Brisbane

The Best Hikes Near Brisbane

Those boots are made for walking.

Lamington National Park, Queensland
Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland

Famously known as the ‘river city’ Brisbane boasts a slew of excellent hiking trails on the edges of the city. Some of Brisbane’s best hikes are found not 40 clicks from the city, meaning sunrise, or sunset, hikes are all but habitual.

What’s more, if city-fringe hikes boasting choice city views weren’t enough, hinterland and coastal hikes are within easy reach—thanks to Brisbane’s advantageous proximity to both the Sunshine and Gold Coast.

Stock up on the endurance gels and plan your route; these are the best hikes near Brisbane.

Kokoda Track Loop

Mt Coot-tha
Just 15 minutes west of the city, Mt Coot-tha’s extensive eucalypt forests and rainforest gullies hold all manner of trails; from the family-friendly trundle to waterfall tracks and challenging training terrain.

For a decent hiking challenge, hit Mt Coot-tha’s Kokoda Track Loop. A 10km round trip combining rugged terrain and gentle sloping sections that will feel enough of a test for experienced hikers.

Mt Cordeaux hike

Mt Cordeaux, Scenic Rim
Think of the 6.8km Mt Cordeaux hike as an experience for body and mind. A reasonable 1.5 hour’s drive to the north edge of Cunningham’s gap, Mt Cordeaux resides in the breathtaking Scenic Rim region of southeast Queensland, its hiking trails steaking unreal views of the entire Main Range National Park at its peak.

If you’re particularly taken with the scenery (and face it, why wouldn’t you?) tack on the extra five or so km and hike to Bare Rock for views out across the Mistake Mountain ranges.

Mermaid Mountain

Upper Brookfield, D’Aguilar National Park
For not even leaving the city limits, this monstrous 18km return track is a hidden hiking gem. Just 38km west of the city, this little-known Brisbane hiking trail packs a punch, challenging even the most dedicated hikers. The faint trails and service roads serve ‘chose your own adventure’ vibes in order to reach the summit, with a fun scramble to the top for views out across Lake Manchester and the CBD.

Mount Tempest

Moreton Island
For intrepid hikers set on tackling one of Brisbane’s more unique hikes, how about the world’s largest coastal sand dune? Mount Tempest may only be a 2.5km loop, but its peak tops off at 285m above sea level – so think of it as more a scale than a hike…

Don’t be put off; on a clear day at the summit, you’ll have 365-degree views out across Moreton Bay, the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane AND the Gold Coast. More than a fair trader off, no?

Border Track and Box Forest Circuit

Lamington National Park
Hidden in the lustrous Lamington National Park 2 hours south of Brisbane, the combined Border Track and Box Forest Circuit is some of the best, most remote bushwalking hikes going. Starting at O’reiley’s, this 11km rainforest hike takes in not one, but two, icons of the Gondwana Rainforest as it winds through 1,000-year-old-flora—Canungra Creek and Box Log Falls.

Mount Maroon

McPherson Range
Steep inclines, rugged unmarked paths, rock scrambling – even a cliff face for rock climbing – Mount Maroon’s 6km trail of steep inclines is one of those painfully rewarding hikes (with the muscle aches to prove it). Adjacent to Mount Barney and situated 1 hour 40 southwest of the city, Mount Maroon is McPherson Range’s tallest peak, its summit taking in the majesty of these mountain ranges which form the Great Dividing Range.

Mount Beerwah

Sunshine Coast Hinterland
Jutting awkwardly out of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland skyline, Mount Beerwah is for hikers what flames are to a moth. Surrounded by lush hinterland forest, this particular trail caters to the thrill-seekers out there, and certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Experience in rock scrambling is a preferred skill (anyone with a fear of heights might want to take in its majesty from ground level) and for those who scale the summit after 3 hours hard slog, take in those epic views of the Glasshouse Mountains and Sunshine Coast.

Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Lamington National Park
The hike of all hikes, the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk is the stuff of bucket lists. A 54km (one way), multi-day, mega trail through Lamington and Springbrook National Parks, this remote section of World-Heritage-Listed Gondwana Rainforest is about a pristine a walk in nature as it gets.

Mt Coolum

Sunshine Coast
It’s a short 2km hike up Mt Coolum, but with a vertical ascent almost certain to leave nothing in your tank, it’s a real burn. Insanely popular with Mooloolaba locals and day-trippers alike, this scenic hike an hour thirty from Brisbane soaks up spectacular views of the east coast – think Lapis blue ocean, golden sandy beaches and peachy sunrises. No pain no gain, as they say…

Morelia Walking Track

Mt Nebo, D’Aguilar National Park
Just 50 minutes west of the city, this oh-so-pretty rainforest snakes through lush vegetation, eucalypt forests and shady cabbage tree palms. Make the journey up to Mt Nebo early for the best views; on a clear day, this natural rock outcrop lookout serves jaw-dropping views over Samford Valley, Mount Tempest and Moreton Bay, with Moreton Island’s iconic sand dunes sitting on the horizon.

