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Your Ultimate Guide to Mount Coot-tha

Your Ultimate Guide to Mount Coot-tha

Did you know that Mount Coot-tha’s history traces back to the late 1830s when trees were cleared, leaving only one standing as a surveyor’s marker? In fact, they initially named it ‘One Tree Hill’.

Today, it has evolved into a lovely landmark in Brisbane, offering panoramic views and recreational activities.

Read more and explore the intriguing journey of Mount Coot-tha from its historical origins to its modern-day charm in our travel guide!

Mount Coot-tha: An Overview

Mount Coot-tha An Overview

Rising 287 meters from sea level, Mount Coot-tha isn’t just famous for its lookout – it’s a whole nature-packed adventure waiting to unfold!

Found amid 1600 hectares of lush landscape adjoining the southeastern section of D’Aguilar National Park, this mountain offers much more than meets the eye.

With its dense eucalypt forest, peaceful rainforest gullies, twisty creeks, and an extensive network of 31 kilometres of bushwalking tracks, Mount Coot-tha invites you to immerse yourself in its natural wonders and discover the magic that lies within.

Mount Coot-tha in Brisbane has an engaging history that dates back to the late 1830s. Originally, the area was densely forested until the 19th century when European settlers arrived and commenced timber-getting activities.

The mountain’s significance increased when trees were cleared, save for one solitary tree to serve as a reference point for surveyors. This earned the mountain its initial name, One Tree Hill.

Fast forward to the present, Mount Coot-tha has transformed into a cherished destination offering several attractions and recreational opportunities.

Here, you can explore the expansive Brisbane Botanic Gardens, which showcase a wide range of plant species, including native Australian flora and exotic plants.

The mountain also houses the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, a hub for astronomical education and observation.

Moreover, Mount Coot-tha is known for its panoramic vistas, providing sweeping views of Brisbane city skyline, Moreton Bay, and the surrounding riverbanks.

Its vantage points, notably the Mount Coot-tha Lookout, offer unparalleled opportunities for photography, relaxation, and appreciation of nature’s splendor.

From leisurely strolls through the botanical gardens to challenging hikes along scenic trails, Mount Coot-tha caters to a diverse range of interests and preferences.

So whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an astronomy buff, or simply seeking calm in scenic surroundings, Mount Coot-tha nods with its timeless charm and boundless offerings.

How to get to Mount Coot-tha

How to get to Mount Coot-tha

Getting to Mount Coot-tha offers you several convenient options, making it accessible for all sorts of adventurers!

If you’re driving, you’ll be happy to know that there are multiple parking options available, ensuring you can find a spot hassle-free.

For those opting for a ride-sharing service or a taxi, it’s a breeze to reach Mount Coot-tha. Just plug in the destination, and you’ll be on your way in no time!

If you prefer a more eco-friendly approach, biking is a fantastic option. Riding your bike to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha is a smooth journey, especially using the Anzac Park overpass.

And if public transport is more your style, no worries! Catch the 471 bus departing from Ann Street (stop 7 or 12) in Brisbane’s Central Business District.

You can hop off at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha (stop 19) for the Visitor Information Centre or continue all the way up to the summit.

With these options at your disposal, getting to Mount Coot-tha is a breeze, ensuring you can focus on enjoying the spectacular views and attractions it has to offer!

The Best Time to Go to Mount Coot-tha

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Brisbane’s climate typically offers pleasant temperatures and clear skies, making it suitable for outdoor activities throughout the year.

However, you may want to avoid periods of extreme heat during the summer months (December to February), especially during midday when temperatures soar.

Seasons also influence the ambiance and scenery at Mount Coot-tha.

Spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) are particularly delightful, with mild temperatures, blooming flowers, and vibrant foliage enhancing the picture-perfect landscape.

These seasons offer optimal conditions for exploring the botanical gardens, hiking trails, and enjoying panoramic views from the lookout.

Considering the day and time is essential as well. Early mornings and late afternoons, especially towards sunset, tend to be quieter and offer a more peaceful atmosphere.

Weekdays, particularly Tuesday to Thursday, see fewer visitors compared to weekends and public holidays, making them ideal for those seeking a more tranquil experience.

Things to Know About Mount Coot-tha

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Before we dive into the exciting attractions awaiting you at Mount Coot-tha, let’s cover some essential details to ensure your visit goes smoothly:

  • Entrance: Access to Mount Coot-tha is generally free of charge, allowing everyone to enjoy its beauty and attractions without any barriers.
  • Schedule: Mount Coot-tha is open to visitors throughout the year, including weekends and public holidays.
  • Climbing Time: The time it takes to climb Mount Coot-tha can vary depending on factors such as your starting point, fitness level, and chosen trail.

