The Somerset dam is a renowned freshwater location in Australia located between Brisbane Toowoomba and the Sunshine Coast. Built to avoid damage from floods, this scenic location is now a famous lakeside paradise for nature lovers. With the recreational facilities here, the location is quite promising and perfect for a waterfront weekend gateway.
With a more than 200 km shoreline, Somerset Lake is centrally located and offers a panoramic view of the surrounding hills while you escape into the lake’s blue waters.
1. A Little about Somerset Dam
Amongst everything, the dam’s architectural design and creativity are one thing that mesmerizes the eyes. Talking about the engineering design, this mammoth of a dam measures 50m tall, spans a length of 305m and can hold 904000 megalitres of water at its reservoir at its full capacity.
It provides water supply to the Wivenhoe dam and then connects the Somerset dam. The aim of Somerset Dam is to supply potable water to nearby regions like Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Logan City regions, and the other reason is flood mitigation.
Moreover, the dam also provides for recreational activities and hydroelectricity generation. There are many nearby towns like the Kilcoy Esk, which again provides many other activities that one can engage in. Also, NRMA Lake Somerset Holiday Park is an all-time favourite place for various water activities. It is an ideal getaway for water sports enthusiasts.
2. 7 Adventuresome-Fun Activities to Do in Somerset Dam
2.1. Serene location
Located on the outskirts, this holiday destination is a 2-hour drive from the town of Brisbane. Talking of the distances for Somerset Dam, it is approximately 115 km Northwest of Brisbane and 80km North of Ipswich, a friendly and multicultural city. The lake sits between the lush green undulating landscape around it.
2.2. Recreational activities
Plan your luxurious escape and set your spirit-free retreat. One can enjoy barbeque facilities, campfires, mountain biking, walking trails, kids activities, wakeboarding, swimming in the unpolluted waters of lakes, and various other water sports.
You can camp here on private grounds and take benefit of their amenities. Do not stress about bringing your kids during their school holidays, as the Somerset Holiday Park has playgrounds and mini golf to keep them amused. The lake also hosts a lookout point to view the Somerset dam.
Swim out your stress here in the blue waters of the lake. Day trippers can relax in designated areas for swimming at Kirkleigh and the Spit. Since there are no lifeguards here, act responsibly and watch over your fellow swimmers.
2.4. Boating & Water sports
Boating is a favorite pass time at the lake. The Kirkleigh and the Spit are pubic access areas with multi-lane concrete boat ramps. There are no vessel restrictions here at Somerset Dam, like the Wivenhoe Dam. Motorized and non-motorized watercraft are available.
Surely it is a great place for adrenaline junkies and water sports enthusiasts. The place provides visitors with many activities like boating, waterskiing, jet skiing, wakeboarding, or fun over-donut tow rides.
If you love fishing, the lake is a famous freshwater fishing destination, ranking among the top 5 fishing spots in the state, although one requires a permit to fish in the dam. The fishes in the lake include Golden perch, Australian bass, eel-tailed catfish, silver perch, Mary River cod, bony bream, spangled perch, snub-nosed gar, Queensland lungfish, and saratoga.
Somerset Dam Camping is one of the best activities one can do. If you are looking for camping for your stay here, you must know that Somerset Park Campground provides a lot of facilities. They offer a range of camping facilities provided by private operators. During the peak season, the camping facilities at Somerset Park and Kirkleigh offer accommodation for 3000 campers.
2.7. Lake Somerset Holiday Park
The holiday park is a good location where you can spend quality time with your family and friends. When staying at this waterfront, you wake up from your accommodation to an incredible view of the lake and landscape. Choose your stay here between cabins, villas, camp and caravan sites, or glamping tents.
The Lake Somerset holiday park is an amazing place that kills boredom as it offers a huge range of activities for adults and kids. One can enjoy outdoor cooking in the designated barbeque areas while your kids spend time away from their phones playing at mini golf and playgrounds. Enjoy your evenings around the campfires.
The park alone offers accommodation for 800 people with various options. The accommodation options include camp cabins and villas for eight people and caravan sites for six people.
3. Some Must visit Places to visit Nearby
3.1. Brisbane Valley Rail Trail
The 161 km recreational Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (BVRT) showcases the landscape and reveals the historical details of the Brisbane Valley. The trail follows an old railway line and is the longest in Queensland, open for horse riders, cyclists, and walkers.
One can enjoy the richness of wildlife sightings in woodlands, hoop pine plantations, dense vine scrub, and open woodlands of Benarkin State Forest. You will hear the melodic tones of bellbirds along your route.
3.2. Wivenhoe Dam
The dam has camping and outdoor recreation facilities. You can camp here at Captain Logan camp, which is adjacent to the playground and boat ramp at Logan Inlet. The dam is home to the endangered Australian lungfish; Cormorant Bay, Hamon Cove, and Spillway Common also have facilities for picnics.
3.3. D’Aguilar National Park
The National Park region is a beautiful escape. This park is a trail through woodlands and lush subtropical rainforests and is home to rare and endangered plant species. The region is popular for camping, hikes, and scenic views due to its breathtaking natural features.
4. Did you Know this about Somerset dam?
- The Somerset dam, lake, and nearby village are named in honour of Henry Plantagenet Somerset, a pioneer pastoralist and member of the Legislative Assembly.
- The dam is one of the largest and oldest water storage, with its completion dating back to 1959.
- Lake Somerset is among the top 5 locations for fishing in Queensland, Australia.
- The golden perch, yellow belly, or callop fish are native to Australia.
- During WW2, Brisbane was home to 80000 American soldiers and the busiest submarine port in the world.
The Somerset Dam is a retreat outside the city to enjoy time in nature. If camping by the lakeside, experiencing the thrill of Kayaking, fishing with your little one, and fulfilling the day by camping with BBQ with your family sounds good, then Somerset Dam has it covered for you. The dam is a complete package to experience nature’s elegance and an engineering marvel.
Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs)
- Is fishing in the lake open for all?
The lake is one of the most popular fishing destinations due to its rich diversity of fish, such as the Mary River Cod, Australian Bass, Silver Perch, and Golden Perch. However, one needs to have a fishing permit that can be issued before fishing on the lake.
2. Which are the best months to visit the dam?
The best time to visit Somerset is from January to March, with pleasant temperatures and outdoor weather.
3. Is the Somerset holiday park pet-friendly?
Yes! The park is dog-friendly. However, pet owners take note that dogs are not allowed in and around Lake Somerset and Wivenhoe.
4. How much does it charge to stay at Somerset Dam?
The price to stay at a campsite around Somerset Dam ranges from $55 to $88, depending on the camping option you prefer.
5. What kind of water sports can one enjoy at Somerset Lake?
One can enjoy the thrill of motorized tubing, electric boating, canoeing, Kayaking, rowing, paddling, sailing, and jet skiing.
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An Architect who loves to explore, travel and observe spaces be it manmade or natural, and aspires to showcase her vision through her writing.