Brisbane's best local parks

18 JANUARY 2023

Craving some time outdoors? Discover the best parks, playgrounds, picnic spots and nature reserves in Brisbane. We've included kid and pet-friendly suggestions too!

New Farm Park

If you’re looking to relax, spot wildlife, picnic with friends and family or snap a few pics, you’re in luck. Brisbane has a stunning network of local parks and reserves that are perfect for every outdoor activity. Brisbane’s brilliant weather also means its green spaces get plenty of use year-round. Discover somewhere new this weekend.

A bright pink sky frames the city skyline and rich greens of the Brisbane Botanic gardens.

Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Brisbane

Parks with relaxing waterfront views

The iconic Brisbane River is the longest in south-east Queensland and winds its way through some of our favourite suburbs. Lining the river are some of the city’s best parks with spectacular views that look out over the water. South Bank Parklands, City Botanic Gardens, New Farm Park, Davies Park at West End and Newstead Park are five inner-city favourites whose lush grass fields roll right down to the river.

The Brisbane River flows to Moreton Bay and there is no shortage of bayside parks with spectacular views. Sit by the water at Manly’s Bayside Park and the Wynnum Foreshore or head north to visit Nudgee Beach Reserve or Sandgate’s Arthur Davis Park. Check out the Redlands Coasts’ Wellington Point for the perfect picnic spot or enjoy fresh seafood and gelato from the Lighthouse Cafe at Cleveland Point Reserve.


South Bank Parkland, South Bank

Parks with playgrounds to entertain the kids

Fuel imagination and keep the kids active at one of many child-friendly parks in Brisbane.

North of the river, 7th Brigade Park at Chermside has a fairy tower and rocket control tower, Teralba Park at Everton Park has a vine maze and Fitzgibbon’s Hidden World Playground is a colourful wonderland. Kalinga Park and Moora Park will spark imaginations with their inter-connected tree houses and wooden huts.

On the southside, Calamvale District Park features an award-winning tree-top skywalk, Colmslie Beach Reserve has an aquatic theme and Rocks Riverside Park at Seventeen Mile Rocks has a half-court, junior playground, climbing net and fort, flying fox and water play area. 

The Children’s Garden at Roma Street Parkland features two linked playgrounds to safely entertain children of all ages. 

South Bank Parklands is another favourite for its Aquativity centre, Streets Beach and the state-of-the-art Riverside Green playground. Wynnum Wading Pool and Robelle Domain are two other parks that feature water activities. Many of these playgrounds include accessible and inclusive play spaces to ensure children with a disability can join in.

A group of people feeding and playing with kangaroos at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane

Parks to connect with wildlife

Brisbane is home to several parks and nature reserves where you have the chance to see wild and native animals in their natural habitats. Boondall Wetlands, Brisbane Koala Bushlands, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Mt Coot-Tha Forest, Tinchi Tamba Wetlands Reserve and the Bayside Parklands are just some of the places you can visit to picnic, wander and explore the natural world.

Parks to enjoy recreational sports

Looking for a park to shoot some hoops, practise your tennis shots or perfect your 360-flip? Brisbane’s local parks are filled with stacks of sports and leisure facilities that are free to use if you know where to look. Throughout Brisbane, there are 30 rebound walls, almost 40 skate parks, public boat ramps and pontoons, more than one dozen fishing platforms, more than 20 parks with BMX facilities and 200 parks with basketball or netball courts. Get out there!

Parks to plan a barbecue or picnic with friends

Nothing beats the Aussie staple of sausage on bread in the great outdoors and with free barbecues in more than 400 Brisbane parks, hosting your next picnic with friends has never been easier. If you don’t have a favourite spot, discover a new one today – just don’t forget to take tongs, oil and paper towel!

Parks to enjoy with your dog  

Don’t leave your furry friend behind! Lace up, leash up and head to one of the 120 parks with off-leash areas for dogs around Brisbane. Some have agility equipment for drills, and others are designed specifically for small dogs. Powerhouse Park at New Farm, Tuckeroo Park in Nudgee Beach and Booker Place Park in Bellbowrie are some of Brisbane’s busiest outdoor venues for dogs. Discover more of Brisbane’s off-leash dog parks.  

Parks with free exercise equipment  

Looking to get fit on a budget? More than 170 of Brisbane’s parks have free exercise equipment installed. Equipment and machines vary in each park but expect to discover everything from rowing and stepping machines to simple chin-up or sit-up bars. If group exercise is more your thing, Brisbane City Council’s Active Parks program hosts 45-60 minute instructed circuit classes using the park equipment. Browse a map of parks with free exercise equipment and outdoor gyms and plan your next visit. 

Fairy lights at Captain Burke Park at Kangaroo Point.

Captain Burke Park, Kangaroo Point

Parks with photographic views

Brisbane’s photographers often stake out a spot in our parks to watch the sun set or rise with uninterrupted views. Take in the city and Story Bridge from Wilson’s Outlook, plan your picnic for the top of Kangaroo Point Cliffs or head to Orleigh Park at West End for brilliant city views. 

New Farm Park is the spot to sit among jacaranda trees in spring, Roma Street Parkland is Brisbane’s floral showcase and home to a vast population of native flora and fauna Mt Coot-Tha offers a sweeping bird’s-eye view of the whole city.

South Bank Parklands and the bougainvillea sprawling over The Arbour are very photogenic as are the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha and City Botanic Gardens. New Farm Park’s century-old rose garden is a delight to the eyes (and lens), and Bulimba Riverside Park’s cross-river views of Teneriffe's historic Wool Stores are magnificent.