Brisbane’s best bushwalks with kids
There are 430,000 new native plants and 100 nesting boxes for birds, possums and gliders to explore in this 80 hectares of natural beauty and recreational facilities. There are 8 km of walking tracks of varying abilities and an 80 metre span bridge over the Scrubby Creek floodplain. Best access is via Wayne Goss Drive.
In Brisbane’s north-east, kids can learn about Indigenous Australian culture on the Nurri Millen Totem Trail as they walk along tidal flats, mangroves, salt marshes and through open forest. There are two circuits to choose from, both taking about an hour each. There is an environment centre, park and playground facilities located at Nudgee Beach. Park on Nudgee Road in Nudgee or Paperbark Drive at the end of Bicentennial Road in Boondall. Remember to bring insect repellent as bugs are plentiful here.
Brisbane Koala Bushlands
One of the most important koala habitat areas in Australia, these bushlands have a few walking tracks to choose from. Those that are most suited to young children are the 1.4 km Stockyard Creek Walking Track – which has a boardwalk and viewing deck – and the 3 km JC Trotter Multi Use Trail. The latter passes through eucalyptus forest and is shared with horse riders. The main picnic area is accessible by car from Alperton Road in Burbank.
Karawatha Forest Park
One of Brisbane’s largest areas of bushland, this park is home to freshwater lagoons, eucalypt forest, more than 100 bird species, and 30 walking tracks. Spend your trek spotting turtles and birds on the 1 km Melaleuca Circuit, which takes you over the lagoon boardwalk. Alternatively, walk the 1.2 kilometre Echidna Track, which winds through eucalypt forest and is home to owls and echidnas. The quickest route with kids is the Ironbark Circuit which takes around 30 minutes.
Gold Creek Reservoir
The areas around Gold Creek Reservoir are home native wildlife and form part of a wildlife corridor to D’Aguilar National Park, and there’s a designated walking trail to Lake Manchester and Enoggera Reservoir if you venture further into the adjacent national park or onto Brisbane City Council trails. Access to the reservoir is located at the end of Gold Creek Road.
Bullocky Rest at Lake Samsonvale, between Petrie and Strathpine is a pleasant 4 km walk with the family which requires a moderate fitness level. There are barbecue facilities, shelters, parking and toilets.
Home to koalas, echidnas, gliders and more than 75 species of birds, this forest has hikes for all ages and abilities, including the 3.5 kilometre Nathan Ridge Track and the 1.2 kilometre Summit Track, which take you from Gertrude Petty Place to Mount Gravatt Lookout. Park on Toohey Road, Tarragindi and Outlook Drive in Mt Gravatt.
Whites Hill Reserve
This spot has a couple of nice short walks – the 865m Sankey’s Mountain Summit Track, 865m and the 565m Whites Hill Circuit, both of which offer great city views. Use the entrance off Boundary Road in Camp Hill.
J.C Slaughter Falls
Just 15 minutes west of the city, this spot ticks all the boxes for an iconic day out for Brisbane locals. The 600m one-way walk at Mt Coot-tha is moderately steep at times, winding through forest and past the falls until you reach a lookout which offers amazing views across the CBD. There are excellent picnic and BBQ facilities at the entry of the trails and while there is ample parking at the entrance, it gets busy on weekends.
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Written by Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music.