For moments to reflect, re-energise, stretch and exercise close to home, check out these local Brisbane bush tracks.
Whether you prefer to listen to bird songs or your own playlist, our local bushland reserves and forests allow you to get close to nature and enjoy some essential exercise, just a stone's throw from home.
Remember to share your outdoor time with people who are still inside - tag #viewsofbrisbane and #virtualsunshine on Instagram - and keep a safe social distance while you're out.
May the forest be with you
If you think you've hiked all the trails at Mt Coot-tha, think again. The new Spotted Gum Trail is open, giving you a 2.4-kilometre path in a previously inaccessible area of Mt Coot-tha Forest. The views of the city are pretty amazing too! Rest assured, the adventure doesn't stop there. There are more than 70 trails across the Mt Coot-tha precinct to choose from.
Hike through history
The historic Whites Hill Reserve walking trails are pram-friendly, making the one kilometre and two-kilometre circuits a great option for parents wanting to keep active and give kids a view for an hour or two. While you won't be able to enjoy refreshments from the old teahouse that operated from the summit of Whites Hill until the early 1900s, you will be able to take in views of the Brisbane City skyline from both tracks. The track is also dog-friendly, so bring your four-legged friends, but keep them on a leash at all times.
Take a walk on the wild(life) side
Home to koalas, echidnas, gliders and more than 75 species of birds, Toohey Forest (which includes Mount Gravatt Outlook Reserve) is home to some of Brisbane's wildest locals. With hikes for all ages and abilities, including the Nathan Ridge Track (takes an hour to walk) and the Summit Track (takes 40 minutes to walk), which take you from Gertrude Petty Place to Mount Gravatt Lookout, this green space offers eucalypt forest and sandstone outcrops in all their wonder.
Don't quarry, be happy
Lucky for us, some of Brisbane's old quarries have been turned into bushland waterholes and walking tracks that are perfect for spending time in the great outdoors. For locals near Wynnum, the 700-metre loop at Hemmant Quarry Reserve is an easy, flat walk, suited for prams and assisted wheelchairs. Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash.
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 Tabbil-ban dhagun Boardwalk or 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.
If you prefer to cycle, set off on the 13 kilometre Boondall Wetlands Bikeway, which takes around one hour to ride from the Brisbane Entertainment Centre to Nudgee Beach and back.
One of the city's largest areas of bushland, Karawatha Forest, is home to more than 100 bird species, freshwater lagoons, eucalypt forest and eight tracks. Autumn is the perfect time of year to tackle the two-kilometre Banksia Track and see the native flowers in all their glory. Keep the kids entertained spotting turtles and birds on the one-kilometre Melaleuca Circuit, which takes you over the lagoon boardwalk.
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 Senses Trail (400 metres). Handrails, tactile signage, bitumen tracks and plaques inviting you to listen, see and touch, make this track ideal for children and adults with a disability. Or if you feel like breaking a sweat, try the one and half kilometre Xanthorrhoea Track, a hilly path that takes you through forest including grass trees (which give the track its name).
Get a new outlook
Two of Council's most popular lookouts - in Mount Gravatt Outlook Reserve and Keperra Bushland Reserve - are being upgraded this year with refreshed walking trails and facilities. Nearby residents will have more reasons to enjoy views to Moreton Bay islands and the Glasshouse Mountains from the top of Mount Gravatt Outlook Reserve or go koala spotting in Keperra while exercising close to home.
Discover an inner-city bushland sanctuary
How's the serenity? Considering this bushland is five kilometres from Brisbane's Central Business District, we'd say it's pretty good! Tucked away in the back of Alderley, Banks Street Reserve was once a market garden. Let the kids, or yourself, 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.
- Find other Brisbane bushland reserves near you
- Discover Brisbane's public art trails
- Visit one of our parks - there are over 2100!
- Find more inspiration on our Brisbane: Better together page
This blog was first published in late April and was updated in late May following the opening of the Spotted Gum Trail at Mt Coot-tha Reserve.