Brisbane Region

Queensland’s capital, Brisbane has grown significantly in recent years and become a bustling river city of big events, major shopping centres, trendy night scene and an almost unending list of things to do.

It’s important to remember though that Brisbane is still a Queensland city with mountains in the backyard, parks, forests, and a range of out-door activities in close proximity.

From the heart of the city it only takes a 20 to 30 minute drive to find yourself on top of a mountain with panoramic views and dozens of walking tracks to choose from.

Read on to find out more about Brisbane's most popular Hinterland areas.

Mount Coot-tha

Mt Coot-thaThe highest point in Brisbane, Mount Coot-tha, sits at 287 metres above sea level and is both a mountain and a suburb. Part of Taylors Range, the lookout atop Coot-tha offers some spectacular panoramic views of the city by day or night. On a clear day you can easily see the Glasshouse Mountains, Moreton Bay and the D’Aguilar Range.

The top of Mt Coot-tha is also home to the Kuta Café known for its laid back atmosphere and big brekkies. For a romantic dinner with a view the renowned Summit Restaurant is open for breakfasts, lunches and dinners with a view.

The 1,500 hectares of bushland that surround the lookout contain a number of walking and mountain biking tracks that vary in difficulty. Take a nice leisurely stroll or trek one of the harder paths that are used for Kokoda track training for their difficulty.

At the base of Mt Coot-tha are the Brisbane Botanic Gardens and the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, where you can watch a show on the Skydome about the stars, constellations and the origins of life. There’s also a mini theatre, observatory and informative programs for both young and old.

Mt Nebo & Mt Glorious

Mt NeboThe tight curves of the mountain road going up Mt Nebo and Mt Glorious have become an incredibly popular route for motorcycle enthusiasts with a line-up of bikes parked outside cafes on the mountain every Saturday and Sunday. The route is just as visually spectacular for car trips and the surrounding township and bushland are perfect for day trip explorers.

The quaint township of Mt Nebo is only a 45 minute drive out of the Brisbane city centre and sits in a cool climate 550 metres above sea level. While there’s not much to the town Cafe Boombana is a great café full of homemade treats, hearty meals and traditional milkshakes.

Not far from Mt Nebo is the Brisbane Forest Park Headquarters from which you can embark on a few short bushwalks through subtropical rainforest, mountain streams, rocky water holes and see amazing views all the way out to Moreton Bay.

When you get back to the Park Headquarters take the time to visit the Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre to see an assortment of native Australian wildlife including platypus, wombats, birds, reptiles and marsupials. Finish it all off with a meal at Walkabout Creek Restaurant set in the beautiful D’Aguilar National Park overlooking the Enoggera Reservoir.

If you keep heading through Mt Nebo through along the winding roads surrounded by mossy trees and lush rainforest you’ll find yourself at the top of Mt Glorious. Sitting a little higher than Nebo at 680 metres above sea level you’ll feel the change in the crisp mountain breezes. There’s a park up here with barbeque facilities and a few shorter bushwalks that are suitable for small children.

Have lunch at the Mount Glorious Restaurant & Cafe, a restaurant that was a dairy farm from the 1930s until it was converted in the 70s. From here you can enjoy breathtaking views of the valley below all the way out to Moreton and Stradbroke Island.

For a more quirky theme visit the Elm Haus, a German themed burger and pie shop.

National Parks

There are some great spots for bushwalking and camping in the multitude of National Parks surrounding Brisbane, but remember – you need to obtain a permit before you pitch a tent. Swing by the Brisbane Forest Park Headquarters for permits, maps and information about secluded campsites off the beaten track.

For Camping bookings, camp data and other park details head to the Environment and Resource Management website.

Somerset Dam

Lake WivenhoeJust an hour out of Brisbane is the perfect place for water sports, fishing, walking and generally kicking back in the great outdoors. Somerset Dam has a whopping 237km of shoreline nestled within a protective ring of hills keeping the water calm and ideal for boating. There is seemingly endless bushland, valleys, lakes and rivers surrounding the dam and of course; the town of Somerset.

Somerset Dam attracts people wanting to spend the day boating, sailing, wake boarding, water skiing and freshwater fishing. There are several boat ramp facilities in the area giving boaters plenty of access to the water. With all the picnic facilities, play areas and all the open space it’s a great spot for a day visit or longer for those wanting to take advantage of the camping facilities.

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