Manchester Lake Hike
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Lake Manchester loop is a 17 km long moderate hike around Lake Manchester in a conservation area near to D'Aguilar National Park. It is a grate hike offering to walk in a large fire trail with chance to spot wildlife and, especially in late winter and spring, there are many flowers.
You must have some fitness to cope with the length of the walk and with the steep section of the hills around the lake. The trail starts at the Day Use Area and generally it is tackled clockwise. Hiking boots and some hiking experience are recommended.
Lake Manchester trail starts at the dam wall and just follow the trail around the shoreline. Then the lake will disappear and you'll only see bush.
The fire trail is between bushes of open eucalypt and ironbark forests. The intersections are signposted, always turn right leaving the lake always on your right.
Some sections of the trail are shared use with horses and bikes.
At the end of winter, the wattle trees put up a beautiful display of yellow flowers in the bush. The bush around Lake Manchester has lots of wattle trees. In particular, the walk is accompanied all along by the call of different birds.
The wattle trees are included in the Acacia genus, one of the biggest groups of trees and shrubs in Australia. The wattle trees offer shelter to many critters in the bush and the flowers offer food to birds and insects. Wattle is a pioneer plant, meaning it grows in areas that have been disturbed or areas that have been affected by fire.
The wattles are drought-tolerant trees. The leaves are modified to withstand heat and drought to minimise the loss of water. The flowers don't have petals but a cluster of pollen anthers.
There are many species of wattle trees to be found in a wide range of habitats in Australia. In particular, the Golden Wattle appears in the National Flower. It flowers at the end of August and the beginning of September.
At the beginning, the fire trail is crossed by a creek. The level of water depends on the season and rains. Bring with you a pair of sandals to cross the creek and then put on your hiking boots.
About 4 km and a half from the start of the trail, you come across an old hut. This is a nice spot to take photos of the lake and of the group.
It is easy to come across the balloon cotton weed. The distinctive fruits are inflated and balloons like appearance, covered with soft spines and contain many small black seeds. The seeds are topped with a tuft of silky white hairs.
At about ten km from the beginning of the hike, you come across Blue Gum Flats campsite. For information about camping at the Blue Gum Flats camping site, follow the link:
The hike starts at Manchester Day Use Area, Lake Manchester QLD 4306. The Day Use Area is about 50 minutes drive from Brisbane City. From the City, follow the sign for Mount Crosby, turn on Wattle Street, Swensons Rd and Lake Manchester Road
What to bring
Hiking gear: a hiking medium backpack, long trousers and shirt with long sleeve, light raincoat, very recommended hiking ankle supportive boots, first aid kit, insect repellent (it works for leeches - give preference to cream or roll-on as it is more environmentally friendly than the spray), sunscreen, gloves, walking poles, if you like to use them, socks protectors or gaiters. Consider packing some extra clothes and leaving them in the car. Pack some clean footwear and socks.
For this hike, consider carrying a map or download a good app on your smartphone that can help you to navigate in the bush.
Bring a medium day backpack with lots of water, especially if it's a hot day (3.0 litres of water) and snacks. During summer, you can bring electrolytes to dissolve in water to compensate for the loss through perspiration.
You may consider packing sandwiches, fresh fruit, dry fruit, energy bars and small meals.
Walk with family, friends or in a group. Never alone!
The days prior to the hike, make sure to check
Weather Website www.bom.gov.au
Road Conditions https://qldtraffic.qld.gov.au
After the hike
After the hike, you can have refreshments at The Reserve Anstead Cafe
. This venue has an indoor and an outdoor area, a great menu with dietary requirement options and great coffee.
The Reserve Anstead Cafe is at unit 1/645 Hawkesbury Rd, Anstead QLD 4070.
You can also enjoy browsing in Joli Bluebird, a quaint shop with many great ideas for hobbies, homeware and furniture: www.weekendnotes.com/joli-bluebird-anstead
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176962 - 2023-06-15 17:53:12