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Best Little Parks in Brisbane

Home > Brisbane > Free | Lists | Outdoor | Parks | Picnic Spots
by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published October 14th 2015
These amazing little parks are local secrets
Best little parks in Brisbane

Brisbane has a number of great and beautiful parks that you can wander around for hours and engage in all sorts of activities. But some of my favourite parks are tiny little places which you wouldn't even think of visiting.

Parks, parks everywhere, but where are Brisbane's secret gardens
Parks, parks everywhere, but where are Brisbane's secret gardens


Here are six lovely little parks that I have discovered. Of course there are going to be many other little treasures hidden around Brisbane. Please let me know of your own secret discoveries in the comments.

Highgate Hill Park

Highgate Hill Park is at the top of the hill that is Highgate Hill. This tiny little park is not particularly remarkable, except for the fact that it has one of the best views in town.

Highgate Hill Park has a great view
Highgate Hill Park has a great view


Looking out down over South Brisbane and Southbank to the city, it is worth coming here, maybe bring a picnic blanket and a spread of food, to enjoy the view.

Looking north west from Highgate Hill
Looking north west from Highgate Hill


Being on top of the hill, walking up Hamsptead Road from Southbank to the park is actually a great way to exercise. Though of course there are some ultra fit people who choose to run up as well.

Highgate Hill even provides an okay view of the sunset
Highgate Hill even provides an okay view of the sunset


Unfortunately the park faces the wrong way to have much of a sunset view, but you can still see the sunset out over houses and Dornoch Terrace from the park.

This is a great park to visit if you have friends visiting the city, want to photograph the city, or you are just in the Southbank or West End area and feel like a nice view.

Cathedral of St Stephen

People often complain about the Brisbane CBDs lack of good green space (the City Botanic Gardens excluded), however the best little green space in the city is on private, not public, land.

The grounds of St Stephen's Cathedral is a popular park for workers in the city
The grounds of St Stephen's Cathedral is a popular park for workers in the city


St Stephen's Cathedral is a lovely Catholic church and chapel set on grounds between Elizabeth and Charlotte Streets. This little quiet haven attracts a crowd during the workweek's lunch break.

The grounds of St Stephen's Cathedral is a popular park for workers in the city
The grounds of St Stephen's Cathedral is a popular park for workers in the city


Rather than take exception to this influx of people, the clergy here are actively encouraging this. Last time I was there I talked to a priest who told me their plans to add more and better seating. This is just to perfect CBD location to sit and relax.

Frew Park: Milton

You can't miss Frew Park as your drive along Milton Road in Milton. The giant tennis racquet in front of the tennis court makes it easy to spot. This small park built on the location of the old Queensland Tennis Centre is packed with a lot.

Frew Park Tennis Centre
Frew Park Tennis Centre


The park has a fair amount of green space as well as facilities for picnicking and barbecuing.

Frew Park in Milton
Frew Park in Milton


It also has a nice new set of tennis courts that are generally busy on the weekend and also attracts people at night: especially over summer.

Roy Emerson Tennis Centre
Roy Emerson Tennis Centre


The tennis centre includes includes a building that houses a cafe. While there is nothing special about this cafe or its offerings, it is still a nice place to relax with a cup of coffee. Being on the upper floor you have a nice view of the park.

The Frew Park Tennis Centre also has a nice cafe
The Frew Park Tennis Centre also has a nice cafe


The Arena Playground is designed with kids aged 10-15 in mind. It has climbing wall, slides and other places for kids to have some adventure. There are also areas for younger kids to play so no one will feel left out.

'The Arena' playground
'The Arena' playground


What I like is the permanent table tennis table in the park. Though I have never seen anyone play on it, one of these days I am determined to head down there with ping pong paddles in hand to use it.

Free permanent table tennis table in Frew Park
Free permanent table tennis table in Frew Park


Overall an interesting mix of commercial use, free facilities for activities and green space. Simply judging by the number of people who visit on weekends, it has been a successful experiment.

Wilson Outlook Reserve

This is quite simply the worst park in Brisbane. It is small and slopes down to a fence. Oh, it also has the best view in Brisbane.

The worst park in Brisbane has the best views
The worst park in Brisbane has the best views


Whenever you see those iconic photos of Brisbane, they were taken from Wilson Outlook Reserve. On any day or early evening you will find a bunch of people with cameras on tripods getting that perfect Brisbane photo.

Bowen Bridge Heritage Park

While I wanted to focus on little isolated parks rather than special spots in parks, Bowen Bridge Heritage Trail is the exception. Basically a small section of the Enoggera Creek Bikeway between Downey and Edmund Streets, entering this part of the trail is like entering a special little world.

Bowen Bridge Heritage Park
Bowen Bridge Heritage Park


First of all, you enter the park through a wooden arch gate. This part of the trail is covered over by hanging tree branches and has several little art and design works. There is also some historical information about the Bowen Bridge which this park commemorates.

Bowen Bridge Heritage Park
Bowen Bridge Heritage Park


You probably want to visit this park as a trip to the Northey Street Organic Markets on a Sunday morning (early till 10:30 am) or a walk or ride along the Enoggera Creek Bikeway.

Bowen Bridge Heritage Park
Bowen Bridge Heritage Park


Bonus: Burnie Brae Park: Chermside

I am going to add this park because it is to me one of the best examples of a community park in Brisbane. This park manages to bring together several of the best aspects of local green spaces.

The central area of the park is an open green space. At one end, up a gentle slope, is a rotunda. I'm not sure if it ever gets used for anything, but I like the idea of Australian parks having rotundas.

Every great park needs a rotunda
Every great park needs a rotunda


Around the park is a walking and cycling track. Most mornings you will find joggers and walkers doing circuits of the park. There are also very good exercise equipment around the park. Some of it has instructions but some of it doesn't.

Bernie Brae Park
Bernie Brae Park


While some of the more sophisticated the machines are interesting, simple things like bars, steps and angled planks of wood are also useful. Because of the lack of instructions I am not sure how to best to use some of it though.

Can someone tell me how to use this without injuring myself
Can someone tell me how to use this without injuring myself


There are also two small kids play areas. There are some better playgournds around Chermside, but still kids will have fun with these.

There are a couple of kids playgrounds in the park
There are a couple of kids playgrounds in the park


Dog lovers will find a small but well designed dog park to let their best friend off the leash for a bit while they rest and talk to other dog owners.

The small but well designed dog park at Bernie Brae
The small but well designed dog park at Bernie Brae


Overall a great example of what a local community park can and should look like.
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