Visiting natural areas
Brisbane City Council manages over 9500 hectares of natural areas within a total park estate of more than 15,500 hectares. These areas are managed for nature conservation, protection of biodiversity and for nature based and sustainable visitor access and use. Find out what is permitted in these areas, including mountain bike riding and horse riding, and how you can help us protect them.
Mountain bike riding
Mountain bike riding is permitted on designated trails in:
- Mt Coot-tha Reserve (Mt Coot-tha Forest) (also see Mountain bike riding on Mt Coot-tha webpage)
- Toohey Forest Park
- Boondall Wetlands
- Bayside Parklands.
Horse riding is permitted on designated trails in the following Council natural areas:
- Bayside Parklands (check the track map)
- JC Trotter Memorial Park, Leacroft Road Park and Longton Court Park, Brisbane Koala Bushlands (check the track map)
- Mt Coot-tha Reserve (check the track map)
- Anstead Bushland
- Changing Mountain Bushland
- Dandy’s Range Bushland
- Primley Street Park
- Shelley Road Park
- John Sprent Reserve
Outdoor Recreation Management Strategy
Council has developed the Outdoor Recreation Management Strategy for Brisbane's Natural Areas 2011-2021. The strategy ensures outdoor recreation activities within Brisbane's natural areas can continue to meet the demands of a growing community whilst protecting the values of these areas.
The outdoor recreation activities covered by this strategy have been categorised into five main groups:
- Bushwalking, cycling and horse riding.
- Picnicking and nature study.
- Orienteering and geocaching.
- Canoeing, kayaking and fishing.
- Rock climbing and abseiling.
The strategy does not change recreational access to any of Brisbane's natural areas at this stage. Further assessments would be required before any changes in access or activities occur. Council's local laws continue to apply, however if changes occur, visitors will be advised via signage in natural areas and on Council's website.
Find out more about Council's Outdoor Recreation Management Strategy for Brisbane's Natural Areas.
How to look after your natural areas
Visitors to Brisbane's natural areas can help everyone enjoy these special places by acting responsibly and being aware of some simple behaviour:
- keep dogs on leashes when walking them in natural areas, and always carry a plastic bag to clean up your dog's waste
- groups and clubs planning an activity need to contact Council to gain permission and discuss requirements
- follow the rules. Understand what you can do, where and when. Know and follow the regulations and expectations that apply to your chosen activity
- enjoy and protect. Enjoy and respect what makes the place special - be responsible in protecting it for the future. Leave no trace of your visit. Take your rubbish home
- be a good ambassador. Always set a good example for others. Show that you are a responsible visitor for your chosen activity. Avoid disturbing wildlife or damaging plants as they are protected
- observe the signs and follow directions from Council staff. Signs are there to provide information and to assist in protecting you and the environment. From time to time Council may close areas for safety reasons such as fires and fallen trees
- stay on track. Keep to designated trails or within the areas provided for your activity. Protect tracks, avoid track edges, cutting corners and taking short cuts. Check your shoes and socks for seeds and plant material before and after a visit to reduce the possible spread of weeds
- share the area. Respect other users you may encounter and their activities. Protect yours and their quality of experience
- limit the impacts of your activity on the site and other users. Loud noises and bright lights will detract from the natural experience and disturb wildlife. Visit in small groups or split larger parties and visit at different times. Avoid using areas and tracks during or immediately after wet weather
In the case of an emergency when you are in a Bushland Reserve, phone triple zero (000) for fire, police or ambulance at any time, 24 hours a day.
Advise the operator if the trail you are on requires a four wheel drive ambulance to traverse.
For users of mobile services that use GSM technology, the emergency call service may be accessed by dialling 112. However, this access is subject to the caller being within the coverage area of the provider.
For further information about what activities can be carried out in natural areas, contact Council. If you require a copy of a track map, you can request a publication online.