Mt-Coot-tha Forest is a large natural reserve found around seven kilometres from the heart of Brisbane in the suburb of the same name, Mt Coot-tha. The reserve is the largest Brisbane City Council Reserve and second largest in the Brisbane region to the Brisbane Forest Park which adjoins Mt Coot-tha to the North.
The reserve encompasses 1,600 hectares of native bushland and includes lookouts, trails, picnic areas, small waterfalls and more. Mt Coot-tha area can be broken down into four areas for review which include Mt Coot-tha Lookout and Surrounding Area, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Gap Creek Reserve and Gold Creek Reserve Area.
Mt Coot-tha Lookout And Surrounding Area
Along with the Brisbane Botanic Garden, the lookout at Mt Coot-tha and surrounding area are the most popular destination of Mt Coot-tha Forest for locals and visitors to Brisbane.
The focal point of the area is the Mt Coot-tha lookout which rises above the surrounding landscape to a height of 287 metres and provides panoramic views across the Brisbane River towards Brisbane City and through to Moreton Bay on a clear day. At the pinnacle of Mt Coot-tha various facilities can be found including
The Mt Coot-tha Lookout And Surrounding Area is also home to multiple picnic areas some including public toilets which ensures that the area is popular for locals enjoying a picnic on the weekends.
Picnic areas with toilets facilities include.
- J.C. Slaughter Falls and Simpson Falls Picnic Areas – These two picnic areas are located towards the base of the mountain and are the two most popular picnic areas at Mt Coot-tha. Both areas include public toilets along with wood fired barbeques and picnic tables. Children will enjoy the open grassed areas in the woodland settings.
- Grey Gum Picnic Area – This is another popular picnic area which is found near the channel 7 tower and includes large covered picnic areas and open grassed areas for children to play.
- Brush Box Picnic Area and Silky Oak Picnic Area – Two of the less used picnic areas which also includes public toilets.
Picnic areas with no toilet facilities
Other picnic areas found in the region with no toilet facilities include Gold Mine Picnic Area and Rangeview Picnic Area.
Trails around Mt Coot-tha Lookout And Surrounding Area
The trails around the Mt Coot-tha lookout tend to be toward the medium to hard range and predominately for hikers/walkers only with a couple of multi-use (walkers, mountain bikes and horses) trails being found in the area. The most popular trails include
- Summit Track – The most popular ascent to the summit begins from the J.C. Slaughter Falls Picnic area and
winds up Mt Coot-tha emerging near the lookout area.
- Powerful Owl Trail – This is a wide multi use trail that cuts through the middle of the Mt Coot-tha Forest Reserve, however does contain some steep climbs.
- Simpson Fall Track – This short walk from the Simpson Falls Picnic Area passed the Simpson Falls, a small fall best visited after heavy rain. This walk can be increased to include Eugenia Circuit which climbs up through Mt Coot-tha Forest.
- Ghost Hole Track – This is a fun little walk that passes some historic remains from the mining era around Mt Coot-tha along with interpretive signage explaining some of the history of the area.
- The Butterfly Track – A short 1.5 kilometre walk through a butterfly garden from The Hut Environmental Centre through to a small park on Marmindie Street.
Parking and Public Transport
Parking is available at all the picnic ground locations around Mt Coot-tha and except when special events are on is ample for the facilities. Parking around the lookout at Mt Coot-tha however can become difficult even during the week (especially during peek tourist season) with parking for around 50 cars at the summit. This is also amplified by an annoying tight car park near the actual lookout itself which only has one entry point and is tight to turn around to exit. However extra parking can be found as you head back down the mountain from the lookout if parking at the summit is full and only requires a small walk back up the mountain.
A bus stop is also found at the summit with services running around every half an hour. For more information on public transport please visit Translink.
Other reviews on the Mt Coot-tha Forest include
Useful links on further information about Mt Coot-tha Forest
- Mt Coot-tha mountain bike trail map and information. Although this is primarily focused on mountain bikes, the map is probably the best we have found for hikers as well. You can find it by clicking here.
- Mt Coot-tha Forest pdf from Brisbane city council with further information and popular walks around Mt Coot-tha. You can find it by clicking here.
- Opencyclemap.org also has a good map of the area along with topography. You can find it by clicking here.
Facilities At Mt Coot-tha Lookout And Surrounding Area
|The majority of the area if native dry bushland of eucalyptus trees. Grassed areas can be found around the picnic grounds.|
|Public toilets are found at various picnic grounds including J.C. Slaughter Falls Picnic Area, Simpson Falls Picnic Area, Grey Gum Picnic Area, Brush Box Picnic Area and Silky Oak Picnic Area.|
|Dedicated hikings paths and shared multi-use )hiking, mountain bike and horses) and found criss-crossing the area. Some of the major tracks around Mt Coot-tha lookout include
|Wood fired barbeque facilities along with covered and uncovered picnic tables are found at the various picnic areas in the reserve.|
|Parking is available in car parks at the picnic grounds or at car parks at the summit.|
|A bus stop is also found at the summit with services running around every half an hour. For more information on public transport please visit Translink.|
|Small waterfalls are found in the reserve with the two easiest to access JC Slaughter Falls and Simpson Falls. Both falls are best visited after heavy rainfall as are normally dry through the rest of the year.|
|Panoramic views are found from the summit of Mt Coot-tha and is a popular destination for visitors to Brisbane and locals. Views include Brisbane City and Moreton Bay.|