch up your normal weekend routine and have a little adventure? Lucky for us, Queenslanders, we are blessed to have a number of incredible spots right on our doorstep.

I've been doing the travel blogging thing now for almost 3 years and in that time I've done a lot of exploring and uncovering of hidden gems. The regional areas in Queensland have a lot to offer and I'm a firm believer that you don't need to spend tons of cash to have a worthwhile holiday.


So that's why I've decided to start a day trip series on the blog. Hopefully this series will give you some weekend adventure inspo and challenge you to get outside & explore this beautiful state. The places mentioned in this series will be well within 5 hours drive of Brisbane making them easy to visit in a day but I do encourage you to check out the awesome boutique accommodation in the areas mentioned and make a proper holiday of it. The restaurants, and attractions listed are in no way all these places will have to offer, these are just a list of experiences that stood out to me that I think are definitely worth your time! If you've been following me on Instagram (which you definitely should!) you know this first location is one I've recently revisited.


Day Trip to Killarney [ 2 hours drive from Brisbane ] 

You know you're in Killarney when you see those lush rolling green hills and deep valleys. Another hint, is the all the cattle, many of whom you might find chilling in the middle of the road...but don't worry they will move it along...eventually! Seriously, this is one of the most picturesque and relaxing country towns. So if you are in need of a recharge then this is the perfect little escape for you.

What To See

Falls Drive (Waterfalls! Waterfalls! Waterfalls!)

So your in Killarney, now what? Well if you've come from Brisbane, and traveled through Main Range National Park you will no doubt see the tourist signs for a number of waterfalls! This road is known as Falls Drive. Killarney is home to 3 pretty amazing waterfalls: Browns Falls, Dagg's Falls, and Queen Mary Falls.


Browns Falls is a 15m plunge waterfall located about 4km outside of Killarney. A 600 metre track will take you to the base of the waterfall. Dagg's Falls is another plunge waterfall which can be viewed from a lookout. Just drive up and walk 10m to the viewing platform. Queen Mary Falls is definitely the star of the show and a must see if you are in the area. Take a short walk to the lookout to see Spring Creek plunge 40m over the falls to the valley floor, continue your walk if you wish to view the falls from the base.

Carr's Lookout

A great lookout with unspoiled views of the mountains and even a few donkeys grazing in the paddock below. This is another must see if you find yourself in the area especially given the most amazing cafe happens to be directly next door to it.

Where to Eat

Spring Creek Cottages Mountain Cafe

This place is very popular amongst locals and visitors, and for good reason. You can always find a delicious hearty meal on the menu as well as a assortment of cakes, cookies, and other sweet treats! This little mountain cafe has to be one of the most picturesque cafes in Queensland. The views are incredible. You'll want to spend the whole day relaxing on their lawn sipping a cup of coffee. Check them out on Instagram to see what delicious weekend specials they have on, available here.


If you decide to have a day trip to Killarney be sure to tag me in your travel snaps on Instagram!






Favorite Photography Spots In Brisbane

After having lived in Brisbane now for about 6 years and doing travel photography for almost 3...I feel like I've hit up most of the best places to take photography in this lovely little river city. I'm always on the hunt for places I haven't been (hidden gems, etc) so if one of your favorite spots isn't on this list please give me a shout as I'd love to check it out!

If you are contemplating getting into travel blogging you might be thinking..."If only I had the cash to go to amazing places like Santorini then I could easily become insta-famous"  Don't get me wrong getting those iconic shots standing on the edge of an infinity pool in Greece do tend to draw a better reaction from followers but you don't need to travel halfway across the world to kick start your travel blogging career.


Becoming a tourist in your own city is a great way to hone your photography skills, get creative, and develop your style. There are a lot of beautiful places to shoot around Brisbane and with the right framing and lighting you can create some insta-magic. Here are a few of my favorite places to shoot around Brisbane...


Howard Smith Wharves

The wharves are a newly built precinct and it's fast become one of my favorite locations to snap a pic. A dining precinct built directly under the story bridge with city and river views, what more could you ask for? It's not hard to get a great shot here especially if you pay attention to your leading lines.


Botanical Gardens Mt Coot-tha (Tropical Dome)

The entire botanical gardens is a great opportunity to capture yourself strolling casually along all the lush greenery. The gardens are, of course, beautifully maintained so they look great in photos. The star in the crown of the botanical gardens is, however, the tropical dome! If you can get over the heat/humidity its not hard to get a A plus photo here.


GOMA

The best thing about GOMA is that the art displays are always changing and there's normally at least 1 or 2 showstopper pieces that are begging to be captured.


