To relieve the heat of summer in Brisbane, all you need to do is visit the cool, refreshing waters of Lake Somerset. We decided to go an adventure to the lake, 120 kms west of Brisbane, and were pleasantly surprised to discover this haven for wildlife, and playground for all things aquatic. Whether you're into fishing, sailing, swimming, kayaking, or wave boarding, Lake Somerset is the perfect location to enjoy the great outdoors, not too far from the nearest city. The lake itself was formed in 1953, when a large dam wall was built across the Stanley River Gorge, resulting in a beautiful lake with 237 kms of shoreline to explore.
We drove past the townships of Mt Nebo and Mt Glorious, through the amazing rainforests of the D'Aguilar National Park, and began the steep descent into the Upper Brisbane Valley. Be sure to wind down the window as you drive along so you can hear the Bell Birds singing in the forest outside. There were stunning glimpses of pelicans swimming on Lake Wivenhoe out towards the left as we drove along, until we finally took a right turn off to Somerset Dam Village.
We stopped off briefly at the Somerset Dam Village park and bought some picnic/ice supplies at their well stocked General Store. Next stop for us was The Spit, a small peninsular jutting right into southern end of Somerset Lake which lay a little further along The Esk - Kilcoy Road. Alternatively, Lake Somerset can easily be reached from the North via Kilcoy Township, where you can also access the water at Lake Somerset Holiday Park.
At The Spit (gates open 6am - 6pm), there are two excellent children's playgrounds overlooking the lake. There are also plenty of shady picnic tables, electric barbecues and wood fire barbecues available as well as clean toilets and a designated swimming area. There are several boat launching ramps, so bring your speed boat, jet skis, canoes and kayaks in order to experience the lake from the water. This is also a very popular water skiing venue, so be sure to get there early, bring your latest gear and some extra fuel.
If you want to continue the circuit, you can travel home via the Brisbane Valley highway, through Fernvale. 14 kms on from Fernvale, the highway meets the Warrego Hwy north of Ipswich at Blacksoil. Heading east, the Warrego Hwy joins the Ipswich Motorway at Dinmore and will take back into Brisbane.