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Lake Manchester Walk

Home > Brisbane > Health and Fitness | Nature | Outdoor | Walks
by Roz Glazebrook (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published June 19th 2021
An interesting bushwalk
Lake Manchester
Lake Manchester


I recently went on a bushwalk to Lake Manchester. I had never been to the area before and found it very interesting. The Lake Manchester Dam is a concrete dam with an un-gated spillway across Cabbage Tree Creek, located 25 kilometres west of Brisbane.

Heading down trail
Heading down trail


The dam construction began in 1912 and was completed in1916. It was upgraded in 2008. It was originally called Cabbage Tree Creek Dam, however, upon completion was renamed Lake Manchester after Mr E.J. Manchester, president of the Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board.

Wide track
Wide track


We left Brisbane early and drove to the Lake Manchester day use area, which has toilets and picnic tables. The tracks are suitable for walkers, mountain bike riders and horse riders. We passed some horse riders and mountain bike riders using the track. Motorbikes are prohibited, although we did see a couple on the tracks when we were there.

Horse riders
Horse riders


Trail bikes are not allowed
Trail bikes are not allowed


You can kayak on the dam but we only saw one kayaker. I realised why when we saw the long steep track to get to the water with your boat.

The Knoll we climbed
The Knoll we climbed


We planned to do some off-track walking and also climb the knoll that is a steep hill immediately left of the lake. After climbing the Knoll, we rejoined the formed tracks around the lake.

There were lots of steep hills going up and down and it was a good workout. My walking poles really helped on the hills, especially going down the very slippery, steep hills.

Off track
Off track
.

We had morning tea at an interesting old hut beside the lake. There was even a jawbone from some creature. The experts on the mammal identification page said it was a pig jaw.





There were a few creek crossings where we all got wet feet. One man managed to rock hop across a few of the creeks but eventually got wet feet when there were no rocks. He could have taken his boots off but it was easier to just walk through.

Creek crossing
Creek crossing


Getting wet feet
Getting wet feet


There were some views of the lake, which was very beautiful. Towards the end of the walk, we met some police who said they were looking for a lone lost walker. We told them about the few walkers we had passed and where we had seen them. Before we reached the end, the police passed us and gave us the thumbs up sign, so they had found the lost walker, which was very good.

Lillies on the Lake
Lillies on the Lake


Police looking for lost hiker
Police looking for lost hiker


Our walk was almost 21 kilometres long and we were all tired at the end, but it was a very enjoyable walk along forest trails, creek crossings with some bush bashing.

Lake Manchester from the Knoll
Lake Manchester from the Knoll


The usual walk around the lake is 17 kilometres and it is recommended to go clockwise to get the hard hilly parts over early, while you are fresh rather than at the end of the walk. A lot of the walk is out in the open, so you need to wear a hat and sunscreen and take plenty of water. You also need shoes with good grip, so you don't slip on the loose gravel on the steep bits.

lake
Lake Manchester




Not sure I will go kayaking there after I saw the steep track to get to the launch site. It would be okay going down to the water, which is about 650 m, but would be hard pulling your kayak back up, even on its wheels.

Tree across creek
Tree across creek


Nice resting spot
Nice resting spot


It was a very enjoyable walk.

Another creek crossing
Another creek crossing


Distance and elevations by Bob Reid
Distance and elevations by Bob Reid


Map of our walk by Bob Reid
Map of our walk by Bob Reid
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Why? An interesting challenging walk
When: Anytime
Where: Lake Manchester
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Hi Roz, How long did the walk take you to complete? Thanks, Susan.
by Susan Jackson (score: 2|846) 376 days ago
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