Where you can camp, swim and picnic this weekend
THIS Saturday is Queensland Day, meaning there is no better opportunity to celebrate and explore the natural beauty that abounds in the Lockyer Valley and Somerset Region.
With restrictions relaxed again, more people can make use of recreational sites, and campgrounds are beginning to reopen.
Here are some ideas for how you can make the most of the outdoors this weekend.
Lakes Apex and Freeman in Gatton remain wonderful places to take a walk with friends or pets, ride around the lake, or stop to watch the birds and wildlife.
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Lakes Atkinson, Clarendon, and Dyer
Low water levels mean most boating activities are unavailable at these sites, but day use areas are still open for picnics, barbecues, and other gatherings.
Somerset Dam has several access points and day use areas, all of which are open to the public.
Playgrounds are open, barbecues and picnics are allowed, and boating, fishing, water and jet skiing, and swimming areas are also in use.
Some campgrounds nearby have also reopened, but because these locations are run by private operators, those interested in camping will need to call ahead and book their spot.
Visitors are reminded that some of the terrain surrounding the lake is private property, and activities at the lake should be limited to marked areas.
As the largest dam site in the region, Wivenhoe offers a wide range of activities for visitors.
There are two areas with playgrounds, six day-use areas with picnic tables and barbecues, six launch points for boats, and a designated swimming area.
Shoreline fishing is available along seven areas of the shore, and fishing from boats is also permitted.
For those looking to get in some exercise, there is a 16-kilometre multi-use trail network at Wivenhoe Hill, offering spectacular views of the lake.
There are four trails, from 3km to 5km, which are suitable for mountain bike riders, horse riders, walkers and trail runners.
Campgrounds are accessible nearby as well, but are run by private operators.
Laidley’s Narda Lagoon and the adjoining Lions Park features shelter sheds, tables and seating, toilets, a playground and barbecues, perfect for a peaceful day out.
There is a 48-hour rest area beside Narda Lagoon, across from the nearby Laidley Pioneer Village, which is currently still closed to the public.
The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is one of the region’s defining attractions, a go-to route for walkers, runners, and riders of bikes and horses.
Following the trail not only offers a glimpse into the local wildlife, but also into myriad small towns dotting the region.
Gatherings are still limited to groups no larger than 20 people, which is also the maximum number of people allowed in designated swimming areas and playgrounds
Visitors must still adhere to social distancing advice at all times by keeping to a 1.5m distance.
Campgrounds must adhere to similar boundaries, restricting people on site to a maximum of one person per four square metres, including staff in shared areas.