Brisbane’s best outdoor exercise spots
Did you know a workout is a guaranteed way to increase your endorphin levels? Not that you needed an excuse to soak up the beautiful Brisbane summer sun, but here are some of our favourite, easy ways to get outdoors and break a sweat in the River City!
Public fitness equipment
Lucky for Brisbanites and visitors alike, there is a multitude of publicly available, free fitness equipment in parks all over the city. While exercise equipment differs in every park, it almost always includes static equipment for chin-ups, sit-ups and step-ups as well as interactive and movable equipment for cardio and resistance training. Much of the equipment is similar to the machines you would find in a gym and there is instructions on most of the machines too, ensuring a safe and fun workout. The closest outdoor gym in South Bank is located directly on the Brisbane River, near the Riverside Drive Pontoon. It is located underneath a bridge, so shaded all day long, perfect for those sweaty summer workout sessions! Other locations near South Bank include Orleigh Park and on Kurilpa Street, both in West End. You can see them on the map HERE.
Whether you are an everyday runner, a once-in-a-while runner or more of a walk and run runner, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a route in our river city. Many routes hug the river, granting you stunning views and making any pain so much more bearable. One of our favourite tracks is the Brisbane Riverwalk, which takes you 1.5km from Brisbane’s iconic story bridge to Merthyr Road in New Farm, from which you can continue on to New Farm Park for a total of 3.2km. For a slightly longer run, why not start here in South Bank along The Arbour, across the Kurilpa Bridge, which won the 2010 Engineering Awards, continuing onto the Bicentennial Bikeway heading towards the Brisbane City Botanical Gardens. After doing a loop through the Botanical Gardens and admiring the floral beauty, head back to South Bank across the Goodwill Bridge. Make sure to stop for a coffee on top of the bridge at ‘Café on the Goodwill Bridge’, after all you’ve earned yourself a little reward with this 6km beauty of a run! Other beautiful spots to strap up your runners are the Roma Street Parklands, Mt Coot-tha Summit Track (steep and more of a trail-run across rocky terrain!) or heading towards the Kangaroo Point Cliffs from South Bank.
Stairways to heaven
Everybody can walk on flat ground right?! If you really want to break a sweat, try some of Brisbane’s best staircase fitness challenges. Arguably the most famous of which being the Kangaroo Point stairs. Starting at the bottom of the cliffs, there’s only 107 steps between you and an impressive view over the river and city, definitely worth the sweat. . As it is a fairly narrow staircase, you may find yourself sharing it with a few other people, but believe us, you will need those breaks! Another heart-pumping staircase challenge are the Wilson Outlook Reserve Stairs at Howard Smith Wharves. If you have ever taken the elevator down to Felons Brewing, you will know that the 120 stairs leading up or down the cliffs are anything but easy! Try them next time you are walking or running along the New Farm Riverwalk, they make for a great little detour with stunning views over the Story Bridge and Brisbane city. Alternatively, why not head out of the city for a little bit of peace and quiet. At Mount Coo-tha, the 900m long Kokoda trail, takes you uphill fast and sure makes for a pumpy workout.
Cycling tracks in Brisbane are about as common as cafes on every street corner. There is a LOT to choose from and many scenic routes taking you all around Brisbane’s most stunning pockets. If you don’t have a bike, don’t worry! CityCycle stations provide bikes for free for the first 30 minutes, then it’s a mere $2/hour and $5/ every thirty minutes after that. Riverlife also let you hire a mountain bike for $25/day. Staying in the city, the 36km long Brisbane River Loop leads along the Brisbane River, as the name suggests, and passes by Kangaroo Point, out to the University of Queensland in St. Lucia as well as along Howard Smith Wharves and New Farm Park. Definitely one of our all-time favourites is the Kedron Brook bikeway, an extremely quiet, green and scenic path taking cyclists out to Nundah and ultimately all the way to Sandgate, totaling an impressive 24kms. If you don’t mind going up a mountain, the Mount Coot-tha Loop is an incredibly beautiful loop, ultimately taking you to Brisbane’s most famous lookout spot. You can either choose to cycle up the 10km loop or head straight up the shorter, winding main road, which features a wide bike lane. A word of warning though: This route is STEEP!
A fun way to get your body moving is dance! Friday nights are Salsa dancing nights at Reddacliffe Place which is located in between the Treasury Brisbane Casino and the Brisbane City Central Library. Strangers will soon become friends and don’t worry if you have never danced before, there are free dancing lessons from 8pm that will teach you the infamous Latin American dancing style. What are you waiting for? Break that sweat!
Let us know if you’ve tried any of the above, we’d love to know. P.S. South Bank makes a great base from which to start your adventures. See our special offers here and lock in your next city-escape with us.