Looking for the perfect spot to reflect, re-energise, adventure and exercise close to home? Brisbane has plenty of bushland reserves and forests to explore, just a stone's throw from your front door.
Choose your own adventure on Mt Coot-tha
If you think you've hiked all the trails at Mt Coot-tha, think again. The Spotted Gum Trail opened in early 2020, giving you a 2.4-kilometre path in a previously unexplored part of Mt Coot-tha Forest. Rest assured, the fun doesn't stop there. There are more than 70 trails across the precinct to choose from.
Hike with the whole family
The historic Whites Hill Reserve walking trails are pram-friendly, making them a great option for parents wanting to keep active and give kids a unique outlook. Along the way, you'll be able to take in views of the Brisbane City skyline. The track is also dog-friendly, so bring your four-legged friends, but keep them on a leash at all times.
Alternatively, some of Brisbane's old quarries have been turned into bushland waterholes and walking tracks that are family-friendly for all ages. For locals near Wynnum, the 700-metre loop at Hemmant Quarry Reserve is an easy, flat walk, suited to prams and assisted wheelchairs.
Spot native wildlife in Toohey Forest
Home to koalas, echidnas, gliders and more than 75 species of birds, Toohey Forest (which includes Mount Gravatt Outlook Reserve) plays residence to some of Brisbane's wildest locals. With hikes for all ages and abilities, including the 3.5 kilometre Nathan Ridge Track and the 1.2 kilometre Summit Track, which take you from Gertrude Petty Place to Mount Gravatt Lookout, this green space offers eucalypt forest and sandstone outcrops in all their wonder.
Enjoy the calm at Karawatha
One of the city's largest areas of bushland, Karawatha Forest Park, is host to more than 100 bird species, freshwater lagoons, eucalypt forest and 30 different walking tracks. Spend your trek spotting turtles and birds on the one kilometre Melaleuca Circuit, which takes you over the lagoon boardwalk. Alternatively, walk the 1.2 kilometre Echidna Track, which winds through eucalypt forest and is home to the powerful owl and echidnas.
Take the totem trail
Take the classroom outdoors at Boondall Wetlands in Brisbane's north-east, where kids can learn more about Indigenous Australian culture on the Nurri Millen Totem Trail. For a longer lesson, take the 1.5 kilometre Tabbil-ban dhagun Boardwalk or two kilometre Billai dhagun Circuit walks, which will give you a decent one-hour walk through wetlands, mangroves and she-oak forest. Remember, wetlands have a few bugs about, so consider applying insect repellent before you explore.
Walk and play at Chermside Hills Reserve
If you're looking for a shorter walk, part of the Chermside Hills Reserves, Raven Street Reserve, offers the fully accessible 400-mtre Senses Trail. Handrails, tactile signage, bitumen tracks and plaques inviting you to listen, see and touch, make this track fun and all inclusive.
Discover an inner-city bushland sanctuary
Tucked away in the back of Alderley, only five kilometres from the CBD, Banks Street Reserve was once a market garden. Burn off excess energy along the reserve's well-marked bike and walking tracks named after native birds like the Sacred Kingfisher, scrub turkey, Boobook Owl and Eastern Whipbird.
- Explore Brisbane - explore your own backyard
- Discover Brisbane's public art trails
- Visit one of our parks - there are over 2160!
- Walking in Brisbane
This blog was first published in late April 2020 and was updated in December 2020.