One amazing thing about Brisbane is that it is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, with mountains, forests, national parks and conservation reserves all within an easy drive from the city. There are even places within the city itself to enjoy the forest and a nice peaceful bushwalk. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, put on your hiking boots and hit the trail at one of these great bushwalking spots in Brisbane.
The most popular spot to go bushwalking in Brisbane is the picturesque Mount Coot-tha. It is so close to Brisbane that you can get a clear view of the skyscrapers of the CBD from the summit, with undisturbed views right across the city. Mount Coot-tha is crisscrossed with a variety of excellent forest trails, ranging from easy strolls to exhausting climbs. The most popular trail would have to be the 1.9km summit track which takes you from the JC Slaughter Falls picnic area to the lookout at the summit of Mount Coot-tha, where you will get the best views. Mount Coot-tha is approximately 7mk from Brisbane CBD, there is great transport links, so you wouldn’t need to worry too much about where to stay in Brisbane.
You can combine several of the trails to make a longer walk, or drive around to some of the different picnic spots and head out from there. For a tougher trail, try out the Kokoda Track – aptly named as people use it to train for the real Kokoda Track – a tough uphill slog that will leave your calf muscles burning.
D’Aguilar National Park
Located up behind Mount Coot-tha is the densely forested D’Aguilar National Park, which covers most of the hills that make up the D’Aguilar Range. Only a short drive from Brisbane, the scenic road winds its way up the mountains to the settlements of Mount Nebo and Mount Glorious. Along the way there are lots of interesting bushwalks to go on and most are only a few kilometres in length, so if you had a whole day you could try out several of them.
There are several excellent rainforest walks here where you can wander beneath the thick canopy amongst ferns and palms, while you listen to the sound of the birds in the trees above. The entire park is full of different forest trails, as well as several walk-in campsites; if you have a topographic map, you could easily combine some of these trails to make a longer walk.
Daisy Hill Conservation Park & Venman National Park
The Daisy Hill Conservation Park and Venman National Park combine with other smaller reserves to make up a large area of protected bushland and koala habitat in Brisbane’s south-east. This is a great place to go bushwalking right in Brisbane itself, with trails ranging up to about 9kms. A nice choice is the Venman Circuit in Venman National Park, which meanders through peaceful eucalypt forest and along the scenic banks of Tingalpa Creek. Keep your eyes on the trees above and see if you can spot a koala.
Toohey Forest & Mount Gravatt Outlook Reserve
Toohey Forest Park
These two forest reserves sit right amongst the suburbs around Mount Gravatt and Taragindi in Brisbane, providing a peaceful forest oasis amongst the houses. Toohey Forest is the larger of the two reserves, with trails ranging up to around 3km, however you can easily combine trails to make a longer one, and the park is easily connected to Mount Gravatt Outlook Reserve via a connecting road through Griffith University. Mount Gravatt Outlook Reserve has some short trails that lead up to an excellent lookout that provides views across the city.
Boondall Wetlands Reserve
Boondall Wetlands Reserve is a large area of protected wetlands, eucalypt forest, mangroves and tidal mud flats, situated in Brisbane’s north-east. The reserve is an important sanctuary for the wildlife that calls this environment home and it makes for a nice spot to go for a walk. The trails here make use of boardwalks and pathways that are used by both pedestrians and cyclists. The Boondall Bikeway is a multiuse trail around 13km in length, and you can visit a lookout along the way, as well as the environmental centre for the park.
It is wonderful to find a city that embraces its natural environment. There are lots of places to go bushwalking in Brisbane, without even leaving the city. Time to dust off your walking shoes and hit the trail.