Move over rainforest walks and secret hike spots, because Brisbane is coming at you with some seriously stunning urban walks. Think gorgeous city-scapes, riverside strolls and enough greenery to have you reconsidering ever needing to leave our humble city.
All you have to do is don your best active wear and pick a path (or four). Completely convinced? Here are the best walks in Brisbane.
Combining the best of North Brisbane’s coastal scenery with the opportunity to stop and partake in more than a few café brunches, the Shorncliffe Walk is nothing to scoff at. Starting from the intersection of Friday Street and Allpass Parade, this 2.5km return track winds along the bayside until it reaches the stunning Shorncliffe Pier, as well as a mini beach and barbeque area perfect for a post-walk burger. Shorncliffe, and neighbouring Sandgate, are home to a number of heritage-listed buildings and its well-worth keeping your eyes peeled for their facades, which you’ll find peeking out from behind more familiar surroundings. Afterwards, finish your adventure with lunch at Matthew Thomas Café, an old-timey café-cum-restaurant overlooking the bay that also happens to serve coffee by Toby's Estate. Sunday plans = sorted.
Ah Paddington, the suburb that reminds us of a Brisbane of ages past. Eclectic Queenslanders, myriad boutiques and a veritable smorgasbord of raved-about cafes are just the beginning of Paddington’s hillside exploration opportunities. Start your journey at the Cochrane Street entrance of Latrobe Terrace and wander your way through the crème de la crème of Paddington’s iconic boutiques. Here’s what we’d do: pop in to Vinnie’s or the Endeavour Foundation to find your next wardrobe gem, fuel up after an exhaustive shopping trip at Atticus Finch Café and then drool over the pretty home goods at Blake & Taylor. Once you’re laden with goodies (we don’t blame you) continue on a leisurely stroll around Paddington’s many hidden nooks. Brisbane, you spoil us.
Kangaroo Point To City
No walking guide to Brisbane would be complete without mention of the Kangaroo Point to City Walk. This 5km inner city walking track covers everything from mangroves to botanic gardens to Riverside’s collection of mouth-watering bars and restaurants. Start your walk at the Maritime Museum, head towards Kangaroo Point for stunning views over the CBD, cross over the Story Bridge, then wind your way back towards the city along the riverfront. Combine your walk with an afternoon tipple at Riverbar or a gorgeous schnitty at the Bavarian Bier Café for the ultimate Brisbane experience. Killer views AND a heaven-sent schnitzel to bless our tastebuds? What a time to be alive.
New Farm To Teneriffe
Traditionally utilised by cycling enthusiasts, locals walking their four-legged companions and the occasional tourist, the New Farm to Teneriffe walk was made for urban exploring. The trail is about 6km return and passes along a leafy riverside path to the Brisbane Powerhouse alongside a number of fur-baby friendly cafes, including Double Shot New Farm. Start your walk at the Sydney Street Ferry, wind your way through Merthyr Park and New Farm Park before arriving at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Feel free to stop in here to catch the latest photo exhibition or comedy offerings before continuing on your way through Powerhouse Park towards the Teneriffe Ferry Stop. Your journey will end at the ferry stop, but you could always kick wind back to the Powerhouse's WATT Restaurant for a post-exercise feast overlooking some sweet river views. Hey, you’ve earned it.
If there’s one thing you can say about Brisbanites, it’s that we love our river. The Brisbane Riverwalk takes this passion to a whole new level. The 870m long track juts literally from the deep and allows you to tramp along the most scenic area of the river between New Farm and the historic Howard Street Wharves. The path is segregated for cyclists and walkers, so you can enjoy a relaxing stroll without worrying about being mowed down by a stray peloton. Brisbane Riverwalk also links up with the riverside boardwalk to the CBD, so if you can’t get enough of those river views you can continue exploring straight into the heart of Brisbane. Now that’s what we call a win-win.
The Arbour Walk
Okay, okay, South Bank’s Arbour Walk might be more of a path for a leisurely stroll than it is a heart-pumping way to stay active but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth checking out. The Arbour’s iconic steel structure actually stretches for a kilometre through the heart of South Bank and if you visit in spring or summer you can spend the entire trip walking underneath a canopy of neon bougainvillea flowers. The Arbour also provides the perfect launching point for exploring the rest of South Bank: drop some cash at The Collective Markets, head to nearby Grey Street for every type of food your tastebuds can imagine, dip your toes in Streets Beach or continue the fitness vibes by linking your South Bank walk with a stroll through Kangaroo Point. Go on, what are you waiting for?
The University Of Queensland Loop
Guys, if you’ve never seen the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus during jacaranda season, you’re not living. UQ — located only a hop, skip and jump from the CBD — is not only a hallowed hall of learning (or dreaded beast, depending on which student you ask) but also doubles as one of the prettiest urban walks in Brisbane. The aptly named UQ Loop winds through the stunning lakes, home to a number of native Australian wildlife, before continuing up into the campus itself, which provides more than a few spots to chill out with a book or mate. Plus, if you time your visit right, you might just spot the adorable fluffy waddle of tiny ducklings. UQ, we’re ready.
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Image credit: Hayley Williamson for The Urban List