Nundah to Nudgee Rebound
© Marc Mutch, Rebound Club Run Club
Running

Running in Brisbane: Australia’s newest great city

The secret is out - Brisbane is a great city for runners. If you can deal with the heat, you’re in for beautiful mornings and great routes around the city.
By Riley Wolff
6 min readPublished on
This is part of our Australian cities running guide! Be sure to check out the Melbourne running guide here.
Let’s get it out of the way early - yes, Brisbane can be warm and sticky. But beyond that, Brisbane runners are blessed with plenty of great running routes in and around the city - plus, they have nearby Mt. Coot-tha for those looking for hills.
We’ve linked up with Brisbane local Kieran Ryan to make sure you don’t get led astray. So whether you’re in town for an overnighter, or staying for a few days, we’ve got you covered with a selection of the must-hit spots in Brisbane.
Let’s refuel and go!

Story Bridge

Story Bridge

Story Bridge

© Jen Davis, Core4Endurance Run Club

Distance: Sealed bike path
Surface: 6km
Elevation: 50m
A Brisbane classic, this short city loop is ideal if you’re short on time but still want the quintessential Brisbane experience. It offers one of the best views of the city and Howard Smith Wharves, regardless what time you run it.
It’s easily extended if you’re looking for 10km or more - you can simply run further west along the Brisbane River before crossing over to head back.
One of the things we love about this loop is the proximity to so much of the good stuff Brisbane has to offer. You’re right by the Botanic Gardens, and there are cafes and bars everywhere depending on what you’re seeking.
Kieran’s favourite post-run spot on this loop is Gigi’s Homestyle Cooking at Howard Smith Wharves where you can grab a bite and a chance to top up that energy.
Story Bridge Map

Story Bridge Map

© Google Maps

Check it out on Strava here

UQ St Lucia - New Farm River Walk

New Farm River Walk

New Farm River Walk

© Dimitri Falieros, Got The Runs Run Club

Surface: Sealed Bike Path
Distance: 15k
Elevation: 112m
This is one for the weekend. It’s 15km one way, but you’ll find a lot of people going out and back when they’re training for the Brisbane Marathon. It’s pretty flat, with just over 100m of elevation over the 15km.
You can obviously start and finish wherever suits you, but we like parking at the St Lucia end and then running east along the brown snake as it winds towards New Farm. Think wide, winding paths with plenty of drink taps. There is limited shade on this route so bring a cap and shades if you’re running in the middle of the day.
Another way to tackle this one is to park at New Farm and head west, depending on which part of Brisbane you’re coming from.
UQ St Lucia - New Farm River Walk

UQ St Lucia - New Farm River Walk

© Google Maps

Check it out on Strava here

New Farm Park

New Farm Park

New Farm Park

© Katie Dall, ClubKT Run Club

Surface: Sealed Road
Distance: 900m
Elevation: 65m
Speaking of New Farm, here’s a little gem for you. If you’re in Brisbane and looking for a spot to do your workout, we’ve got the perfect place. New Farm Park is a 900m loop around the gardens - yes, frustratingly short of an even kilometre, but still an ideal place for threshold workouts.
One of the things we love about running at New Farm Park are the late opening hours of the park gates. Officially, they open at 8:30am - you’ll be back at the cafe enjoying a coffee by then. Pedestrians can still access the road before that, meaning you can enjoy your session car free.
The good news keeps coming, with a quality cafe recommendation from Kieran, “If you are looking for a place to refuel after a session here, take a look at Sprout, located about 5 minutes up the road. The locals love it.”
Drink taps? They’re everywhere. Public bathrooms? Heaps of them. Speed? Well, that’s on you.
New Farm Park

New Farm Park

© Natural Earth Data, MapBox, OpenStreetMap

Check it out on Strava here

Mt Coot-tha

Mt Cootha

Mt Cootha

© Jac Lee, Athlete Jacqui Bell

Surface: Mixed / gravel / sealed road
Distance: 25km
Elevation: 1040m
File this one under the ‘weekend adventures’ category. Mt Coot-tha, located just 15 minutes from the heart of the Brisbane CBD, is a great spot for some trail running fun, right near the city. In many Australian cities you would need to drive for an hour to get trails of this calibre, but Brisbane residents are spoiled - and they take full advantage.
There’s a road climb to the summit and lookout of Mt Coot-tha, but the real fun is on the trails. One important call out - there are dozens and dozens of trails here, all catering for different fitness levels.
Local trail runner Kieran Ryan has been using Mt Coot-tha as his training ground for upcoming trail races.
“Running at Mt Coot-tha gives you the opportunity to disconnect from inner city life in Brisbane. it’s doesn’t matter if you’re going long or not, you’re going to work on the trails at Mt Coot-Tha and I like that.”
Mt Coot-tha Run

Mt Coot-tha Run

© Natural Earth Data, MapBox, Open Street Map

Check it out on Strava

Enoggera Reservoir

Enogerra Reservoir

Enogerra Reservoir

© Katie Dall, ClubKT Run Club

Image
Surface: Trail / Fire road
Distance: 10.5km
Elevation: 285m
Here’s another one for the trail heads, or anyone looking for a bit of an adventure out of the city. Located around 15km from the Brisbane city centre, the Enoggera Reservoir loop offers a mix of fire road and dirt trails over varied terrain - there are a couple of steeper spots to look out for.
In saying that, it’s still accessible for all abilities, and the 10.5km loop offers plenty of spots to stop and catch your breath if you need it. There can be a fair bit going on here on weekends when the weather’s nice - from mountain biking to kayaking, swimming and BBQs, Enoggera Reservoir is a good place to come and get active.
Enoggera Reservoir

Enoggera Reservoir

© Google Maps

Check it out on Strava here

Nundah Crit Track to Nudgee Beach

Nundah to Nudgee Rebound

Nundah to Nudgee Rebound

© Marc Mutch, Rebound Club Run Club

Image
Surface: Bike path
Distance: 20km return
Elevation: 0m
This is another great option if you’re training for an upcoming race. Starting at Nundah Crit Track, you’ll head east towards Nudgee Beach - an ideal spot to take a quick breather before turning and heading back - there’s also a drink tap at the Nudgee Boat Ramp. This route is pretty exposed, so probably not your best option on a hot or windy day (you’re best to go early), but if you’re looking for a route where you can just turn your mind off and enjoy ticking the miles off, this could be the perfect option for you.
A large chunk of the run hugs the edge of the nearby Boondall Wetlands, giving you a welcome and brief escape from built up city life. In the lead up to events like the Brisbane or Gold Coast Marathons you will see a lot of people out training here.
Nundah Crit Track to Nudgee Beach

Nundah Crit Track to Nudgee Beach

© Google Maps

Check it out on Strava here
So there you have it, six great Brisbane runs that'll take you across the city and sights, from flat park runs to more challenging ascents, take in as much flora and fauna as your heart's content while exploring one of the country's newest running cities.
Why do we care about running? There are of course the mental and physical benefits of putting on a pair of trainers and stretching your legs but the big one is our annual charity run Wings For Life which looks to raise funds to support spinal cord research. Every year millions run globally for those that can't.

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