Keen for day tripping adventure drives around Brisbane north-west of the city?
If you’re eager to embark on a round-trip through Moreton Bay Region’s hinterland to Lake Somerset and back you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve nutted-out all the best sights, highlights and places to visit in Queensland between Eatons Hill and Lake Somerset so all you need to do is fill up on petrol, pack the car and hit the road. Travel time to the lake should come to approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes (excluding pit-stops).
Plug the main lookout locations dotted along your journey into your GPS. We’ve listed them in the order you will encounter them to make things nice and easy for you.
From Eatons Hill to Lake Somerset
One of the first places to visit in Queensland along your route is Samford.
From Eatons Hill drive along Eatons Crossing Road past Edward Allison Park and into Samford. Here you can grab some tourist brochures and maps at the Samford Visitor Information Centre by John Scott Park. You can peruse your information over a hearty and healthy brekkie at The Flying Nun Café.
Once you’ve polished off breakfast, continue up the mountain past the Samford Lifestyle Centre. The centre is a shopping, gardening and lifestyle hub home to a dog-friendly café which features an exclusive menu just for pups!
Less than 5 minutes past Fahey Road you’ll come across the Mount Glorious Maiala Picnic Area. This nature paradise features public toilets and a few short and easy hikes (as well as longer hikes) ideal for day trippers with little children in tow. The pit-stop should burn some of their restless energy, hopefully buying adults a reprieve from the incessantly uttered, family road trip question “are we nearly there?”.
Unless you want to make another pit-stop before Lake Somerset, be sure to visit Maiala’s drop toilets with the children before hopping back in the car.
After leaving Maiala, you’ll pass by the hidden entrance to Northbrook Gorges, followed by Red Cedar Park and White Cedar Park. Less than 10 minutes later you’ll come to the Northbrook Parkway and Wivenhoe Somerset Road intersection. Turn right to tackle the last 20-minute leg to Lake Somerset.
You won’t find any more unique places to visit in Queensland along the northern stretch so just sit back and enjoy the scenery.
Lake Somerset has multiple recreation areas where you can set-up base – Somerset Park, The Spit and Kirkleagh.
Motorised and non-motorised boating, canoeing, kayaking, rowing, and sailing, as well as scuba diving, snorkelling and water sports, including water skiing, jet skiing, wakeboarding and tubing are all permitted on the lake.
Please Note: Fishing permits are required for shore and on-water fishing. Boat ramps are located at The Spit and Kirkleagh. Boating permits are not required as of 1st July 2017. Swimming is only allowed at the designated swimming areas at Kirkleagh and The Spit (no lifeguards).
Campgrounds near Lake Somerset are run by private operators who must be contacted directly to book a campsite.
If you’re keen on turning your day trip drives around Brisbane into an overnight experience, then camp at Somerset Park. You can book a campsite through SEQwater on (07) 5426 4729.
Somerset Park is equipped with a playground, public toilets, BBQs and sheltered picnic tables to make your stay more comfortable. While you can slide a kayak or canoe into the water here, to launch a boat you will need to travel a little further north to The Spit.
With a designated swimming zone, sheltered picnic tables, BBQs, a playground, boat ramp, and public toilets, The Spit is the place to be for those keen to make the most of the on-water activities.
Fish from a vessel or from the shore.
Except for a playground, Kirkleagh features the same facilities as The Spit – a designated swimming zone, sheltered picnic tables, BBQs, boat ramp, and public toilets. Shore fishing and on-water fishing are permitted.
Kirkleagh is also home to Lake Somerset Holiday Park which offers campers a choice between villas, cabins, safari tents, powered campsites & campervan sites, and unpowered sites. With everything you need in the one place, this location is perfect for boat owners who would like to stay at the lake overnight.
Alternatively, if you’d rather stay closer to home then book Moreton Bay Region hinterland accommodation, our lovely Travel Concierge is always happy to help.
If you’re looking for drives around Brisbane to waterside hiking, biking or horse riding places to visit in Queensland head to Lake Wivenhoe instead.
To get there, turn left instead of right at the Northbrook Parkway and Wivenhoe Somerset Road intersection.
Your journey will take you over creek crossings and past a winery before coming to the Brisbane Valley Highway T-Intersection at which you turn right. You’ll find Hay Road, the entrance to Lake Wivenhoe past the Cormorant Bay Recreational Reserve and The Spillway Common Lookout.
Turn right onto Hay Road to access the Lake Wivenhoe Hill multi-use trails.
Retrace your steps home, or discover new destinations and points of interest by looping back north-east through Kilcoy and Woodford, to continue south via Mount Mee, Ocean View, Dayboro, and Mount Samson. The discovery drive return journey will take about 1 hour and 40 minutes (excluding pit-stops).
Esk Kilcoy Road becomes the D’Aguilar Highway past Kilcoy, follow it from Lake Somerset for about 40 minutes past Bellthorpe National Park and Stony Creek Swimming Hole to Woodford, continue south down the main street and on to D’Aguilar.
From D’Aguilar you can continue towards the Bruce Highway for a straight shoot back to Eatons Hill, or turn right down Mount Mee Road to take the scenic route home through gorgeous rural valleys and forested areas. Whichever direction you choose, both should take approximately 1 hour (excluding pit-stops).
If all the road tripping has worked up your appetite opt for the scenic drive, you’ll come across excellent hinterland cafes and restaurants, and discover more wonderful places to visit in Queensland to save for your next Moreton Bay Region hinterland escape.
Once you’ve reached elegant sufficiency, hop back in the car to tackle the last leg of your return drive. The sloping road will take past the entrance to D’Aguilar National Park, Ocean View Estates Winery and Restaurant, Dayboro Cottages and Llama Walks, and a number of retreats and other accommodation providers to Dayboro.
From Dayboro you can choose from 2 drives around Brisbane back to Eatons Hill. Travel time is similar no matter which route you take – about 30 to 40 minutes.
Alternatively, you can drive Mount Samson Road through Samsonvale, Closeburn, Yugar and Draper into Eatons Hill. This route will take you nearby the vicinity of Trevena Glen Farm, Lyell Deer Sanctuary, and Cedar Creek. All fantastic places to visit in Queensland with children in tow.