Spotted Gum Trail

Mt Coot-Tha Forest

The Spotted Gum Trail is a walking track that connects the Brisbane Botanic Gardens to the Mt Coot-Tha Summit, taking hikers through 2.4km of magnificent eucalypt terrain within Mt Coot-Tha Forest.

Consciously designed with minimum impact to the environment, the scenic trail was built making use of some existing, informal paths, and includes the addition of four bridges across ravines and several series of steps.

Spotted Gum Trail, Mt Coot-Tha Forest, Brisbane, bushwalking, bushwalkers, eucalypt bushland, Toowong, Queensland

If you’re starting at the base and working your way up, you’ll need to head to the forest access gate just beyond the lake in the Australian Plant Communities region of the Mt Coot-Tha Botanic Gardens. During the week (Mon-Fri), you can drive your vehicle in with limited parking nearby. If you’re heading in on a weekend, vehicular access isn’t an option so you’ll need to walk from the main carpark to the gate, adding 1.2km onto your walk (one way).

Spotted Gum Trail, Mt Coot-Tha Forest, Brisbane, bushwalking, bushwalkers, eucalypt bushland, Toowong, Queensland

Just a few metres beyond the gates and into the forest, you’ll see the signs directing you to take a right-hand turn. This is the start of the Spotted Gum track. (If you were to go straight ahead, you would be on Citriodora Track which can be included if you’re after a true loop experience, but it will add on about another 2km and is quite hilly so make sure you plan for the extra time based on your fitness levels. Horse-riding is allowed on this part of the track)

Spotted Gum Trail, Mt Coot-Tha Forest, Brisbane

Not far from this point, along a gradual incline, you’ll notice the track narrows slightly and you'll reach the first of many rises of stairs. Around 250 stairs, to be exact. But don’t worry, the stairs are not all in the one stretch so they're relatively easy to manage.

Spotted Gum Trail, Mt Coot-Tha Forest, Brisbane, bushwalking, bushwalkers, eucalypt bushland, Toowong, Queensland

Hugging the hillside, the walking track traces along several ridges, and the bridges cross over gullies where water flows during the rainy season, ensuring the path can be enjoyed virtually all year round.

Spotted Gum Trail, Mt Coot-Tha Forest, Brisbane, bushwalking, bushwalkers, eucalypt bushland, Toowong, Queensland

The majestic Spotted Gums (Corymbia maculata) that stand tall through this open bushland are home to many native birds and animals. Keep an ear out for their melodic songs and calls as they echo through the valleys. It’s not uncommon to hear the screech of cockatoos and shrill of the whip birds, to name just a couple.

Spotted Gum Trail, Mt Coot-Tha Forest, Brisbane, bushwalking, bushwalkers, eucalypt bushland, Toowong, Queensland

Mountain biking is allowed through this part of the forest, so keep an eye out for riders as the bike tracks criss-cross and loop through sections of this scenic walking trail.

Spotted Gum Trail, Mt Coot-Tha Forest, Brisbane, bushwalking, bushwalkers, eucalypt bushland, Toowong, Queensland

The last leg will see you take a right-hand turn at a T-intersection for the final assent to the top, bringing you out just across the road from the Mt Coot-Tha Lookout

A great option is to catch your breath and enjoy the views from the Mt Coot-Tha Lookout, perhaps even while you wait for the next council bus that can drop you back down the mountain at the Botanic Gardens car park. But, if you've still energy to burn, make it a loop and retrace your steps - the journey always seems a shorter trip on the way back, not to mention you'll have the joy in knowing most of it is downhill.

Of course, exploring this trail can easily be done in reverse, with no time restrictions on needing to access the gate at the base of the trail to return into Mt Coot-Tha Botanic Gardens but does require you planning on walking back to the summit to where you parked your car.

It's important to note that whilst the Spotted Gum Trail is a wonderful, dog-friendly walking track (dogs must be kept on-leash), dogs are not actually permitted in the botanic gardens, so only plan to take your canine companions with you if you are starting and finishing via gazetted forest entry points.

Need to know – The Mt Coot-Tha Botanic Gardens gates are open between 8am and 4pm. Whilst there is a water bubbler just inside the Botanic Gardens gate at the base of the mountain, the next public water source is at the summit.

By Danella Perrins

Spotted Gum Trail

Mt Coot-Tha Forest

Mt Coot-Tha 

Brisbane

Map

Top Things To Do In Brisbane This Week

Stanthorpe Music & Arts Festival is an explosion of live music & art
Don't miss The Finders Keepers 1-day Pop Up Market
this year you can enjoy the QAGOMA Christmas Design Market all weekend
Immerse yourself in the most compelling new artwork
Run through exciting attractions in Dreamworld's fun run.
Experience the fun and excitement of performing arts
So, you’ve been good this year? Let’s fix that
Queensland Symphony Orchestra celebrates 75 years
a magical festive wonderland, full of fantasy, thrills and more
EDITOR'S PICK

Brickresales

Head along to Brisbane's massive pre-loved LEGO showroom and help build the festive winter village display
BrickResales
MUST DO

Christmas in Storyland

The fairytale tradition of Christmas in Storyland started at Brisbane City Hall in the 1930’s and it lives on at South Bank
Christmas in Storyland
CHRISTMAS GIFT!

PPQ

Give your gifts a personal touch this Christmas with PPQ, providing a range of personalised plate options to choose from
PPQ Plates
DON'T MISS

Van Gogh Alive!

The world's most visited multi-sensory immersive art experience in the world is in Brisbane for a limited time
Van Gogh Alive
MUST SEE

Government House Christmas Lights

The landmark historic house & gardens will be lit up in a magical light show that has become a must-see for Brisbane families
Government House Xmas Lights
THIS WEEKEND

Top Things to do Dec 3-5

From Van Gogh, Santa's Emporium & Christmas markets to Brisbane's first rooftop brewery bar, some top things to do
This Weekend Dec 3-5
EDITOR'S PICK

A Midnight Visit

Brisbane's unearthly, immersive theatre experience in an abandoned Fortitude Valley warehouse has extended to Dec 19
A Midnight Visit
ROSLIE GOURMET MARKET

Christmas Catering and Gifts

Make the most of this festive season with the abundance of Christmas foodie delights, catering and gifts
Christmas at Rosalie Gourmet Market
Book now for An American in Paris
CONTENT RESUMES ON SCROLL
ADVERTISEMENT