Located in the beautiful and tropical area of Queensland, Australia is Brisbane, a city known to be a place of warm sunshine with an upbeat atmosphere. Tourists fly into Brisbane Airport and can't wait to see the sights. Those spending time in Brisbane can take advantage of attractions like the Wheel of Brisbane, a huge landmark offering a panoramic view of the city below, as well as nearby day trips like the very popular Moreton Island. One of the most famous places in the city is the South Bank featuring plenty of eateries, art galleries, museums and performance art centres. Shopping in popular places like DFO Brisbane is a great pastime when it's a day to be indoors.
The South Bank is also home to parklands that, along with the Ancient Rainforest located in the outer regions of the city, are beautiful spots to spend time and really take in the nature around you. Anyone in the city, whether a local citizen or somebody visiting from abroad, should visit these parks to admire how beautiful the landscape around Brisbane is.
You'll find many to choose from but we've got you covered with this list of the best parks in Brisbane. Lots of green spaces in this picturesque city offer activities and sports facilities, and you'll no doubt want to take part in the fun. Heading to a popular Brisbane restaurant afterward? After visiting the park, drop off your sports equipment or backpack at the nearest luggage storage facility in Brisbane. Let Bounce stow your non-essentials after a marvelous day at Brisbane's parks.
New Farm Park
Being one of the city's oldest parks, New Farm Park has gained a reputation and is a favorite among many of Brisbane's locals. It's still one of the biggest of Brisbane's parks at 37 acres in size and is the ultimate locale for families, couples and everyone else to hang out on the weekend. The space was formerly filled with bush and shallow lagoons, but after the Moreton Bay settlement was created the land was turned into a farm. It was also home to a racecourse between the years 1846 and 1913. When the City Council bought the land they turned it into a park in 1919.
This is a great place to relax, have a picnic or a BBQ under the Jacaranda trees or be active. Another reason that it's such a popular public park is that it's sometimes used as a venue for live music and concerts, as well as other events throughout the year. With a lovely location on the edge of the Brisbane River, visitors enjoy the riverfront boardwalk. If you follow it, you'll eventually find yourself in Brisbane CBD.
Right next to the park, you'll see the Brisbane Powerhouse, a recommended place to stop by while you're in the area. The old building has been repurposed and is now a super cool arts center. Different kinds of performances like comedy, music and theater for example, are put on here. On the weekend it's the location of the farmer's market, and when the weather is right you can find the fun moonlight cinema. Right next to the grounds, you'll find a dog park with off leash areas so bring your furry friends with you, and the slides and swings are great for kids.
City Botanic Gardens
The Brisbane City Botanic Gardens has been around for a while and was the first farm of the colony, way back in 1828. Today, it's a living museum and is actually the only place in the entire city that has been a horticultural space for this long. Much of the garden's design was made by Walter Hill, who was the first botanic curator of the city back in 1855. Some of the park's trees and plants, namely the bunya pine, avenues of figs as well as the macadamia, tamarind and dragon trees, are some of the very first of their kind to be brought to the city.
Back when he designed the Brisbane Botanic Gardens it had a variety of growing crops of tropical fruits, grapes, sugar, tea, coffee and tobacco. Walter Hill also added a recreational area in the park called Queens Park. Although the crops aren't there anymore you can still see certain aspects from the past that remain, like the stone walls and iron gates that surround the entrances of the park. Fun fact; the stones used to make the walls were taken from the Petrie Terrace Gaol which was destroyed in the mid 1860s.
The beautiful drinking fountain located in the gardens was designed by an architect named Charles Tiffin and was the very first public fountain in the city, dating back to 1867. You'll also see a kiosk made out of the former Curator's Cottage which was constructed in 1905, as well as an old bear pit shelter used during the park's time as a zoo between 1905 and 1958. On top of that, the band pavilion is also fairly old and has been around since 1878. This park's modern additions include a nice shaded playground close to the river as well as a duck pond that kids enjoy. Guests can choose to go on a guided or self-guided walking tour of the grounds.
Rocks Riverside Park
You'll find plenty of fun facilities at Rocks Riverside Park, including junior playgrounds, a climbing net, a fort, a flying fox and even a water play area that's the best place to go on a hot summer day. It's the top destination for family fun so bring your kids and their friends to have a fun day outside.
This park is situated on a lovely site right by the river and is fairly quiet since not many people seem to know about it. It's located in the Seventeen Mile Rocks and was actually built on top of an old industrial park.
You'll find much to do here with spacious grassy lawns where you can have a nice picnic, play ball or just sit down and relax. The walking trails through the bush are short but pleasant making them perfect for a small walk, and if the weather gets to be too hot you can always cool off by the kid's water park.