Street Art

I'm a big fan of street art and I'm so happy to see the city of Brisbane embracing it more and more as well. You can find a lot of jaw dropping murals all around the city but some of my favorite spots are: Fish Lane, Fortitude Valley, and the very trippy mural at Who Shot The Barista. 


Brisbane Powerhouse

The Powerhouse has long been a popular spot for wedding photographers so you know it must be pretty special. I love the urban/grunge feel of the place. It's great for moody shots. Also the pastel benches, brickwork, and hanging flowers on the outside are like ready made photography sets.


City Botanical Gardens (Fig Trees, and Fairy Light Trees)

The city botanical gardens have a lot to offer when it comes to great photography places but my favorite parts of the garden would have to be Fig Tree Avenue and the stunning Fairy Light Trees. The Fig Trees are MASSIVE and if you manage to get a shot of yourself (or your model) standing amongst them alone it really makes for an eye catching shot. You've no doubt seen hundreds of pics of the now famous Fairy Light Trees. Of course you'll need to wait until night time to capture these beauties but it's worth the wait.





Vista 2 or Wave 2: Which Is Right For You?

Pictured: Wave 2

A couple months ago we had the pleasure of travelling around New Zealand's beautiful South Island with Wilderness Motorhomes. This was our second trip with Wilderness. This year's trip was a bit different because instead of the Wave 2 Motorhome we took last year we got to try out their brand new motorhome the Vista 2! After having traveled around in both motorhomes, you might be wondering, which one was our favorite?

If I had to describe the Vista 2 I'd call it a luxe campervan. It had the compact, driver friendly exterior of a campervan, but the interior had all the perks of a motorhome.

When deciding what motorhome to take this year it was down to the Wave 2 or Vista 2 for us. A couple of things that sold us on the Vista 2 was the larger bed, which meant a more comfortable night's sleep. Also, unlike the Wave 2, the bed in the Vista 2 can be transformed into 2 single beds.

Another thing we really liked was the shower/toilet configuration. In the Vista 2 the toilet tucks away and the sink tap doubles as a shower head. In the Wave 2 the toilet is stationary so it can be a tiny bit awkward when taking shower.

On the other hand, unlike the Vista 2 the Wave 2 has leather interior. Also, Wave 2 comes with a microwave, which definitely comes in handy during meal time, and the Vista 2 does not. Probably the most important thing to note is that the Wave 2 is wider, which means it has more room in the cabin. So if having that extra bit of room to move around while you are in the motorhome is important to you then go with the Wave 2.

For us, after having driven both motorhome's the new Vista 2 is our pick, but really you won't be unhappy with any of the motorhomes in Wilderness's fleet. If you'd like more info on Wilderness's range of motorhomes, and full specs for the motorhomes mentioned, click here.

Bedroom of Vista 2
Exterior of Vista 2
Exterior Wave 2



17 Mile Cottage: Ravensbourne


We've been following the lovely 17 Mile Cottage in Ravensbourne National Park for a while on Instagram. And like many before us we got drawn in by shots of those dreamy, sweeping mountain views...and intensely golden sunrises...

So you can imagine how excited we were when we got the chance to spend a whole week there (and only one week shy of my bday) ! It couldn't have been better timing for a nice, relaxing winter escape in Southern Queensland country. As I mentioned before you can find this vibrant yellow cottage perched high on a hill overlooking Brisbane Valley, and Wivenhoe Damn. The cottage is (according to Google maps) 1hr 50 mins drive from Brisbane City,  and 53 minutes drive from Toowoomba. The area is a part of a region unofficially known as High Country Hamlets. The hamlets also encompasses Crows Nest, and Hampton.

Here's a little bit of info on the cottage...

The cottage is actually a beautifully renovated Queenslander owned by Andrew & Elissa Churchward. The facilities include the following: 

- 3 Bedrooms (2 x Queen and 1 x Double)

 - Private Swimming Pool

- Brand new Kitchen & Appliances

- Dishwasher & Microwave

- Undercover/Outdoor Games Area

- Table Tennis Table

- BBQ

- New bathroom with separate shower and free standing bath tub

- Second Powder Room

This place truly is a gem and I can't recommend booking a stay here enough! The views were insanely gorgeous. Some of the best sunrises we've ever had the pleasure of seeing...We pretty much spent the whole week doing one of the following: Sitting around the outdoor fire pit enjoying the view, wine in hand OR....sitting around the indoor fire place, enjoying the view out the french doors, again...wine in hand...

If you manage to pull yourself away from the fireplace, and that view...then have a look around the local area. Gus Buetel Lookout is only minutes drive from the cottage. You can also find a number of great gift shops, antique, and home decor stores in the area. If you are after a bite to eat, our two favorite spots are The Chocolate Cottage, and Emeraude's!


For more info, and to book your stay check out the 17 Mile Cottage website, available here.