Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Mt. Coot-tha - Brisbane from the Mountain

From Gold Coast, it's a 70 kilometer ride north to Brisbane. Our destination wasn't the big city, but Mt. Coot-tha famed for its sweeping Brisbane panoramas and beyond, including Moreton Bay to the East. But what would be a run-of-the-mill road trip turned out to be a delightful ride that seductively gave me flashes of the city's skyline. The road skirts the urban jungle through the Western freeway, traipsing at the fringes of the metropolis before it started its ascent to Sir Samuel Griffith Drive.

The mountain is just 8 kilometers west of Brisbane sinuously rising to a height of 800 feet (244 meters).

The curves aren't as sharp as many mountains we've been to, so the climb is mild. Mt. Coot-tha is Brisbane's answer to Cebu City's Top where the main attraction is the sprawl of the city, its meandering river and across.

However, choosing the perfect weather for a spectacular view is key to enjoying your Coot-tha experience. You have to pick one that's sunny and smog-free. Our visit was downcast, with rainclouds hovering above. But sometimes, when you have limited time on your hand, you seize the moment - or you might miss it altogether.

Scenic Brisbane River
At the promontory of Mt. Coot-tha is the lookout point which has two restaurants and a souvenir shop. There's supposed to be a Japanese Garden along the way, but we clearly didn't go there for any Japanese, did we? We had to turn around twice because we missed the entrance lane to the lookout point.

There wasn't a lot of people there, and the restaurants seemed unappealing at that time. Summit Restaurant is fine-dining fare with mixed reviews and uneven service (opens daily from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM) while the largely mediocre Kuta Restaurant serves uninspired "gourmet" burgers (their steak burger is supposedly good though). I initially thought the latter was named after Bali's famed beach, but this couldn't be so based on the food they serve. Summit would set you back at $35 for a two-course meal.

Unless you're dining, there's nothing much to do there but gaze and admire the view down below so it won't probably take you more than an hour and a half to optimize your visit, which is free of charge. And aren't the best things in life free? Of course, though with dim weather and a hazy vista, it isn't quite the best that you'd expect. Fortunately, my company was more than interesting. :)

This is the Eye in the Sky!

This supposedly signifies the position of Mt. Coot-tha in relation to Brisbane River.

Summit Restaurant (above and below)

Gift Shop

No comments: