I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published December 21st 2019
Kayak with sea eagles
Every year my bushwalking club has a Christmas party weekend camping trip with a variety of bushwalks and kayaking trips. This year, the weekend was held at the Spring Gully Stays campground at 334 Sarabah Road, Canungra at the base of Lamington National Park Road, which is the road up to O'Reillys. If you go there, be careful not to follow Google Maps as it tries to take you the wrong way.
It was a great weekend with a variety of activities. On Saturday, there was a wide choice of bushwalks of different difficulty levels, mostly up at Lamington National Park. I chose to go on a kayaking trip to Lake Wyaralong, as I'd never been there before.
We drove from our campsite through Beaudesert to the Wyaralong dam. The dam was constructed on the Teviot Brook, approximately 14 kilometres northwest of Beaudesert in the Logan River catchment. The dam was completed in 2011. It is the newest dam in South East Queensland and has become a popular recreation area with rowers, kayakers, canoeists, hikers, horse riders and fishermen. The dam wall is 463.60m and the catchment is 546,00km2.
We launched our kayaks at the Meebun Recreational Area and kayaked up the dam and around an island, keeping out of the way of some rowers who were having a race. We passed a large sea eagle's nest high in a dead tree in the middle of the lake, and further on we saw the white-bellied sea eagle perched in some trees watching for prey.
After about six kilometres, we turned off to the right beside a buoy and paddled into shore where there was a picnic table. After a morning tea, I walked up the track to the Mt Joyce base camp. The Ngumbi Remote Camping Area is managed by South East Queensland Water. There was a huge, lovely old historic homestead that has been restored. It has lots of rooms, with bunks and a drop toilet. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me because I didn't want it to get wet while kayaking.
Mount Joyce rises 470m tall above Wyaralong Dam. The Mountain and surrounds form the Mt Joyce Recreation Park. The park is suitable for horse riders, mountain bikers and bushwalkers. The dam is restricted to electric-powered vessels and paddle craft only.
I would love to go back and paddle to the campsite again and spend a night or two there and climb Mount Joyce. I have heard there are some great views from the mountaintop of all the mountains of the Scenic Rim including Mounts Barney, Maroon, Lindsay, Mitchell, Cordeaux and others. It is possible to hike to Mt Joyce too from the dam wall. There are walking tracks around the dam suitable for horse riders, bushwalkers and mountain bike riders.
On Saturday night there was a wonderful communal dinner provided by some wonderful club chefs followed by a bush dance with covers band, Still Rockin from 6-10pm. The band was so good; the club has already booked it for next Christmas.
We all danced the night away. The club has some very good rock n roll dancers.
On Sunday after packing up and having a lovely swim, I headed for home. It was a very relaxing, active and enjoyable weekend.