Toohey Forest Park and Mt Gravatt Outlook Reserve

Brisbane City Council's Toohey Forest Park (includes Mt Gravatt Outlook Reserve) is approximately 260 hectares and 10 kilometres south of the Brisbane Central Business District (CBD). Toohey Forest adjoins bushland owned and managed by Griffith University. This park includes barbecues, picnics, views, bush walking tracks and designated shared use tracks for walking and cycling.

Walking track information and track map

Toohey Forest Park offers a variety of walking tracks, multi-use trails for walking and cycling and a bikeway. 

For track locations, length and grading, download the:

Please note Federation Track at Mount Gravatt Outlook Reserve is closed for maintenance works from 17 May until late-June 2021. 

Special features

Picnic areas

There are a number of picnic areas within the park:

  1. Gertrude Petty Place - Mt Gravatt Outlook Drive off Shire Road, Mt Gravatt.
  2. Mt Gravatt Outlook picnic area - top of Mt Gravatt Outlook Drive off Shire Road, Mt Gravatt.
  3. Mayne Estate and Toohey picnic area - Toohey Road, Tarragindi.

Mt Gravatt Outlook

Mt Gravatt Outlook provides spectacular views of Brisbane and surrounding suburbs. On a clear day, you can see the Moreton Bay islands, D’Aguilar Ranges and Glasshouse Mountains. At the top is a restaurant and playground.

Gates open from 6am-7pm Monday to Thursday, and 6am-8.30pm Friday to Sunday.

Griffith University (Nathan and Mt Gravatt Campus)

Griffith University campuses adjoin the park. Visit the Griffith University EcoCentre to find out more about the environment. Phone 07 3875 7124 for opening hours and further details.

Flora and fauna

Toohey Forest is typical of the open eucalypt forests that once covered Brisbane. Rainforest species grow along creeks and in moist gullies. It is home to over 400 species of native wildlife and plant species. The forest features sandstone outcrops and is made up of a variety of eucalypt trees. The understorey has wattles, she-oaks, heath species, creepers, grasses and in sandstone areas, stands of grass trees. There is some vine forest and closed scrub along the creeks and gullies. The woodlands with heath understorey plants, grass trees and banksias, are beautiful around Griffith University.

The most threatening weeds are lantana (Lantana camara), ochna (Ochna serrulata) and cat’s claw creeper (Macfadyena unguis-cati).

Toohey Forest is home to koalas, short-beaked echidnas and lace monitors. It has more than 75 species of birds and a diversity of reptiles, butterflies and frogs. This is unique for an area with such a close proximity to the city centre.

You may see:

  • koalas
  • possums, bats and flying foxes
  • tawny frogmouths, kookaburras, grey shrikethrushes, white-throated treecreepers, rainbow lorikeets, eastern spinebills and yellow-faced honeyeaters
  • lizards, goannas, skinks and geckoes
  • ant nests disturbed by short-beaked echidnas.

Photo gallery

View the Toohey Forest Park photo gallery as a slideshow, or view the photos individually as part of Council's Flickr account.

Walking Track

History

Toohey Forest is named after James Toohey, an Irishman made wealthy in the California gold rush. He selected these lands in 1872 and his family held the forests until Council gradually acquired them after 1945.

Mt Gravatt is named after Lieutenant George Gravatt who was in charge of the Moreton Bay Penal settlement at Brisbane Town in 1842.

Toohey Mountain and Mt Gravatt are made of tough quartzite formed 380 million years ago - a time when the coastline was far to the west and the region was deep under ocean. Within the cutting along Outlook Drive at Mt Gravatt, you can see the tightly folded bands of quartzite. This is an indication of the enormous forces that shaped the ancient ocean floor sediments and resulting mountains.

Conservation Compliance and Community Care

Compliance and conservation staff undertake patrols in Toohey Forest . The reserve contains a variety of plant communities and habitat types and is home to a healthy koala population and over 75 species of birds. To protect the values of this conservation reserve  park we are asking park users and the community to encourage responsible park use, consider the crossover between backyards and natural areas, and to report behaviours that can harm the natural areas we all enjoy. Here are some things we can all do to care for Toohey Forest:

  • Follow park signage. Only ride on designated bikeways and don’t enter areas under rehabilitation.  As well as being dangerous to other park users, unique vegetation in Toohey Forest is highly susceptible to disturbance from unauthorised track building.  
  • Be a responsible pet owner. Dogs off leash and wandering dogs and cats can pose a threat to wildlife and public safety. Use designated dog off leash areas, walk dogs on a leash and always ensure your domestic pets are adequately fenced at home. 
     
  • Don’t dump rubbish and green waste into reserves. Illegally dumped materials can cause a dangerous build-up of fuel near houses, hindering access for Council staff undertaking planned burns and increasing bushfire risk to nearby residents. Report illegal dumping
     
  • Protect our trees. All plants are protected in Council bushland reserves, some are rare, and all make up valuable habitat and greenspace. Report damage or removal of protected vegetation
     
  • Keep an eye out for weeds. Use Council’s weed id tool to identify pest plants that can invade bushland areas and remove them from your gardens.  You can also report pest plants.  
     
  • Plant native plants in your garden. Council’s Free Native Plants Program offers a range of plants to assist the community to plant and green their properties. 
     
  • Report pest animals. If you see feral cats and foxes in or around Toohey Forest, report them to Council. Fewer pest animals mean less pressure on our native wildlife.  
     
  • Join a Habitat Brisbane Group or your local catchment group. Get hands on and get involved in community bushcare
     
  • Get your kids involved in conservation. Who better to look after the future of our natural areas than our future generation? Council offers Environment Centre events for free or at a low cost at bushland and wetland locations around Brisbane.
     
  • Ensure your garden does not extend into the reserve. Encroaching into a natural area is unlawful and risks introducing weeds and preventing access for fire control activities. 
     
  • Report fires. If you are concerned about a fire or see someone lighting a fire in the bush call 000 immediately. 
Last updated: 30 July 2021