Things to do in Brisbane

Hiking in Brisbane

Discover the best hikes near Brisbane. Explore lush green spaces near the heart of this modern Australian city.

Lace up your boots, slip on your backpack, and hit some of Brisbane's amazing hiking trails. When you're out in nature, the sun plays peekaboo through the verdant trees, and the air comes alive with the trilling of birds and whispers of native wildlife.

Of all the things to do in Brisbane, nothing brings you closer to the beating heart of Australia than the diverse trails in the area. We love the stunning landscapes and majestic summits these hiking trails offer.

Mount Coot-tha Reserve

When you're looking for a hike near Brisbane, Mount Coot-tha Reserve awaits near the city center. Recreational and educational opportunities abound in this expansive green space, making the spot a premier destination for locals and tourists alike.

Located in the Mount Coot-tha Forest, this enchanting spot features 78 trails to explore. We love how the well-maintained trails in this impeccable public space offer comfortable walking.

Here, you'll find 370 wildlife species of fauna and 450 native plants. Elevations range from 46 to over 975 m, taking you over diverse terrain, including abundant eucalyptus forests and dense gorges.

This park is open year-round and free to use. Hikers share some of its wide, well-kept paths with horseback riders and bikers, so be prepared to let traffic pass.

1. Mount Coot-tha Loop

For an immersive nature experience, take the Mount Coot-tha Loop — an extensive path encircling part of the reserve. This Brisbane hiking trail comprises roughly 9.5 km of pathways for a moderate challenge.

Experience lush forests and tranquil overlooks along the loop. Look out for native wildlife as you navigate the well-marked, perfectly maintained paths. We love how this Brisbane hike begins and ends at the same point for a fairly quick, convenient trek.

2. Mount Coot-tha Summit Trail

Head to the Mount Coot-tha Summit Trail for stellar views of the city and surrounding areas. One of the most popular hikes near Brisbane, this trail rewards you with a spectacular view of Moreton Bay when you hit the top.

Begin or end your hike with a picnic at the J.C. Slaughter Falls starting point. Grab a bite to eat at the restaurant that awaits you at the top. You’ll savor every bite as you gaze at the city skyline and distant mountain ranges.

Signs along the way provide information about local flora and fauna. This easy 5.5-km trail has an out-and-back design, so you turn around and walk back the way you came when you're ready to end your hike.

3. Mount Coot-tha Mahogany Track

Like other trails in the Mount Coot-tha Reserve, the Mahogany Track begins at J.C. Slaughter Falls. To reach the summit, you must tackle this moderately challenging 3.3 km uphill hike, which takes about 1 hr 35 min to complete. Once you have reached the summit, return the way you came and grab refreshments at the restaurant.

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D'Aguilar National Park

A quick, 25-minute drive from Brisbane, D'Aguilar National Park borders the northwestern edge of the Mount Coot-tha Reserve. The southern section that touches the reserve provides access to popular spots, such as the Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre. However, the northern section is more rugged and has less development.

This national park features rich biodiversity, with eucalyptus forests, subtropical rainforests, and heathland. As you trek through the park, you'll find lush greenery, over 800 plant species, and exciting animal life.

Some trails at D'Aguilar National Park are easy to navigate, making them one of the best things to do in Brisbane with kids. Other trails are more difficult, challenging experienced hikers.

The park is open year-round and free to access. However, camping is charged a fee.

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4. Thylogale Walking Track

The Thylogale Walking Track offers a moderate hike that takes around 2-4 hours to complete. This 8.5 km walk curves between Jollys Lookout and Boombana, providing stunning views of multiple forest ecosystems.

Immerse yourself in the wonder of lush rainforests with dense, green canopies of hoop pines, palms, and strangler figs. Pause momentarily to take it all in and watch for fruit doves, satin bowerbirds, and green catbirds.

The scenery changes along the way, providing gorgeous glimpses of the park's eucalypti forest. Yellow flowers on the wattles give a punch of color among the greenery, while noisy pittas play on the forest floor, drinking deep nectar from banksias that grow there.

