Noosa Heads, Brisbane, Surfer’s Paradise & Byron Bay – East Coast of Australia Road Trip

After Rainbow Beach and our Fraser Island Tour, we began to make our way down to Brisbane. On the way, we stopped at Noosa Heads to chill out for a while. It’s a lovely little town but there’s not much to do there. It was perfect for a break after the madness of Fraser Island. It has a really nice beaches and is full of nice cafes and restaurants. A perfect spot for some R&R. Here’s a handy website with everything you can do there.


Next stop, Brisbane. On the way to Brisbane make sure to check out Steve Irwin’s zoo, Australia Zoo. It is amazing and doesn’t even feel like you’re in a zoo. You would literally need to spend a whole day there.

I loved Brisbane and didn’t think I would because people had talked it down so much. I felt like there was a great vibe to the city.

South Bank is a great area to see. It has so much there. There are a lot of Street Food options, almost like a food court, in Stanley Street Plaza. Here is where you will find the colourful Brisbane sign and the Ferris Wheel ‘The Wheel of Brisbane‘.


Streets Beach is located in South Bank too. I thought this was so cool. It is a man-made lagoon/Beach in the city with a view of the Brisbane skyline. We spent a day just chilling out there. There are showers and lockers and shops and restaurants near by too.


From South Bank, you can get the free City Hopper Ferry. It’s the red line and will take you around the city. We got this and it’s a great way to get around. We got off at Eagle Street Pier. It’s a nice boardwalk area and has restaurants and cafes scattered around the place. We found a place called ‘Riverland‘. It is a beet garden with Street Food restaurants. It has a great view of the river and Story Bridge. They don’t take cash so make sure you bring your card!

Brisbane also boasts the largest Koala Santuary – ‘Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. We didn’t go because we were going seeing wild Koalas on Kangaroo Island in Adelaide, but if you’re not getting there, the Koala sanctuary is meant to be a lovely day out.

After Brisbane, it was a short spin to Surfer’s Paradise. I had seen lots of pictures of here and it is a very cool spot – high rise buildings right on the beach. We went in the winter so it was quiet, but I could tell it would be a very lively place in the summer months. There are lots of shops and bars and even attractions like ‘Ripley’s Believe it or not‘. It is a proper touristy area.

There is also a Skypoint Observation Deck. The views are great and you get 360 degree views if Surfer’s. There are so many options here. You can just go up for the view for $25 or you can pay $35 and get $20 back to spend on food/coffee. You can even do an Afternoon Tea up there. Like Sydney Harbour Bridge, you can climb it for even better views. They offer day and night climbs.


Would you believe that Surfer’s Paradise isn’t even a great spot for surfing!? It got it’s name from a hotel that was in the town! If you still want to try out surfing there, here are some surf schools. We held off until Byron Bay for our surf lessons.

Byron Bay was one of our favourite places along the way. It was a very chilled town but a very nice vibe. There were lots of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars to choose from. The beaches were fab too and the sunsets were even better. It’s a real surfer/hippie town. We spent 3 days there. Chris Hemsworth has a house here too so keep your eyes peeled!

The Lighthouse/Coastal Walk is a must. It’s not too challenging and the views are so nice. You also get to go to Australia’s most easterly point! We saw lots of whales and dolphins along the way too. We did the walk during the day and had an ice cream in the coffee shop at the lighthouse. (It was a branch of In the Pink from the Main Street. Mars ice-cream = unreal) A lot of people get up early to do this walk at sunrise too.


We booked our Surfing lessons in Byron. We booked with Mojo Surf. There are so many schools to book with but we met a lot of people along the way that had gone with Mojo. You pay $69 for half a day. I was kind of annoyed after wards because we only spent 1-1.5 hours in the water so I wouldn’t really class that as half a day but it seems to be the norm. The company were good and friendly and we enjoyed the surfing all the same. They take photos and you can buy them for $29 dollars or get them free if you buy some merch. I spent too much time under the water to be in any pics! They do a surf camp in a place called Spot X too if you want a few days surfing.

Top Tips:

  • There are some amazing beaches along the Gold Coast after Surfer’s Paradise, like Kirra Beach. If you have time, check some of them out.
  • If you’re planning a road trip, we rented with Spaceships Rentals and were very happy with them.
  • For Foodies, Eat Street Markets are open every weekend in Brisbane
  • There are cool sea-kayak tours in Byron where you can see dolphins.

Happy Travels,

Top Tip Traveller

Views along the coastal walk, Byron Bay


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