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Picturesque Lakes In and Around Brisbane

Picturesque Lakes In and Around Brisbane

Ah, Brisbane – the land of sunshine, friendly locals, and surprisingly, some of the most picturesque lakes you’ll ever stumble upon! As a self-proclaimed water-wanderer, I’ve set out to explore these liquid gems, and it’s a fantastic journey!

From serene oases that’ll make you question whether you’re still in the bustling city to secret spots perfect for a clandestine picnic, Brisbane’s lakes are a hidden treasure trove.

So, grab your sunhat, your sense of adventure, and maybe even a few breadcrumbs for the ducks, because we’re about to dive into the enchanting world of lakes in Brisbane.

1. Enoggera Reservoir

Enoggera Reservoir
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Location: Enoggera Reservoir, 60 Mt Nebo Road, The Gap, QLD 4520


Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 6 AM–6 PM

Nestled in the charming suburb of The Gap, Enoggera Reservoir, previously known as the Enoggera Dam since 1866, beckons as a serene aquatic oasis under the care of SEQ Water.

A delightful escape for Brisbane locals and families, this reservoir lies just 12 kilometers north of the CBD. Although devoid of picnic amenities, barbecues, or restrooms, Enoggera Reservoir offers plenty to keep families entertained.

Here, you can relish a sandy shoreline picnic, take a refreshing dip in the tranquil waters, embark on a serene canoe or kayak adventure, or explore the scenic perimeter track.

The site also presents opportunities to spot wildlife, including the elusive platypus, turtles, kingfishers, and various waterfowl. A short stroll from the parking area leads to a lush lakeside expanse, perfect for picnicking or unwinding by the water’s edge.

The 400-meter accessible hillside track links to the Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre, offering scenic trails, mountain bike courses, and a Dinosaur Dig Sandpit for uncovering prehistoric treasures.

Adjacent to the park is the Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre, known for ranger shows, nocturnal animal exhibits, and a cafe with reservoir views, as well as a Functions Centre for special events.

Pro tips:
• Before planning your visit, always check for any water quality or safety alerts on the Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre website. Sometimes swimming is temporarily prohibited.
• If you have kids, it’s crucial to supervise them at the swimming area since it’s not patrolled.

2. Lake Moogerah

Lake Moogerah
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Address: 144 Moogerah Connection Road, Moogerah, Scenic Rim Area, QLD 4309


Contact Details: +61 75463 2233, [email protected]

Lake Moogerah is one of the Brisbane area’s finest natural retreats. Only an hour and fifteen minutes from Brisbane’s central business district, it offers a range of activities, making it a sought-after destination for nature enthusiasts and day-trippers alike.

The expansive blue waters of Lake Moogerah are a haven for recreational boating, water skiing, and jet skiing. Multiple access points around the lake provide boating facilities, small swimming areas, and parkland with barbecues.

On hot days, you’ll find locals, campers, and day-trippers cooling off next to Haigh Park, complete with public barbecue and picnic facilities, and a convenient café for refreshments.

While strolling across the 219-meter-long and 38-meter-high Moogerah Dam wall, keep an eye out for turtles gliding beneath.

For those seeking a more active adventure, the hiking trail up Mt. Edward in Moogerah Peaks National Park begins from the far side of the wall.

To reach this serene retreat from Brisbane, follow the Ipswich Motorway, which transitions into the Cunningham Highway, turning onto the Boonah Fassifern Road at Fassifern, and then onto Lake Moogerah Road.

Pro tips:
• If you’re planning to camp, ensure you’ve got all your camping gear, including tents, sleeping bags, and cooking equipment.
• If you plan to fish, make sure you have the necessary permits in advance.

3. Lake Somerset

Address: Esk- Kilcoy Road, Somerset Dam, Somerset Area, QLD 4312


Contact Details: +61 1300 737 928, [email protected]

Lake Somerset is one of the finest lakes in the vicinity of Brisbane. While it serves a crucial role in the region’s water supply, it also offers a multitude of recreational facilities, making it a go-to destination for both locals and tourists.

