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Lake Manchester Hiking

Home > Brisbane > Escape the City | Nature | Outdoor | Walks
by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published December 14th 2014
Great hike not for from the CBD
Only 30 kms from the Brisbane CBD, Lake Manchester is a lovely, but not often visited, bushland area easily accessible from Brisbane. Like other SEQWATER run areas there are plans to expand their usage, but is currently restricted to picnic and barbecue areas, hiking, horse riding, mountain biking fishing and non-motorised water craft.

Lake Manchester
Lake Manchester


The hiking circuit of the trail is advertised as being 17 kms, but our GPS tracked it at 18 kms. With several steep ridges to ascend and descend the circuit is a great hike for people looking for a longer hike. If that puts you off then why not just do the first few kilometers of the track along the lake. It is a picturesque and easy walk alongside the lake shore.

Lake side path
Lake side path


Note: This is an 18 km poorly marked fire trail that backs on to a large area of National Park. Taking a wrong turn could leave you very lost. There are not many intersections and most have a sign of some sort. It is also easy enough to keep the lake on one side as you do the walk. Compared with some other hikes in the area, I think this is a very easy to follow track.

The tracks are not well shaded so take a hat and plenty of water. The other issue is creek crossing. Even though we went after recent rain the creeks were not a problem, but I have seen photos that show flooded creeks. So be aware of water levels when trying to cross creeks.

With circuits the most important question is whether to follow the track in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Our philosophy is always to leave the most beautiful sections to the end of the hike. With Lake Manchester this means following the track in a counterclockwise manner. This also puts most of the difficult sections near the end of the hike.

Steep section of the trail
Steep section of the trail


The start of the circuit is at the Lake Manchester day use parking area. If you just want to look at the dam, go on a short stroll or hike the circuit clockwise, then keep walking past the parking lot in the direction of the dam.

To hike in a counterclockwise manner you need to walk back up the road to Lake Manchester Road and follow it back for a short distance. The first turn off on your left is where the hike starts.

The first half of the walk is pretty straight forward with gently sloping ridges that are a pretty good workout but not too strenuous. However this section of the hike only provides a small number views. But there are places to rest along the lake shore as you go.

Lake Manchester Mullti-use trail
Lake Manchester Mullti-use trail


Once you cross Cabbage Tree Creek the trail diverts further inland and this is where you encounter several steep ridges. None of them a big problem if you are reasonably fit and not trying to hurry.

Crossing Cabbage Creek
Crossing Cabbage Creek


The last part of the hike takes you down paths that go along the lake. This section is definitely the best lake hiking in the Brisbane area and if you don't want to do 18 kms, it is well worth visiting in its own right. Once you see the dam you know you are near the end.

Lake side path
Lake side path


A great longer hike near Brisbane that is better on cooler days. If you feel that 18 kms is too long, why not try the other lakes in the area such as Enoggera and Gold Creek.
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Where: Lake Manchester Road (turn off Lake Manchester Road when you see the Lake Manchester Day Use Area sign)
Your Comment
It was a great place to take someone on a date- or it was for me

They even had a little place to eat and enjoy
by oldies (score: 2|197) 1797 days ago
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