10 Stunning Bush, Bay & City Walks
Brisbane has an incredible range of scenic and accessible walking trails that are suitable for all ages. With so many to choose from, here's a selection of 10 of the very best bay, city and bush walks:
Hands down, this is one of Brisbane’s most renowned areas for stunning nature walks, with more than 70 trails across the precinct, and all of them catering to various abilities. Some of the more popular tracks include The Summit Track and the longer Mahogany Trail, both of which lead to The Summit, with its jaw-dropping views over the city.
The shorter Ghost Hole Track features traces of the old workings, which can be seen at the Gold Mine picnic area, while the popular Simpsons Falls Track, which begins at Simpson Falls picnic area, rewards walkers with views over the falls and glimpses from the Simpson Falls viewing deck. And if you haven't tried it yet, the newest scenic trail, the 2.4km Spotted Gum Trail, runs from the Brisbane Botanic Gardens right up to the Mt Coot-tha Summit.
Journey through Brisbane's iconic Boondall Wetlands to discover an ethereal world of marshland, casuarina woodlands, mangrove grottoes, waterholes and paperbark forests.
Along the way you’ll come across the Nurri Murren Totems - 18 cast aluminium totems created by nationally renowned Indigenous artist, late Ron Hurley alongside six local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Starting from Riverside Drive in West End at Orleigh Park, this waterfront walk into South Bank is an easy way to take in the stunning views of the Brisbane River. Depending on where you start, the walk takes approximately 1 hour and is roughly 4 kilometres each way. With a fantastic Kids playground at Orleigh Park and Riverside off leash dog park at South Brisbane, you can enjoy the walk with friends, kids or pets.
Along the way, take time to appreciate the beautiful ancient fig trees and stunning views across to St Lucia and Toowong.There are even a handful of public sun lounges located on the waterfront where you can stop and take in the water views. And look out for the ornate heritage-listed Gas Stripping Tower, a stately remnant of the past. The Riverside Drive pathway has also been recently upgraded into a wider, separated path for bike riders and pedestrians.
Toohey Forest Park and Mt Gravatt Outlook Reserve is just 10 kilometres south of the CBD and covers an impressive 260 hectares. The forest, which is typical of the eucalypt forests that once covered Brisbane, is just a short drive from the CBD, and is highly recommended for visitors and locals. It's also the perfect outing for nature lovers.
The Mt Gravatt Outlook Track, a decent 9.2-kilometre loop, features ancient sandstone boulders, with a smattering of beautiful wild flowers and stunning CBD and suburban views to be enjoyed from the lookout. On a clear day, you can see the Moreton Bay islands, D’Aguilar Ranges and Glasshouse Mountains.
One of the largest areas of remnant bushland in Brisbane, Karawatha Forest Park is 18 kilometres south of the CBD, adjoining Compton Road at Karawatha and Kuraby. The forest is perfect for those adventuring with little ones, with lots of easy tracks and the Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre.
Karawatha also features lush lily-filled lagoons and melaluca wetlands, some of the last remaining in the whole Brisbane area, and sandstone ridges. Look out for the small Frog Hollow heathland area, which contains the greatest diversity of plants recorded in the forest.
The stunning bay walk from Wynnum to the Manly Marina is about 4.5 kilometres one way, with plenty to see and do along the way. A favourite for locals and visitors alike, the scenic seaside walk has many sights to take in.
Along the way you’ll pass the heritage tidal wading pool, which was built in the Depression era, Pandanus beach - a tiny white sand swimming beach and Wynnum Jetty. There's also a fantastic water park and playgrounds for the kids. While you;re there, why not pick up some fish'n'chips and enjoy them at one of the many picnic pavilions.
Eildon Hill Reservoir sits at the summit of Eildon Hill and has extensive views of Brisbane and surrounding areas, including the Border Ranges, Cunninghams Gap, Taylor and D'Aguilar Range, and Moreton Bay.
The Chermside Hills Reserve is a northside gem, located just 12 kilometres north west of Brisbane's CBD. Made up of a network of three natural areas in Chermside West and McDowall, Chermside West Reserve incorporates the stunning Raven Street Reserve, Milne Hill Reserve and Chermside Hills. The whole area is teeming with wildlife, so it’s not uncommon to spot wallabies, frogs and turtles within the reserve.
One of the highlights is the Giwadha Track, a two-kilometre circuit that climbs to the highest point in the reserve, Spider Hill. It’s a steep climb, but you’ll be rewarded with views to Moreton Bay and the surrounding mountains. For those short on time, or with little ones in tow, there’s a range of walks taking between 30 minutes to 1 hour.
The largest Brisbane City Council owned natural area on the Brisbane River, Anstead Bushland Reserve is over 80 hectares in size. The reserve is located approximately 20 kilometres south-west of the Brisbane CBD with an entry off Hawkesbury Road, Anstead.
The reserve occupies a significant section of Brisbane River frontage, which was previously the site of Sugars Quarry (1883 -1995). Well maintained walking/recreational tracks lead through eucalypt forest to the old basalt quarry, which features lookouts over the river and historical information about the site.
This 2.5 kilometre picturesque return walk along the waterfont at Shorncliffe, taking in the historic Shorncliffe Pier and Lower Moora Beach, is the perfect (and easy) seaside stroll at any time of year
For over a century this has been a popular promenade with seaside visitors, who have strolled its length to the historic pier, which was refurbished a few years ago. Originally called Dover's Walk, the path is said to have got its name from the postcard-maker who changed it to Lover's Walk as a joke and the name has stayed with it ever since.