A hilly river walk near UQ, surrounded by bushland and prime real estate, is the St Lucia Esplanade. This review shows how to walk from UQ to St Lucia Golf Club (called St Lucia Golf Links) entrance, via mainly the Esplanade.
The Esplanade is a proper street name, it starts at Upland Road, near the St Lucia shops just off Hawken Drive, and leads to Hillside Terrace, and onward past some high fences to Indooroopilly Road, St Lucia Golf Links and Lex Ord Park.
There are numerous ways to exit the walk such as Carrawa Street, Tarcoola Street and Upland Road, although it is only two kilometres long if that. Although two kilometres is quite hilly, which is slightly surprising given it looks riverfront on the map, which it is. However, there is much bush in front of The Esplanade, with no riverbank homes, which I think is amazing, I think though, it's due to the steepness, which in fact means the developments are not really as flood prone as some riverside properties - you can see the logic to developing St Lucia with more percentage of high rises near the river banks, and more spacious houses perched up high on the rocks.
Parking wise - it's possible, hence choose times well, obviously, Sir William MacGregor Drive is ideal for weekends, but on weekdays during university that is not so good. I walked it during university holidays, but it's best to recommend I think it's impossible to get a space there during the semesters proper - with weekends much different, there's parking for customers of the sports clubs, general public and swim pool. It's a great side excursion if waiting on a sports match, of which many are played at nearby ovals mainly on weeknights and on weekends.
Officially the walk is from the Corner of Sir William MacGregor Drive and Upland Roads to St Lucia Golf club entrance on Carawa Street near Indooroopilly Road. It encompasses the entire Esplanade, although based on the commonsensical idea of not hiking alone, I left the Esplanade Park, alone, as it was under a canopy, but, it starts on Tarcoola Street, and based on what I saw at other St Lucia parks, it looks like a fun hike for a group of people to try, as an extra activity to the walk. Fortuitously, WeekendNotes writer Myrtle Pasquali has written about the bushland only, (called the Esplanade Park but the path is called Tarcoola Track) in another article linked here from 2015.
I've left a kind of commented and progressing from start to finish gallery of the walk and hopefully, that shows and explains the main ideas of the walk. I've also left the plush homes mainly out of the article to respect the residents there.
The path is hilly with super views although sometimes interrupted by tree life, which I think is the best interruption possible, overall, tremendous, and well worth putting the shoes (and masks) on for a super walk.