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Ngumbi Camp Site (Mt Joyce Base Camp)

Home > Brisbane > Adventure | Camping | Nature | Outdoor | Walks
by Roz Glazebrook (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published July 6th 2020
In December I went kayaking at Lake Wyaralong and visited the Mt Joyce Ngumbi Base Camp at Lake Wyaralong for the first time. I wrote about that trip here.

I was recently very lucky to return to the area on a weekend bushwalk after COVID19 restrictions were lifted in Queensland.

On the track to Ngumbi base camp
On the track to Ngumbi base camp


A group from my bushwalking club met at the car park at the Wyaralong Dam Recreational Facility on the Wyaralong Dam Access Road, off Beaudesert-Boonah Road at 8am on a recent Saturday morning.

Lake Wyaralong
Lake Wyaralong


I took photos with my Sony camera on the trip and didn't realise until I got home and downloaded them onto my computer that I must have accidentally had a picture illustration effect on which made all the photos look like paintings. People looked like they were wearing masks, like something out of a horror movie. Some of the photos of the bush and lake turned out arty.

Crossing the creek
Crossing the creek


I took a photo of a bird on the ground near one of the picnic areas along the track. It was identified as a grey crowned babbler and was the first time I'd ever seen this type of bird.

Grey Crowned Babbler
Grey Crowned Babbler


We started walking from the dam car park to our camping site at Ngumbi base camp, walking along the track that runs along the banks of the dam. From there we followed a very well marked/touristy track. The track was well marked and it wasn't too hot. There was a toilet and picnic table about halfway where we stopped for a short rest. This could be a hot walk in summer.

Arriving at Ngumbi campsite
Arriving at Ngumbi campsite


Rain was predicted, so we were all prepared with our wet weather gear, but we only had light rain all weekend. I had heard there are some great views from the mountaintop of all the mountains of the Scenic Rim including Mounts Barney, Maroon, Lindsay, Mitchell, Cordeaux and others. Unfortunately, when we reached the top of 469m Mt Joyce, there was no view due to heavy cloud.

Our View from top of Mt Joyce
Our View from top of Mt Joyce


I am planning another weekend trip back in a few weeks, so hopefully, I will get to see the beautiful views then. The cloud lifted slightly and we could see bits of the lake far below.

On top of Mt Joyce
On top of Mt Joyce


After returning to base camp, we went on another walk down to the lake and walked around for about an hour looking at birds and the beautiful lake. There were sea eagles flying around and pelicans on the water.

Beautiful Lake Wyaralong
Beautiful Lake Wyaralong


The Ngumbi Remote Camping Area is managed by South East Queensland Water. There is a huge, lovely old historic homestead that has been restored. It has lots of rooms, with bunks and a drop toilet.

Setting up camp
Setting up camp


There is a tank at the campsite and wooden tables and seats. You do need to treat the water before drinking it. Some of our group used filtering systems and/or sterilizing tablets. I boiled extra water for the next day and left it to cool overnight.



There were a couple of other groups when we were there, but one family had one of the houses to themselves together with a resident python in the rafters on the deck, and the other group of young people camped. There is a large grassy area for campers. It is possible to get to the campsite by canoe or kayak too as it is a short distance from the water to the house and camping area. Camping is free.

Campsite
Campsite

After we walked around the lake, we went back to camp and shared drinks and nibbles before cooking our dinner. We were all tired and went to bed early. I had taken my tent but decided to sleep in the large old house. I even had a room to myself with a bunk bed. Five of us stayed in the house and the others slept in their tents. It didn't rain, but there was heavy dew overnight and the tents were very wet next morning.

Lake Wyaralong
Lake Wyaralong


Some of our walkers were doing their first overnight walk carrying a full pack. This is a good trip to try out your gear. I was using my new 65-litre Osprey Aura pack and I loved it. I do need to lighten my load a bit though, by investing in a lighter sleeping bag and lighter cooking equipment. I was envious of Robyn who had really lightweight gear borrowed from her daughter. Her sleeping bag was tiny but very warm and light. Some others found their packs too heavy and had sore shoulders and backs.

People at campsite
People at campsite


The Wyaralong dam was constructed on the Teviot Brook approximately 14 kilometres northwest of Beaudesert in the Logan River catchment. The dam was completed in 2011. It is the newest dam in South East Queensland and has become a popular recreation area with rowers, kayakers, canoeists, hikers, horse riders and fishermen. The dam wall is 463.60m and the catchment is 546,00km2.

Wyaralong dam wall
Wyaralong dam wall


Mount Joyce and surrounds form the Mt Joyce Recreation Park. The park is suitable for horse riders, mountain bikers and bushwalkers. The dam is restricted to electric-powered vessels and paddle craft only.

Coming up a hill
Coming up a hill


There was some discussion on Sunday morning about whether anyone wanted to climb the mountain again to try for a view as it was a clear sunny day, but everyone decided to just have a leisurely breakfast, pack up and walk out to the cars.

Almost back
Almost back


We called into the local winery before going into Boonah for lunch then headed back to Brisbane. It was a wonderful weekend. I hope I get a view from the top of Mt Joyce next visit.

Lake through trees
Lake through trees


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Why? An interesting bush walk
When: Anytime
Where: Wyaralong QLD 4310
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Interesting read and I love the special effects on The photos. You’ve almost inspired me to pack a picnic and head down to the lake for a walk.
by Robyn (score: 1|23) 26 days ago
Hope the view was worth it Roz
by May Cross (score: 3|6949) 28 days ago
Love the 'picture illustration effect', Roz, am wondering how many cameras actually have that feature!
by Elaine (score: 3|7422) 27 days ago
Liked your very informative article Roz. I was thinking what a good artist you were until I read how you obtained them. They still give an excellent idea of what you saw. Neil.
by Neil Follett (score: 2|569) 30 days ago
Fabulous article Roz! I've completed a day walk here, but I do love the idea of an overnight. Thanks for being the first person I know to do it. On my hit list now!
by hobbi (score: 0|8) 30 days ago
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