We’re all missing the real outdoors right now—the sound of the neighbourhood crows just isn’t the same as that of whipbirds, and the leaves of your neighbour’s mango tree don’t have quite the same effect as a day in the forest.
Coronavirus may have momentarily impeded the scenic walks we can undertake as free people, but as restrictions ease ever so slowly, opportunities for picturesque walks and hikes are presenting themselves again. So, if the neighbourhood bike path has become too familiar (or crowded) for your liking, get your nature fill with these impressive hikes within 50km of Brisbane that won’t break any rules.
Mt Coot-tha Summit Track
One of Brisbane’s favourite walking destinations, full of tracks that range from comfortable to less-comfortable, Mt Coot-tha’s weaving walks will keep everyone happy, and give you just enough seclusion to make you forget about life, work and the global pandemic. There’s plenty to choose from, so you can keep going back again and again.
Morelia Walking Track
Starting in cool rainforest then branching out (see what we did there) to open eucalypt, Morelia Walking Track is a neat looped walk through D’Aguilar National Park that will give you sweeping views of Samford Valley, Mt Tempest and Moreton Bay, finishing up at the natural rock outcrop that is the Mt Nebo lookout.
Nestled in the parkscape where Enoggera Reservoir humbly sits, Holman’s Break is a peaceful four hour walk that will show off the natural beauty of Brisbane all while keeping your senses on their toes. Even though you’ll be surrounded by vegetation and wildlife, you can still see the Brisbane City skyline, so you don’t feel too lost.
Boondall Wetlands Cycleway
Walking the mangrove boardwalks is just one of the many things you can do at the Boondall Wetlands Cycleway, the wetlands themselves being 1150 hectares of tidal flats, saltmarshes, grasslands and open forest. Get a bit of seabreeze into your hair and some steps into your legs, all while keeping snug with the coronavirus restrictions.
Devil's Break Loop
If leisurely walks just aren’t giving you the workout or adrenaline rush you’re after, Devil's Break Loop in Moggill Conservation Park is the steep scrambling epicentre you’ve been looking for. Best walked in a clockwise direction to make the most of the views, Devils Break will get your heart beating from the heights, the fresh air and the freedom to climb.
Adorned with an array of wildlife including koalas, ringtail and brushtail possums, sugar gliders and red-necked wallabies (just to name a few) Venman Circuit in Venman Bushland National Park is the fauna outpost of your flora and fauna search. Get lost along the interweaving paths and immerse yourself in the sounds of smells of the open forest, just make sure you’ve got a compass (or phone) to find your way back home.
Buhot Creek Circuit
Now that we can walk as well as picnic, why not take a packed lunch and work up an appetite as you stroll through the Buhot Creek Circuit in Daisy Hill Conservation Park? You can soak in views of the old quarry and relax alongside tranquil waterholes, resetting your body and making you forget about any responsibilities you have at home. Work who?
Toohey Forest Summit Track
If you’re looking for exotic flora (and to be honest, who isn’t these days?) then the Toohey Forest Summit Track will have you gaping at the uncommon trees and taking in all of the sounds and smells of a secluded forest track. Lose your breath as you walk to the summit, and have it taken away again by the view of Mt Gravatt and its surrounds.
Mount Beerburrum Summit Track
A paved path is the only payoff for one of the steepest ascents we could find, so for all the north side scenic view chasers, this one’s for you. A short 700m path will lead you up through light rainforest, to eucalypt woodlands and then to a fire tower. From the top you can catch panoramic views of the Glasshouse Mountains and even the CBD on a clear day. Just don’t expect to catch your breath. Heads up, while there’s plenty of other walks in the Glasshouse Mountains too, with Mt Ngungun and Mt Tibrogargen nearby, you'll have to be a north sider to stick to that 50km limit, so make sure you map it first.
If you’d prefer to stay closer to home, here are the best urban walks in Brisbane.
Image credit: Garret Parker