On our recent trip to Mt Glorious we spent most of our time exploring the D’Aguilar National Park.
Extending for over 36,000 hectares, the D’Aguilar National Park starts in the western Brisbane suburb of The Gap and extends as far north as Woodford. Due to it’s size the park is broken into two sections – South D’Aguilar and North D’Aguilar.
As you travel into the southern section of the D’Aguilar National Park from Brisbane the first spot you will come to is the Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre. Located just off Mt Nebo Road there is an Information Centre and Wildlife Centre there, as well as a cafe. Entry into the Wildlife Centre costs just over $18.00 for 2 adults and 2 children.
Walkabout Creek is also right on the banks of the Enoggera Reservoir and is the perfect spot for a picnic. There are walking trails, mountain bike trails, an enclosed swimming area and kayaking is permitted on the reservoir. It is a really beautiful spot and would be ideal to keep the kids occupied during the school holidays.
Continuing along Mt Nebo Road there are a couple of other lookouts that are well worth stopping for. Camp Mountain Lookout has plenty of parking and a large spread out picnic area with wood BBQ’s available. It also has amazing views back towards Brisbane, which even on an overcast day were quite spectacular!
Perhaps the best lookout and picnic area of the ones we stopped at was Jolly’s Lookout. Named after Brisbane’s first Lord Mayor, William Jolly, the views out over the Samford Valley are stunning. The area has been recently updated and there are plenty of picnic shelters, BBQ’s, footpaths and toilets as well.
The last lookout that we stopped at for the day was Westbridge Lookout which unlike the other lookouts is on the western side of Mt Nebo Road and on a clear day you can catch a glimpse of Wivenhoe Dam.
The following day we spent the day exploring the North D’Aguilar area. From Mt Glorious we drove down into the town of Samford and then along Mount Samsonvale Road to the small town of Dayboro.
Dayboro is a quaint little town with several old buildings still in use. Even though it was pouring with rain we decided to stop at the local bakery, which was very busy. A sure sign that their offerings are good! And they were. It was the perfect weather for a hot meat pie and a coffee.
I ventured into the Visitors Information Centre and met with a friendly and helpful lady who gave me a run down on the local area. The Information Centre is housed in ‘Dayborough Cottage’ which was built in 1900 to accommodate sawmill workers. It is the oldest residence in Dayboro still on its original site. Next door to the Info Centre is ‘Hay Cottage Arts and Crafts’. Relocated to it’s current position in 1989,the cottage is the oldest building in Dayboro. It is thought to have been built in about 1871. You will find lot’s of locally made items for sale which were all lovely!
Camping is available at the Dayboro Showground.
The North D’Aguilar section of the park is generally referred to as Mt Mee after the tiny village on top of the mountain. This section of the park is ideal if you like four-wheel driving as there are a number of tracks throughout the area. There is also a large picnic area called The Gantry. It is called The Gantry because of the large structure there which was once part of a sawmill that operated in the area.
As the weather was not great we didn’t venture to deeply into the park, so that will have to wait for another time. We did however travel back to Dayboro via Peggs Road. This was a solid gravel road, steep and winding in places with spectacular scenery. With an ‘easy’ rating it was a nice way to spend an afternoon. Other tracks in the area have a moderate rating with some rated as difficult. There are also horse riding trails and walking tracks.
Located on the fringes of the southern section of D’Aguilar National Park is Wivenhoe Dam. Wivenhoe Dam is the largest and main water supply for Brisbane and the greater Ipswich area. It has a total storage capacity of over 3 million megalitres. The dam itself is a popular spot for recreational boating, kayaking and fishing.
Beautiful picnic spots can be found right on the waters edge. These areas are very well maintained with clean picnic facilities, toilets and kids playgrounds. And plenty of wide open space to kick a footy around! Cormorant Bay Picnic Area also has a cafe which is BYO and the verandah has gorgeous views over the dam.
We spent some time taking photo’s on the southern side of the dam wall of the spill way and river and even managed to put the drone up and get a few decent shots.
There is a great viewing platform and we saw literally hundreds of turtles in the water close to the spillway. You are also able to launch a canoe from just below the spillway and there is another picnic area with BBQ’s and toilets.
If you are travelling back into Brisbane head into Fernvale and pay a visit to the Fernvale Bakery. The pies are awesome!