Brisbane, the vibrant and sunny capital of Queensland, has lots to offer for a romantic getaway. However, sometimes you just need to get away from the big city and head to somewhere a little different. Luckily, there are plenty of destinations within easy reach of Brisbane that are perfect for a romantic staycation, each with fun-filled activities to enjoy as a couple.

From early morning farmers markets to sky-high hot air balloon trips and underwater adventures to indulgent wine tours — here are 6 stunning places to visit near Brisbane you won’t want to miss out on.

HOTA Farmers & Artisan Market

Every Sunday from 6 am to 11:30 am, HOTA (Home Of the Arts) comes alive with in-season farm-fresh produce, delicious artisan foods, boutique fashion, and handcrafted wares. HOTA Farmers & Artisan Markets is more than just another place to stock up on fresh produce and handcrafted goods; they’re a place where local farmers, makers, bakers, and growers showcase their best goods.

Spend a morning sampling moreish cakes, bakes and local street food together. Stop for an artisanal coffee and a little live music before making the most of the landscaped grounds.

If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy an alfresco picnic, stock up on tasty goodies from the stalls and enjoy the lush green lawns. The perfect place to kickstart a romantic Sunday. Plus, market vendors and performers change throughout the year for an ‘always new’ experience.

  • HOTA Market Open Times: Sundays from 6 am to 11:30 am

  • HOTA Market Location: 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217

Couple at Farmers Market

Reef Diving Off The Gold Coast

Located just minutes from the warm sand of the Gold Coast shoreline. Wonder Reef, the first buoyant reef in the world, awaits romantic couples looking for something unique.

Dive amongst 9 towering underwater sculptures, reaching more than 21 metres above the ocean floor. Suit up and get ready to explore a whole new world beneath the waves. This an ever-changing ecosystem offers new discoveries around every corner.

Get up close and personal with a whole array of marine life, including giant gold-spotted rock cod, Indian scad bait fish and sequined mulloway. Descend toward the pristine coral. Snap a photo on the underwater landing platform and get ready for an adventure that you'll never forget underwater. Better still, it’s an underwater adventure perfect for all ability levels without needing to head out on a long journey to the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Location: 2 kilometres offshore from Main Beach.

  • Trip Type: Double Dive Trip.

  • Operating Times: All Year Round — Weather Dependent.

Couple snorkelling

Q1 SkyPoint Climb

If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing the world from a different perspective, then look no further than the Q1 SkyPoint Climb, located at the top of Australia's tallest building, Surfers Paradise’ Q1 Building. Towering 230 metres above sea level, SkyPoint's panoramic views of the Gold Coast are unparalleled — and perfect for a romantic adventure on the Gold Coast.

Take in the city skyline from one unique vantage point as you enjoy a bite-to-eat or a signature cocktail at the highest Bistro and Bar on the Gold Coast. Then get ready to take your date outdoors to Australia's highest external climb.

Make your way from level 77 towards the top of the tower and the peak of the Climb — 270 metres above the ground. Enjoy regular stops to soak up breathtaking panoramic views of the region, including the coastline, cityscape, and distant hinterland.

  • Location: Level 77, 3003 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, QLD 4217.

  • Opening times: Wednesday - Monday: 7:30 am to 7 pm / 8 pm.

  • Closed: Every Tuesday.

Surfers Paradise City and Ocean View From Above

Cruise The Brisbane River

Step aboard the YOT Club for an unforgettable romantic dining experience on the Brisbane River. Take in iconic sights like the Story Bridge and Kangaroo Point Cliffs as you enjoy a delectable seafood lunch cruise in Brisbane. Departing from the stunning Botanic Gardens, discover the perfect afternoon activity to do together in the city.

Indulge in a leisurely feast of fresh seafood while soaking up the stunning views of the river, with fresh oysters, blue crab cakes and platters of delicate shrimp, shellfish and locally-caught produce. If you’re looking for places to visit near Brisbane that are a little further afield, YOT Club also serves the Gold Coast too.

  • Location: 147 Alice Street, Brisbane QLD 4000.

  • Lunch Cruise Time: Sundays from 11.30 am to 2.00 pm

Couple cruising along the Brisbane River

Brisbane & Gold Coast Winery Tours

Embark on an epic adventure with Kiff & Culture Winery Tours of the Gold Coast, where you'll discover the very best food and drink of this vibrant destination. With its iconic beaches, buzzing cultural scene, and glitzy canal-lined cityscape, the Gold Coast is a place — sure to take your breath away.

When looking for places to visit near Brisbane for a romantic staycation, you’ll be hard-pushed to find better than here. From sunset sips in Surfers Paradise to brilliant bites in Broadbeach, explore a vibrant gastronomy scene on a Gold Coast tour.

One of the most popular tours is the Eat & Drink Gold Coast Tour where you’ll make your first stop at Burleigh Heads for a 5-course Asian-fusion seafood banquet lunch. Next up is a gin-lovers paradise at Granddad Jack’s Distillery, with a final stop at Craft Brewery, for craft beers, lagers and pale ales.

Leaving at 9:30 am and arriving back at 5:30 pm, it’s an amazing way to enjoy dinner and drinks without worrying about one of you having to be the designated driver.

  • Departure Time: 9:30 am – 10:30 am.

  • Drop Back: 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm.

  • Pick Up: Brisbane, Gold Coast, Tweed & Byron Bay Regions.

Couple on wine tour

Romantic Gold Coast Picnic

Renowned for its all-year-round beautiful weather and abundance of scenic picnic spots, the Gold Coast is an ideal destination for a romantic picnic. With so many places to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide on the perfect spot and what to pack.

Two local picnic hamper suppliers, Platters & Blooms and Blue Ginger Picnics are renowned for creating stunning spreads that deliver on flavour, freshness and seasonality.

From beachside parks to hinterland escapes, the Gold Coast boasts a variety of stunning locations for an unforgettable picnic experience — making it one of the best places to visit near Brisbane.

Grab your favourite drinks and snacks, a cosy blanket, and head to one of the top-rated picnic spots such as Burleigh Hill, The Spit, or Cascade Gardens. Whether you’re planning an early morning alfresco breakfast on the beach or a sunset spread under the tree canopy, you’ll find a million perfect places across the region.

Cheese and wine on a picnic rug with flowers

Bonus Staycation Activities

If you're looking to add a few more experiences to your staycation itinerary, the Gold Coast has plenty of couple-focussed activities. From indulgent massages to soaring high above the city, here are a few more things to try on your trip.

Hot Air Balloon Above Surfers Paradise

The Perfect Staycation Near Brisbane

When it comes to places to visit near Brisbane, look no further than the Gold Coast. Renowned for its sparkling waters, sun-kissed beaches, and lush hinterland, it’s a playground for those seeking romance and relaxation — making it easy to see why so many call it ‘paradise on the Pacific’.

Dorsett Gold Coast is the perfect retreat for couples seeking a romantic getaway on the Gold Coast. With its beautiful Broadbeach location, ocean and city views, and direct access to The Star Gold Coast, guests can relax and unwind in comfort and style. Indulge in a variety of world-class dining venues, relax poolside, and enjoy unparalleled amenities.

Book your staycation.