Day-trippers can relish the inviting day-use areas at Kirkleagh, The Spit, Somerset Park, and Westvale. For those seeking a refreshing dip, designated swimming areas are found at Kirkleagh and The Spit.

Lake Somerset accommodates various water activities, from motorized options like water skiing, jet skiing, wakeboarding, to the tranquility of non-motorized pursuits like kayaking and canoeing.

Anglers will find the lake’s waters teeming with possibilities, but remember to secure your boating and fishing permits in advance.

If you wish to extend your stay, the area offers several private campgrounds, holiday houses, and retreats for a more immersive experience.

Lake Somerset, managed by Seqwater, promises an array of outdoor adventures and leisure, providing a scenic escape just a short drive from Brisbane.

Pro tips:
• Prior to your visit, check Seqwater’s recreation and safety notices for any updates or important information about your planned activities at Lake Somerset.
• Lake Somerset is a fantastic spot for birdwatching. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars and a field guide to identify the various avian species.

4. Lake Maroon

Lake Maroon
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Location: Bicentennial Park, Maroon, Scenic Rim Area, QLD 4310


Contact Details: [email protected]

Lake Maroon’s proximity to Brisbane makes it an easily accessible destination for outdoor enthusiasts and water adventurers. This vast expanse of water is a haven for camping and offers a plethora of recreational activities.

From sailing and fishing to water skiing and parasailing, Lake Maroon caters to a wide range of interests. Boating options, both powered and non-powered, are available, and visitors can partake in canoeing, kayaking, and camping in designated areas.

The lake is particularly renowned for its bass fishing, attracting anglers from far and wide.

Beyond the water, the surrounding region offers opportunities for exploration, including trips to local country markets, winery tours, and even off-road adventures for four-wheel driving enthusiasts.

Lake Maroon’s diverse offerings, along with its beautiful natural setting, make it one of the top choices for those seeking outdoor recreation and a tranquil escape in the Brisbane area.

Pro tips:
• Make a stop at the Boonah Visitor Information Centre for additional details about the area and its attractions.
• Always prioritize safety on the water and while enjoying outdoor activities. Familiarize yourself with local safety guidelines, and carry essentials like sunscreen, hats, and reusable water bottles to stay protected and hydrated.

5. Blue Lake

Blue Lake
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Location: North Stradbroke Island Road, North Stradbroke Island, QLD, Australia, 4183

Contact Details: +61 7 3006 6290

The iconic Blue Lake, known as Kaboora to the Quandamooka people, holds a special place among Brisbane’s lakes.

This lake is a place of deep cultural significance. Located within the Naree Budjong Djara National Park, it draws visitors to tread lightly and respect its heritage.

Blue Lake is also referred to as a “window lake.” With a depth of just under 10 meters when full, it hosts the southern sunfish and is connected to the Eighteen Mile Swamp through water overflow.

Environmental studies have unveiled the remarkable stability of Blue Lake over thousands of years, making it a site of great ecological interest and historical significance.

While swimming in this sacred space is off-limits, the lake’s natural beauty is best appreciated along the Kaboora track. This leisurely stroll leads to the Dakabin lookout, offering breathtaking ocean views.

The 5.2km round-trip track meanders through wallum woodlands, flowering heath, and stunted eucalypts, making it an ideal spot for a serene walk.

Adequate footwear, a hat, and water are advisable, and a moderate level of fitness is recommended to fully enjoy this experience.

Pro tips:
• While the walk is generally easy, be aware of your surroundings. Stick to the marked path and follow any safety guidelines provided.
• Keep an eye out for the local wildlife, from bird species to wallabies. Bring binoculars for birdwatching if you’re inclined.

