With wondrous lakes, lush forests and thriving wildlife, there are many place to enjoy nature in Brisbane. Here are some must-visit spots that will round out your holiday to this great area.

Moreton Island

Just off the coast of Brisbane, this island has been dubbed the gem of South East Queensland for its vast sandy beaches, rushing blue waves and that sense it is an untouched tropical paradise.

While you’re there, be sure to check out the highlights of the area. These include the breathtaking scenery, staggering sand dunes, quaint Cape Moreton Lighthouse and rugged forests. There are also the lovely beaches where you can watch the sun go down and sleep under the stars.

Two major highlights are the Champagne Pools, which are naturally foamy and bubbly pools, and the Tangalooma Wrecks – the fifteen disintegrating giant shipwrecks off the coast.

The Glass House Mountains make for a great place to hike. From the top you’ll see this picturesque area laid out below you.

At Moreton Bay, you’ll find a number of places to stay, from beachfront resorts to camping grounds where you can pitch your tent.

Getting here is easy with a quick ferry or barge ride. If you’ve hired a car in Brisbane for your travels, the Amity Trader or Micat ferry are great transport options to consider. Running daily, they take people and cars to this stunning island.

St Helena Island National Park

This is the most historic island in Queensland, and should make it to your list of places to visit. The area has a fascinating history as the location for the first colonial maximum security prison for men from 1867 to 1932.

If you’re interested, there are tours available that will take you to the historic ruins of the prison. Choose to take a day tour or get your heart pumping with a night ghost tour. The day tour will also touch on the engaging stories of the Aborigines who started their life here. Access to restricted areas is only available with a guided tour.

Now a gorgeous National Park, you’ll also find many short and long walking tracks. Plan ahead and pack some food for a picnic that you can enjoy with your friends or family at one of the many picturesque spots. Don’t forget your hat, sunscreen, solid walking shoes and insect repellent. Also take along plenty of water and you’re sure to have a grand time.

Stradbroke Island

Affectionately known as Straddie, this island is a natural wonderland where you’ll encounter some of the best scenery in the whole country. While you can choose to pack your camping gear and take to the wilderness for the extent of your time here, there is also three towns on the island, with charming little cafes and restaurants run by friendly locals.

Book yourself into a land-based whale watching tour for an amazing holiday experience. The humpback whales migrate through the warm waters of South East Queensland and you’ll have the chance to witness this huge and graceful animal up close.

The best time to visit if you want to see the whales is between June and November. No matter what time you visit, you’ll see dolphins, sharks and turtles.

This is a great place to get back to your roots and enjoy a simple and rustic way of life. Camping here puts you right in the heart of the stunning scenery. There are six grounds where you can pitch your tent and at each one there is also 20 equipped cabins and spots for camper trailers.

Along with these campgrounds, there are more than 500 spots along the beach where you can sleep with the beach as your backyard.