Victoria Park is an exciting new addition to Brisbane's parks and was the first new installment in nearly 50 years. The space used to be a golf course but is now a 45 hectare oasis with lush greenery and plenty of space for outdoor fun. Back in 2022 Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner also released a Draft Master Plan which, along with useful feedback from the city's residents, began an even bigger 64 hectare upgrade of the space. Come here for picnics, a nice stroll, or for playing outside with the kids.
Some of the new elements being added include a central tower with an elevated treehouse found on top. Climb all the way up and you'll be rewarded with stunning views of the park and the neighborhoods surrounding it. On top of that, there's now an exciting Adventure Valley and a Nature Water Play Gully. The waterholes found on site are a fantastic place to stay cool during the hottest months.
Nearby communities will be involved in the upkeep of the green space with a full edible garden, and young families will adore spending the day at the brand new Adventure Playground. The park's development will be done over the next several years and some of the space's old favorites, like the putt-putt course, the driving range, the Victoria Park function centre and the Bistro, will still be around.
Kangaroo Point Cliffs
Whether you're looking for somewhere to exercise and be active or just want a space to relax, Kangaroo Point Cliffs is a wonderful choice. It's also one of the very best picnic settings in all of Brisbane, so pack some yummy food and wander the area until you find your favorite location.
From atop the cliffs, you'll find magnificent sights at the viewing platforms and wonderful opportunities to watch the sunset. If you follow the stairs down to the bottom, you'll also find a nice walkway to explore and plenty of comfortable grassy areas to enjoy. Place your blanket in one of the shaded spaces by the river and you'll be refreshed and cool while you spend time in one of the best Brisbane parks.
Take advantage of useful facilities in the upper section of Kangaroo Point Cliffs, including barbecues and picnic tables. There's also a cafe on site so you don't actually have to pack your own food. There's also a sheltered area providing shade and toilet facilities, plus some nice public art. You'll even find a few areas that you can book if you're a group, which includes St Mary's Hideaway, the Open Air Amphitheater and the City Skyline Outlook.
Mt Coot-Tha Reserve and Botanical Gardens
Mt Coot-Tha Reserve, also known as the Mt Coot-Tha Forest, is popular for outdoor adventures in Brisbane. It's located not too far away from Brisbane CBD and encompasses over 1,600 hectares of eucalypt forest, creek lines and rainforest gullies. Discover several walking tracks to access plus terrific pathways reserved for mountain biking. If you want to make your trip truly special, consider signing up for horseback riding on the trails as well.
In total, the park has nine picnic areas as well as barbecues and toilet facilities you can reserve. If you have the time we strongly recommend checking out the botanic gardens which span 56 hectares and have smooth wide paths that make it easily accessible for people of all ages and abilities. Parents and children alike will enjoy walking through the rainforests, bamboo groves, areas of desert plants as well as African and South American glades. The Tropical Dome, Japanese Garden and lakes, home to birds and turtles are must-sees as well. Those with kids should check out the Hide'n'Seek Children's Trail, and there's a cafe in the gardens, too.
The reserve on Mt Coot-Tha is home to about 370 different species of wildlife and nearly 450 species of native plants. Certain plants are rare or threatened, like the Richmond birdwing wine, and some of the animals you might see include various species of birds, gliders, microbats and possums. Mt Coot-Tha was formerly home to the Turrbal Aboriginal peoples before the Moreton Bay Penal Colony was established back in 1824.
Roma Street Parkland
Located right on the edge of the city is the largest subtropical wonderland of its kind in the world. The area used to be the Rome Street railway goods yard in the past and was transformed into this lush green oasis back in 2001. There's an upper and a lower area that are connected by bridges so you can traverse a variety of different sections that are each equipped with their own microclimate. Some of the spaces you'll walk through include the Pandanus headland, a fern gully, the Arid zone, and vibrant rainforests.
One of the most impressive spaces on the map is the Spectacle Garden which is home to an incredible amount of flowers and plants with varying colors. Some local artists have their artwork on display here so keep an eye out for statues and sculptures. A fun and easy way to get around the park is on the mini train which loops around the area, although it's only active on holidays and weekends.
There's a playground and cafe in the park as well as barbecues on the lower section. Occasionally events are planned in the area like organized walks, guided park and art tours, theatrical performances, concerts, and free exercise classes. Aside from people, you might also catch a glimpse of water dragon lizards, ducks, and birds enjoying the grounds.
Spend time in these Brisbane parks
These parks in Brisbane are not only gorgeous green spaces to be outside and among nature but are also some of the city's top attractions. Whether you have lived in Brisbane for your entire life or are here on vacation, you can learn a lot about the city's history as well as its local flora and fauna in these green spaces.