Natalie is checking out what action-packed things there are to do within two hours of her home town, Brisbane.
A delightful one-and-a-half hour ferry trip east of Brisbane takes you to Moreton Island, Queensland's second largest sand island after Fraser. It is 35km of pure silica sand and 98 percent of it is national park. Archaeological evidence indicates it was home to Aborigines more than 1500 years ago, and their middens remain as a reminder.
Tangalooma was Queensland's only whaling station and many former buildings are part of Tangalooma Resort's facilities.
You don't need to stay at this family-friendly resort to enjoy what it has to offer. You can join in banana boat rides, splash around in the pools, play tennis, squash, test your accuracy with a bow and arrow, play croquet, table tennis, volleyball, fish and snorkel to Tangalooma shipwreck. Day-trippers can have the fun of sand tobogganing at Mt Tempest or you might just feel like a gentle bushwalk, while dolphin feeding at dusk is a great experience.
One-and-a-half hours north and slightly west of Brisbane is the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Sprinkled with friendly little towns overlooking the Glasshouse Mountains, the area is full of Aboriginal legends. The towns of Maleny, Montville and Eumundi are great places to spend a day.
Eumundi is well known because of its markets which have been running for over 20 years. There are 500 stalls, opening at 6.30am each Saturday and on Wednesdays between 8am and 1pm. There is clothing, craft, alternate therapies, trinkets and fresh local produce to choose from. And after a hectic stint of shopping, a good way to unwind is to take some morning tea and enjoy the surrounds of the nearby sugar and ginger fields.
Just south of the border again one-and-a-half hours from Brisbane is Kingscliff. This little seaside paradise has undergone some changes in the past few years. The main strip has become a real eat street. You can pop into a cafe or restaurant and enjoy a variety of cuisines Thai, Italian, French, Mediterranean, Nepalese, Chinese, African, modern Australian and, of course, seafood of every sort.
Unlike some seaside areas, parking is easy and the locals are relaxed. The beaches are uncrowded and there are no high rises; three storeys is the limit.
Two hours north of Brisbane is Noosa and there you can do all the usual beachy things … or try something completely different. How does a four-wheel drive trip 50km along the beach towards Fraser Island sound? You can take your own vehicle or hire one. A visit to the Cherry Venture shipwreck is a must.
Ipswich is 45-minute drive south-west from Brisbane and if you are into a bit of action and rubber burning, this place is the motorsports capital of Queensland. Willowbank Raceway is the largest purpose-built drag racing facility in Australia.
A total of 65 events are held there each year and 130,000 people go to take part or watch. National drag racing championships, V8 super car races, motorbikes and go-karts whiz around the track for the excitement of drivers, riders and spectators alike.
The track is 1080m long and has testing hairpin bends, chicanes and a straight. Go-karts get up to 90km/h there and devotees to the sport will tell you that Formula One champion Michael Schumacher was once a karter.
Brisbane, Queensland's capital.
Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort sand tobogganing costs $18 for adults and $12 for children. Day cruises cost $38 for adults and $20 for children. Quad bike hire is $45 for 45 minutes. Dolphin feeding expeditions are $85 for adults and $45 for children.
Eumundi Markets are open every Saturday and Wednesday.
Noosa 4WD Eco Tours start at $62 per person for a half day.
Ipswich Kart Hire costs $40 for half an hour.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort
Ph: (07) 3268 6333www.tangalooma.com
Noosa 4WD Eco Tours
Ph: (07) 5449 1400, fax: (07) 5471 0688www.noosa4wdtours.com.au
Ipswich Kart Hire
Champions Way, Willowbank 4306
Ph: (07) 5467 3147www.ipswichkartclub.com.au