Brisbaneites are truly blessed with options when it comes to getting out in nature; we’ve got everything from golden beaches to lush rainforests to rolling wetlands all at our fingertips. So where do you even start when it comes to picking which natural area to explore this weekend? You know you want to get out into the bush—back to your metaphorical roots as it were (pun intended)—but don’t know how to separate the okay trails from the truly stunning ones.
Well don’t worry, friends, because we’ve totally got your back with a guide to the best bush walks in and around Brisbane. All you have to do is pick one.
Buhot Creek Circuit
Daisy Hill Conservation Park
Located only a 20-minute drive south of the CBD, Daisy Hill Conservation Park is a slice of natural paradise right on Brisbane’s doorstop. The Buhot Creek Circuit covers 9km of towering eucalyptus trees, tranquil waterholes and a plethora of Australian wildlife—including kookaburras and the odd wallaby. The trail also leads into the old quarry in neighbouring Neville Lawrie Reserve, a hidden reservoir that is popular with fur-parents and keen swimmers alike. Remember to keep an eye out for koalas on your journey along the trail as wild ones can sometimes be seen having a feast high in the branches of a eucalyptus tree.
Starting from the Mt Coot-tha lookout and winding down to the JC Slaughter Falls picnic area, Summit Track is one of the most iconic bushwalks in Brisbane for very good reason. This trail, located only a hop, skip and jump from the CBD, features an aboriginal art trail, a gushing waterfall (after a good rain day) and spectacular views over the city from the summit. Sunset is a particular favourite, as the sun paints the sky in the most gorgeous colours, while many locals use the trail purely for exercise. Trust us, those killer views are definitely worth the effort.
Morelia Walking Track
With its gently-sloping and well-defined path, Morelia walking track is the perfect place to start for those of you wanting to get into hiking. Starting from the Manorina car park and ending at the Mt Nebo lookout, this 2-hour return trail winds through a wet eucalypt forest before opening up to stunning views over the Samford Valley and Moreton Bay. Highlights of the trail include groves of the cabbage-tree palm, a native plant recognisable for its use in the iconic cabbage tree hat.
Stockyard Creek Walking Track
Brisbane Koala Bushlands
Okay guys, who’s ready to go koala spotting? Located a mere 15 kilometres southeast of the CBD, the Brisbane Koala Bushlands is home to a significant koala habitat, which happens to also be a part of the Koala Coast Network—a swath of land that is one of the most important koala habitat areas in Australia. The Stockyard Creek walking track meanders through these lush bushlands and gives visitors ample opportunity to learn about one of Australia’s most beloved animals. That is, if you don’t manage to spot one yourself.
D’Aguilar National Park
Located only a short drive from Jolly’s Lookout, Boombana is home to two very different hiking trails: The Pitta Circuit, an approximately 1.1km return, and the Thylogale Walking Track, an 8km return track recommended for more experienced bushwalkers. Our pick? The Pitta Circuit, purely for the boardwalk portion which winds around a 700-year-old mammoth fig tree stealing the show from the surrounding groves of towering ghost gums and bush orchids. You guys, that tree is older than most of the New World. It’s 100% worth the journey.
Morans Falls Track
Lamington National Park
While this one is a little bit of a journey away from our fair city, Lamington National Park is home to a collection of stunning natural splendours that should be at the top of everyone’s Brisbane bucket list. The Morans Falls track easily takes the prize for best bush walk near Brisbane, winding through layers of volcanic lava flows and a subtropical rainforest before ending with killer views over Morans Falls and the surrounding valley. This adventure is one that will definitely make it onto your Instagram feed.
Cedar Creek Falls
Not to be confused with the other Cedar Creek Falls, this off-the-beaten-track collection of rock pools and waterfalls are located only a short stroll from the car park at the end of Cedar Creek Rd. The walk to the falls will take you past a series of spectacular cascades and even better lookout spots, before finally delivering you to Mt Tamborine’s only swimming hole. Here’s our perfect itinerary: catch some brunch at the Tamborine Mountain township before changing into your togs and hiking down to the rock pools for an afternoon of kicking back in nature. Saturday plans are definitely sorted.
Need more travel inspo to feed your #wanderlust? Check out even more incredible things to do here.
Lamington National Park | Image credit: Brooke Darling