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The Ten Best Walks In and Around Brisbane

Because that activewear was made for activities.

Putting one foot in front of the other and then seeing where they take you is one of life's simple pleasures. Whether you prefer to stroll along leisurely or charge forward at a brisk pace, there's always fun to be found in something as simple as a walk.

There's always fun to be found if you're sauntering in or marching around Brisbane, too — and given that the sun is often shining and the weather is frequently warm, that's not at all surprising. Want to wander along the river? Hike around the city's main mountain? Amble through bushland? Trek over a bridge? You can do all that and more if you head to one of these ten spots — our picks of the best walks in the area.

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Brisbane-South-Bank-River-walks

chas B via Flickr

KANGAROO POINT TO WEST END VIA SOUTH BANK

When it comes to the southern side of the Brisbane river in the heart of the city, finding somewhere to walk is easy. If you get a map of Kangaroo Point, South Brisbane and West End, all you need to do is close your eyes and point and you'll find a great place. For the more organised — and for those after a decent trek — kick off at Kangaroo Point, work your way through South Bank and the Cultural Precinct, then head down Montague Road in the direction of West End. On your way, you can see plenty of Brisbane's best sights, including the Kangaroo Point cliffs, the Gallery of Modern Art and Davies Park.

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Riverwalk - J Brew Flickr

brewbooks via Flickr

NEW FARM TO THE CBD VIA THE BRISBANE RIVERWALK

Yes, it's the walkway that stands over the New Farm stretch of the Brisbane river — and it's the structure that's been built not once, but twice. The 2011 floods washed away the original path, but you can't keep a good walking track down. Sure, the Brisbane Riverwalk itself is only 870 metres in length from the end of Merthyr Road to the beginning of the Howard Smith Wharves, however that's only part of our recommended trail. Why not start your stroll down at New Farm Park, then mosey along the riverwalk and the adjoining riverside boardwalk, before coming to a stop at the City Botanic Gardens?

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Sam via Flickr

MT COOT-THA FOREST TRACK

Walking around Mt Coot-tha? No, we're not kidding. You've probably driven to the lookout at the top, or picnicked at one of the spots along the bottom, but trekking around the area is the other big drawcard. The 1.9km jaunt from JC Slaughter Falls to the summit is a favourite, particularly for those after more of a hike than a stroll. Branch off halfway through to include the Aboriginal Art Trail in your travels too, and combine your stint in nature with a glimpse of tree carvings, rock paintings, etchings and rock arrangements.

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North Gorge - Redland City Council Flickr

Redland City Council via Flickr

NORTH GORGE WALK, STRADBROKE ISLAND

There's never a bad reason to visit Straddie. Some go for the beaches and some go for the pub, but taking a ferry ride across the bay to go for a walk is just as valid. Your trip doesn't just have to be about tramping through nature — you can combine it with the other two activities, of course. While you're winding your way along the 1.5km Point Lookout trail, keep an eye out for more than a breathtaking view of the ocean. The area is notorious for spotting marine, bird and wildlife, including whales, dolphins and giant sea turtles.

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Banks Street Reserve - BCC Flickr

Lyle Radford for Brisbane City Council via Flickr

BANKS STREET RESERVE, NEWMARKET

It's not hard to find a patch of nature to walk around in close proximity to the Brisbane CBD, however Banks Street Reserve rightfully stands out. Not only does this inner-north stretch of bushland span 30 hectares, but it includes remnants from the Three Mile Scrub rainforest, as well as part of the Enoggera Creek. Yep, if blissful wandering is your thing — and forgetting that you're a mere five kilometres away from tall buildings, too — then this is the spot for it. 

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Rocks Riverside Park - BCC Flickr

Brisbane City Council via Flickr

JINDALEE TO ROCKS RIVERSIDE PARK

Riverside trails aren't the inner city's exclusive domain. Venture a bit further west and you'll find a pleasant track at Jindalee, which takes you up to Rocks Riverside Park in Seventeen Mile Rocks. And we really do mean pleasant — the hills are few and far between, and there's plenty of places to have a picnic (or just a lie down) along the way. Plus, if you start out at Amazon Place, you'll be visiting a beloved local spot. No, we're not talking about the DFO shopping centre that currently sits on the site, but the former location of the Amazons Water Park that kids of the '80s and '90s used to flock to.

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Sir Leo Hielscher Bridges - Bert Knottenbeld Flickr

Bert Knottenbeld via Flickr

SIR LEO HIELSCHER BRIDGES

Everyone in Brisbane has driven over the Sir Leo Heilscher Bridges, even if they don't know it. They're the official name of the structures that guide the Gateway Motorway across the Brisbane River, and they have their own 2.5km-long walking path. If you're wondering why you should make the trip over one of the city's busiest highways sans car, we've got a clear answer: there's nothing quite like the view from the top, though you do have to walk up quite the steep incline to get there.

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Wynnum-Manly Esplanade - James Niland Flickr

James Niland via Flickr

WYNNUM TO MANLY ESPLANADE WALK

If an 8km stroll along the seaside sounds like your kind of thing — and, let's face it, it's most people's thing — then the Wynnum-Manly Esplanade is your go-to spot. The full expanse runs from Elanora Park to the Lota Creek Boardwalk, but you can join the track anywhere you'd like. Your relaxing trek comes with a view of Moreton Bay, as well as ample parks and pools to drop into along the way. Afterwards, we suggest treating yo'self to some post-walk fish and chips, because a bustling strip of greasy eateries could almost be the area's second main attraction.

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Shorncliffe-Sandgate - Bert Knottenbeld Flickr

Bert Knottenbeld via Flickr

SHORNCLIFFE TO SANDGATE FORESHORE WALK

Think Brisbane's eastside boasts the only beachside walking spot? Think again. Anything Wynnum and Manly can do, Shorncliffe and Sandgate can do too, including offering up a scenic saunter along the foreshore. Not only will you meander along an 8.5km return trip, but you'll immerse yourself in the area's history. Indeed, if you haven't strolled the 350 metres along the Shorncliffe Pier, then you haven't really been to the north side of the city.

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Paddington-Brisbane

Bert Knottenbeld via Flickr

PADDINGTON

Listing an entire suburb as a walking spot might be cheating, but few parts of Brisbane are as nice to mosey through as Paddington. The inner-west area's many shops, bars and cafes ensure that there's always somewhere to stop when you need a rest — and the notoriously hilly terrain means everyone gets a decent workout. Plus, there are scenic sights aplenty, including heritage-listed haunts such as the Ithaca War Memorial and the Paddington Antique Centre. Winding your way down Caxton Street, Given Terrace and Latrobe Terrace is the obvious route, though veering off the beaten path is also recommended.

Published on January 12, 2016 by Sarah Ward

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