Mount Coot-tha lookout is a popular tourist attraction located in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Situated approximately 7 kilometres (4.3 miles) west of the city centre, Mount Coot-tha offers stunning panoramic views of Brisbane and its surrounding areas. The name “Coot-tha” comes from the Aboriginal word for honey.
The lookout is positioned atop Mount Coot-tha, which is part of the Brisbane Forest Park. It stands at an elevation of 287 meters (941 feet) above sea level, making it the highest peak in Brisbane. The area is known for its natural beauty, with lush forests, walking trails, and diverse flora and fauna.
At the lookout, visitors can enjoy breathtaking vistas that extend across Brisbane’s skyline, the winding Brisbane River, and the distant mountains. The viewing platform provides an ideal vantage point for photography, capturing the city’s landmarks, including the Story Bridge and the iconic skyscrapers. The lookout is particularly popular at sunset and sunrise, as the changing colours of the sky add to the scenic beauty.
The Mount Coot-tha precinct also offers other attractions and amenities. The award-winning Brisbane Botanic Gardens, spread across 56 hectares (138 acres) at the base of the mountain, are a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. The gardens feature a diverse range of plant species, themed sections, and walking paths, providing a serene and educational experience.
For those seeking adventure and exercise, Mount Coot-tha has numerous walking and cycling trails that wind through the surrounding forest. These trails cater to different fitness levels and offer opportunities to explore the area’s natural wonders.
Additionally, visitors to Mount Coot-tha can dine at the Summit Restaurant and Bar, which is situated near the lookout. This renowned dining establishment provides stunning views while offering a range of culinary delights, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
Access to Mount Coot-tha is relatively easy, with both private vehicles and public transport options available. Visitors can drive up to the lookout area, where ample parking is provided. Buses also operate regular services to the site from the city centre.
Overall, Mount Coot-tha lookout is a cherished destination in Brisbane, offering visitors a chance to appreciate the city’s beauty from a unique vantage point while enjoying the surrounding natural environment.
How do you get there from the city?
To get to Mount Coot-tha lookout from the city centre of Brisbane, you have a few transportation options available:
The most convenient way to reach Mount Coot-tha is by car. From the city, you can head west along Milton Road, which turns into Sir Samuel Griffith Drive. Follow this road until you reach the Mount Coot-tha lookout. There is ample parking available at the lookout area. It can get busy so if the carparks leading up to the lookout are busy there is a second larger one, so keep going.
Brisbane City Council operates regular bus services that go to Mount Coot-tha. From the city, you can catch the bus number 471 (timetable) from various stops, including ANZAC Square and City Hall. The bus will take you directly to the Mount Coot-tha lookout. Make sure to check the bus schedules and routes in advance.
If you enjoy cycling, you can ride a bicycle to Mount Coot-tha. There are dedicated bike paths that connect the city to the lookout. The most common route is via the Bicentennial Bikeway, which runs along the Brisbane River. From the bikeway, you can connect to Sir Samuel Griffith Drive and continue uphill to the lookout. Keep in mind that the route includes some steep sections.
It is worth noting that traffic conditions and travel times may vary depending on the time of day and any ongoing roadworks or events. It is always a good idea to check for any updates or plan your trip in advance to ensure a smooth journey to Mount Coot-tha lookout.
Can you get a meal there?
Yes, there is a café restaurant at the Mount Coot-tha lookout called the Summit Restaurant and Bar. It is located at the lookout area and offers visitors a dining experience with stunning views.
The Summit Restaurant and Bar is open from 6:30am for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu features a mix of modern Australian and international dishes, and there are also vegetarian and gluten-free options available. The café is known for its quality food and service, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
The café at Mount Coot-tha lookout provides a relaxing atmosphere where you can enjoy your food while taking in the panoramic views of Brisbane and its surroundings.
It is worth noting that the café’s opening hours may vary, so it is a good idea to check their website or contact them directly to confirm their operating hours before your visit.
What are things to do at or nearby the Mt Coot-tha lookout?
The primary attraction of the Mount Coot-tha lookout is, of course, the stunning panoramic view it offers. Spend time taking in the breathtaking vistas of Brisbane, the Brisbane River, and the surrounding areas. Capture photos, relax, and appreciate the natural beauty.
There are several things to do at or near the Mount Coot-tha lookout. Here are some popular activities:
Visit the Brisbane Botanic Gardens
Located at the base of Mount Coot-tha, the Brisbane Botanic Gardens offer a peaceful and scenic environment. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, explore the themed sections, discover a diverse range of plants, and enjoy the serenity of nature.
Mount Coot-tha has a network of walking trails that meander through the surrounding forest and bushland. These trails cater to different fitness levels and provide opportunities to immerse yourself in nature. You can choose a trail that suits your preferences, whether it is a short and easy walk or a more challenging hike.
Have a Picnic
Mount Coot-tha provides picnic areas and shelters where you can relax and enjoy a picnic with family or friends. Pack a basket with delicious food and drinks, find a shaded spot, and soak in the tranquil surroundings while savouring your meal.
Visit the Planetarium
Adjacent to the Mount Coot-tha lookout is the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium. If you have an interest in astronomy, you can explore the interactive exhibits, attend planetarium shows, and learn about the wonders of the universe.
If you are an adventure enthusiast, consider exploring the mountain biking trails in the vicinity of Mount Coot-tha. The nearby Gap Creek Reserve offers a variety of trails suitable for different skill levels, providing an exhilarating biking experience.
Visit the Indigenous Art Trail
The Indigenous Art Trail is located within the Brisbane Botanic Gardens and showcases indigenous artwork and cultural displays. Take a self-guided walk along the trail to learn about the rich indigenous history and traditions of the area.
Walk up to the lookout from a lower carpark
You can walk up to the Mount Coot-tha lookout from a lower carpark. There are walking trails that lead from the base of the mountain to the lookout area, allowing you to enjoy a scenic hike as you make your way to the top.
Park at the JC Slaughter Falls Picnic Area: At the base of Mount Coot-tha, there is a carpark known as the JC Slaughter Falls Picnic Area. This carpark is a starting point for those who prefer to hike up to the lookout.
From the JC Slaughter Falls Picnic Area, you can follow the Summit Track, which is a well-marked walking trail that leads to the Mount Coot-tha lookout. The Summit Track is approximately 1.9 kilometres (1.2 miles) long and takes you through the natural beauty of the mountain.
As you hike along the Summit Track, you will pass through lush vegetation, enjoy glimpses of wildlife, and experience the serenity of the forest. There are some inclines along the way, so be prepared for a moderate level of fitness required for this walk.
After completing the Summit Track, you will arrive at the Mount Coot-tha lookout. From there, you can enjoy the panoramic views of Brisbane and the surrounding areas as a reward for your walk.
Walking up to the lookout from the lower carpark is a perfect way to get some exercise and reward yourself with the fantastic view at the top. Do not forget to bring suitable footwear, water and sunscreen, as well as to check weather conditions and any trail closures before embarking on the hike.