If you Google Neville Lawrie Reserve, you will find that the reserve is located in Priestdale - however, the fastest way to get to Neville Lawrie Reserve Quarry is by walking from Daisy Hill Conservation Park in Daisy Hill. There is no car access direct to the quarry, but is a 2.8km walk from the nearest carpark, taking you through beautiful bushland along the Buhot Creek Circuit. Daisy Hill, a suburb in Logan City, is just 24km from Brisbane's CBD, making it easily accessible by car within a 30 minute drive.
Don't worry, you don't have to walk the whole 8.6km (x2) unless you want to!
Aside from there being a free swimming pool waiting for you at the end of a beautiful bushwalk, the best part about Neville Lawrie Reserve Quarry is that they are dog friendly! It's so hard to find places that dogs are legally allowed to swim, and by swim, I mean a proper swim, not a paddle at the beach (unless you go really far out from the shore!) - the quarry at Neville Lawrie Reserve is truly a hidden gem amongst the hidden gems; it literally took me hours of searching on Google to find!
In addition, if you couldn't already tell from the photos, yes, dogs are allowed at Neville Lawrie Reserve Quarry! The only rule is that, like with most public places, dogs have to be on leash at all times, to ensure the safety of both them and others.
Another thing to bear in mind that although motor vehicles are not permitted on the track towards the quarry without written permission, cycling and horse riding is permitted. To share the track safely, cyclists are to give way to pedestrians, but both pedestrians and cyclists are to give way to horse riders. In addition, as the fastest route to the quarry is accessed through Daisy Hill Conservation Park, it is important to note that everything in the park is protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 with penalties for offences.
Instead of following directions from your GPS directly to Neville Lawrie Reserve in Priestdale, drive towards the Daisy Hill Conservation Park - the best place to park to begin your hike towards Neville Lawrie Reserve Quarry is situated just to the right of the entry of Daisy Hill Conservation Park. Entry to Daisy Hill Conservation Park is free, as is parking here - couldn't ask for more really! There's even plenty of trees and shade to help keep your car cool on your return.
The walk from Daisy Hill Forest to Neville Lawrie Reserve Quarry is quite a strenuous walk slash hike, especially on a hot summer's day, but with enough breaks, plenty of hydration throughout, and a fair amount of persistence, it is very manageable for the average person. If a pug like Eddy can conquer the 5.6km return walk, then so can you! Keep an eye out for the many interesting things you will encounter en route to the quarry... after all, the journey is as important as the destination, if not more so!
After approximately 2.5km following the Buhot Creek Circuit, you will see signs informing patrons of their proximity to the quarry - just 340m away, to be precise. Follow these signs and take a left, and you'll be at the quarry before you know it. You'll also pass by a danger warning sign for the quarry area, which informs visitors that there are loose cliff edges in the area - walking, climbing, or approaching cliff edges is dangerous, so take caution.
We're only 340m away from a free au naturel swimming pool!
Once you get to the quarry, you'll be granted amazing panoramic views of the quiet and serene quarry. Despite going on a Saturday afternoon, we were the only ones there, and had the whole quarry area to ourselves (although we did pass by a few suspiciously wet dogs on the way to the quarry). There is one fixed seat at the quarry (with a cheeky love heart engraved on it), but other than that, the quarry and its surrounds remains beautifully untouched - it's au naturel indeed. If you're looking for a (well-deserved) rest, however, there are plenty of shady spots around near big rocks that can easily be used as seats. Otherwise, just pick any spot - it's a great place to get a tan!
Eddy having a sneaky rest at the one seat at Neville Lawrie Reserve Quarry.
Upon inspection, the water at Neville Lawrie Reserve Quarry is clean and littered with beautiful lilypads - the water is calm, making it the perfect place for Eddy to have his first ever 'proper' swim. Despite Eddy not being too keen on swimming, it was very nice to cool off after a hot and sweaty walk through bushland, and Eddy had great fun playing in the mud (which he preferred to the water).
Despite Eddy not being too keen on being in the water, he was already completely wet after a few laps in the water - lucky that there's a large open grassy area that dogs can run around on and dry off naturally! There's also plenty of rocks in the area, which makes for great climbing opportunities - Eddy certainly enjoyed this, and I was pleasantly surprised at how (uncharacteristically) brave he was here. Perhaps after swimming for the first time, everything else pales into comparison in terms of how scary he perceived the activities to be? The quarry and surrounds is also a great place for the people to relax after the trek here, to regain some energy before making the trip back to the car.
Large grassy area to run around and dry off - can you spot Eddy?
Eddy and I had such a wonderful time at Neville Lawrie Reserve (although perhaps, for Eddy, not the actual swimming part). It was great to get some exercise in despite the heat on the day we went, because it made cooling off at the quarry all the more better. There were also lots of helpful people who we asked about the quarry along the way, as we did not know how long we had to walk before reaching the quarry and were thinking about turning back - lucky we didn't! I do think we went a bit underprepared on the day though, as we couldn't find much information on the place prior to going. As such, here are things we recommend bringing for you and your furbabies:
Proper walking shoes (the walking track has lots of little pebbles that can be quite painful walking in sandals, although feel free to bring some more comfortable shoes for when you reach the quarry)
Hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses (especially if on a hot day)
Towels and togs (if you and/or your dog is planning to go for a swim)
Camera (to document all the memories you'll look back fondly on)
Doggy bags (there are none provided in the reserve or conservation park)
Water, water, water! (there are no water facilities in the area, so I can't stress this enough!)