6. Lake McKenzie

Lake McKenzie
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Location: Lake McKenzie, K’gari, Fraser Coast Area, QLD 4581


Contact Details: +61 1800 811 728, [email protected]

Lake McKenzie, a jewel on Fraser Island, is a celebrated freshwater oasis known for its unique qualities and stunning natural beauty.

Perched high above the water table, it’s exclusively fed by rainwater, which accumulates due to a sandy bottom layer, ensuring the lake remains full year-round.

The lake’s most captivating feature is its pure white silica sand shores, creating a natural filter that maintains exceptionally clear and pure water, although it doesn’t support animal life, making it perfect for a peaceful swim.

Here, visitors can camp under the enchanting Australian night sky and enjoy individual campfire spaces and convenient amenities. Swimming in the crystal-clear waters is a serene experience, with the soft sand underfoot acting as a natural exfoliant.

Picnic areas around the lake offer scenic dining with tables and barbecue facilities.

Alternatively, visitors can explore nearby Fraser Island attractions, such as the captivating Maheno Shipwreck and the pristine waters of Eli Creek, perfect for tubing and swimming.

The best time to visit Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island is during the winter months, when you can enjoy low humidity, warm temperatures, and the annual migration of whales from Antarctica.

Spring also offers consistent and pleasant weather with minimal rainfall, making it an ideal time for a visit.

Pro tips:
• To explore Fraser Island’s vast and diverse landscapes, consider taking a tour or hiring a 4WD vehicle, as navigating the sandy tracks can be challenging without the right equipment and knowledge.
• Be prepared for unpredictable weather patterns, especially during the wet season. Have suitable clothing and gear on hand to stay comfortable in unforeseeable conditions.

7. Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon
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Location: Moreton Island, Moreton Bay, QLD 4025

Tucked away on Moreton Island, Blue Lagoon is a unique freshwater oasis in the midst of a saltwater paradise. This 42-hectare lagoon distinguishes itself by its source of freshwater, unlike most lakes in the region.

Rather than being fed by local streams or rivers, Blue Lagoon is filled by fresh underground water rising through the sandy soil. It’s estimated to contain a vast volume of approximately 2.5 billion cubic meters of pristine freshwater.

Blue Lagoon is more than just a body of water; it boasts its own distinctive ecosystem. Visitors can observe dragonflies, damselflies, caddisflies, and various aquatic life forms like algae, shrimp, and crayfish dwelling in the warmth of the lagoon’s depths.

Keen observers may even have the chance to discover pipis or shellfish by sifting the sand with their toes, which happen to be a delicacy for the Oystercatcher bird that frequents the lake’s shores.

Swimming is a popular activity at Blue Lagoon, particularly for young families, international backpackers, and tourists. The lagoon’s shallow, fresh waters offer a safe and enjoyable experience.

Despite its name, the water in Blue Lagoon boasts a unique brown hue due to the infusion of natural tea tree oils.

Visitors can access Blue Lagoon through private tours, such as those available at Tangalooma Island Resort.

Pro tips:
• Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal with a view. There are some great spots around the lake where you can lay out a blanket and savor your lunch.
• Consider wearing water shoes or aqua socks when entering the lake. They can protect your feet from any small shells or rocks on the lakebed.

8. Lake Wivenhoe

Lake Wivenhoe
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Location: Lake Wivenhoe, Somerset Area, QLD 4312


Lake Wivenhoe, the largest lake in South East Queensland, is a vital resource for the region, supplying over half of its drinking water.

However, this colossal water body isn’t merely utilitarian; it offers a plethora of recreational opportunities that make it one of the finest lakes in and around Brisbane.

The lake is divided into six distinct recreation areas, each with its unique charm. From the picturesque Cormorant Bay to the tranquil O’Shea’s Crossing, these sites beckon visitors to bask in the Queensland sunshine.

Lake Wivenhoe’s shores are equipped with facilities, including barbecues, picnic spots, playgrounds, and even private campgrounds for those looking to spend extended quality time amidst nature.

