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The Honeyeater Track: Walking from Chapel Hill to Mt Coottha Lookout

Home > Brisbane > Walks | Views | Free | Family | Dog Friendly
by Sigrid Parker (subscribe)
Travel writer, with teenage kids, who treats Brisbane as a holiday destination...every weekend!
Published March 20th 2013
A 5km bushwalk rewarded with 270 degree views - plus a cafe
Shhh. This track to the top of Mt Coot-tha is such a closely guarded secret that the signposts are written in code. It could have a practical name like "Fleming Road to Mt Coot-tha Lookout" but no, it has been designated, enigmatically, the Honeyeater Track.

Walk up Mt Coottha
A pleasurable stroll up Mt Coot-tha with family, friends and the dog

Looking for a great circular walk in Brisbane's bush that will stretch adult legs and is suitable for kiddy ones?

Stick to the Honeyeater Track and the reward at the 2km mark is more than worth it. Not only is there the Kuta Café at the summit with coffees and cake but the scenes looking down over greater Brisbane are the best in town. As one of our higher peaks, Mt Coot-tha has a 270 degree bird's-eye view spanning the horizon from the Boonah hills, over the city, to the sand dunes of Moreton and Bribie Islands.

views from summit of Mt Coottha
Have you climbed up Mt Cootha recently?

Mysteries are great fun. But try deciphering how these cryptically-named tracks relate to the street map and you will start to feel a little overwhelmed... and a tad anxious about getting lost in the bush.

So to avoid the "it's just too hard" feeling, I have been prompted to write this story by a Brisbane born-and-bred friend who had never climbed to the top of Mt C - she is from the south side - until last week when I dragged her up my favourite track.

So here is this closely guarded secret decoded: with specific directions, street names and pictures so download this page for a stress-free walk.

Kuta Cafe at summit of Mt Coot-tha
It is hard to believe the Honeyeater Track, amidst the gum trees and red-backed fairy wrens, is only 7km west of the hubbub of the city.

Serious hike or casual stroll? At just under 5km, cardio pumping and thigh burning is one way to attack this track. Plenty do it but for the rest of us a leisurely stroll with granny, good mates and the dogs means there is time to observe the wildlife. At a reasonable "walk 'n' chat" pace, including time to admire the views but with no pit stop, allow 1 hour 15.

Kid friendly? You bet. The bribe, I mean, the incentive that gets my youngsters out of the house is the promise of an ice cream/milkshake at the top. Success rate 100%.

Honeyeater Track Mt Coottha
Starting point of Honeyeater Track on Fleming Road

Starting point: Fleming Road, off Chapel Hill Road, map ref 177 P2. The track is graded with a handful of signs at key intersections. The car park, and starting point, is on the right hand side just past the parade of shops.

Follow the signs for Summit Lookout which is on Sir Samuel Griffith Drive, map ref 158 D18. Distance is 4360m round trip from the car park.

Honeyeater Track Mt Coottha
A helpful second signpost keeps walkers on track

Directions: Follow the sign for Honeyeater Track heading to the Summit Lookout. Head north out of the car park. After 50m there is another signpost (Summit Lookout 2135m) keeping you on track.

The third signpost at a "crossroads" directs walkers straight ahead. At this point, with 1845m to go, the terrain starts to rise. There are two strategically placed benches between here and the next signpost.

caterpillars Mt Coottha
A convoy of caterpillars crossing the track

At the second bench, the track forks left (also signposted) and from here the path meanders along the side of the hill to the top of the ridge. The trail emerges next to the road. Follow the tarmac to the right to get to the Lookout and the Kuta café.

The return is all downhill. Retrace your steps following signs for Chapel Hill Environmental & Education Centre. This will take you back to the car park on Fleming Road.
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Why? Regular exercise improves your memory
When: Year round
Where: Chapel Hill to top of Mt Coottha
Cost: Free
Your Comment
You can download a map showing all the tracks on Mt Coot-tha. There are others for other areas too such as Toohey Forest.
by don.k (score: 0|6) 2695 days ago
Here is the brochure.
by don.k (score: 0|6) 2695 days ago
I agree with you. These maps are a great inspiration but I've always found them too large scale and too general to be useful on a walk. I had put the weblink you mentioned in the "useful website" section at the end of the article rather than in the body of the story. I do apologise if this has caused some confusion. Best wishes.
by Sigrid Parker (score: 0|4) 2693 days ago
Hi, just a note but Kuta cafe is NOT dog friendly. We took our small dog (a clean, quiet westie) there, sat on the very edge of the outside tables and within a couple of minutes had the staff approach us to advise us that dogs were not allowed. They have signs up claiming that it is because of the Food Act, which is nonsense. The Australian Food Safety Standards, which the Act calls up, do not prohibit dogs in outdoor areas.
by deann (score: 0|2) 1290 days ago
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