Nature called... it wants you back!
Let’s face it. Life is busy. We spend our days uploading, downloading, tweeting, posting, gramming and checking in, when what we really want to do, is just check out.
It’s no wonder that time just Tik-Tok’s away on us. But what if we could escape the screens, scrolling and socials? What if we could replace Facebook with face to face; Snapchat with real chat; and Tinder with timber? Well, scroll no more, because here in Somerset we’ve got just what you’ve been missing. It’s called nature and it’s spectacular, you really should get reacquainted with it. There’s parks, lakes, rivers, reserves, wildlife, birdlife, bushland and mountains, and it’s all waiting for you here in Somerset.
Nature Trails and Reserves
Wivenhoe Hill Trails
Fig Tree Road via Hay Road exit on the Brisbane Valley Highway, Lake Wivenhoe
The Wivenhoe Hill Trails are a 16km trail network and the perfect way to explore Lake Wivenhoe by foot, mountain bike or horseback. With four trails to choose from, the Wivenhoe Hill Trails have something for everyone. Keep an eye out for our local mates seen along the trails including, whiptail wallabies, koalas, whistling kites, red fairy wrens and grey fantails.
Jensen’s Swamp Road, Lowood
With 20 hectares of natural bushland to discover, Jensen’s Swamp is perfect for spotting some of our favourite furry and feathery friends. As a protected habitat for native flora and fauna, Jensen’s Swamp is home to over 67 species of birds, brushtail possums, squirrel and sugar gliders, bandicoots and echidnas.
Explore National Parks and State Forests
D’Aguilar National Park
As the eastern border to the Somerset region, the D’Aguilar National Park has a range of diverse ecosystems throughout the two sections of the park. Home to an array of flora and fauna, it’s the perfect place for wildlife spotting. The northern section of the D’Aguilar National Park is home to two camping areas, Neurum Creek and Archer. Both camping areas offer a natural bush setting to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. At the southern end of the national park, enjoy a scenic drive up Northbrook Parkway with a stop at Wivenhoe Lookout for spectacular views.
Conondale National Park
Conondale National Park covers over 35,000 hectares and is home to more than 120 species of wildlife throughout a diverse range of ecosystems. Apart from the Conondale Great Walk, four-wheel driving is a favourite past time in the national park, with registered high clearance four-wheel drives allowed on forest roads. Sunday Creek Road from Jimna to Charlie Mooreland Campground near Kenilworth is a popular track. Be sure to check road conditions and park updates before heading out on the four-wheel drive tracks.
Jimna State Forest
Jimna State Forest is home to Peach Trees camping and day use area and is a wildlife watcher’s dream. Eastern Grey Kangaroos are commonly seen lazing around under the gumtrees scattered across the camping area. Set up camp on the grassy banks of Yabba Creek with sites suitable for tents, campervans and caravans. A dedicated wheelchair friendly camp site and toilet facilities are available at the campground. During your visit choose from one of the three short walking tracks to explore the surrounding bushland, or head down to Yabba Creek at dawn or dusk to keep an eye out for the elusive platypus. Mountain biking and horse riding are also permitted on state forest roads throughout Jimna State Forest and the horse trail network. A horse paddock is located beside Peach Trees camping area.
Benarkin State Forest
Benarkin State Forest can be found along the western reaches of the Somerset region. The Benarkin day use area is easily accessible from the D’Aguilar Highway, but for those a little more adventurous, the 16km four-wheel drive track to Clancy’s Camp and Emu Creek day use and camping areas will hit the spot. Take a dip in the cool waters of Emu Creek or go wildlife spotting through the rainforest, hoop pine plantations and eucalypt forests.
Ravensbourne National Park
Ravensbourne National Park is located 33km west of Esk among the Great Dividing Range. With expansive views over Somerset and Lake Wivenhoe, it is known for its birdlife with 113 bird species recorded in the small national park. Enjoy a walk through this remnant forest on one of four graded tracks or enjoy the day use area and pack a picnic.
Camp under the stars
There’s nothing better than camping out under the stars, but don’t forget that camping permits are required for overnight stays at Queensland National Parks and State Forests. Grab your permit here
DID YOU SAY WILDLIFE?
Somerset is a wildlife watcher’s paradise. Catch regular glimpses of koalas snoozing in the Eucalypt trees, grazing kangaroos in open grasslands and the occasional echidna meandering along the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. Keep an eye out for our abundance of river-life and you might just spot our elusive mate, the platypus, splashing in a quiet waterhole.
Birdlife is abundant throughout the region so have your binoculars ready when your eyes are to the skies in Somerset. Birdwatchers can catch sightings of black cockatoos, king parrots, rainbow lorikeets, pied cormorants, white-faced herons, bush-stone curlews, whistling kites, Australian pelicans, kookaburras, Eastern whipbirds, wood ducks and azure kingfishers and more.
Download Bird Places of Somerset or pick up a copy from our visitor information centres. While you’re there, play a game of eye-spy to see how many of the hundred bird species you can spot.
So, what are you waiting for? Get back to nature and come meet our feathered and furry friends!
Spot birds and wildlife at:
- Peach Trees Day Use Area, Jimna State Forest
- Brisbane River, Linville
- Yowie Park, Kilcoy
- Kirkleagh Day Use Area, Lake Somerset
- The Spit, Lake Somerset
- O’Shea’s Crossing, Lake Wivenhoe
- Koala Habitat Enhancement Corridor, Toogoolawah
- Lions Park, Esk
- Pipeliner Park, Esk
- Hamon Cove, Lake Wivenhoe
- Logan Inlet Day Use Area, Lake Wivenhoe
- Wivenhoe Hill Trails, Lake Wivenhoe
- Cormorant Bay, Lake Wivenhoe
- Spillway Lookout, Lake Wivenhoe
- Atkinson’s Crossing, Lake Wivenhoe
- Billie’s Bay and Hays Landing, Lake Wivenhoe
- Branch Creek, Lake Wivenhoe
- Northbrook Parkway, D’Aguilar National Parks
- Twin Bridges, Fernvale
- Savages Crossing, Fernvale
- Jensen’s Swamp Environmental Reserve, Lowood