Monday, 20 April 2015

Not Quite What We Expected

To better enjoy the photos, please click on them to increase their size.

Wednesday 15 April

In January, my 'Must Do Brisbane' e-mail brought to my attention Manchester Lake, near Ipswich. I hadn't previously heard of it, but google informed me that its dam on Cabbage Tree Creek [ tributary of the Brisbane River] was constructed between 1912 - 1916, as a reliable water source for Brisbane until 1988. Now it is only used in times of severe drought.

As it was unknown to all of our group and given the last several kilometres was on dirt road, we were pleasantly surprised to discover a large, green, well kept picnic area at the trail head. A wonderful family friendly area.

The notes described "a track of 18 kms with several steep ridges to ascend and descend making a great hike for people looking for a longer hike. There is a picturesque and easy walk alongside the lake shore."

We briskly set off after a delicious coffee and raspberry muffin, oohing and aahing over the whispering of the small creek we crossed, the lake reflections, colours of the earth of the dam cutting, ducks gliding across the mirror like surface of the water, the soft tinkling of bell birds flitting between the eucalyptus and ironbark trees, black swans, a lone pelican and the lake edged with the lace of waterlily fronds. Hiking down under was just perfect on this another beautiful autumn day.

Photo - Jocelyn

Initially we were so busy enjoying the views that we took no notice of the rise and fall of the terrain. Unfortunately at 5 kms my feet protested painfully [bursitis issues]. Thankfully at this time, we happened upon another gurgling creek, so it was off with the boots and my feet into its calming, cool waters.


                                   Photo - Jenny

It seemed that the day had also warmed without notice, and I wasn't the only one in the group grateful for a few minutes to listen to the birds and the story of the stream.

 Photo - Laurel

Heading off again, we were soon confronted with our 1st steep ridge.

And another.

And another………

And so the hike continued. At kilometre 12, we stopped for lunch and to release my feet from my boots again.  From the hike details we expected that the remaining kilometres would flatten out, but this was not the case. Eventually we neared our starting point and were able to look back across the lake to the ridges we had conquered.

 It was with much satisfaction and very tired legs that we descended to the carpark, where we were greeted by the cheerful yellow of a flowering cassia.

We may have found this 'hike down under' a tad taxing on this outing, but now we know what it offers, we will be back.

I hope you have enjoyed a relaxing read of the Lake manchester Trail. I would love to read your comment.


  1. Fascinating scenery and spectacular photographs. Thanks for sharing, Helen.

  2. Marvelous, Helen. Thanks for sharing your day. By the way, I just learned how to say "Briz-bn"

  3. Lovely hike! Thank goodness for cool streams.

  4. Thank you Barry, Bill and Linda. You always walk much longer distances, so it was great to finally find a trail with distance and elevation here. The legs complained for several days.

  5. Lovely photos, Helen. I particularly like the one of the pelican skidding across the water. Bursitis caused by hallux valgus is what prompted me to switch over to cycling. I've finally found good orthopaedic soles that enable me to walk for one and a half to two hours without pain but museums are a killer. When we visit châteaux, I usually walk through once quite fast and then go back and look in more detail so I'm not going at an agonisingly slow pace. I love it when they provide seating from time to time. When we cycle in the summer we wear proper walking sandals which helps as well.

    1. My small sony camera has a 30 x zoom and very little shudder, so I often get a lovely surprise when I download, to find a shot has worked perfectly.
      With the naked eye I wasn't 100% sure it was a pelican. I can totally relate to your pain. I'm still finding the most suitable shoe. I love cycling but my lower back doesn't.

  6. I enjoy discovering lovely surpirses like you did on this hike! I would be curious to know what type of total elevation gain you have accumulated to. Do you use a gps by any chance?

  7. LOL here as you ask do I have a GPS! I bought one not that long after starting my blog [ 2years now] to record elevation and distance. It is an E-trex 30. We have a love hate relationship. Divorce is highly likely. I meant to ask you about them when I sent my e-mail. Will do so shortly.