When visiting a new city one of the most exciting things you can do is look at it from as high up as possible. In Brisbane the best place to do this the spectacular Mount Coot-tha Lookout.
Just 6km from the Brisbane CBD and an easy drive in the Hertz rental car you picked up from the Brisbane airport car hire, the Mount Coot-tha Lookout offers a breathtaking 360 degree view across the city of Brisbane. Mount Coot-tha, the highest peak in Brisbane, sits 287 metres above sea level. If you go during the day you’ll see most of the city all the way out to Moreton Bay as well as the Glasshouse Mountains and the D’Aguillar Range. If you go at night time you’ll see a city lit up by lights and stars.
Even without the view, the lookout is something special. It’s home to a wishing waterfall and perfectly manicured gardens and is surrounded by bushlands. You can stay for a meal at the Mount Coot-tha Lookout either at the casual Kuta Café or the fancy Summit Restaurant. The Summit Restaurant is a fine dining restaurant which showcases not only incredible views but stunning food. The chefs are given free rein to present creative dishes that will impress and delight you. The Summit is fully licenced so you can enjoy the view with a glass of carefully chosen Australian wine or a cool, refreshing beer. Alternatively, you could grab an ice cream at the kiosk or eat at the less formal Kuta Café. At Kuta Café you can enjoy a light meal or a cup of coffee. There’s a gift shop at the lookout so you can pick up some postcards or souvenirs to take home.
On certain nights there are free telescope viewings at Mount Coot-tha so you can take a closer look at the moon and the stars. You’ll get to see the moon’s mountains and craters as well as the stars and planets.
There’s plenty of other things to do in the area so you can make a full day of your visit to Mount Coot-tha. For example, you could visit the Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, the Herbarium, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium. If you’re the outdoorsy type, there’s also plenty of outdoor places to picnic, walk, bike or horse ride. There are a number of walking tracks around Mount Coot-tha which vary in difficulty. Some, for example, are used to train hikers planning to walk the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea. In fact, one of the trails was renamed the Kokoda Trail in 2005 to honour the Australian soldiers who marched along the Kokoda Track in World War II. Another one of these tracks showcases the works of local Aboriginal artists. If you’re into mountain biking you’ll be pleased to know that Mount Coot-tha is a popular place for mountain bike riders and the trails have been graded under the Internaional Mountain Bicycling Association Trail Difficulty Rating System.
Getting to Mount Coot-tha is really easy. You can take a bus, such as the Brisbane Transport Bus 471 or the CitySights Bus. Or you can drive yourself in your Hertz rental car. If you drive, you’ll get to wind along the Sir Samuel Griffith Drive, a stunning tourist drive which circles the peak. It starts at the base of Mount Coot-tha and winds its way to the top providing stunning views along the way.