Brisbane and its surrounds is well-known as the city of hidden gems. We’ve got hole-in-the-wall coffee shops that’ll blow your mind, world-class bakeries on the ground level of office buildings and doughnuts in vans (what a time to be alive). Why, there’s so many gems we could start a jewellery collection (ugh, we just cringed too), so it takes a truly spectacular spot to make it onto one of our lists.
That’s why we’ve rounded up our favourite secret scenic sights (say that five times really, really fast) that you had no idea were in Brisbane.
All you’ve got to do is pick out your favourites and get started on your next epic adventure.
Tingalpa Creek Reserve Walk
The Tingalpa Creek Reserve Walk, in Capalaba West, has everything you need to reconnect with nature. We’re talking fishing outposts, mud-crab catching, a eucalypt forest and a body of water just begging to be canoed on. Picnicking and barbequing are always a great time in this reserve, but the real winner is the two kilometre Creek Circuit track, which winds alongside the gorgeous waterway before veering into rustic bushland. Just make sure to bring your gumboots if you’re planning on going after some wet weather, as things can get slushy real quickly if you don’t.
Fig Tree Pocket River Reserve
Fig Tree Pocket
Fig Tree Pocket River Reserve in Fig Tree Pocket, is one of Brisbane’s hidden treasures for a very good reason. Bring a picnic of cheese and a killer wine to devour by the waterfront as you soak up some Vitamin D and send the little ones to play on the adorably nautical themed playground nearby. After you’ve had your fill of snacking, kick back and relax under the abundance of gum trees framing the entire reserve. Oh and did we mention all of this is only eight kilometres from the CBD? Heck yeah!
Bowie’s Flat Wetland
Bowie’s Flat Wetland is an artificial lake right at the edge of Coorparoo’s commercial centre, and boy is it pretty. Originally made as a filter for the storm debris that would flow into nearby Norman Creek, now this wetland features a boardwalk winding over the top of it, dotted here and there with attached deck shelters—perfect for a day kicking back in nature. Don’t forget to bring some bread to feed the ducks for the full park experience.
Karawatha Forest Park
Karawatha Forest Park is approximately 900 hectares in size and remains one of the largest areas of bushland within Brisbane. You bet you’re going to find something to love at this scenic dream. We recommend the Melaleuca Circuit, a 30-minute walk through freshwater lagoons and open woodland forests.
JC Slaughter Falls
While JC Slaughter Falls becomes a gushing waterfall after a solid downpour, this stunning gorge has some killer views on any day of the year. The falls house an open-air bush chapel (yeah, we didn’t know that was a thing either), an Aboriginal Art Trail and a walking track for the hiker-at-heart that will take you all the way to the top of Mt Coot-tha (if you’re really keen to see those panoramic views). If hiking’s not really your thing, you could always just relax on a grassy creek bank with some snacks. Ah, so many choices.
Cedar Creek Swimming Holes
Not to be confused with the also-gorgeous Cedar Creek at Mt Tambourine, Cedar Creek, only 20 minutes from the village of Samford, is home to jaw-dropping scenic views and multiple swimming holes just waiting to have a splash around in. There are no established bushwalking paths in this area so you’re truly entering nature by taking a dip—which is definitely not a bad thing in this case. Just close your eyes and listen to the calls of brush turkeys and Australian whipbirds while you relax.
Okay, so Tallebudgera Creek is not technically in Brisbane, and involves a fair old car journey; but it's so beautiful that it couldn't be left off the list! 1.5 hours from Brisbane down the Pacific Hwy, this is the perfect day trip for anyone looking for crystal clear waters, super soft sand, and an all round peaceful atmos. Far better than the crowded beaches we say. Set up your beach towel near the shade of the mangroves and prep for ultimate relaxtion. We're feeling zen already...
Possibly the king of Brisbane’s hidden scenic gems, Boombana is an off-road picnic area with two of the most gorgeous tracks you might ever walk in Brisbane. The Pitta Circuit, which is approximately a 40 minutes round trip is perfect for the fitness-challenged and winds through towering ghost gums, bush orchids and around a 700-hundred year old fig tree. Guys, that tree is older than Brisbane! If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you could also try your hand at the Thylogale Walking Track, an 8 km path leading to Jollys Lookout and back, which is super picturesque in spring when the native wisteria vines drop their flowers onto the forest floor.
Need more scenic inspiration? Check out our fave travel locations here.
Image Credit: Brooke Darling