Kondalilla Falls Circuit

Blackall Ranges, Kondalilla Falls National Park
Hidden just behind the quaint village of Montville in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, the Kondalilla Falls Circuit’s 4.8km return trail gets with a whisper of the magical Kondalilla Falls. The trail cuts through rugged, dense rainforest, descending to the base of the falls before climbing the ridge upon your return.

The 300+ stairs on your return is a killer, but the views of these magnificent falls (plus, the pretty picnic area and swimming hole for those needing a rest and reset) make it a hike worthy of your efforts.

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Brisbane

Where to Find the Best Italian Restaurants In Brisbane

All your Italian cravings are sorted.

The best restaurants come steeped in tradition. Luckily Brisbane is in full supply of rustic pizzerias channelling Napoli-style dough and candle-lit trattorias, serving steaming bowls of ragu. Whether you want hearty and full-flavoured dishes or modern takes on Roman dining, there’s an Italian restaurant for every occasion.

Here’s where to find Brisbane’s best Italian feasts.

best italian restaurants brisbane

Gemelli

Fortitude Valley
If you need to book a long lunch or simply want to indulge in a rich, comforting bowl of pasta, pull up a seat at Gemelli. This large Italian restaurant sits on the corner of James Street—one of Brisbane’s most popular shopping strips—and is the perfect pit stop to fuel up after a long morning of shopping. The menu boasts home-style family recipes and generous servings, including pasta served in bread bowls. We recommend the gnocchi al forno. The pillowy soft gnocchi is bathed in Napoli sauce, topped with buffalo mozzarella and cooked in a wood-fired oven. Don’t forget to pair it with a cocktail or glass of wine.

best italian restaurants brisbane

Bar Tano

Fortitude Valley
Next door to Gemelli is Bar Tano, the sister restaurant sharing the same la dolce vita approach to Italian food and drink. Stop in for a refreshing Aperol spritz, soak up a sunset, or stay after dark and let loose at a late-night disco. Bar Tano is reminiscent of taking an evening passeggiata through the cobbled pathways of Sicily, where bars and restaurants overflow with personality and exuberance. The food, which includes antipasti and salumi, is by Gemelli, so you know it’s going to be good. As for the bar, it’s charming and intoxicating. An afternoon at Bar Tano will transport you to Italy.

best italian restaurants brisbane

Otto Ristorante

South Brisbane
Otto’s signature bright outdoor furniture is hard to miss when you’re taking a stroll on the River Quay Green South Bank. The recently renovated restaurant commands riverfront views making it a destination, not just a restaurant. Most weekends, you will find it filled with locals and visitors, sharing pizzas and toasting cocktails. The menu is packed with homemade pasta and larger mains for sharing. However, the heavily awarded restaurant is best known for its  Champagne lobster and bottarga spaghettini—a must-try.

best italian restaurants brisbane

1889 Enoteca

Woolloongabba
1889 Enoteca is the kind of establishment where the servers are Italian, and the walls are exposed brick. Step in and be transported to Rome, with authentic Roman dishes laid out on white Bretagne dinner plates and hosts an extensive and lauded wine list. The pasta is all housemade and can be ordered as an entree or main. We suggest ordering the slow-cooked pork and beef ragu wrapped around pappardelle.

best italian restaurants brisbane

Bianca

Fortitude Valley
Are you looking for somewhere romantic for dinner? Bianca is a beautiful Italian restaurant with waiters flittering around a buzzy dining room. Despite its modern and slick decor, there’s nothing pretentious about the dining experience here. Curly graphics, monogrammed serving ware, and pops of colour keep it light and fun. As for the food, it’s a straightforward menu of snacks, entrees, house-made pasta dishes and a range of main courses. If you need something lighter, you can order from the antipasti section and dig into little creamy bags of burrata, mortadella, sardines, and marinated mushrooms.

best italian restaurants brisbane

Mosconi

Fortitude Valley
This unassuming warehouse hides an exceptional 60-seat Italian restaurant serving up an innovative menu drawing on the family’s Italian-Australian roots. Think Moreton Bay Bug risotto, lamb ragu, local grilled fish with fennel, and yellowtail kingfish Crudo. The wine list draws from Australian winemakers and some tipples from Europe’s biggest regions.

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