Let's face it, Brisbane City is beautiful at any time of the day. But there's something about viewing the city lights at night, a time when others are asleep and you finally feel like you have some breathing space. Brisbane's skyline includes 60 skyscrapers with a height greater than 100 metres; only falling behind Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane holds the third greatest number out of all the cities in Oceania. Here are my top 8 picks for stunning night views of Brisbane's skyline at no cost, listed in no particular order.
Note: It's notoriously hard to capture good photos of city lights, especially using a phone camera (which is what I used). The above photos do not do the lookouts and their accompanying view justice - you'll have to go and see for yourself firsthand to truly appreciate their beauty!
1. Mount Gravatt Outlook Location: 185 Mount Gravatt Outlook Dr, Mount Gravatt QLD 4122
Mount Gravatt, located just 10km south of Brisbane's CBD, was one of the largest suburbs in Brisbane until it was split into three separate suburbs. Mount Gravatt Outlook is situated on top of a prominent hill in this suburb, providing stunning panoramic views of Brisbane, from a height of 187m above sea level. On a clear day, The Moreton Bay islands, D'Aguilar Ranges and the Glasshouse Mountains can be seen! Visitors can either drive directly to the lookout via Mount Gravatt Outlook Drive, or start at the base (Gertrude Petty Place) and hike to the top - just in case you're wondering, yes, it's a dog friendly hike! There is plenty of parking available either directly at the lookout, with more spots towards the back near the water towers. However, unlike other lookouts, Mount Gravatt Outlook is not open 24 hours; the gates at the base close daily between 11 pm and 6 am.
2. Kangaroo Point Cliffs Location: Main St, Kangaroo Point QLD 4169
With a view like this, it's no wonder the Kangaroo Point Cliffs are consistently rated in the top 5 of attractions in Brisbane. Kangaroo Point Cliffs offers impressive views of Brisbane's skyline across the Brisbane River at any time of the day, from dawn to dusk, and even later in the day. Being less than 4km from Brisbane's CBD, from here you'll be able to the city skyline from up close and personal.
This lookout in Ascot is relatively unknown, compared to its other lookout counterparts. Located 7km from Brisbane's CBD, known best locally for its beautiful old homes and the Eagle Farm and Doomben racecourses. Bartley's Hill Lookout provides great views of the city and surrounds from the highest point in Ascot and Hamilton. There is a small parking area at the lookout; otherwise, there is street parking available nearby as the lookout is in a residential area.
Was especially hard taking a photo at this lookout!
4. Southbank Parklands Location: Clem Jones Prom, South Brisbane QLD 4101
Ah, good old South Bank. For those of you who are new to Brisbane, South Bank is one of the most popular (if not the most popular) dining hubs, with many choosing to walk off the calories they just consumed by the river promenade. Here, you will be able to walk alongside Brisbane's skyline, albeit with a river in between! There is ample street parking available at night; although it can be pretty busy during the day up until dinner time, you should have no issues finding a park after this.
5. New Farm Riverwalk Location: Riverview Ct, New Farm QLD 4005
Many of you may know that the original Riverwalk in New Farm was swept away in the 2011 floods - this original Riverwalk was Brisbane's first floating river walk, and was much loved by locals and visitors alike. Seeing as it was such a popular attraction, it's no wonder it was rebuilt; this time as a 870m long permanent fixture to protect against any unforeseen events in the future. There are designated paths for cyclists and pedestrians, so that neither is in the way of the other. There is plenty of free street parking in the surrounding streets near Riverview Court in New Farm, which is where the Riverwalk starts.
6. Wilson's Outlook Location: 231 Bowen Terrace, New Farm QLD 4005
This is no doubt one of my favourite spots in Brisbane - Wilson's Outlook grants visitors a perfect direct view of the Story Bridge, in addition to part of Brisbane's skyline and river. Wilson's Outlook is a very popular spot for events such as Riverfire and New Years Eve; people will literally get here in the morning to nab a good spot, and then wait it out till the fireworks display. There is free street parking in surrounding suburbs, although it can be limited depending on the day and time you visit.
This would be the perfect spot for a cheap, romantic dinner - table provided for free!
7. Mount Coot-tha Lookout Location: 1012 Sir Samuel Griffith Drive
If you thought you could get through a list of Brisbane's best lookouts without seeing Mount Coot-tha, sorry to disappoint! Despite being almost cliche and frustratingly overcrowded at times, the view at Mount Coot-tha is worth being mainstream for. There must be a reason why it's so popular, right? At 287m above sea level, this lookout is the highest peak in Brisbane - back in the day, Early Brisbane people named Mount Coot-tha 'One Tree Hill' because the bush at the top of the hill was cleared except for one large eucalypt tree. Mount Coot-tha, a derivative of the Indigenous term for 'Place of Honey', was renamed as such because the Tuurbal Aboriginal people of the area used to come to collect honey ('ku-ta'). There is plenty of free parking available on site.
8. Highgate Hill Park Lookout Location: 162 Dornoch Terrace, Highgate Hill, QLD 4101
This is another lookout that is relatively unknown to even the locals. Highgate Hill Park Lookout consists of a gazebo located 62m above sea level, overlooking Brisbane's impressive skyline. The gazebo itself is as amazing as the view - its simple design provides the perfect complement to the views of Brisbane CBD. There are plenty of free parks available on the streets surrounding Highgate Hill Park, with the closest streets being Dornoch Terrace and Hampstead Road. For those of you who don't drive or don't have access to a car, Highgate Hill Park has a bus stop literally 5 steps from the gazebo - how convenient!
Amazing to know Brisbane's night views are so beautiful and attractive. It will be more extraordinary if BNE has its worldwide signature building. Keep going BNE, I am sure you will have one some days.