Whether it’s a day trip from Brisbane or a romantic weekend escape, Lake Samsonvale is a picturesque and exciting destination. Although located right next door to Joyner, Warner, Whiteside and Petrie, Lake Samsonvale may be in the heart of Moreton Shire’s busiest population hubs, but it feels a whole world away. The North Pine Dam on Lake Samsonvale provides drinking water to Moreton Region and Brisbane. Lake Samsonvale is also home to a broad variety of plant and animal species. To maintain the delicate eco-system and the integrity of our water supply, all visitors must take extra care to protect the environment. Like all areas of natural, fragile beauty, remember to “leave only footprints, take only photographs”.
Lake Samsonvale attracts all kinds of visitors to its shores but never feels crowded.
The picturesque Lake Samsonvale walking trail from Bullocky Rest to Forgan Cove weaves along the water’s edge. The approximate 4km one-way dirt trail is fairly level throughout with a few gentle slopes along the way, making it suitable for people of all fitness levels.
As you walk or jog along, keep your eyes peeled, if you’re lucky you may spot a koala high-up in a tree, and if you look out across the water you might see a pelican or two, amongst other waterbirds.
You never know what you might spy with a keen eye!
Lake Samsonvale’s fish stocks are maintained by the Pine Rivers Fish Managemet Association, so there’s always plenty of bites, making it ideal for young children to catch their first fish. You’ll find spangled perch, snub-nosed garfish, golden perch, silver perch, eastern freshwater cod, saratoga, red claw crayfish and Australian bass. You’ll also find tilapia – which is delicious, but at numbers considered pest level – so do your bit and get fishing! Top fishing spots include Bullocky Rest, McGavin View, Forgan Park, Forgan Cove and Kobble Creek. Like boating, shore fishing is strictly by permit only. These are obtainable from the Samsonvale Water Sports Association or the Pine Rivers Fish Management Association.
Open public access for paddle craft is available on Lake Samsonvale seven days a week in the designated zone (Zone 2). Paddle craft can only be launched from the launch point at Forgan Cove, off Forgan Road. Paddle craft with electric or fuel powered motors are not permitted. For further information regarding paddle sports at Lake Samsonvale, please visit their FAQ here.
The Samsonvale Water Sports Association holds regular regattas on the lake (watching the sailboats make for a very romantic first date). All visitors hoping to participate in water sports should check for restrictions before setting out.
Unfortunately, there are no designated swimming areas at Lake Samsonvale. There are however a number of beautiful natural creeks and crossings nearby and a number of Council run water parks.
Lake Samsonvale is one of the best locations for a picnic or barbecue lunch in Moreton Region. All designated picnic and barbecue areas have a range of facilities including fresh water, toilets, tables and easy parking. Designated picnic areas can be found at Bullocky Rest, McGavin View, Forgan Park, Forgan Cove and Kobble Creek.
If you’re bringing the kids, we recommend McGavin View for its sizable play structure, lookout and barbecue areas. McGavin View has an expansive view over the lake and out to neighbouring mountains. McGavin View is situated on the edge of the North Pine Dam wall, just the kind of thing little people love to look at! Check out our review of McGavin View here.
Bullocky Rest is also a great place to bring kids. In addition to a small play structure, you’ll find opportunities to get up close and personal with water birds. After something a little more secluded and romantic? Forgan Cove is the ideal place for a picnic with lovely views from the adjoining 4.5km hiking path.
We thoroughly recommend packing a picnic or barbecue lunch and enjoying the recreational facilities around the lake. If you’re spending a few days, you can venture into Petrie, Warner, Dayboro or Clear Mountain for ample dining options. Whether you’re planning a romantic weekend escape, a first date or a big day out with the kids, Lake Samsonvale (and the North Pine Dam) offers a beautiful place to relax and take in the view.
If you’re coming from the direction of Petrie or Whiteside, take Youngs Crossing Road and turn right onto Protheroe Road which becomes Forgan Road. You will find the 3 day-use carpark areas on your right along Forgan Road.
If you’re travelling from the direction of Bray Park, Warner, or Mount Samson make your way onto Samsonvale Road, or Winn Road (which becomes Samsonvale Road) and turn onto Forgan Road.
You can park at the Lake Samsonvale northern trail starting point at the Bullocky Rest carpark, or Forgan Park carpark (located about 400 metres from Bullocky Rest), or pull-up at Forgan Cove at the southern starting point, nearby the Samsonvale Rd and Forgan Rd turn-off.