The array of activities at Lake Wivenhoe is extensive, catering to various preferences. Visitors can revel in canoeing, kayaking, rowing, and multi-use trails that accommodate walking, running, mountain biking, and horse riding.

The designated swimming area at Logan’s Inlet welcomes water enthusiasts, while sailing, fishing, and boating are popular pastimes across the lake. You can also explore the underwater world through scuba diving or snorkeling at Logan’s Inlet.

Pro tips:
• As you enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Wivenhoe, remember to clean up after yourself. Leave nothing but footprints to preserve this stunning environment for future visitors.
• If you’re a fishing enthusiast, don’t forget to obtain a valid fishing permit before dropping your line. It’s a local regulation to preserve the aquatic ecosystem.

9. Lake Awoonga

Location: Lake Awoonga, Benaraby, Gladstone Area, QLD 4680


Contact Details: +61 74972 9000, [email protected]

Lake Awoonga, a short 30-kilometer journey from Gladstone, is a haven for nature enthusiasts and recreation seekers alike. Its versatile appeal caters to all, whether you’re seeking a serene dip, a successful fishing expedition, or simply a tranquil escape.

Fishing enthusiasts can delight in the well-stocked waters teeming with Barra, Saratoga, and the elusive Mangrove Jack, making for a rare and fortunate catch.

For those without their own watercraft, Lake Awoonga offers boat and kayak rentals, ensuring everyone can explore the tranquil expanse.

The lake’s charm extends beyond its aquatic allure. Spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding mountains, along with picturesque waterfalls, greet visitors.

Leisurely walks, lakeside picnics, and shaded respites under the trees complete the natural experience.

Birdwatchers will find delight in spotting the Southern Squatter Pigeon and the Red Goshawk, enhancing the conservation significance of this near-coast bird refuge in South East Queensland.

Day and night unveil the thriving local wildlife, from Whiptail and pretty-face wallabies to Yellow-Bellied Gliders and Grey-headed Flying Foxes. And if you gaze upwards, you might even catch a glimpse of the elusive Koala.

Pro tips:
• Consider taking a day cruise on the lake to appreciate its scenic beauty and serene ambiance from a different perspective.
• Take a leisurely walk around the lake’s edge. The walking paths offer scenic views and a chance to immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere.

10. Lake Fred Tritton

Lake Fred Tritton
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Location: Gallaghers Drive, Richmond, QLD 4822


Contact Details: +61 74719 3390, [email protected]

Lake Fred Tritton in Richmond, a hidden gem of the outback, offers a delightful escape for visitors exploring Queensland’s Dinosaur Trail.

Situated just off Richmond’s main thoroughfare, this inland oasis attracts with its unassuming charm and a diverse range of activities.

While Richmond may be famous for fossils, Lake Fred Tritton is a local treasure, featuring sandy shores, a water park, and idyllic picnic spots. The lake’s waters invite adventure, from leisurely kayaking to skilled water skiing.

Families can revel in the relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere, perfect for swimming, canoeing, and hours of entertainment at the playgrounds and water park.

A leisurely stroll on the lakeside path is an ideal way to enjoy the serene surroundings. Fishing enthusiasts will find their haven here, with the lake stocked with 18 fish species, including barra, sooty grunter, sleepy cod, archer fish, and forktail catfish.

Whether you’re savoring a picnic by the water’s edge, firing up the free barbecues, or simply basking in the beauty of an outback sunset, Lake Fred Tritton promises an unforgettable outback experience.

Pro tips:
• Plan to stay until evening and experience a picturesque outback sunset. Bring a picnic or use the free barbecues for a memorable meal by the lake.
• Keep an eye out for local wildlife. You might spot various bird species, sooty grunter, or other animals unique to the area. Remember to maintain a respectful distance and not disturb the wildlife.
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