The Thylogale Walking Track connects with other tracks in D'Aguilar National Park, so you can make a day of it and create a custom journey.

5. Somerset Trail

The Somerset Trail presents a moderate challenge, with elevation gains of 426 m along a 13 km track. It takes around four hours to complete, so bring water and snacks.

Your journey begins near The Gantry, a day-use area in the northern section of the park, near Mount Mee. This trail loops around, so you return to the starting point for a comprehensive yet convenient walk through this lush landscape.

For a rich sensory experience, feast your eyes on dense eucalypti forests and patches of lush rainforest. If you hike the Somerset Trail in the summer, you'll see colorful wildflowers near Lake Somerset and Lake Wivenhoe.

Take a moment to listen to the songs of kookaburras, cockatoos, and robins. If you're hiking through at dawn or dusk, keep your eyes peeled for koalas. You might even spot wallabies, kangaroos, and lizards basking in stray patches of sun.

6. Piper Comanche Wreck Trail

Nestled near Mount Glorious in the southern part of D'Aguilar National Park, the Piper Comanche Wreck Trail is one of our favorite hikes. This challenging 8.2 km trail takes you through portions of the undeveloped trailhead, providing views of a 1970s-era plane crash with no survivors.

The wreck is located in a rugged, remote area. You may need GPS coordinates or a map to find your way. Fortunately, this popular trail is highly trafficked, so there's usually someone who can point you in the right direction.

When you get to the crash site, leave everything exactly as you found it out of respect for the lost. It's best to navigate this trail between April and October. During rainy seasons, areas along this trail tend to get slippery and more difficult to hike.

7. Northbrook Mountain Bush Camp

Spend 3.5 hours exploring diverse terrain while hiking through the Northbrook Mountain Loop. This 9.3 km trail takes you by Northbrook Mountain bush camp, where you can set up camp or enjoy scenic views overlooking Kipper Creek.

Keep going to reach the mountain's summit. Along the way, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of a sclerophyll forest and subtropical rainforest, as well as tributaries and mountain heathlands. This popular trail has a 476 m elevation gain; some portions are steep and rocky.

Wear sturdy hiking boots and bring along water and food. If you plan to spend more than a day hiking, book your camping spot in advance. This well-traveled area fills up fast without a reservation.

South Bank Parklands

Located on the southern bank of the Brisbane River, South Bank Parklands sits directly opposite the Brisbane Central Business District, making it easy to find. Just walk across the Kurilpa or Victoria bridges to access this green haven in the middle of Brisbane City.

A man-made beach with a sandy lagoon makes this park a popular spot for locals to cool off during the summer. The Rainforest Walk offers a touch of serenity amid the chaos of the city. You can also find numerous Brisbane landmarks here.

South Bank Parklands is open 24/7 and is free to enter. Visit various attractions within this green space, including the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and the Epicurious Garden, before you head out on other Brisbane hikes near the city center.

8. South Bank via Clem Jones Promenade

Walk at a brisk clip or take a leisurely stroll along the south bank of the Brisbane River via the Clem Jones Promenade. This 3.9 km trail takes about 50 minutes to walk. It’s considered an easy hike due to its paved surface and fairly gentle grade.

Little paths branching off from the promenade provide fuss-free access to restaurants and shops if you want to pause your hike for a bit of R&R. This pathway also takes you by the City Botanic Gardens and near Central Station when you want to explore a bit.

City Botanic Gardens

Brisbane's oldest public gardens are situated on the edge of the Central Business District along the Brisbane River. City Botanic Gardens offer gloriously green views of mangroves, weeping figs, and bamboo.

Photographer: Joan Li

9. Kangaroo Point, Goodwill Bridge, and Story Bridge Loop

The 6.4 km Kangaroo Point, Goodwill Bridge, and Story Bridge Loop starts on Alice Street, near the City Botanic Gardens. It winds to Kangaroo Point first, crosses Goodwill Bridge, and edges along the river before crossing Story Bridge.

