Its been years since I’ve been out to Lake Wivenhoe for anything recreational.
Years ago, when we lived in Browns Plains on the southern outskirts of Brisbane, we spend quite a bit of time out there just running amok with the kids during the school holidays.
I’m not a sailor by any stretch, but we enjoyed hiring the catamarans and sail boats on site. It was a good way to spend a day on the water, the kids loved it and being subtropical it doesn’t get that cold during winter.
It was easier to get to Lake Wivenhoe than the Gold Coast too, even though it was 15km (10 miles) further away. Another bonus was that you rarely if ever had to search for parking, plus it was a nice country drive instead of the push and shove you usually endure on the freeways.
Lake Wivenhoe isn’t a natural lake, it’s actually a dam spanning the upper reaches of the Brisbane River. Completed in 1983, its primary function is to provide drinking water for the residents of Brisbane, it also provides flood mitigation and hydroelectricity for the region.
Since moving to the north side we don’t often venture to the Ipswich region, but because we’d attended the Toy Run <link>, we decided to take an alternative route home forgoing the 60km (37 mile) trip back through the city and all its traffic.
Our route would see us cover 130km (80 miles), passing through Fernvale on our way out to Cormorant Bay on Lake Wivenhoe, where we planned to have a picnic lunch before heading home via Mt Glorious <Link> and Clear Mountain.
If you don’t have a picnic lunch like we did, all is not lost.
There’s a tuck shop* on site where you can grab a take-away meal. Or, if you prefer to be a bit more posh you can have slap up meal on the café balcony overlooking the lake.
Cormorant Bay is one of many day use areas scattered around the dam perimeter. The dam itself covers around 110km² (68 sq miles) and this doesn’t include Somerset Dam, which has an additional area of 42km² (26 sq miles) and feeds into Wivenhoe.
After our slap up meal of cheese and salami sandwiches, fresh fruit and coffee (well, we are of European decent after all), we headed back out to the Brisbane Valley Highway for the short ride to the Wivenhoe-Somerset Road turn off.
The run from the Brisbane Valley Highway along the Wivenhoe-Somerset Road is good, and there are plenty of opportunities to pull up and take in the views. But once you turn on to the Northbrook Parkway, you’ll get suckered in to the twisting blacktop for the run up to Mt Glorious.
Be aware though, this stretch of road is rough in places, has sharp hairpin corners and is heavily policed, so it pays to take it easy. We were followed by popo on two occasions on this road, and spotted two more along the upper reaches of Mt Glorious Road heading down into Samford.
In all, it was a nice way to fill in an afternoon after the toy run, and it gave The Bar Tender some experience on some pretty challenging sections of road.
Till next time.
- Tuck shop: Aussie for a take-away shop or canteen
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