Where is it: Mount Glorius Road, Dundas, Somerset Region
What's it all about: A beautiful creek with crystal clear swimming holes, lovely waterfalls and a little bit of a challenge!
Tell me more: Northbrook Gorge is a place that we had been looking forward to visiting for a while now, but we had heard that it was a challenge so we were always been a little reluctant in trying it out! The reason that it's considered a bit of a challenge is that there is no signage and the only tracks to follow (where there is a track) are from the people that venture out for a look. Add to that the fact that you have to swim through some of the deeper waterholes to actually get further along the trail, especially with 3 little kids, and you start to see why we were a bit hesitant!
But we could wait no longer - we just had to see it! The weather was perfect, we found a great resource of information (see link) and we had the GPS coordinates for the starting point so we decided to tackle it! There is a rough car-park at the start of the trail, from there we had to cross the road to find the small trail in the bushland - miss this trail and your day might not be as enjoyable as ours. A relatively narrow and at times steep trail leads down to Northbrook Creek, and immediately you can see the beauty of this spot! Once we hit the creek navigation was easy, we just turned left and followed the creek! Sometimes there was a little trial and sometimes not, but the kids just loved climbing and clambering over the rocks and splashing in the little pools along the way!
We splashed our way along the creek - in at least two locations we had to swim in order to progress (the water was perhaps about 5 feet deep - too deep for the kids!) for about 2 hours before we reached the gorge, which is also where the a fantastic swimming hole is! We arrived reasonably early and the water was crystal clear and so refreshing! A small waterfall is at one end which, with a little effort, we were able to climb up. Past the waterfall it was still lovely but not too dissimilar from a lot of the creek, so if you don't feel like climbing up the waterfall (it was a bit slippery) you don't really miss out on too much.
We stopped at the waterhole for lunch and a swim for an hour or so before heading back - it was a long and tiring day but oh so worth it! It is such a beautiful location - quiet and cool and the kids had so much fun! Make sure that you come prepared to get wet - you won't get to the gorge without getting wet. We took dry bags and one of the kids' floating rings so that we could get through the deeper parts, and in most other areas we were walking or wading through water! And despite a few challenges, this would have to be one of our favourite outings!
Amenities: No facilities here! 👍
Cost: Free to enjoy! 👍👍👍👍👍
Parking: Limited free parking is available! 👍👍👍
Access: A bit of a challenge to get here and get around! 👍
Best for: Anyone who is up for a bit of a challenge – a reasonable level of fitness is required! 👍👍👍
Summary: This was a fantastic day out! It may not be for everyone, but the creek, bush and gorge are beautiful and the challenge makes it all the more rewarding! 👍👍👍👍
Walking down to the creek
Following the creek to the gorge
Some of the locals
Cormorant Bay Park, Lake Wivenhoe
Where is it: Brisbane Valley Highway, Lake Wivenhoe
Why we love it: Great facilities and pleasant surrounds make this a nice option for a swim and a picnic!
Tell me more: Lake Wivenhoe forms part of Brisbane's water supply network and doubles as a great recreational spot! A nice little sheltered bay is a top spot for a splash for the little ones and there's heaps of room to run around! The kids found a couple of playgrounds which proved to be heaps of fun once they'd had enough of the water. There's also a little cafe there (Cormorant Bay Cafe) which looks like a great option if you don't feel like packing your picnic!
Amenities: Toilets available on site and there's also a little cafe! 👍👍👍👍
Parking: Plenty of parking spaces but we would imagine in the middle of summer it might get a bit busier than when we visited! 👍👍👍
Access: It's a big area and there are some steep gradients so be prepared! 👍👍
Best for: No surf makes it a great option for the tiny tots! 👍👍👍
Summary: A great option to cool down with good facilities and a relaxed atmosphere! 👍👍👍
Hints: Watch out for the bindies! Make sure that you bring your shoes - we left ours in the car and quickly realised our mistake!
Brisbane Family Explorers