I am an Organiser of the Group Hiking South East Qld and More on Meetup. Visit the website at https://www.meetup.com/HikingInSEQLDandMore/ is free to join all the activities posted on the hiking group.
Published February 4th 2021
A great hike in the D'Aguilar National Park in a beautiful rainforest with diverse flora and fauna, just about one hour from Brisbane centre.
The amazing views from Somerset Lookout. Photo by Author.
The walk starts at the end of Sellin Rd opposite The Gantry. Park the car at The Gantry Day Use Area.
The hike is 13 km return, allow 4 hours; you need some fitness to enjoy the walk. D'Aguilar National Park website rates the track class 4: the trail has some rough sections, when raining the trail may become muddy. You can hike the trail clockwise or anticlockwise. I prefer hiking in anticlockwise direction. Hike with a friend or in group.
The sign mark the starting point of Somerset Trail and Piccabeen Trail. Photo by Author.
Bring with you lots of water, 2 L, nutritious snacks to eat at the lookouts; hiking gear: hiking boots, medium hiking backpack, long sleeves and long trousers are preferable; hat; first aid kit; insect repellent (cream or roll on); gloves, light raincoat, just in case; phone, maps.
Somerset Walking Trail and Piccabeen Trail has the same start, just opposite the Gantry. Piccabeen Trail is easy walk, 1km circuit, allow 30 minutes. At the head of the two trails, there is a sign.
Somerset Trail is signposted with poles, there is just about a signpost every kilometre.
There are signposts on the trail. Photo by Author.
About halfway on the Somerset Trail, there are a serial of lookouts. You can stop at the lookouts and admire the great views over Somerset dam and Lake Wivenhoe. You can sit and enjoy the fantastic views while having a snack.
What a fantastic views to enjoy with a snack! Photo by Author.
I hiked Somerset Trail few times, in different seasons and in different weathers. During a storm, the trail turned into a creek, with rainy water flowing by gravity. It was summer rain, myself and my group got drenched but we had fun! A feedback from a hiker was she felt like Lara Croft, a sort of Trail Raider in the mist and in the rain!
When you arrive at The Gantry Day Use Area, you can see a shed with a gantry. The gantry is a structure supporting a crane used to hoist the timber. The area was heavily logged and the Gantry was a busy and noisy sawmill for the production of timbers.
After the hike is time for some well-deserved refreshments! Drive back onto Sellin Rd, turn right onto Mt Mee Rd and on your right is Pitstop Cafe. It is located at 2070a Mount Mee Rd, Ocean view Qld 4521. It has nice coffee and light refreshments! Pitstop Café is a favourite for motorcycles, cyclers and hikers.
There is plenty of room inside and there are tables outside. The views from the veranda are amazing! The inside has collectables and memorabilia, making the place very interesting and with its own personality!
Pitstop Cafe has a different interior. Photo by Author.
Directions: from Brisbane there are few ways to get to The Gantry. Travel through Samford Village and Dayboro out Mt Mee Rd, then turn left onto Sellin Rd and into the signposted park.
For a great scenic drive, from Brisbane reach Caboolture, take D'Aguilar Hwy, turn onto Campbells Pocket Rd, turn left onto Mount Mee Rd and turn right onto Sellin Rd. The views of the valleys are breathtaking!