WITH so much to do at Lake Somerset and surrounds, sometimes the hardest thing can be deciding what to do.
Here are five top activities to undertake while visiting the picturesque lake, which is about an hour’s drive northwest of Brisbane.
You can’t mention Lake Somerset and not think of fishing. The dam has a reputation for holding some of the biggest bass in Queensland and time and again produces great numbers of seriously large fish.
A variety of accommodation options around the dam provide excellent bases for accessing numerous fishing locations, many of which are only a short distance from the launch points.
Because the dam is regularly stocked with bass and other species, you will need a Stocked Impoundment Permit to fish here, which you can buy online or from various locations throughout Queensland including the kiosk at Lake Somerset Holiday Park and a number of other local shops. If bass aren’t your bag, the dam also offers you the chance to have a crack at species such as golden and silver perch, saratoga, Mary River cod and more.
Having a boat is an advantage when fishing Somerset but don’t despair if you’re limited to land-based fishing because options abound along the dam’s 237km shoreline. Some productive locations include Queen Street, Bay 13, Reliable Ridge and The Hump.
For up-to-date information on where the fish are biting, simply stop by one of the campground kiosks or local stores and have a chat to the staff.
2. Water sports
Whether you’re into wake boarding, water skiing or jet skiing, the dam has plenty of space for water sport adrenalin junkies to get their fix.
All boating types are permitted on Lake Somerset, however if your vessel is required to be registered with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads and/or would normally be transported on a trailer due to its size you will require a boating permit, which can be bought from numerous vendors including Lake Somerset Holiday Park, Somerset Park Campgrounds and Camp Somerset (visit seqwater.com.au/recreation/boating to see the full list).
Three boat ramps are located around Lake Somerset: at Lake Somerset Holiday Park, The Spit and the Westvale Rd northern access point. All provide easy access to the dam for the majority of watercraft.
Maritime Safety Queensland has gazetted a six-knot speed limit to improve public safety in the heavily timbered northern area of the dam while normal boating rules apply elsewhere. A map detailing the go-slow zone can be found on the Seqwater website.
Freshwater impoundments present the ideal location on which to paddle a kayak or canoe thanks to their many sheltered bays (regardless of wind direction), easy access and abundance of opportunities for those chasing a fish or two.
Lake Somerset’s heavily timbered northern region is a perfect example of a location where a paddle craft gives you much greater access and manoeuvrability than possible if travelling in a powered vessel.
The ability to readily tie off to trees and other structure is another reason to choose paddle craft when fishing the dam.
4. Walking and sightseeing
Lake Somerset presents spectacular views in almost every direction, making simply visiting the dam a sightseeing experience not to be missed.
The dam’s surrounds include a number of options for walking and taking in the sights, and once night falls you will be treated to the view of an unbelievable sky filled with millions of stars.
Nearby D’Aguilar National Park features a number of specified walking tracks including the Somerset Trail, which gives access to the Somerset Lookout that provides beautiful views over the Great Dividing Range, Somerset Dam and Lake Wivenhoe’s headwaters.
For more information on D’Aguilar National Park, visit nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/daguilar/about.html
5. Bird watching
Lake Somerset and its surrounds give access to myriad bird watching options, with numerous water birds readily spotted on the lake and species such as bowerbirds, wompoo fruit-doves, bell miners and yellow-tailed black cockatoos often seen or heard throughout the surrounding forest.
If any or all of these activities have you raring to get to Lake Somerset, be sure to visit lakesomerset.com.au or call Lake Somerset Holiday Park on 1800 606 759 for more information.