One of Brisbane’s favourite places, Mt Coot-tha is a hill located in the middle of the city playing host to some impressive bush-tracks, a spectacular lookout, and the ever beautiful Brisbane Botanical Gardens. There is a very simple reason this is a popular weekend spot for the locals and a must visit attraction for tourists. It is the pleasure of nature without having to look too far.
Mt Coot-tha is the perfect place to get your weekly quota of sunshine and outdoors without spending a large chunk of the day in the car. There is literally something for everyone so it is always a safe place to head off to when you just want to get out.
Brisbane Botanical Gardens
I love just wandering through the gardens and relaxing on the grass under the shade of a few huge trees. It is easy to forget you are in the city with different sections, such as the Japanese Gardens, designed to give you the feeling of being exported to another place.
The gardens are free, making them a great activity for those of us conscious of keeping weekend costs low. Take your time and enjoy exploring more than 20,000 plants from over 5000 species from around the world.
For more information visit the Brisbane City Council website.
Mount Coot-tha Lookout
One of the first things you should do when visiting Brisbane, or when friends and family arrive is head to the Mt Coot-tha Lookout. It is a quintessential Brisbane experience, giving a bird’s eye perspective of the city.
I think you need to head up to the lookout twice to really get the most out of the experience. Head up once during the day to see the sprawl of the city and how the river flows through it, and once again at night, because this city is really at its best after dark.
If you love people watching then the lookout is a perfect place to sit back at the café (or there is a fancy restaurant if that’s more your thing) and see the crowds of people flock from all over the world looking to get a photograph. It is a crazy space filled with selfie-sticks and smiles but one that deserves to be experienced by everyone.
If you thought you had to get in the car and drive to the mountains surrounding Brisbane to go for a hike, think again! You can do it right in the middle of the city. Mt Coot-tha is a natural bush reserve and contains a number of walking and mountain biking tracks.
The most popular track is the Summit, taking you from the base of the hill at JC Slaughter Picnic Area to the lookout. This track is very well maintained which makes it an easy, but steep, walk. You will be sharing the track with many keen Brisbane locals at all levels of fitness, those who are just looking for a light walk and others who are running up and down, training for the next charity fun-run.
For a quieter experience, turn off the Summit Track onto the Aboriginal Art Trail. There are significantly less people on this dirt track which allows you to appreciate the natural landscape around you. If you are lucky and there has been some rain you will be able to find JC Slaughter Falls, which is a perfect place to just chill out.
If walking is not for you, there are many BBQs and picnic areas that will make you believe you are far away from the hustle of everyday city life.
For more information on the bush tracks at Mt Coot-tha visit the Brisbane City Council website.
Mt Coot-tha is one of my favourite places to explore in Brisbane, and it always provides a fun (and cheap) way to get outside without too much effort.
Have you been to Mt Coot-tha? Where in Brisbane should I explore next?