Famous Parks Of Brisbane
Brisbane Forest Park
Brisbane Forest Park, within the D’Aguilar Mountain Range, stretches for more than 50 km (30 miles) northwest of Brisbane city centre. Covering more than 28,500 ha (70,250 acres) of natural bush land and eucalypt forests, the park offers driving routes with breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside. The most scenic driving route is along Mount Nebo Road, which winds its way through the lush mountains.
Another scenic drive extends from Samford up to the charming mountain village of Mount Glorious and down the other side. It is worth stopping from time to time to hear the distinctive calls of bellbirds and whipbirds.
Six km (3.5 miles) past Mount Glorious is the Wivenhoe Outlook, with spectacular views down to Lake Wivenhoe, an artificial lake created to prevent the Brisbane River from flooding the city.
One km (0.6 miles) north of Mount Glorious is the entrance to Maiala Recreation Area, where there are picnic areas, some wheelchair accessible, and several walking trails of varying lengths, from short walks to longer, half-day treks. These pass through the rainforest, which abounds with animal life. Other excellent half-day walks are at Manorina and at Jolly’s Lookout, the oldest formal lookout in the park, which has a good picnic area. Also in the park is the Westridge Outlook, a boardwalk with sweeping views, which is totally wheelchair-accessible.
The engrossing Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre at the park’s headquarters is a re-created large freshwater environment. Water dragons, pythons, water rats, catfish and tiny rainbow fish flourish within these natural surroundings. Visitors also have the chance to see the extraordinary lungfish, a unique species which is equipped with both gills and lungs.
The on-site restaurant looks out over the beautiful bush landscape. About 4 km (2 miles) from the park headquarters is Bellbird Grove, which includes an outdoor Aboriginal collection of bark huts. It has a picnic area and swing ropes for children to enjoy. There are also play areas at Ironbark Gully and Lomandra, as well as a Ropes Adventure Course, which consists of high and low ropes and accompanying problem-solving sections.
South Bank Precinct
The South Bank of the Brisbane River was the site of Expo ’88 and has now been redeveloped into a 16 ha (40 acres) centre of culture, entertainment and recreation. The area known as the parklands includes the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the State Library, the Queensland Museum, Queensland Art Gallery, the Conservatorium, Opera Queensland, two colleges and an exhibition centre. The South Bank area abounds with restaurants, cafés, weekend market stalls and street entertainers. Classical music and pop concerts are also regularly held here. There is even a man-made lagoon with a “real” sandy beach, complete with suntanned lifesavers.
South Bank’s IMAX Theatre has a giant screen and shows 2D and 3D films made specifically for the large screen. One of the most recent additions includes a 450-m (1,500-ft) pedestrian and cycle bridge, linking the southern end of the area with the city’s Botanic Gardens.