Tag Archives: hiking

Hiking in Brisbane: Up, up, up to Mount Coot-tha

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An open view of Brisbane atop of Mount Coot-tha’s lookout.

A trip to any city almost demands a visit to the highest point to see a birds-eye panorama of the city. Brisbane is no different.

Difficulty: Medium
Time: 1 to 2 hours
Distance: 4 kilometres, return
Conditions: Some shade

A visit to Brisbane’s Mount Coot-tha Lookout offers a view of the city’s sprawling downtown core, greenery and winding rivers. On a clear day, you can see Moreton Bay and Stradbroke Islands from the lookout.

I always find it interesting to see how a city develops and expands outwards, from the pocketed areas of parks and protected natural woodlands, to the suburban development as families continue to grow. It’s a reminder of how small you actually are in the grand scheme of life and in the world.

To reach the Mount Coot-tha Lookout, visitors can either drive, bus, bike or hike up to the top.

For hikers, the trail begins at the J.C. Slaughter Falls car park and picnic area which connects to the Summit Track. The track itself is moderately graded and suitable for many levels of fitness. It takes around an hour and a half going up, and 30 minutes back down again, making it roughly 4 km there and back. What makes the hike difficult is usually the blazing sun during the summer season.

Though dogs are allowed on the track, they must be on a leash. Horses and bikes are also permitted on designated tracks that are clearly labelled. Toilets can be found near the picnic area and at the top of the lookout, and there are water fountains interspersed along the tracks.

Lookout aside, you have the option to make it a day trip by swinging by the Brisbane Botanical Garden and adjacent Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium located near by.

The Brisbane Botanical Garden, not to be mistaken for the city’s downtown garden, is a host to many subtropical flora found in Australia. Separated into different areas, from the fossil and primitive plants to exotic rainforest, the pathways connect each section across 52 hectares. Other areas include the bamboo walk, open eucalypt forest and bunya forest.

There are optional free mini guided and bus tours, gardening workshops, children’s story time, and more.

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Urgh, spiders. One of nature’s beautiful yet creepy creatures.

Be warned, for all the lovely plants and flowers that can be found at the botanical garden, there are as many (not-so-)lovely spiders weaving their webs across paths. It’s not surprisingly to walk through a few webs, especially in the early morning after a night of furious activity. As someone who is cautious of spiders (due to multiple run-ins and close calls with venomous spiders in the last few years – brown recluses, black widows, and white-tailed spiders to name a few – urgh), the size some of the spiders can become is quite alarming. I admit even dandy long-legs, though harmless, unnerve me now.

That said, the botanical gardens is a beautiful area to relax, have lunch or even take a nap on its many sprawling lawns. Wear comfortable shoes because even though it is a garden, there is quite a fair distance to cover.

Connected to the Brisbane Botanical Gardens is the planetarium. Though small, it offers educational panels, models and informative programs for children and adults. The planetarium winds in a circle with smaller rooms leading to other sections, including the Cosmic Skydome, Display Zone, Mini Theatre, Observatory, and the Galaxy Gift shop (with fun toys!).

There are many presentations hosted throughout the week, some free and some at a cost. There are also package deals if you plan on having a longer visit and want to view more than one presentation. Some regular shows are: Cosmic Collisions, Dynamic Earth, the Secret of the Cardboard Rocket (for children) and Tycho to the Moon (another children’s show). Depending on the time of year and what’s happening in the galaxy, shows can be changed or added.


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Hiking in Sydney: Scenic World Blue Mountains


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The Three Sisters at Blue Mountain in New South Wales, Australia.

The trails range from easy to hard, but the views are spectacular at Blue Mountain’s Scenic World.

Difficulty: Range from easy to hard
Time: The shortest trail is around an hour, the longest six. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take all day covering all the trails
Length: 10 minutes to a full day
Conditions: Some paved/wooden paths, others using nature’s rocks

Sydney’s Blue Mountains Scenic World is a tad out of a way but it’s definitely worth the trip up north in New South Wales. There’s a trail for every level from easy to hard, but make sure you keep a map with you or know where you’re going, or you may end up taking a harder trail then expected. The Furber Steps, for example, is much easier going down than it is going up – much, much easier. As friendly as the trails are, some sections of the walkway aren’t wheelchair accessible and it’s recommended to speak to staff before hitting the trails.

There are various starting points that all interconnect with one another, but once you are at the bottom you can either hike your way back up or go take either the railway, skyway, or cableway back up to the top…

For more, visit BreakingMordern here.

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Hiking in Sydney: Manly to Spit Bridge

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One of many lizards along the Spit to Manly Trail.

It’s a mix between bush and trail that connects well-used beaches, but it’s the view and proximity to nature that I particularly enjoyed during the hike from Manly to Spit Bridge.

Difficulty: Medium
Time: 2 to 4 hours
Distance: 10 kilometres, one way
Conditions: Some shade

After a few stormy nights, a nice walk is always welcome. The Spit Bridge to Manly walk is one of many trails enjoyed by local residents and tourists alike for its views and access to local beaches. The trail is open both ways (obviously) but most people begin at Spit Bridge and head towards Manly as there is more to do once you arrive at Manly, as opposed to Spit where there are many wharfs and boats. There is, however, a chance to hire (rent) a kayak/canoe for a period of time.

From Spit, the trail begins at the northern end of Spit Bridge and heads east to Fisher Bay and around Clontarf Reserve…

For more, visit BreakingModern here.

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Hiking in Sydney: Bondi to Coogee, along the east coast shoreline

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Bondi Icebergs at Sydney’s Bondi Beach. An open concept pool connected to the ocean.

The best way to enjoy a part of Sydney’s gorgeous coastline is to walk along the coast – one such trail begins at Bondi Beach with its well-known white sands and clear water. Though it is known to be a tourist trap for many, if you’re looking for a nice easy walk for a lazy day, this is for you.

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 2 to 3 hours, pending walking speed
Distance: 8 kilometres one way
Conditions: Exposed

Most begin this trip at the southern tip of Bondi Beach near the Baths and Bondi Icebergs, a concept in which a swimming pool in essence borders with the ocean and allows swimmers to enjoy nature’s waters without the elements and undercurrents of Mother Nature. It’s also something I’m in awe of, along with the deliciousness of Tim Tams, of which I’ve eaten far, far, far too many.

The easy trail winds its way from Bondi towards past Mackenies Bay towards Bronte. During portions of the year, there are usually art displays that line the pathway…

For more, visit BreakingModern here.

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