If you're looking for a pretty walk that's active but not too hard, permits four-legged friends, and ends in a great view -- then the Summit Walk up Mt Coot-tha could be one for you.
My family has done the walk twice in recent weeks at the invitation of friends.
Anzac Day saw us meeting another family at JC Slaughter Falls, which is where the Summit Walk begins. Enjoying a glorious Brisbane day, we popped on our backpacks, grabbed our water bottles, and followed the road from the car park to the start of the roughly 2km walk.
The paved walk takes you past some little creeks and lots of bush, starting as a gentle incline and getting gradually steeper. While we all puffed a bit in parts, there were drinking fountains along the way and plenty of places for breaks. The girls and boys in our group (aged 7-10) had no trouble, and we also saw far younger kids toddling up with parents.
Sadly, much of the bush alongside the path has been infiltrated by exotics and weeds. However, it's still scenic and relaxing, and a nice break from the urban grind. We reached the top of the mounain in about 45 minutes, and then walked another 5 minutes along the road to the Mt Coot-tha lookout.
The lookout features the Kuta Cafe, heritage-listed Summit Restaurant, and spectacular panoramas of Brisbane.
After admiring the great views, we ate our picnic morning tea on a patch of grass, and watched as the ice-cream vendor did a very brisk business.
Around us were plenty of other tourists and residents enjoying the view, eating brunch at the cafe, and generally having a lovely time. So too were the numerous (well-behaved) dogs that had been brought along for an outing. Not only did we spot lots of leashed dogs on the walk itself, but the top of the mountain was a regular poodle party.
So, last weekend when another lot of friends called to suggest the walk, we were ready.
Both families brought our dogs, and we also had funds available for an ice-cream, and for a look through the coin-operated telescopes at the lookout ($2 coins required).
The dogs had a great time going up and down the mountain, and so did we. This time we ate a picnic lunch at the bottom of the mountain, back at JC Slaugther Falls, where there are barbecues, a lovely old-fashioned shelter shed, and plenty of grassy lawns.
We put our blanket alongside one of the little creeks.
While there wasn't much water, the four boys in our party had lots of fun rock-hopping, skipping stones, and the like. The dogs lolled about and we all enjoyed another lovely autumn day -- the kind that makes you glad that you live in Brisbane.
The Summit Walk won't take you into the wilderness, but it's a really lovely thing to do if you want to be reminded of what a special city Brisbane is.