Mt Coot-the picnic at waterfalls - image courtesy SLQ

Mt Coot-tha key historical dates


Compiled by Philippa Stanford for TDHS

Mt. Coot-tha is part of the Taylor Range and lies Eight kilometres West of the Brisbane CBD. It was declared a public reserve in 1880 and by the 1930s it was a popular picnic spot.

Mt Coot-tha – Key Dates

1839 – surveyor James Warner and his team cleared the top of the mountain of all trees except one large eucalypt tree.

1865 – The Reverend M. Bell applies for land at “One Tree Hill” later known as Mount Coot-tha said to be an Aboriginal word for honey.

1873 – In 1873 the forests were declared a timber reserve to supply timber for railways.

1880 – Mt. Coot-tha area was gazetted as a public park/reserve

1882 – the Duke of Clarence and Prince George (later King George V) commemorated their visit to Mt Coot-tha by planting two Moreton Bay figs on the summit.

1883 – One Tree Hill name is changed to Mt. Coot-tha (said to be an Aboriginal word for honey).

1886 – first shelter shed is built around the location of the kiosk

1890 – Gold was prospected and mined at Mt Coot-tha intermittently from 1890-1950

1890 – Mt Coot-tha was proclaimed a reserve for native birds

1902 – around this time the metal plate engraved with directional lines pointing to distant landmarks and views establishes the site as a viewing spot.

1918 – Mt. Coot-tha reserve was put under the management of Toowong Town Council  and Brisbane City Council upon municipal amalgamation in 1925.

1918– larger kiosk is built and this forms the basis of the present day one.

1920 – The park is expanded under Mayor William Jolly.

1924 – Subdivision planned for Mt Coot-tha 1924 (SLQ image M E0986) did not go ahead as BCC Mayor Arch Watson wanted to prevent the erection of buildings on the mountain, The Brisbane Courier 2 Dec 1925 shows the council agreed to resume the land….

1930s – Mt. Coot-tha is a popular picnic spot with walking tracks

1942 – August 1942 -1945 Mt. Cootha area is used by the US Navy as an ordnance depot.

1960s – television towers are built

1970 – Mt. Coot-tha Botanic Gardens established

1976 – Mt. Coot-tha Botanic Gardens opens

1978 – planetarium at Mt. Coot-tha opens

1983 – new summit restaurant is built


USN Mine and Torpedo Depot (Camp Cootha), 30 June 2014, Queensland WWII Historic Places, Queensland Government, Web, 17 Sep 2021,
“Mt. Coot-tha”, Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland, web, 17 Sep 2021,
Mt Coot-tha Reserve (Mt Coot-tha Forest)14 August 2001, Brisbane City Council, web, 17 Sep 2021,
“Mount Coot-tha Lookout & Kiosk‘, Queensland Heritage Register, Queensland Government, web, 17 Sep 2001,
“Looking at Mt. Coot-tha”, by Janet Spillman, 7 October 2010, Queensland Historical Atlas, web, 17 Sep 2021,
“SHIRE OF TOOWONG.” The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933) 14 September 1883: 3. Web. 17 Sep 2021 <>.