A 15-minute drive or bus ride from the city, this huge bush reserve is topped by 287m Mt Coot-tha, Brisbane's highest point. On the hillsides you’ll find the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, walking trails and the eye-popping Mt Coot-tha Lookout, the latter offering a bird's-eye view of the city skyline and greater metro area. On a clear day you'll even spot the Moreton Bay islands.
It takes 30 minutes to get here by bus from Adelaide St in the city, opposite King George Sq. The bus drops you off at the lookout and stops outside the botanic gardens and planetarium en route.
Just north of the road to the lookout, on Samuel Griffith Dr, is the turn-off to JC Slaughter Falls, 700m along a walking track; plus a sadly underwhelming, neglected 1km Aboriginal Art Trail. You can also make the (steep!) hike to the lookout from JC Slaughter Falls (about 4km return). There’s a cafe and polished restaurant at the top.