Mount Coot-tha is only about 6 km from the CBD, and is a favoured spot for sightseers to look over the city. Here is a recent daytime photograph taken from the top, looking east towards Moreton Bay and North Stradbroke Island.
Apparently the first recorded European ascent of Mount Coot-tha was in 1828, and the energetic climber was none other than the commandant of the penal settlement Captain Patrick Logan. The Turrbal people had obviously climbed the hill prior to this time though - it was one of the best spots for gathering honey, known to them as ku-ta. In a far-sighted move the area was declared a public recreation reserve in 1880, and the former One Tree Hill was officially called Mount Coot-tha, a nod to the indigenous inhabitants of the area.
Since then the place has become the de-facto tourist hot-spot and buses arrive every day to give visitors a look over Brisbane. Brisbane people are also drawn to the kiosk and restaurant that adjoin the lookout. Here are the Duke and Duchess of York near the lookout during their visit to Brisbane in 1927.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #62463)
Here is a 1966 colour photograph of the lookout and the kiosk.
And here is the kiosk today.
Although I had a subtle dig at Coot-tha being called a mountain, there are advantages in being taller than the surroundings, even if only slightly. When someone wished to buy One Tree Hill in 1865 the request was knocked back because it was needed as a trigonometrical point for surveying purposes. When television started in Brisbane in 1959 the broadcasters selected Mount Coot-tha as the obvious place to erect the transmission towers which are still based there today. Here is a 1966 photograph of the Channel 7 studio and tower.
Mount Coot-tha today is not only the kiosk and the lookout. There are walking tracks from adjoining suburbs such as The Gap and Chapel Hills. Barbecue and picnic areas dot the entire summit, and there is a botanical gardens and a planetarium too.
Click here for a Google Map.