Quite often you will find that some of the best trails are in your own back yard. We forget to look at what is close by to for us to enjoy and seem to think you have to travel to get a good walk trail. In this Urban Walks we are in Brisbane, QLD, and have found so many walking trails for all to discover, including some spectacular forest walking trails just a mere 5km’s out of Brisbane City. We can not possibly list them all so we will share a few and highlight a great one only a 15min drive out of the city and very accessible even if you don’t have a car.
We are at Mt. Coot-tha! (Cootha) This is Brisbane’s largest conservation reserve that has more than 1500 hectares of open eucalypt forest. There is a total of 64 forest tracks to explore of varying levels. These tracks are not just for walkers but also cater for mountain bikers and horse riders as well.
A very brief history of Coot-tha
Mt. Coot-tha was originally home to the Turrbal Aboriginal People. They would come up here to collect ‘Ku-ta’, honey from the stingless native bees, out of hives found in the hollows of the trees. With the establishment of the Moreton Bay Penal Colony in Brisbane Town back in 1824 the Colony residents would travel up to the top for the incredible views looking out to Moreton Bay, Stradbroke Islands as well as the Southern Rangers. They named it ‘One Tree Hill‘ as they cleared the top leaving one lone eucalypt tree. There is also a brief history of gold being mined, though very small amounts were extracted. During the 2nd World War, Mt. Coot-tha became a military base with large amounts of explosives being stored there.
The trail network
With a whole 31 km network of trails and picnic areas you could plan a wonderful days adventure exploring these beautiful tracks. There are nine picnic areas in total each with the facilities of picnic tables, BBQs, toilets and water taps. If you go after heavy rains the forests looks spectacular with flowing creeks and waterfalls flowing.
Some of the popular walking tracks
- The Honeyeater Track – 2.1 km (1 hr).
- Eugenia Circuit -2.8 km (1.5 hr)
- Summit Track – 1.9 km (30 mins)
- Aboriginal Art Trail – 1 km circuit (30 mins)
- JC Slaughter Falls – 1.6 km (30 mins)
- Ghost Hole Track – 600 m (15 mins)
For more information on these and the rest of the stunning walk trails go to www.brisbane.qld.gov.au
How to get there
By Car- There is access to the summit of Mt. Coot-tha lookout and car park via Sir Samuel Griffith Drive or Gap Creek Road.
By Bus- You have two choices by bus, the bus number 471, that leaves from Adelaide St in the city and takes around 15mins to get there. There is also the Hop on Hop off Bus, Mt. Coot-tha Explorer, that’s starts at the Post Office Square Terminal on Queen St. This is a great option especially if you are a tourist as its a great way to see multitude of sites along the way.
By Bike; If you go to http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au and search the ‘cycling in Brisbane’ this will help you plan your trip.
More trails to explore
- Kangaroo Point City Walk. 5 km’s. This is an inner city walk with great variety to see. You will get to discover some history of Brisbane, botanical gardens, river parks, the mangrove boardwalks and stop anytime to grab a refreshment along the riverside at any of the numerous cafes and bars.
- Gap Creek Reserve. Many trails here to explore with varied distances and grades. Only approximatly 30 mins from the city centre. This is a great place to explore with picnic areas with BBQ facilities, toilets as well as water fountains. You can take a walk through bushland tracks and fire trails then end with a BBQ picnic. For any of you who want to really get a work out there is the Kokoda Trail that will have your heat rate pumping and your legs burning, a lot of people will come out here to do this one in training for the real Kokoda track in PNG. If you want a more relaxing trail you have the Bell Bird Trail, be sure to keep you eyes out for the wildlife like the echidnas, wallabies and many different types of birds that live here.
- Bribie Island. These trails here are all short and sweet though they give you a nice explore. There is the Banksia Walk, Palm Grove Walk, Malaleuca Walk. They range from 600m to 1 km one way. All starting at the Bribie Island Community Arts centre where you can walk all three and end up back at the Arts centre and enjoy a BBQ picnic lunch. There is also water and toilets available. This Island is the home of over 300 different species of birds and the waterways you will find Turtles, Dolphins and even Dugongs. Great day out.
There are are so many Urban Walking trails here in Brisbane to explore. We couldn’t even scratch the surface and hope to come back again to discover more of what Brisbane has to offer.
Happy Walking 👣👣👣