The trail presents a moderate challenge and takes about 1.5 hours to complete if you stay on the course. It may take longer if you tour the Riverwalk or savor the skyline at Kangaroo Point.

Photographer: Brisbane Local Marketing

Toohey Forest Park

Situated 9.7 km south of the Central Business District, Toohey Forest Park offers several hiking trails. This park features heathlands, wetlands, and an eucalypti forest, letting you sample the area's biodiversity.

Come see koalas, gliders, and possums in their natural habitat, and stay to enjoy the echidnas and Lace Monitors that make this 260 ha park their home. Look up as you're hiking, and you might be able to spot some of the park's more than 400 species of birds living here.

10. Toohey Forest Circuit

Trek the Toohey Forest Circuit for a moderately challenging 13.4 km hike with a 476 m elevation gain. Be sure to wear good hiking boots and bring water and snacks. This trail takes about four hours to complete.

Although this circuit has no lookout points, you can sometimes spot goannas and koalas along the tree line. The trail snakes along Mayne Ridge Track and passes Wilcox and Toohey Forest Conservation Parks, providing more opportunities to soak in the scenery.

11. Toohey and Nathan Ridge Track

The Toohey and Nathan Ridge Track takes about two hours to complete. This 6.9 km loop trail provides a moderate challenge with its 113 m elevation gain, making it suitable for families looking for a nature getaway close to the city.

The trail starts at the Toohey Picnic Area. It's mostly flat, with some small inclines along the way. Tables and grill fixtures make it simple to throw a few shrimp on the barbecue before or after the trek.

12. Toohey Ridge Track and Mimosa Track Loop

When you're looking for easy Brisbane hikes, the Toohey Ridge Track and Mimosa Track Loop have you covered. This 4.5 m hiking trail features mostly flat surfaces and only takes about an hour to complete.

Winding through eucalypti forest and bushland, the trail featureswide dirt roads and narrow pathways for variety. Creeks along the loop provide serenity on solo hikes through this simple-to-traverse green space.

13. Toohey Ridge Track via Western Outlook Loop

Get a quick half-hour of exercise by hiking the Toohey Ridge Track via the Western Outlook Loop. This easy walking track takes you through 1.9 km of lush forest for a cooler hike on hot summer days.

After it rains, the loop may be more difficult to navigate, especially near the end, where it narrows and steepens. For this reason, we recommend avoiding the loop in March, even though it stays open year-round.

Roma Street Parklands

Adjacent to the Central Business District, the Roma Street Parklands brighten the city with lush greenery. This park covers approximately 16.2 ha and showcases subtropical flowers and foliage alongside rainforest plants and wildlife.

14. Roma Street Parklands Loop

Take this gentle 1.9 km hike when you have about 30 minutes to spare. The Roma Street Parklands Loop takes you past breathtaking gardens.

Suitable for virtually everyone, this loop trail has spots for picnics and relaxation along the way, so you can take a much-needed break. The Roma Street Station is nearby, allowing easy access to these pretty parklands.

Photographer: Martin David

Bicentennial Bikeway

When you want a safe space to hike, go to the Bicentennial Bikeway. This pathway runs along the Brisbane River, taking you by South Bank, Kangaroo Point, and New Farm via connecting bridges and trails.

15. Bicentennial Bikeway Trail

Explore the north bank of the Brisbane River by hiking the Bicentennial Bikeway Trail. This 11.3 km out-and-back walking track provides a 2.5 hour hike in the city's heart and ends near the Goodwill Bridge.

Embracing the Wild Through Hiking in Brisbane

Returning to nature is easy in Brisbane, where lush rainforest provides an escape from busy city streets. When you want an escape of a different kind, come to one of our shows in Brisbane.

Just like the heights you ascend on mountain hikes, our shows bring you to the precipice with our gravity-defying feats. You don't have to climb to get there, though — just buy your tickets, and our performers will take care of the rest!

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