16 short and scenic walks around Brisbane

Q: What’s one way to exercise without it feeling like exercise? A: Walking somewhere scenic.

Make the most of Brisbane in the great outdoors and wander along some of the many trails and scenic walks in the region. Some of them are really quite short, and since when did a bit of fresh air ever hurt anyone? 

1. City loop via South Bank

Brisbane Sign

Let’s start with an obvious one. This quick and easy loop takes you from the heart of the city over the old Victoria Bridge, through the Cultural Forecourt past the B-R-I-S-B-A-N-E sign (go on, stop for a selfie) and along the Clem Jones Promenade at South Bank. Take a moment to soak in the river and city views from Streets Beach and keep meandering along. Just past River Quay cross over the Goodwill Bridge towards the City Botanic Gardens and QUT. There’s a pedestrian path that follows along the riverfront at water level, past mangroves towards North Quay ferry stop. Catch the CityCat home or head to Queen Street Mall for a spot of shopping.

2. City loop from the Botanic Gardens via Story Bridge and Kangaroo Point

Kangaroo Point Cliffs

Park the car at the top of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs and walk down the infamous stairs to the base. Following the winding boardwalk along the riverfront towards Thornton Street Ferry Terminal. From here cross the road to head over the Story Bridge. Cross the bridge, wander the riverfront path until you reach the City Botanic Gardens. Stop here and catch your breath before crossing back to the southside via the Goodwill Bridge. Grab a coffee on the bridge from Brendan if the stall is open. Follow the path along Kangaroo Point back to your car.

Alternatively you can skip the Story Bridge and take the free red CityHopper from either Thornton or Holman Ferry terminals over to the CBD Riverside station.

3. Brighton to Shorncliffe

shorncliffepier

Wander the foreshore between the seaside villages on Brisbane’s northside. Taking in views over Bramble Bay, the shining star of this walk is wandering to the end of the historic Shorncliffe Pier. From here look down into the blue bay to spot jellyfish, fish and marine life bobbing past. The walk takes an hour each way, so slice it in half by starting in Sandgate if you need. A favourite of ours, stop at the Sandgate Fishmonger for lunch or wander into the village square and refresh with a drink at Cardigan Bar in Sandgate. 

4. North Gorge Walk

North Gorge Walk, North Stradbroke Island

Pop this 1.2 kilometre walk on your Brisbane bucket list. Located at Point Lookout on the far side of North Stradbroke Island, it’s worth the trek over the bay to wander the boardwalk that weaves in an out of the natural ravene. Stop along the way to spot dolphins, turtles, manta rays and migrating whales (May to November) splashing in the ocean. Reward yourself with an icy treat from Oceanic Gelati and sit on the grassy hill.

5. West End to QAGOMA

West End Bike Path

Start your morning bright and early with a visit to the Davies Park Markets, held every Saturday from 6am-2pm. Beside the park is the Jane St Community Garden which grows more than 200 varieties of edible plants. Once you’ve stocked up on fresh fruit and veg, wander across to Plenty for breakfast – they use locally-grown produce and aim to celebrate those that grow it, or stop by Cake & Bake for an almond croissant. From here follow Riverside Drive along the curve of the river that will eventually bring you to the South Bank Boardwalk. The final stop is the beautiful QAGOMA – entry is free and it’s not difficult to fill your afternoon here. 

6. Mt Coot-tha

Mt Coot-tha

Sure, it’s super easy to drive to the top of Mt Coot-tha, park and take in the views. But did you know it only takes 30 minutes to walk up from the base? Drop the car at the carpark and wander through the eucalypt bush to the lookout. Pack a picnic to enjoy on the hill before heading back down. Discover 10 more things to do at Mt Coot-tha here.

7. Walkabout Creek

Segway Walkabout Creek
Note: This walk can be done on foot

Wander through a wet eucalypt forest gully on the 45-minute Corymbia Circuit at Walkabout Creek. Or take the two-hour Araucaria track past giant hoop pines, along the shores of Enoggera Reservoir and back. Best of all, post walk you can cool off with a dip in Enoggera Reservoir, hire kayaks from Walkabout Creek Adventures and grab a snack at the onsite cafe. If you’ve got time, stay for a ranger talk and platypus feeding at the Wildlife Centre.

8. Teneriffe to CBD via Riverwalk

Woolstores at Teneriffe

Start your journey wedged between Teneriffe’s historic wool stores. Wander along the wide riverside boardwalk towards to the CBD that makes up the little-known Submariners’ Walk Heritage Trail. There are facts, tributes and stories along that way that describe how Teneriffe was used as a dock US submarines during WWII. If you keep walking past the Brisbane Powerhouse, around New Farm Park and along the raised Riverwalk you’ll reach the CBD in under 90 minutes. 

9. Wynnum to Manly

Breathe in, breathe out. Salty air is good for the mind. Take the chance to walk along Brisbane’s southern bayside promenade starting at Wynnum’s 1930-built tidal pool and finished at Manly Boat Harbour. It’s the biggest in the southern hemisphere and makes a great backdrop for sunset photos. Time your visit to match up with the Manly Jan Power Farmers Market. The walk is about 10km return.

10. Tree Top Walk

Oreillys Tree Top Walk

Nine suspension bridges swing high above in the trees through ancient Gondwana rainforest. The 180m long walkway at O’Reilly’s plateau sits approximately 15m above the ground, leading towards a bird’s eye lookout. Climb ladders a further 15m higher up an old tree and pop your head out at the top above the canopy. For a few moments it’s just you, the birds and the sprawling green mountains and valleys of the Lamington National Park.

11. The Arbour at South Bank

Arbour

The iconic steel structure that snakes its way through South Bank Parklands is made up of 443 curvy steel posts that are covered in bougainvillea vines. Time it right and the whole 1 kilometre walk will be a vibrant with the magenta flowers.

12. Clontarf to Redcliffe

Redcliffe

Another walk along the northern coastline, the stretch from Clontarf to Redcliffe in Moreton Bay Region comes with history spice. It will take you about 90 minutes to walk the length and it passes by the historic 19th century shipwreck of the HMQS Gayundah.

13. Greenes Falls Track, D’Aguilar National Park

Drive north of Brisbane through the quaint village of Samford and up into the hills of Mt Glorious. Glorious indeed – pop on those walking shoes and wander the one-hour Greenes Falls Track. When we’ve done it there hasn’t been much water, but the views at the end are worth it. 

14. Pumicestone Passage

Bribie Island

Drive the bridge over to Bribie Island, about 65km north of Brisbane, and leave your worries on the mainland. There’s a scenic walk from Bongaree to Bellara that follows the waterfront along Pumicestone Passage. The crystal clear, white sandy passage is home to tons of pelicans and other bird varieties. Cool off with a dip when you’re done, or explore the Bribie Island Seaside Museum.

15. Gold Creek Resevoir

Not too far north-west of the city, there’s a 5.5km track that circles the circumference of the Gold Creek Reservoir. This dam is the second oldest in Queensland -  built in 1882 – with the world’s first concrete stepped spillway added in 1890. It’s pretty quiet here so you may have to bash your way through some thick bush – we suggest you head counter-clockwise to tackle the steep part first. 

16. Daisy Hill

Daisy Hill Conservation Park

Koala sightings are guaranteed at Daisy Hill. That’s because there is a Koala Centre with a few educational koalas on show – it’s free to visit and makes the perfect start or end to one of Daisy Hill’s bush trails. Most are less than 2km in length and won’t take long.

Walking. Hah! If the idea of a peaceful stroll – no matter how scenic - puts you to sleep check out this article about hikes near Brisbane.

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