Although within 10 kilometres of the city, Ashgrove is in the heart of an inner-suburban green belt dominated by Brisbane’s lungs, the 26,500 hectare Brisbane Forest Park.
Sixteen separate recreation areas within the park have been set aside for public use, including picnic areas, walking tracks, scenic drives, lookouts and a camping area. The park also lends itself to bush walking and horseriding and a range of trails have been set aside for cyclists.
Also close by is Mt Coot-tha Reserve, which offers outdoor activities and sweeping vistas of the city, as well as the Botanic Gardens.
Adjoining the gardens is the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, Australia’s largest. Named for the NSW Governor who had his own astronomical observatory at Parramatta, the planetarium’s Star Theatre runs regular programs during which a representation of the night sky is projected on to the domed ceiling. Visitors can also book to use the separate observatory for a private star-gazing session.
Ashgrove lies just to the north of the city suburbs of Paddington and Red Hill. The Paddington precinct of Caxton Street is characterised by cafes, restaurants and pubs. The adjoining Peter Street is distinguished by grand terrace houses and the historic Victoria Army Barracks.
In order to get a grip on the contrasting style of housing in the Ashgrove area, take a stroll through the St Johns Wood precinct of the suburb. The walk takes you along the banks of Enoggera Creek and passes by pockets of Spanish-influenced homes with their signature stucco finish and tiled rooves which are chalk and cheese in comparison to the traditional, high-set, wood and tin Queenslanders.