Walk the Botanic Gardens up to the Mt Coot-tha summit
The Brisbane City Council has been busy opening a number of new trails on Mt Coot-tha. One that is sure to attract attention is the new Citriodora Trail that goes from the Brisbane Botanic Gardens up to the Mt Coot-Tha Summit.
The start of the Citriodora Trail behind the Botanic Gardens
For those who don't know, Citriodora is the fancy name for Lemon Scented Gum Trees. When they flower they have a strong smell of lemons.
Photo of Lemon Scented Gum Trees courtesy of Bidgee at Wikimedia
The path is a wide fire trail and, if you take the shortest path, it is not too rough or steep. It is also a multi-use trail which means that mountain bikers can also use it as an alternative way up or down Mt Coot-tha. The walk is a distance of about 2-3 kms one way, depending on the route you take.
The place to start this walk is at the Botanic Gardens. You can drive, take the 471 from the city, the 598/599 loop from further afield or jump on the tourist bus. There are also several buses that stop near to the gardens as well.
You can grab a Botanic Gardens map at the entrance to the gardens, but you won't need it as the walk to the start of the Citriodora Trail is well marked. Walk through the main entrance and turn left on the main path. There are plenty of signs along this road marked Mt Coot-tha. This road loops around the park. It is actually shorter to turn right at the main entrance instead, but they have chosen not to mark that route. But if you have a map, you can wander through any of the many beautiful paths at the gardens to the back of the park.
Follow the Mt Coot-tha signs through the Brisbane Botanic Gardens to the start of the Citriodora Trail
There are a few highlights to check out walking through the park to the Citriodora Trail. These include the Australian Flower Garden, the Botanic Gardens Lookout and the lagoon in the back section of the park.
The Lagoon at the back of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens
The start of the Citriodora Trail starts at the very back of the park. You will spot it easily from a distance as there is a little shelter by the gate and when you walk closer, you will see a Mt Coot-tha track map.
The shelter in front of the gate that leads to Citriodora Trail
When you walk through the gate, you can either turn left or right. If you go left it is the longer, more difficult and maybe more interesting route. If you go right, it is the shorter and much easier route to the summit.
So if you go left, the path goes up and down a few ridges, some of which are fairly steep and a little challenging. Going down into the dips can be a little slippery on the gravelly surface, but on top of one of the ridges, you get a great westerly view.
The Citriodora path continues until it links up to the Lookout Trail. There are several side paths, but keep down the main path until you see a signpost with a track map on it. Then turn right and it is pretty much a straight path up to the summit. Be aware, this path is fairly steep so you want a reasonable level of fitness before tackling this route.
The signpost where the Citriodora Trail joins the Lookout Trail
At the very top, you arrive at a narrow flat path. Follow this to the left and you will arrive at the lookout car park. Then of course, head to the lookout for great views of Brisbane, or coffee, cake and ice cream at the Kuta Cafe.
Of course, if you don't want so much of a challenge, you can turn right leaving the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. This path is much less challenging and goes up to the Samuel Griffith Drive.
Crossing the road takes you to the Mahogany Trail, where you turn left and this heads to towards the Lookout. The Mahogany Trail ends at the road near the Lookout and you turn left and walk up the footpath to the Lookout.
The top of the Citriodora Trail beside the Samuel Griffith Drive
If you are looking for the shortest path to walk to the summit, then going from Brisbane Botanic Gardens and following the Citriodora Trail to the right is the way to go.
If you want a new exercise trail, then follow the Citriodora Trail to the left, go up the Lookout Trail, then circle back down via the Mahogany Trail and the Citriodora Trail to form a nice loop.
Cyclists will probably want to do the loop in the opposite direction of walkers to avoid cycling up the Lookout Trail (it depends on your level of fitness.) Coming down the Lookout Trail looks like a lot of fun though.
For most other people, I think the way to do this is to walk up to the Lookout by following Mt Coot-tha Road and then walking along the summit track. Don't forget that the 471 runs between the summit and the botanic gardens if you just want to do a one-way walk.