Mt Coot-tha precinct projects

Brisbane City Council is creating more to see and do in a city that is clean and green, so you can enjoy Brisbane's beautiful climate while connecting with the people and places that make our city great.

In 2016, Council committed $14.8 million to protecting and enhancing Mt Coot-tha, by creating a green leisure precinct with more trees, picnic areas and walking trails.

The four-year precinct program focuses on improving accessibility and enhancing visitors' experience across the precinct through the following projects:

  • constructing new trails and pathways to improve the trail network
  • upgrading various picnic areas
  • implementing a shuttle service
  • building a new visitor information centre
  • as well as other minor upgrades and improvements to existing facilities and trails.

By improving Mt Coot-tha, we'll protect what we love about this Brisbane icon, while creating more to see and do.

Mt Coot-tha walking trails, mountain bike trails and access enhancements

Spotted Gum Trail

Council has recently constructed a new 2.4 kilometre walking trail from the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha to the Mt Coot-tha Summit, granting access to areas of the forest not previously accessible.

Works involved:

  • grading the path
  • installing signage
  • installing steps, handrails and bridges
  • removing a small number of shrubs and vegetation.

The new trail has been designed to make use of existing informal paths in this area of the mountain to avoid vegetation impacts wherever possible. The width of the path has been reduced at pinch points to limit tree trimming and ensure tree retention. No significant trees were removed and works were undertaken in accordance with environmental guidelines.

The trail opened in May 2020.

View our Mt Coot-tha Reserve page to find important information on using the Spotted Gum Trail and to view or download the Mt Coot-tha track map before using the trail.

Completed trail works

As part of the four-year precinct program, Council has completed the following new trails, existing trail upgrades and extensions:

  • Summit Track upgrade, improving accessibility and durability - completed in 2019
  • Discovery Trail and Discovery Trail extension, connecting Simpson Falls, J.C. Slaughter Falls, Hoop Pine and Silky Oak picnic areas - completed in 2017 and 2018. Watch a video about the Discovery Trail
  • Litchfield Trail, connecting the Summit to Gold Mine Picnic Area - completed in 2017
  • Mahogany Track, connecting the Summit , J.C. Slaughter Falls and the Brisbane Botanic Gardens - completed in 2016
  • Lorikeet Link and Crebra Climb mountain bike trails - completed in 2016 and 2017.

Picnic area upgrades and wayfinding signage

Council is improving a number of picnic areas at Mt Coot-tha Forest, including Brush Box, Grey Gum, Range View and Gold Mine picnic areas. The picnic area upgrades include new and upgraded facilities.

Works will vary between picnic areas and will involve:

  • installing new barbecues, new shelters, turf and signage
  • upgrading existing shelters
  • improving drainage.

We will also be improving the Silky Oak Picnic Area car park to improve accessibility for visitors by levelling the car park and installing line marking. The Silky Oak Picnic Area car park will be closed during construction. Follow directional signage and instructions from traffic controllers. Alternative parking is available nearby at the Hoop Pine Picnic Area and Simpson Falls Picnic Area.

 In addition, Council is installing a number of wayfinding signs across the mountain, which will include maps, directions and new information about various Mt Coot-tha Forest features.

Picnic area upgrades will be undertaken from October to December 2019 and wayfinding signage will be installed from November 2019 to mid-2020, weather and site conditions permitting.

Completed picnic area upgrades

As part of Council’s four-year precinct program, Council has undertaken other upgrades to the J.C. Slaughter Falls Picnic Area including:

  • 2018-19 - installing a children's nature-themed retreat area
  • 2017-18 – installing new shelters with picnic seatings, new double barbecues, pathways, car park improvements, heritage bunker protection works and heritage slab improvements (including new shelters and seating). Landscaping works were also undertaken along the banks to improve water run-off and protect vegetation.
  • 2016-17 – removing the existing picnic facilities and replacing these with accessible facilities and shelters, as well as installing new gas barbecues.

Council has also undertaken upgrades to the Simpson Falls Picnic Area including:

  • 2018-19 - installing more interactive children's artwork and additional car parking near Peter's Pound.
  • 2017-18 – creating a bookable space, including a new large shelter (sink and bench), bookable car park facilities and installing interactive children’s artwork.
  • 2016-17 – three stages of upgrades including new shelters, picnic seating, barbecues, pathways and a bridge, two new toilet blocks, improving the car parking and installing a turnaround for cars. 

Car park upgrades

Council will be formalising the Summit overflow car park (an informal gravel area located near the start of the Honeyeater Track) providing further parking options for visitors and enhancing connectivity across the mountain. Works will involve formalising the car park with 20 car parking spaces, including one disability parking bay, asphalting and line marking.

Council will also be permanently opening the former Legacy Way workforce 165 space car park for public use. The car park is  located on Sir Samuel Griffith Drive at the Scenic Drive intersection. Works will involve removing the existing gate and fencing around the car park, installing bollards and a new gate.

The car park upgrades will be undertaken from October to late December 2019, weather and site conditions permitting.

As part of the precinct updates, Council is planning to reconfigure the Summit car park (located directly to the west of the Mt Coot-tha Lookout and Summit Cafe.

Works to the Summit car park are proposed to include:

  • reconfiguring the car park to include a bus set-down area, coach set-down area and a passenger set-down and pick-up area
  • retaining two disability parking bays
  • removing 14 existing car parking spaces
  • installing landscaping.

These changes will provide a better traffic flow alleviating traffic congestion and improving accessibility at the Summit, as well as improving the visual amenity of one of Brisbane's most iconic lookouts. Council is committed to engaging with key stakeholders regarding the changes to this car park and will provide further information about the works closer to the start of construction.

Construction details

All Mt Coot-tha precinct upgrade works will be undertaken between 6.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. The community may experience low-level construction noise and minor dust impacts. All works will be undertaken in accordance with environmental guidelines.

Council is committed to minimising the impact of the works on the community and thanks the local community and visitors for their patience and understanding during the works.

Mt Coot-tha Visitor Information Centre

The visitor information centre is located within the Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

Construction of the centre began in early December 2016 and opened to the public in September 2017. Find out more.

More information

If you would like to provide comments, ask questions or find out more about the Mt Coot-tha enhancements, you can:

  • phone the project team on 1800 884 681 (during working hours)
  • phone Council on 07 3403 8888 (outside of working hours)
  • email the project team
  • write to:
    Mt Coot-tha precinct projects team
    City Projects Office
    Brisbane City Council
    GPO Box 1434
    Brisbane Qld 4001. 

Discovery Trail video

Watch the video of the installation of the 22 metre long pedestrian bridge at Simpson Falls for the Discovery Trail. Alternatively watch the video on Council's YouTube channel.

Last updated: 8 March 2021
Topics: mt coot-tha