Mount Coot Tha - One Tree Hill


Mount Coot-tha is a mountain that stands 287 metres above sea level, in the eastern part of the Taylor Range and adjacent to the Brisbane Forest Park. It is part of a 1500-hectare public reserve declared in

1880 and has been a popular landmark in Brisbane since then.

It is around seven kilometers away from the central business district

and provides a panoramic view of the city lights at night, as well as

the Moreton Bay, Glass Mountains and D’Agilar Range during daytime.

Its first settlers were the Turrbal Aboriginal people who collected

‘ku-ta,’ the aboriginal word for honey, from the mountain. Though the migrant settlers called the place ‘One Tree Hill’ after they cleared the bushes from the top of the mountain and leaving only a eucalyptus tree,

it was finally named Mount Coot-tha or ‘Place of Honey” in 1880.
Mt. Coot-tha was first designated as a reserve for the timber needs

of the railways.


mount coot tha, one tree hill, place of honey

It was proclaimed a public park in 1874 and then an ammunition dump during World War II. From 1893 to the 1950s, mining was allowed on its slopes.

Television towers were also allowed on Mount Coot-tha in 1960 by the Brisbane City Council. The television stations of channels 7, 9 and 10 are

located there. Though now largely a park area with some residences along the lower slopes, facilities have been developed on Mount Coot-tha for

the enhancement of its visitors’ nature experience.

Located at the base are the botanical gardens with a tropical plants hothouse and the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium which were constructed in

the seventies. The Botanic Garden occupies 52 hectares of the reserve and showcases 20,000 plants sourced from all over the world.

Within the gardens, the Freedom Wall can also be visited, featuring 16,000 plaques honoring those who died in the war. This was an addition to the gardens in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Pacific victory. The Botanic Garden not only offers informative tours, it also hosts

visual arts exhibitions, concerts and other such activities.

Another must-see is the Mt Coot-tha lookout and kiosk, which is a favorite spot of visitors since 1923. Beside it are the Kuta Café and Gift Shop, for informal dining and souvenirs, and the Summit Restaurant, which is best for business meetings and seminars. The Summit Restaurant won the ‘Best Tourism Restaurant’ in the 1987 Queensland Tourism Awards.

Reaching the mountain peak can be made through taking the scenic drive starting from the base and circling the mountain until one reaches the

lookout at the peak. Visitors may also opt to take one of the walking tracks that also showcase aboriginal arts. Though some climbers use the more

difficult tracks to train for the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea, there are also tracks for leisurely walking, as well as running and mountain biking.

Mt. Coot-tha also serves as a venue for orienteering events.