Freelance writer, foodie, couch potato advertising student from the QUT Business School. Visit my not too boring website: www.phoebeong.com
Published May 13th 2014
Up close to nature, but not too far from the city
I visited Lake Wivenhoe late last April for an overnight camping trip with a group of friends. Having never been to Lake Wivenhoe before, and actually to any camping sites in Australia, boy was I in for a surprise when I arrived at the Captain Logan camping facility that sat right on the edge of Lake Wivenhoe.
Located just a tiny bit further than Fernvale, Lake Wivenhoe is an artificial lake created by the Wivenhoe Dam. The entire facility, originally designed as a measure to combat the floods in the early 1970s, is now a familiar place for many a fond campers and kayaking enthusiasts. In my mind when I first arrived, I had expected a rustic camping trip that was devoid of any modern facilities, but imagine my surprise when I found myself in a fairly modern camp site, filled with plenty of wildlife and nature, that was however still well equipped with decent shower facilities (did I mention hot water?) and barbeque pits.
For a fairly novice camper, I found myself uncomfortable in the outdoors at first. Sitting amongst the huge towering tents that my neighbours had erected in their neat little lots that allowed us ample of space, my first camping trip in Australia however was proving to be an eye opening experience.
What I liked most about camping at Lake Wivenhoe, apart from the beautiful scenery that greeted me when I first arrived, was its abundance of fauna and birdlife. The birdlife, in particular, was interesting as plenty of ducks, pelicans and small birds were in abundance. When I first arrived at the campsite, it was already nearing dusk. For those who have never seen sunset at Lake Wivenhoe, the entire sky turns a dusky pink. With sailboats gently fluttering their sails in the foreground as the sun set, the one-hour road trip from Brisbane to the Wivenhoe Dam has already proved itself worthwhile.
Daylight always proves scarce when you are camping somehow. In the midst of pitching tents and trying to fix up dinner, it was soon dark. While the general assumption is that all you can do while camping is to sit and sing around a campfire when it is dark, there is however more to that cliché activity. Stargazing, in fact, proved to be more than enough to keep my group of friends entertained all night. With the city lights all far away enough, you can even spot the Milky Way at Lake Wivenhoe, which is what I did, if the night sky is cloudless enough for you.
When day breaks, if the birds did not wake you up with their cacophony of shrill voices, the cold mist would have definitely woken you up. Looking out of your tent, the mist that surrounds the lake, engulfing it in its whole is a sight on its own. With the Wivenhoe birds out in full force, getting up early to indulge, or be angry at the local birdies is something that campers could do.
A popular camping spot for locals, there are also many activities that can be done at Lake Wivenhoe, such as swimming, sailing and fishing, or even yoga if you would be keen on doing some on the well-manicured green grass.
In a nutshell, if one is looking for a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of Brisbane, and would like to look for some place not too far to enjoy a book and a cuppa tea in some morning mist in somewhere that is close to nature (but not too close, if you get what I mean), then camping at Lake Wivenhoe could be the place for you. Imagine sitting right in front of a lake, indulging in a full Aussie brekkie while reading a book. If I were you, I'd start packing now.