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Brisbane Bushwalking Club Winter Solstice at Mt Mee

Home > Brisbane > Camping | Lookouts | National Parks | Outdoor | Walks
by Roz Glazebrook (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published June 23rd 2022
The Brisbane Bushwalking Club's annual winter Solstice was a great success. Around 50 members met up at a private campground at Mt Mee on 17-19 June this year. We drove through Dayboro and continued along the Mount Mee Road onto Sellin Road and then followed the signs to D'Aguilar National Park.

Campsite among Bunya Pines
Campsite among Bunya Pines


The campsite was a large, grassed area suitable for tents, camper vans and trailers The campground had toilets, a hot shower, kitchen facilities, tank water, and a small fridge. We also had the use of a portable toilet.

Nice campsite
Nice campsite


On Friday night we had some beautiful hot soup with damper and bread rolls. We also had lots of pre-dinner drinks and nibbles as we sat around a blazing fire.

Heading off on Somerset Trail
Heading off on Somerset Trail


There was a damper competition, which was won by popular vote by Pat. A few people had birthdays over the weekend so we sang happy birthday to them.

Track sign
Track sign


There was a choice of walks on Saturday. Two groups of 10 11 people walked the Somerset and Piccabeen trails with a staggered start at 8am and 9am with leaders, Helen and Libby (group 1) and Jan (group 2).

Nice Somerset Trail walk
Nice Somerset Trail walk


The 13-kilometre Somerset trail starts opposite the Gantry day-use area and winds through a variety of vegetation including scribbly gum forest, rainforest, a pine plantation and open eucalypt forest. There are lots of beautiful grass trees and flowering banksia. I was in Jan's group and we walked the 1-kilometre Piccabeen Circuit at the beginning of our walk on the trail.

Flowering Banksia
Flowering Banksia


We had lunch at the Somerset lookout seven kilometres into the walk, with spectacular views over the Western Escarpment and Somerset and Wivenhoe dams.

View from lookout
View from lookout




There were several areas where the track came out of the forest and crossed over dirt roads which are shared by four-wheel-drive cars, horses, motorbikes and pushbikes, so walkers have to be careful crossing these. One of the road crossings had a lovely creek beside it, which looked tempting for a swim, but we didn't stop. It was the only water I saw on the walk and wouldn't be drinkable, so you do need to carry enough drinking water for the whole walk.

Water
Water beside track


There were remnants of logging along the track, including huge old tree stumps with cuts for planks in them where loggers had sawn the trees by hand. The area was extensively logged in the early days. Mt Mee was first settled in 1873, mostly with timber getters who were attracted to the beautiful red cedar timber. Timber from the mountain was used in Saint Stephen's Cathedral in Brisbane City, and in the old Hornibrook Bridge, which connects Brisbane with Redcliffe.

Remnants from logging days
Logging remnants


The Gantry is all that is left of The Hancock Sawmill built in the 1930s to mill timber logged in the forest. It was much easier to cut up wood on the mountain than haul it down to Caboolture or D'Aguilar.

People have been coming to Mt Mee for a long time. I found an old photo in the State Library of Queensland showing a Campbell family excursion to Mount Mee in June 1918. The road would have been pretty challenging back then.

Campbell family excusion 1918-State Library Qld
Campbell family excursion 1918-State Library Qld


A third walking group did Byron Gorge and the fourth group did Oakey Creek. Deb and Dwan led the Byron Gorge trip. It was advertised as a trip with everything, rock slabs, waterfalls, rock hopping, rock scrambling, huge overhanging cliffs, caves, great swimming for the polar bears, some vegetation changes, a little bit of scunge (not lantana) and isolation. I don't think anyone went swimming though as I'm sure the water was pretty cold.

The loop walk involved dropping into one creek, following it down to a junction, and then coming up another creek. Photos of that walk looked pretty exciting.

Michael led the fourth walk to Oaky Creek. That group headed off down the Somerset Trail. They left it after a short while to drop into Oaky Creek South. They stayed in the creek for about 7km, got to the top of a small waterfall, and then climbed up a 200 m steep ascent where they had lunch on a knoll with nice views to the east.

Oaky Creek Walk -Tanya Mehinagic photo
Oaky Creek Walk -Tanya Mehinagic photo


Oaky Creek Walk -Tanya Mehinagic photo
Oaky Creek Walk -Tanya Mehinagic photo


After lunch, they headed off South West down an old grassy track until they hit a firebreak road, which they followed back until they hit the Somerset Trail and returned to the cars. Their walk took about 6 hours.

Tall tree
Tall tree


All the walks were very successful. The weather was perfect. We kept warm at night sitting around a roaring big outdoor fire.
The area around Mount Mee was known to the indigenous inhabitants as Dahmongah, meaning "flying squirrel" or glider. It might be good to do a spotlighting trip up there sometime and look for these gliders.

At the campsite
Happy campers


On Saturday night we all had a delicious big feast cooked up by Dwan and his band of helpers.

We all set out on Sunday morning in small work groups armed with our tools to do some track clearing as a thank you for using the camping facilities. People had a wide variety of implements ready to tackle track clearing for a couple of hours.

The working Bee involved cutting back overgrowth vegetation along the Somerset and Piccabeen Tracks.

The workers
The workers


It was a fantastic weekend with a range of social and walking activities. The club is very lucky to have Dwan for his superb organising and cooking skills. He did a mighty job.

Piccabeen Trail
Piccabeen Trail


Photos of the other two walks looked great and I must go back and do those walks one day.

Oaky Creek Walk -Tanya Mehinagic photo
Oaky Creek Walk -Tanya Mehinagic photo


Workers -Tanya Mehinagic photo
Workers -Tanya Mehinagic photo
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Why? A beautiful walk in nature
When: Anytime
Where: Mt Mee
Cost: Camping costs. Walks free
Your Comment
Incredible trees Roz znd looks like a beautiful clear day
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|5083) 48 days ago
I love the walks and camping at Mt Mee.
Very interested to see the Campbell family photo. Third from the left is my husband's grandfather, James Campbell. He would have been 32 in this photo.
by campb (score: 0|4) 46 days ago
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