Trekking at Lake Wivenhoe

Determined to make the most of the weekends, I’ve been on a quest to find interesting treks and places to visit just outside of Brisbane city. This weekend, we decided to trek around Lake Wivenhoe and discover the nearby historic town of Esk.

Esk is a small countryside town north-west of Brisbane city, on the edge of the rather grand Lake Wivenhoe. Known for its charming cafes and antique stores, Esk reminisces of a by-gone era. Driving from Brisbane, we took the M2 then A17, the latter providing incredible views of Lake Wivenhoe as we made our way to Esk.

We decided to stop in Esk for breakfast before heading back to our trek (which we’d already driven past). We stumbled across Nash Gallery and Cafe, drawn in by its historic colonial architecture.

Nash Gallery & Cafe, Esk

The cafe had a few gluten free options on the menu but I got distracted by the mouth-watering fresh gluten-free cakes on display at the counter.

Nash Gallery & Cafe Lunch Menu

I opted for a flourless, gluten-free chocolate cake and a chai latte with almond milk since I wasn’t overly hungry. The flourless cake was decadent, chocolately and moist just as it should be. They also had gluten-free chocolate brownies and a pear and pistachio cake amongst others!

Delicious flourless gluten-free chocolate cake

We then headed south to Lake Winvehoe for the Wivenhoe Hill trek. The trek consists of 4 trails: black, blue, red and white. We decided that a 9km trek would be sufficient for the day, so we started on the blue trail, planning to make our way back to the car park via the black trail.

Map of the Wivenhoe Hill trails (taken at the end of the Blue Trail)

The beginning of the Blue Trail was a little odd – a seemingly abandoned tarmac road that eventually looped back on itself – turning into a dead end. We then realised that the trail continued up and away from the road and into dense bushland.

Beginning of the Blue Trail from the car park

This is where the Blue Trail got a bit more difficult. You could definitely tell that the trail we really designed for people on horses more than people on foot but it made for an interesting trek all the same.

This is more like it!

Overgrown trails, an array of wild birds and a challenging route proved for an interesting trek on the Blue Trail. The only disappointment was the lack of views over Lake Wivenhoe. The trail got so close to the waters edge and yet the views of the lake were constantly hidden by foliage. If you’re looking for picturesque views of the lake, this trek isn’t for you!

The only view of Lake Wivenhoe from the trail

The Black Trail returned to the abandoned tarmac road which made for a rather hot return journey. Although the majority of the Blue Trail was under the cover of the trees, the Black Trail was open to the elements and the harsh heat of the midday sun – remember your hat, sunscreen and water!

Driving over the dam at Lake Wivenhoe – finally, views of the lake!

If you’re looking for a challenging and quiet trek, the Wivenhoe Hill trails are a good start, with an array of different trails and distances to mix and match. Just bear in mind the lack of facilities and the difficult nature of some of the trails. If you’re simply after an enjoyable day out not too far from Brisbane city, we highly recommend visiting Esk and Lake Wivenhoe, even if its just for the views.

Have you recently been on any other treks around Lake Wivenhoe? I’d love to hear any recommendations!

Happy reading! 🙂

 

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