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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.