On average, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours to reach the summit, depending on the route and pace.

  • Parking: Finding parking is a breeze with designated parking areas available at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha, Mt Coot-tha Lookout, Gap Creek Reserve, and picnic areas.
  • Restrooms: Restroom facilities are conveniently located across Mount Coot-tha.
  • Service Animals: Service animals are welcome at Mount Coot-tha, ensuring all visitors can fully enjoy their time exploring the area.
  • Accessibility: Mount Coot-tha has pathways, facilities, and attractions designed to accommodate individuals with varying mobility needs.

Mount Coot-tha: Tips and Reminders

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When planning your visit to Mount Coot-tha, keep these handy tips and reminders in mind to ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience:

  • Plan Ahead: Research the attractions and activities you want to explore at Mount Coot-tha to make the most of your visit.
  • Check the Weather: Brisbane’s weather can be unpredictable, so be sure to check the forecast before heading out. Bring appropriate clothing and gear for the conditions.
  • Arrive Early: Beat the crowds and enjoy quieter trails and attractions by arriving early in the day, especially on weekends and holidays.
  • Stay Hydrated: Bring plenty of water, especially if you plan to hike or explore the area on foot. Brisbane’s climate can be hot and humid!
  • Sun Protection: Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays, especially during the peak hours of sunshine.
  • Respect Nature: Help preserve Mount Coot-tha’s natural beauty by staying on marked trails, disposing of trash properly, and avoiding disturbing wildlife.
  • Be Mindful of Wildlife: Keep a respectful distance from wildlife and refrain from feeding or approaching animals in their natural habitat.
  • Take Breaks: Pace yourself and take breaks as needed, especially if you’re hiking or engaging in strenuous activities such as running.
  • Enjoy the Views: Don’t forget to take in the breathtaking views of Brisbane and the surrounding landscape from Mount Coot-tha Lookout. Bring a camera to capture the scenery!
  • Swimming: Swimming is not permitted at Mount Coot-tha. While there are natural areas such as creeks and water bodies within the vicinity, swimming is generally not allowed for safety and conservation reasons.

Main Attractions at Mount Coot-tha

Located at the base of Mount Coot-tha, amid the natural beauty of Brisbane, you’ll discover the enchanting Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

Whether you adore greenery or simply enjoy the wonders of plant life, the 56 hectares of gardens offer a delightful experience for all.

Here, you can take a stroll through the various exhibitions – from the serene Japanese gardens to the intriguing cactus collection, and don’t miss the iconic Tropical Dome.

For those eager to dive deeper into the botanical wonders, you can join one of the free guided tours.

Available Monday through Saturday from 11 in the morning to 1 in the afternoon, these tours offer insights into the diverse flora and fauna thriving within the gardens.

So, whether you seek serenity, inspiration, or simply a peaceful escape into nature’s embrace, the Brisbane Botanic Gardens is a great spot in Mount Coot-tha for you!

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Situated amid the natural beauty of Mount Coot-tha, the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium offers an immersive experience into the mysteries of the universe.

With state-of-the-art facilities and captivating presentations, you can start a journey through space and time, exploring distant galaxies, stars, and planets.

Inside the planetarium, you’ll find a range of engaging exhibits, interactive displays, and interesting shows that cater to both astronomy enthusiasts and curious minds alike.

From mesmerising star shows to informative presentations on the latest astronomical discoveries, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

For those looking to expand their knowledge of the cosmos, the planetarium also hosts regular stargazing events and educational programs led by experienced astronomers. 

These events offer a unique opportunity to observe celestial phenomena and learn from experts in the field.

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Tucked away in the peaceful surroundings of Mount Coot-tha, JC Slaughter Falls offers a picture-perfect setting for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers out there!

The falls, named after a town clerk, provide a calm retreat from the noise of city life. Here, you can take a stroll along the scenic walking tracks that wind through lush rainforest or enjoy a lovely picnic.

For the more adventurous ones, the falls also serve as a starting point for exploring the extensive network of bushwalking trails that crisscross Mount Coot-tha and the surrounding D’Aguilar National Park.

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Simpson Falls offers a refreshing escape into nature. The adventure begins with a scenic 2.8 km bush walk, starting deep within the access road.

Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the main gum tree-studded Simpson Falls Picnic Area and barbecue grounds, perfect for a relaxing break or a tasty outdoor feast.

The Eugenia Trail invites explorers to venture further, leading from the barbecue grounds to the Simpson Falls. Witness the falls in all their glory, from climbable rock ledges in the dry to a gushing white torrent during the wet season.

For those craving extra adventure, the Eugenia Circuit awaits, winding its way through the lush eucalypt forest and alongside Ithaca Creek. The birdwatchers out there will also delight in the wide range of native birds and animals that call this forest home.

If you’re bringing your pets with you, make sure to keep them on a leash at all times to ensure the safety of wildlife and other visitors.

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Imagine 50 kilometres of trails winding their way around Mount Coot-tha and its parklands, just waiting to be discovered. From dawn till dusk, you’ll find Brisbanites of all ages hitting the trails, soaking in the beauty of the bush and getting their step count up.

Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or just starting out, there’s a track for everyone. With options ranging from easy strolls to more challenging hikes, you can choose the adventure that suits your fitness level and interests.

Want to plan your route ahead of time? Just hop online and download the complete tracks guide for all the info you need.

Just remember to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially on those hot Brisbane days. And if it’s been raining, be prepared for some muddy patches along the way. 

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Ever heard about the Mount Coot-tha Circuit? It’s the ultimate off-road cycling adventure found right here in Mount Coot-tha.

This sealed circuit is famous for its challenging terrain, making it a favourite among hardcore riders. Picture this: a 12-kilometre loop that’s uphill for a good chunk of the ride, with a stretch of 2.3 kilometres that climbs a steep 200-metre incline. 

From sunrise to sunset, the path is yours to conquer. Whether you’re chasing that adrenaline rush or simply seeking a heart-pumping workout, the Mount Coot-tha Circuit delivers.

For those of you who thrive on pushing your limits, why not take it to the next level and join the annual Brisbane Cycling Festival? It’s the perfect opportunity to showcase your skills, connect with fellow cyclists, and soak in the vibrant biking community.

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Of course, there’s the ultimate sunrise or sunset spot in Brisbane – the Mount Coot-tha Summit! Here, you can grab your picnic blanket, pack some tasty snacks, and head up to the summit.

As you reach the top, you’re greeted by an incredible 360-degree view of the city skyline, stretching out as far as the eye can see. You can even spot Moreton Bay and the Gold Coast shimmering in the distance – talk about breathtaking!

Whether you’re an early riser chasing the first light of dawn or a sunset aficionado seeking the perfect golden hour, the Mount Coot-tha Summit delivers. It’s the ideal spot to relax, unwind, and soak in the beauty of Brisbane from above.

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Mount Coot-tha also has mountain bike trails, perfect for riders who are eager to explore the rugged terrain and natural beauty of the area. We’re talking about 23.5 kilometres of pure biking bliss, specially designed for mountain bikers out there!

These rugged trails take you on a journey through the native forests of the district, where you’ll climb over streams, tackle rocks, and soak in the natural beauty all around.

The best part? These trails cater to riders of all skill levels, from beginners looking for a thrill to seasoned pros seeking a challenge.

Compared to the Mount Coot-tha Circuit, which requires a higher level of skill, these trails offer a more accessible and diverse biking experience.

Ready to hit the trails? Before you go, make sure to plan your journey by downloading the MTB Guide and Trail Map. It’s your ultimate resource for navigating the trails, discovering new routes, and making the most of your biking adventure.

Where to Eat Near Mount Coot-tha


Address: 2/1012 Sir Samuel Griffith Dr, Mount Coot-Tha, QLD 4066, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 3333 5535

Operating Hours: Sunday – Friday: 6:30 AM – 9:00 PM; Saturday: 6:30 AM – 10:00 PM

The Summit Cafe, found amid the greenery with a dining terrace, offers panoramic views of the city skyline. It’s the perfect setting to relax after a day of adventure and it’s just a quick 5-minute drive away from Mount Coot-tha..

Now, let’s talk about the menu. Whether you’re craving a hearty breakfast pot to kickstart your day, a light meal to recharge your energy, or a sweet treat like ice cream to indulge your taste buds, The Summit Cafe has it all.

So, whether you’re fueling up before hitting the trails or unwinding after a day of exploring, The Summit Cafe is the perfect pitstop for delicious food and stunning views. 


