I am a freelance writer and diversional therapist, living in Brisbane's North West. I write for Weekend Notes, Must do Brisbane and Starts at Sixty. Visit my blogs at babybloomin.wordpress.com and brisbanetripster.wordpress.com.
Published April 5th 2014
Relax and enjoy the view whilst sitting on top of the world
When I mention the lookout at Mt Coot-tha most people naturally think of the lookout at the summit. This is a fantastic lookout, with knock-out views of the city but there is another lookout that I love to visit .......
A photographer's dream - the skyline framed by tall gum trees
Situated at the highest point of the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens at Toowong, this little spot gives you a really pretty view of the city skyline, framed by tall gums. This is a photographer's dream and in fact, when I was there yesterday with friends, a photographer was setting up - ready for the perfect afternoon snap. We had packed afternoon tea and a board game, ready for a pleasant afternoon tea and felt as if we were sitting on top of the world. If you're after a nice quiet place for a picnic or just to catch up with friends and/or family, do yourself a favour and head to the Gardens. A terrific and very strategically placed viewing platform allows you to make the most of the view and is a great place to take some special photos. If you have interstate or overseas guest staying, why not show off this great vantage point?
What a backdrop for those special photographs! - the viewing platform at the lookout
There are 3 individual picnic areas, each with a picnic table and seating. We also noticed power points so if a thermos isn't suitable for your needs, you could take an electric kettle. Toilet facilities are a short walk down the hill and parking is right next to the picnic area. A ramp leads down to the tables and seating so the area is perfect for the elderly or people with disabilities. The only drawback is the toilet facilities - you may need to pop people in the car if they are unable to walk the short distance. There always seems to be a lovely breeze and it is usually very quiet and peaceful. The only company you can count on having are the ever-present scrub turkeys and crows!
There's a good chance you'll be sharing the view with a local scrub turkey
Vehicle access to this lookout is available on week days, although I have found the access closed a couple of times due to special events or maintenance work so a quick phone call to check wouldn't hurt. On weekends, you could hike or cycle to the top - don't forget your water bottle, sunscreen and hat!
Picnic tables and seating are provided, but if there's a crowd of you, pack some extra chairs
Of course, if your time isn't limited, you should visit the actual gardens because they really are stunning! Did you know that you can do free guided tours on a mini bus? These tours are great - very informative and interesting but remember you must book as they are very popular. Both guided and self-guided walking tours are also available. If all of this activity means you've worked up a thirst or a bit of an appetite, call in to the Botanics Cafe where there are lots of refuelling options and a very pleasant atmosphere. Aren't we lucky to have all of this on our doorstep? Get out there and enjoy our beautiful city.
To book a guided tour, check on vehicle access or for any other information about the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, call 3403 2535. The gardens are open 7 days a week: 8 am - 5pm from April until August and from 8am - 5.30pm the rest of the year.