J.C. Slaughter falls picnic area is just minutes from Brisbane, yet this green retreat feels a world away. Brisbane Kids can enjoy some time amongst nature with opportunities for hikes, nature play, picnics, or a BBQ.
J C Slaughter Falls Picnic Area
Once you drive into the J. C. Slaughter Fall picnic area, there are many beautiful places to stop for a picnic. You will find many picnic tables, shelters, and BBQs in open grassy areas. Accessible toilets are located at both ends of the car park and water is positioned close to the picnic areas.
For something a little more nature-focused, near the start of the Summit Track is a grassy clearing large enough for many families to enjoy. Under the mature trees, there are plenty of shady places to throw down a picnic rug. There is a wooden platform, a wood-burning BBQ and a water bubbler.
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 rock paintings and stick arrangements, thus the name.
The Summit Track
From the end of the car park, it is around a 500-metre walk to Slaughter Falls. The majority of the track has only gentle inclines. There are some rocky stairs near the entrance to the Slaughter Falls lookout. Most children from ages 3 or 4 will be able to manage this walk; toddlers may need some support.
Older children or teens can test their endurance on the Summit Track. The Summit Track is a popular walk that continues to the Mount Coo-Tha summit. It is around 2 kilometres each way and graded as a moderate track. The views of Brisbane from the top are spectacular. There is a cafe at the summit for a well-deserved break.
Along the way, we encountered a lagoon, and the kids had a great time practising skimming rocks across its surface. Unfortunately, the lagoon is stagnant for much of the year. You will only find flowing water in the creek in the days immediately following heavy rain, so creek hopping is not always possible. We also spotted a huge camouflaged moth on the path, which the kids closely investigated.
The promise of ice cream at the summit kept the whole family going on this uphill trek which was worth the effort for the reward of the stunning views across Brisbane from the summit lookout. After a yummy treat, the easier downhill return trip was much faster and far less strenuous on tired little legs.
Grab your hat and binoculars; it’s time for the park rangers to go on patrol! Look for wildlife, listen to the birds and check what plants are flowering. Bordering much of the picnic area is a creek bed. Children will enjoy splashing through the shallow water, floating stick boats, or searching under rocks if it has rained.
J C Slaughter Falls is the perfect location to experience some nature with your Brisbane Kids at any time of the year. We recommend visiting after heavy rainfall for some creek play and to observe the falls in action. Another similar location nearby is Simpsons Falls which is also worth checking out.
This location is not considered an accessible setting. A paved walkway runs near the lengthy car park at J.C. Slaughter Falls picnic area. This is a nice flat walk near nature but not wheelchair accessible. Accessible toilets can be found at the car park’s start and end.
Features at JC Slaughter Falls
- Accessible toilets
- Picnic tables, some sheltered
- Walking trails
- Grassy area
- Shady trees
- Creek bed
- Car parking
- Limited mobile phone coverage
- Dog friendly (on lead)
- Close to the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens and Planetarium
What we thought of Slaughter Falls
I love taking my little Brisbane Kid outdoors and into the natural world. The creek bed is always a big hit for us. I love that uneven surfaces challenge my child’s balance and focus. We love searching for natural treasures and wondering at the beauty surrounding us. On this trip, we found a collection of leaves and an incredible insect with iridescent colours. The falls were dry during our visit, but the walk was enjoyable. We thought hats, water bottles, and snacks were essential for this adventure.
Written by Brisbane parent and explorer Vanessa.
How to get here
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.