J C Slaughter Falls
Located in Mt Coot-tha Reserve in Brisbane’s west, J C Slaughter Falls picnic grounds are the starting point for some great walks up the mountain. We took advantage of the gorgeous sunshine and lower temperatures that Brisbane offers in Autumn, packed a picnic, invited some friends and experienced an idyllic family day out.
J C Slaughter Falls Picnic Grounds
The expansive J C Slaughter Falls picnic area provided plenty of space for us to set up for the day without being crowded by other picnic-goers. The grounds have basic facilities such as a toilet block (open 6am to 7pm), picnic tables and wood barbeques scattered throughout, however we chose not to cook and set ourselves up on a rug under a big tree to enjoy the filtered sunlight. There are also grassy open spaces to lunch or have a game of cricket. Despite the popularity of the park, the surrounding undisturbed bushland made us feel like we were much further from the city than we were in this truly peaceful setting.
J C Slaughter Falls Bushwalks
The Aboriginal Art Trail
The Aboriginal Art Trail is a much easier walk for kids and only takes about 20 minutes to complete. The highlight of this path is the great view of J C Slaughter Falls obtained from an overhanging wooden platform. For much of the year, these falls are dry (but still picturesque), however, they are quite magnificent following a heavy downpour. On this circuit, you can also see several displays of Aboriginal artwork in the form of rock paintings and stick arrangements, thus the name.
The Summit Track
From Slaughter Falls picnic grounds, the summit of Mt Coot-tha can be reached via the Summit Track—an almost 2km hike that provides plenty of scenic locations to pause along the way.
The track can be quite steep in a few places and is almost entirely uphill from the picnic area, however we found it to be not too much of a struggle for our 4 and a half year old. Water bottles are highly recommended, though there are some water fountains on this walking track.
Along the way, we encountered a lagoon and the kids had a great time practicing skimming rocks across its surface. Unfortunately, the lagoon is stagnant for much of the year and you will only find flowing water in the creek in the days immediately following heavy rain, so creek hopping is not always a possibility. We also spotted a huge camouflaged moth on the path, which was closely investigated by the kids.
The promise of an ice cream at the summit kept the whole family going on this uphill trek which was definitely worth the effort for the reward of the stunning views across Brisbane from the summit lookout. The easier downhill return trip was much faster and far less strenuous on tired little legs after a yummy treat.
J C Slaughter Falls is the perfect location to experience a bit of nature with your Brisbane Kids at any time of the year. For some creek play and to observe the falls in action, we recommend visiting after heavy rainfall. To add a scary edge to your outing, do an internet search about some of the urban legends of the area before you visit, including the ghost that haunts the J C Slaughter Falls trails for one week every year!
J C Slaughter Falls picnic grounds are located on Sir Samuel Griffith Drive at Mt Coot-tha. There are several carparks within the grounds from where you can follow the signs to the picnic areas and walking trails.