Brisbane city and surrounding areas can be a fascinating and lovely place to visit on foot, whether you are into natural landscapes, art, history or even enjoy a park. Here are 5 interesting places to stroll in Brisbane and surrounds.
These are all walks, not hikes. They are all on walking tracks where the worst hassle is sharing the space with cyclists. Some follow the river, others are beside the sea or lakes. There often include patches of bushland, views, history, markets and even art. The best ones take you to cafes and restaurants.
This is also not a complete list of walks around Brisbane, and the list is compiled with the idea that here are some places you should try. Don't be shy about listing some additional walks in the comments.
South Bank and beyond
Okay so I am being captain obvious here listing South Bank as a place to walk, yet I know many people who have visited South Bank but never gone beyond. South Bank though is a great starting or ending point for walks along the river.
My favourite is to walk along Kangaroo Point. From the cliff tops you get great views of the city and along the lower path there are numerous art works worth viewing. So the ideal walk goes from South Bank along the top of the cliffs, then down the stairs by the cliff top Cafe and then walk at least as far at the Ferry Terminal before walking back to South Bank following the river side path.
In the opposite direction you pass the Queensland Art Gallery, GoMA and numerous art works outside these buildings. You can continue the walk along the river all the way to back of West End. I quite like walking back along Boundary St through the heart of West End, but you can also jump on the ferry and return.
The river walk as it passes GoMA and the Kurilpa Bridge
On the opposite of the river walking is one of the oddest and most eclectic walking experiences of any city I have visited. The best place to start this walk is around Eagle Street Pier. This district of top end offices and fine eateries housed on modern architecture is surrounded by lovely heritage buildings and on weekends there is the Eagle Street Market.
Walking in the direction of city means that you pass a number of great heritage buildings until you arrive at the ever popular City Botanic Gardens. I normally take the route through QUT to stick to the river and then you have a surreal experience as you walk under the traffic over passes.
For a casual stroll we normally start at Sandgate and walk along the beach front and maybe around the headland via Moora Park. Anyone looking for a longer walk can head in the opposite direction towards Brighton, even crossing over the bridge to Woody Point and if you are really keen ending in in Redcliffe.
Arthur Davis Park on the Foreshore at Sandgate (Attribution: Sandgate.com.au)
As beaches go, Sandgate is a not exactly a great place for swimming because the water is very shallow for a long out from the beach. This actually provides an interesting option of wading out along the sand bars. A great experience for kids.
There are numerous lovely walks throughout Brisbane's suburbs, usually following creeks and often passing through patches of bushland. However I had to pick one as an interesting place to visit for a walk and Shaw Park in Wooloowin stands out.
Shaw Park features a walking and cycling circuit that goes past the duck pond in Murray Duus Park, along the creek, back along the Kedron Brook Bikeway and even gives you an option of taking a short detour through a patch of bushland.
For a longer walk you can join the Kedron Brook Bikeway and your best bet is to head east in the direction of Toombul. Once over Shaw Road the path will split in two, one being the bikeway, which is a pleasant place to walk along in itself, and a pedestrian only path that is on the other rise of Kedron Brook.
When I think of Brisbane's park, most of them are lucky if they feature a pond, let alone a lake. You either have to do proper bushwalking in places like Enoggera and Gold Creek Reservoirs if you want to enjoy a lake your have to head further afield to Springfield Lakes in Ipwish or to my favourite lake in Brisbane, Forest Lake.
Forest Lake is located in the suburb of Forest Lake. This lovely 10.9 hectare man-made lake is circled by a 3.5 km walking and cycling track. The lake's surrounding landscape is beautifully sculptured and includes a number of artworks, though most iconic is the dragon sculptor.