Brisbanites love to walk, and so will you, as you discover the city and suburbs. A long walk is a chance to move slowly through the suburbs, stop at the vistas, listen to bird chatter and appreciate the flowers' fragrance.
Locals make good use of their walking trails, so you’ll always have a friendly face to chat with and check your directions. Most are shared paths so watch out for cyclists and keep to the left.
It’s also a good idea to start early, lather up with sunscreen before you head out, take a hat and keep hydrated with a water bottle on hand. Here are five paths to explore.
Brisbane’s Riverwalk reaches out over the water at New Farm for around 800 metres from the end of Merthyr Road to the Howard Smith Wharves. You can take a leisurely stroll and sit for a while under the shade on the pontoon. Start with breakfast and coffee at Moray Café, then head along the river under the Story Bridge and take a right at Ivory Lane. Follow the path to Bowen Terrace and take the clifftop walk till it joins Moray Street.
There are lots of Queenslander and Art Deco style buildings to admire, and you can finish back where you started at Moray Café for another refreshing cuppa. If you don’t need to end where you started, take the City Reach of the Boardwalk which wanders 2.4 kilometres along the river bank right down to the City Botanic Gardens.
New Farm Park
New Farm Park is 15 hectares of flat parkland by the river in New Farm. It is always worth a visit but even moreso in winter to see the blooming rose display and in spring when the Jacaranda trees create a purple carpet.
Add a Saturday farmers market and a children’s adventure playground into the mix, and you may not want to leave, but a 2.5-kilometre walk along the river bank to the Teneriffe Ferry Terminal will offer some delightful river vistas. Catch a ferry back to New Farm Park, and you’ll enjoy even more water views.
Explore Kangaroo Point with this flat, 6-kilometre walk that starts at The Wheel of Brisbane by the Brisbane River at South Bank Parklands. From the South Bank Boardwalk, you’ll wander past River Quay Green and its collection of restaurants and cafes to the Goodwill Bridge. If time allows, stroll over the bridge and stop for a coffee at Brendan’s Café, which is almost in the centre of the bridge. The coffee and sweet treats here match the superb river view.
As you continue back along The Cliffs Boardwalk, you’ll notice ships at the Queensland Maritime Museum and plenty of places to stop and rest for a while. The long flight of steep stairs leading up to Kangaroo Point Lookout will give you an extra workout if desired.
Winding beside the mangrove-lined river bank, the path leads right around the tip of Kangaroo Point to Captain Burke Park and under the Story Bridge. At low tide, you can take stairs down to a sandy beach beside the river here. Further along the walkway, Medley Café & Restaurant offers another chance for refreshments. The walk continues to Dockside Ferry Terminal where you can take the ferry all the way back to South Bank.
Get your blood pumping with a walk among the Margate and Redcliffe foreshore from Pelican Park to the Redcliffe Jetty. There’s plenty of parking at Pelican Park, an area that is popular for kite sailing and jet skis. There’s also pelican feeding at 10 am daily. Birds gather for up to an hour before feeding time, but the bucket of fish doesn’t last long so do not be late.
The 7-kilometre walk to the Redcliffe Jetty also makes a great bicycle ride. You’ll travel past the Humpybong Yacht Club, the Woody Point Jetty and along the beach esplanade to Suttons Beach Park. Take Marine Parade as you get closer to Redcliffe and check out Settlement Cove Lagoon which has a huge swimming spot for children.
As you head into Redcliffe, a mural on the left marks the start of Bee Gees Way. This celebrates the early years of the brothers Gibb, who started their musical career playing at the Redcliffe Speedway. Finish with a visit to the Redcliffe Jetty Markets (Sunday 8 am-2 pm) and a stroll along the jetty.
North Stradbroke Island
For a lung full of ozone-filled, fresh ocean breeze, it’s hard to beat North Stradbroke Island’s North Gorge Walk. The 1.5-kilometre trail winds around the cliff top and offers dramatic scenery as you walk on the cliff edge. You’ll need to take a ferry ride to reach North Stradbroke Island, but the chance to spot turtles, dolphins, and whales in season, makes it worth the extra effort.