Address: 14A Lambert Rd, Indooroopilly, QLD 4068, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 3108 7199

Operating Hours: Wednesday – Thursday: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM; Friday – Saturday: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM; Sunday: 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM

If you’re craving for some Lebanese cuisine, Little Beirut is just a 10-minute drive away from Mount Coot-tha. This relaxed restaurant is your go-to spot for authentic Lebanese flavours and a cosy dining atmosphere.

Be prepared to indulge in a mouthwatering array of Lebanese share plates, succulent kebabs, and vibrant veggie platters. They’ve got something for everyone, whether you’re a meat lover or a dedicated vegan.

And here’s the best part – they also serve up delicious cocktails to complement your meal. It’s the perfect way to unwind and savour the flavours of Lebanon.

Just a heads up – reservations are required, especially during peak hours when this place gets busy, but it’s totally worth it! Plus, they have happy hour food specials to make your dining experience even sweeter.


Address: 85 Miskin St, Toowong, QLD 4066, Australia

Operating Hours: Thursday – Sunday: 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Conveniently located just a 6-minute drive away from Mount Coot-tha, Riser is a hidden bakery you won’t want to miss. Their gourmet sandwiches are crafted with care, featuring premium ingredients that’ll satisfy even the most discerning palates.

But sandwiches aren’t the only thing on the menu at Riser. They also offer a delectable selection of pastries, cakes, and other baked treats that are sure to tempt your sweet tooth.

And here’s the best part – everything at Riser is made with love and attention to detail. From the flaky croissants to the hearty sourdough loaves, you can taste the craftsmanship in every bite!


Address: 3/530 Milton Rd, Toowong, QLD 4066, Australia

Operating Hours: Monday – Friday: 4:30 PM – 10:00 PM; Saturday – Sunday: 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM; 4:30 PM – 10:00 PM

At Bangkok Milton, prepare to be transported to the vibrant streets of Thailand. This spacious and modern venue brings colourful walls and a casual vibe, making it the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy some delicious Thai cuisine.

This restaurant serves up a mouthwatering range of traditional Thai dishes that are sure to tantalise your taste buds. From fragrant curries to flavourful stir-fries, each dish is bursting with authentic flavours and fresh ingredients.

And here’s the best part – Bangkok Milton is also a vegan restaurant!  Whether you’re a dedicated vegan or simply looking to try something new, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from.

Just don’t forget to place in your reservations to enjoy an incredible dining experience at Bangkok Milton.

Where to Stay Near Mount Coot-tha

Address: 63 Jephson St, Toowong, QLD 4066, Australia

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Located just a 5-minute drive from one of the best lookouts in the city, Jephson Hotel is the perfect base for your Brisbane adventure. Here, you’ll find cosy and well-appointed guest rooms designed to provide a relaxing retreat after a day of exploration.

But that’s not all – the hotel offers a range of amenities to enhance your stay. From a sparkling outdoor pool to a fitness centre, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

And if you ever feel hungry, The Jephson Hotel features an on-site restaurant that uses only locally sourced ingredients. And if you’re in the mood for a drink or two, you can head to the hotel bar for a refreshing cocktail or a glass of wine.

Address: 18 Tank St, Brisbane City, QLD 4000, Australia

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If you’re planning a trip to Mount Coot-tha and seeking comfortable accommodations nearby, look no further than Evolution Apartments.

First and foremost, you’ll find spacious and modern apartments designed to cater to your every need. Whether you’re traveling solo, with family, or in a group, there’s ample space to relax and unwind after a day of adventure.

Here, you can take a dip in the sparkling outdoor pool or soak up the sun on the sundeck while enjoying panoramic views of the city skyline.

And if you feel like you need something to eat, fire up the barbecue facilities for an outdoor dining experience or take advantage of the fully equipped kitchen in your apartment to cook your favourite meals.

Address: Cnr Dandenong Rd and, Centenary Hwy, Mount Ommaney, QLD 4074, Australia

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Mt. Ommaney Hotel Apartments offers great rates, making it affordable for both business travelers and families alike. Plus, with their convenient location just a 10 minute drive away, you can easily access Mount Coot-tha and other nearby attractions.

This hotel is also a fantastic venue for conferences and events. Whether you’re hosting a business meeting, seminar, or special celebration, they have the facilities and expertise to make your event a success.

And if you’re planning an extended stay, Mt. Ommaney Hotel Apartments has you covered. With their comfortable and spacious accommodations, you’ll feel right at home, whether you’re here for work or play.

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