Finding a dry window of time in between the constant rain has become nigh impossible and whilst there’s much to celebrate about our decades long drought biting the dust; the flip side is rain, lashings of rain.
Thankfully, we only had to contend with rain for one night on this week long trip to Wivenhoe Dam and Crows Nest.
We arrived at Wivenhoe via the pub trail. When your husband relishes a good pub and a good beer, the Glamorgan Vale hotel makes a good first stop. On a Saturday, the place fairly hums with dozens of bikers who throw back coldies, share jokes with the jovial owner and depart in a cacophony of deaf defying revs and music – the likes of which rival a movie set.
Further on we drove through the tiny country town of Lowood, cloaked in a sea of green from recent rain.
Beyond was Coominya and another liquid amber stop at the town’s pub.
Both Lowood and Coominya lie on the rail trail, a trail that extends from Wulkuraka outside Ipswich to Yarraman. Once, a train line serviced all towns along the route with freight and passenger services, but improved road transport sounded the death knell for rail. Everyone is welcome along the trail – cyclists, walkers, horseriders.
A short distance from Wivenhoe is Fernvale. There is a well run Information Centre here, an excellent bakery/cafe and of course, the ubiquitous pub!
Wivenhoe Dam built in the 1980s provides water for Brisbane and Ipswich. It is South East Queensland’s largest dam and right now sits at 90% capacity. Further upstream is Somerset Dam which regularly feeds water into the Wivenhoe catchment. With more rain predicted, water is now being released downstream from both dams.
Camping at Wivenhoe was ultra easy. There are 2 very well run camping areas: Logan Inlet (caters mainly for unpowered tents) and Lumley Hill (caters for those wanting power on caravan sites).
Our small, simple tent found the perfect home on the shores of Logan Inlet (see feature photo). We camped here for 3 nights, but could have stayed 3 weeks, such was the simplicity and isolation at this time of the year. Lucky are those who live in this neck of the Brisbane Valley. Blessed with vast expansive skies, full moon starry starry nights and land, lots of spacious land; they are indeed privileged.
From Wivenhoe, we pointed the car in the direction of Crows Nest via Esk, a most pleasant tourist town stopover. The Esk caravan park gets rave reviews for its setting and gardens as well as its close proximity to the rail trail.
From Esk we drove on the Esk Hampton Rd via the rather impressive Lakes Perseverance and Cressbrook. Kids galore were enjoying rock climbing at the Perseverance school campsite.
Crows Nest, 543 metres above sea level, population 2000 and 43 kms from Toowoomba makes an excellent stop for a few days. We stayed at the caravan park, an easy 1.8 km walk into town.
The nice surprise about Crows Nest is that there’s quite a bit to see here.
Excellent walking is definitely on the cards at Crows Nest. One rather pretty walk starts at Bullocky Rest then flows into the Applegum track. Flowers are blooming, water is rushing and gushing through the creek and the grass trees are decidedly stunning.
Six kilometres from town is the Crows Nest National Park and its shining star at the moment is the Falls.
Another Crows Nest site worth visiting is the Museum. Long hours of passion and labour have paid off for the volunteers who have recreated a village complete with a bunch of buildings true to their century old past.
And last but in no way least, is Crows Nest’s remarkable bookstore. The sheer number of quality second hand books lining the shelves is pleasantly overwhelming. Could’ve walked out with a library, but reined it in with a single purchase – Don’t Tell Me Lies, a collection of investigative journo writings from the likes of John Pilger and Wilfred Burchett (2 Aussie journos who never disappoint).
4 thoughts on “Australia: Brisbane Valley QLD”
Isn’t it good to be out and about again! Really like Crows Nest though the book shop wasn’t there when we last visited. Had better diarise an overnighter.
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Worth a visit for sure, especially the bookstore. Be prepared for a fabulous lengthy chat with the well informed man behind the counter!
Perseverance has no public camping but Cressbrook has a fantastic camp ground, we were there last weekend, it is one of our regular get out of town retreats, space, solitude and hot showers wonderful. Hope you got to try the pastries at My Little Blueberry, they are worth a trip to Crows Nest alone.
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Totally agree about Cressbrook camping – top little spot. The place I didn’t get to try, but should have was Myrtille Bistro – heard only good things about its food, wines, service. Always a next time!