If you are looking for a free, fun or romantic way to spend your evenings or days in Brisbane, then you're in for a treat with this list! I have included the best lookouts in Brisbane that provide the most amazing views of the city on this list. You'll be surprised to learn that Sydney is not the only city in Australia offering fantastic panorama views!
These Brisbane lookouts are perfect if you are a photographer and are looking for photography spots in Brisbane. Most of the viewpoint recommendations are in local parks, so it is easy to set up your tripod and get yourself comfortable. If you are not a photographer, do not fret. The scenic views on this list are also great picnic or walking areas. Visiting these sights are a great way to spend your day, admiring the skyline and cityscape that Brisbane in Queensland has to offer.
The viewpoints listed here are located around the Brisbane central business district (CBD) or South Bank area. The rest of the lookouts are located in suburbs that are a close 10-15min drive from the city area. All of the lookouts in this list provide great city views. At each lookout, you will have views of the entire city skyline.
Kangaroo Point Cliffs Lookout is a picturesque part of Brisbane. The cliffs give you 180-degree views along the river. Towards the east, you can admire views of the Eagle Street end of Brisbane city. Towards the west, you will be able to see views of the North Quay end of Brisbane city and the beautiful bridges that connect the city with South Bank.
Above, I recommended visiting the lookout at Kangaroo Point. Just north, along the river's edge, is Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park. The park contains a barbecue area, a playground and some well-built paths that allow you to walk along the cliff's edge, admiring the views as you pass along.
The views along this part of Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park are similar to those seen at Kangaroo Point Cliffs Lookout. The only small difference is that you are now at the water's edge and will be able to look back at the sheer cliffs of Kangaroo Point and forward towards the city.
Arguably the most popular and well-known lookout and viewpoint in Brisbane, Mount Coot-Tha comes highly recommended. It is situated in the western suburbs and is approximately a 20-minute drive from Brisbane's central area.
You will be able to have a complete view of the city from the lookout. The best time to visit is in the evening. During the night, the city lights bring a fantastic glow over the city.
The summit area is well developed. There is a nice restaurant, Summit Restaurant & Bar, and a cafe, Kuta Cafe. There is nothing better than heading to the viewpoint and enjoying an ice cream as you gaze out across the horizon.
Located within South Bank, along the river, is Clem Jones Promenade. It is a beautiful footpath that can take you from the north or south end of South Bank. I am recommending the promenade for its views because as you pass along it, you will be able to look out towards Brisbane's central business district.
On the southern end of the Clem Jones Promenade is a small beautiful open park area - River Quay Green. Surrounding this little patch of grass are several bars and restaurants.
From this end of South Bank, you can still enjoy sweeping views of Brisbane's CBD. However, you can also look towards the east and enjoy the stunning Goodwill Bridge that connects South Bank with the Queensland University of Technology.
Highgate Hill Park is located in the inner-city suburb Highgate Hill, which is south of South Bank. The park is quite humble in its appearance and facilities.
The highlight is a small picnic shelter that lives on the highest part of the park. From the shelter, you will be able to see over the houses in Highgate Hill - allowing you to catch a view of Brisbane city from behind South Bank.
This park is found in the Brisbane suburb of Windsor. The reserve is quite large. The main attraction is a large concrete area at the tallest point of the reserve. From there, it is possible to see great views of Brisbane.
From the viewpoint, you will be looking over Spring Hill at the opposite side of the city that is seen from Kangaroo Point Cliffs. When visiting the reserve, do note, the gates open at 6 AM and close at 10 PM.
Residing within Toohey Forest Park, the Mount Gravatt Outlook has stunning views of the city. The outlook is best accessed by car, with parking available at the lookout area. The viewpoint is well developed, has picnic tables and chairs, a children's play area and a cafe.
Like Mount Coot-Tha, this viewpoint is located quite high up on a mountain, so it has mostly unobstructed views of the entire city area.
Bartley's Hill Lookout can be found in Ascot. It is a 10-minute drive from the previously recommended Eildon Hill Reserve viewpoint. It is located in a very modest council park. From the lookout - depending on the amount of tree overgrowth - you will be able to catch a view of the city and a corner of the Brisbane River.
New Farm Riverwalk is a pedestrian way that hangs over the Brisbane River. It provides fantastic views - at water level - of Story Bridge and Brisbane city. The walk begins at New Farm Park - a great place to grab lunch - and ends at Howard Smith Wharves.
I recommend commencing the walk in the late afternoon, which allows you to see the city light up in the early evening. At a leisurely pace, the trek from New Farm Park to Howard Smith Wharves only takes about 20 minutes.
You can continue the walk further by continuing past Howard Smith Wharves to the City Reach Boardwalk, which starts at the other end of Howard Smith Wharves and will take you to Eagle Street Pier.
Located just above Howard Smith Wharves is Wilson's Outlook. It is situated in a small park that has a children's play area and a small amount of grass. Elevators can take you from river level to the park.
From the outlook, you will be able to catch a great view of the Story Bridge and the Central Business District part of Brisbane City.
In late 2018, the area of Howard Smith Wharves opened up and came to life. The area is now a popular bar, restaurant and hotel space. I highly recommend visiting the spot for drinks or dinner. From the wharves, you can catch a beautiful river-level view of the Story Bridge.
Felons Brewing Co has tables that line the edge of the boardwalk. From there, you can enjoy the fresh air and gaze out across the river.
A popular choice for many of the city's workers, Eagle Street Pier, is a bustling bar, nightclub and restaurant area of Brisbane. A walk along the boardwalks allows you to catch a great view of the Story Bridge and South Bank.
The area is best visited at night time, allowing you to take advantage of the restaurants that the area has to offer. Alternatively, drop in during the day and continue walking to either New Farm Park or down towards the Brisbane City Botanical Gardens.
The bridges that connect South Bank and Brisbane offer some of the best views of Brisbane than any other viewpoint.
The Goodwill Bridge is a pedestrian and bike-only bridge that connects the southernmost end of South Bank with the Queensland University of Technology campus.
The bridge itself has various areas where you can pause and look out across the river. On the western side of the bridge, you will be able to catch a view towards the busy end of the South Bank Parklands and the Central Business District. On the eastern end, you will see the Pacific Motorway and a part of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs.
Victoria Bridge carries cars and people from Queen Street in the Central Business District to the centre of South Bank. From the bridge, you will be able to admire the Wheel of Brisbane located on the South Bank side and Kurilpa Bridge, which is a bit further down the river.
As this is a shared bridge with vehicles, it is a bit less enjoyable than the pedestrian-only Goodwill and Kurilpa Bridges. Regardless, if you are in the area, the bridge provides a different perspective of the city as you pass over it.
Located at the start of the CBD when arriving from the western suburbs, Kurilpa Bridge is a pedestrian and bike-only bridge that connects Tank Street to South Brisbane. The bridge has a unique design, the large poles and cables are quite striking. At night, the bridge is often brightly coloured.
That rounds out this list of the best Brisbane lookouts with amazing views. If you are living in Brisbane or just travelling through from places like the Gold Coast, I hope the recommendations on this list have given you another perspective of this beautiful city.
This article was first published on Nov 3, 2019 11:23 UTC.
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