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Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha picture in Brisbane
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  • Parks and Gardens Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.6
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For sweeping views of Queensland's capital, head up to the Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha. Located 5 miles southwest of Brisbane's city center, this free viewing platform offers more than just a spectacular vantage point: The lookout sits on a 544-acre bushland reserve with several attractions and scores of walking trails.

Start at the observation deck, which features coin-operated telescopes, a gift shop, a restaurant and a cafe. The Kuta Café offers small bites, while the Summit Restaurant & Bar features contemporary Australian fare, such as barramundi (a type of seabass). Past visitors say grabbing a drink at the bar while watching the sunset from the lookout is an amazing way to enjoy the vantage point. However, once you've seen the view, travelers admit there isn't much to do at the lookout. After you've taken advantage of the photo-op, move on to the area's other activities.

Several walking trails start at the lookout (where you'll also find a few nearby picnic areas) and lead to the reserve's other main attraction, the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha. The 138-acre gardens are located about 1.5 miles from the lookout on Mount Coot-tha Road at Toowong. Popular walking routes include the Summit Track, the Aboriginal Art Trail, the Simpson Falls Track, the Ghost Hole Track and the Honeyeater Track. Consult the Brisbane City Council's website for a complete trail description and map. Recent visitors warn that the forest terrain is best traversed in sturdy shoes, so leave your flip-flops at the hotel.

The Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha is open 24 hours a day and is free to visit; note that the restaurant, cafe and gift shop have set opening and closing hours. Charges apply for items purchased on-site and use of the observation deck's telescopes. If you choose to drive to the lookout, you'll find a parking lot steps from the viewing deck on Sir Samuel Griffith Drive. If you don't have your own set of wheels, hop on the No. 471 bus in downtown Brisbane; a bus stop for the route is located alongside the parking lot. To find out more about the Mount-Coot tha Lookout, and view cafe and restaurant menus, check out the website.

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#1 Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha After you've admired the sweeping views at the Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha, walk (or drive) about 1.5 miles northeast to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha. At this ... Read more » brewbooks / Flickr

#2 City Botanic Gardens If you're searching for a quiet respite from the city bustle, you don't have to go far: The City Botanic Gardens are less than a mile southeast of ... Read more » Alan Simpson / EyeEm / Getty Images

#3 Story Bridge Story Bridge operates as more than just a link between Kangaroo Point, central Brisbane and Fortitude Valley: It's also a major attraction – and not just for photo-ops. With an ... Read more » John and Tina Reid / Getty Images

#4 Roma Street Parkland It's the largest urban subtropical garden in the world, but travelers just think of Roma Street Parkland as a slice of urban reprieve. Roma Street Parkland, which stretches across ... Read more » bertknot / Flickr

#5 Museum of Brisbane Housed on the fourth floor of Brisbane City Hall, the Museum of Brisbane aims to showcase Brisbane's residents and locals throughout the years. More than 120 exhibits are on display ... Read more » Quirex / Getty Images

#6 Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha For sweeping views of Queensland's capital, head up to the Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha. Located 5 miles southwest of Brisbane's city center, this free viewing platform offers more ... Read more » RobertDowner / Getty Images

#7 Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Travelers are consistently impressed with Brisbane's arts scene, and perhaps the best way to experience it is to pay a visit to this comprehensive institution. Made up of two ... Read more » Phillip Capper / Flickr

#8 CityHopper One of the best ways to take in Brisbane's sights is to travel along the Brisbane River on a CityHopper ferry. Part of the TransLink transportation network, CityHoppers offer ... Read more » Brisbane City Council / Flickr

#9 Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary For many, a trip Down Under wouldn't be complete without a koala bear sighting. Pay a visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and you won't just see ... Read more » Marco Simoni / Getty Images

#10 Suncorp Stadium Situated about 2 miles northwest of Brisbane's Milton neighborhood, Suncorp Stadium regularly hosts rugby matches for local and national teams like the Wallabies, the Queensland Reds and the Brisbane ... Read more » Jason O'Brien / Stringer / Getty Images

Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha picture in Brisbane
City Botanic Gardens picture in Brisbane
Story Bridge picture in Brisbane
Roma Street Parkland picture in Brisbane
Museum of Brisbane picture in Brisbane
Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha picture in Brisbane
Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art picture in Brisbane
CityHopper picture in Brisbane
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary picture in Brisbane
Suncorp Stadium picture in Brisbane
Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha picture in Brisbane
City Botanic Gardens picture in Brisbane
Story Bridge picture in Brisbane
Roma Street Parkland picture in Brisbane
Museum of Brisbane picture in Brisbane
Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha picture in Brisbane
Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art picture in Brisbane
CityHopper picture in Brisbane
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary picture in Brisbane
Suncorp Stadium picture in Brisbane

Flora and fauna, a planetarium and picturesque city views are just some of what you'll find at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha. brewbooks / Flickr

One of the standout spaces at the City Botanic Gardens is the Weeping Fig Avenue, where several fig trees planted in the 1870s tower over a walkway. Alan Simpson / EyeEm / Getty Images

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The world's largest urban subtropical garden can be found at Brisbane's Roma Street Parkland. bertknot / Flickr

More than 120 exhibits are housed in the Museum of Brisbane, making this a great option for travelers wanting to learn more about the city's people and places. Quirex / Getty Images

In addition to offering picturesque views of Brisbane's skyline, the Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha features top-notch walking trails, including several that end near the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha. RobertDowner / Getty Images

The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art are collectively known as QAGOMA. You'll find this artistic institution in the Parklands at South Bank. Phillip Capper / Flickr

Ditch the car and climb aboard a CityHopper ferry to get to top sights like Story Bridge and the City Botanic Gardens. Brisbane City Council / Flickr

You'll find about 130 of these cuddly creatures at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the world's oldest and largest koala reserve. Marco Simoni / Getty Images

Catch a rugby match or football game at Suncorp Stadium, one of two sports facilities found in Brisbane. Jason O'Brien / Stringer / Getty Images

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