Mt Gravatt Circuit

Mt Gravatt Circuit


Posted 2024-05-02 by Roy Chambersfollow

3 kms around Brisbane's Southern Peak

In the suburb of Mt Gravatt is a hill called Mt Gravatt which has a popular 3 km hiking circuit that both goes around the mountain and heads up to the peak for the best westerly views in Brisbane. Here is how to hike the circuit, where to start, where to park and some of the highlights of the circuit.

Hiking up Mt Gravatt is good exercise and you get a great view from the top

About Mt Gravatt

The local Aboriginal name is kagarr-mabul, which means place of echidnas, and if you are lucky you will see a few echidnas there still. It was renamed after Lieutenant George Gravatt who was the commander of the Moreton Bay penal colony. It was a popular spot for people to walk before it became set aside as a purely recreational reserve, which was later expanded to be a total of 292 hectares. This reserve is officially known as Mount Gravatt Outlook Reserve, though no one calls it that.

Where to start a walk in Mt Gravatt

There is no one place where you can start walking the circuit. The most popular place to start is Gertrude Petty Place just off Logan Road. There is a small parking spot there and parking along the road further up. While it fills up pretty quickly, people are always coming and going, so it is easy enough to find a place to park.

But there are several alternative places to start walking. You can park at Griffith University and walk from there. There are plenty of buses to the university plus 2 hour casual paid parking. But there are also several side tracks coming into the circuit. The main ones are marked on the official map and you can find them on Google Maps as well, and if you start at one of these, you can park in the side streets to start your walk.

Another option is to start at the summit. There is parking there and it is good to start there, walk the circuit and then have a picnic, go to the cafe or in the late afternoon, watch the sunset.

Watching the sunset from Mt Gravatt Summit

Walking the circuit

If you are starting from Gertrude Petty Place, just head up along the Federation Track and you will quickly encounter a signed fork in the path. Just a quick note, there are several unmarked side tracks in the reserve, and the smart money is always on following the path in front of you. Often the best way to walk the circuit is anti-clockwise, as it starts with the steepest section first and then comes down the more gently sloping path - though it really doesn't matter.

Federation Track Mt Gravatt

So if you take the right fork at the sign you get onto the Summit Track. This path makes up way up slopes and steps to the lookout. How challenging it will be depends on how quickly you go, but it is a good way to really get your heart racing.

A steeper section of the Summit Track

The Summit Track goes up below the lookout and around to the back where you will see a sign directing you up to the summit. If you came the other way, this is where the 2 paths join, so it is essentially the same. The Summit has toilets, drink fountains, seating, and of course great views of Brisbane. You can also see the sunset through a gap in the trees. It is a popular place to go for sunset or nighttime views.

On the Mt Gravatt Summit

There is also the Lovewell Cafe on the summit. It opens at either 7 or 8 am, depending on the day, and closes at 3 pm. This cafe has mostly good reviews, though some people have had bad service experiences there.

Lovewell Cafe on the Mt Gravatt Summit

You head back down the hill by leaving the summit via the track you come up. But when you to the fork turn left (or the opposite way you came up via the circuit). This takes you onto the Federation Track which is mostly downhill. The track does go back up the hill to get to the Federation Lookout which has mediocre views, Though it might be worth checking it out at sunrise.

Federation Lookout on the Mt Gravatt Federation Track

From Federation Lookout, it is downhill. You do cross one creek by the bridge where you get a small change from the eucalypts of the rest of the reserve.

Bridge on the Federation Track on Mt Gravatt

Other tracks

There are lots of side tracks, unmarked tracks and so o on to explore, though I am not sure if more are worth going down. There is an unmarked track from the Federation Track to the Summit and I did do a little exploring last time down another unmarked track to find the Mt Gravatt Caves.

With a bit of exploring down unmarked tracks you can find the Mt Gravatt Caves

If you want to walk more, then go through Griffith University, through the tunnel under the highway, and into Toohey Forest. Or do what a lot of people do, and start in Toohey Forest and walk up to Mt Gravatt.

There are many more trails to explore in Toohey Forest just a short walk through Griffith University from Mt Gravatt Reserve


Yes, there are koalas in the trees. We couldn't find any, though we talked with locals who spotted some the previous week but couldn't find any on the day we were there. But keep looking up in the trees though, especially around Gertrude Petty Place.

There are koalas in the trees of the Mt Gravatt Outlook Reserve. Not in this tree but keep looking up and you might find one.

The only wildlife I spotted last time I was there was a golden silk orb-weaving spider. One of my favourite spiders, as they are known for their very strong golden-coloured silk which has actually been made into clothes. But if you are not into spiders, don't worry as you are unlikely to see any on the main tracks.

Golden Silk Orb Weaving Spider at Mt Gravatt


The Mt Gravatt Circuit is a popular hiking circuit. Many locals are there every weekend and some are there pretty much every day. Tourists tend to drive to the top to enjoy the view, especially sunset, but a hike up and down or down and up the hill is worth it as well.

284839 - 2024-04-30 04:57:38


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