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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Lake Cressbrook, via Lake Perseverance, QLD

Campground at Lake Cressbrook

Lake Perseverance

From Crows Nest National Park we traveled to Lake Cressbrook, via Lake Perseverance. Lake Perseverance is one of the region’s major water supply dams. Use of the lake is restricted and there is no camping allowed in the rest areas. Coming from the direction of Crows Nest, on Perseverance Dam Road, there is a picnic area immediately on your right after going over the spillway and a smaller area with an information sign on your right after crossing the dam wall.

Lake Perseverance
Lake Pereverance Spillway

Lake Cressbrook

Lake Cressbrook is 21 km east of Crows Nest National Park and 60 km northeast of Toowoomba. There used to be boom gates and a small fee to enter Lake Cressbrook but the Toowoomba Regional Council has decided to do away with the fee and the gates were up when we visited in October 2014. The first things we noticed when we arrived were that the lake and surrounding area was nowhere near as badly affected by the drought as Lake Leslie, which we had seen earlier in our trip, and that the place was teaming with wildlife. The lake is a flora and fauna reserve and no pets are allowed.

Grey Kangaroos at Lake Cressbrook
Day Use Area

There is a large day use area with a children’s playground, BBQs, toilets, attractive picnic shelters, even a beach volleyball court; all for free.  The lake is popular for fishing and there is a boat ramp. There are restrictions on boat speed limits due to the lake being a major water supply for the region. A Stocked Impoundment Permit is required for fishing. While boating, canoeing, windsurfing and sailing are permitted, swimming is prohibited. There are also defined times that water based activities can occur, largely not at night. As soon as you sit down at a picnic table Blue-faced Honeyeaters arrive to check out the food options.

Blue-faced Honeyeater
Picnic Shelters at Lake Cressbrook

Large Numbers of Eurasian Coots Resting on Lake Cressbrook
Tranquil area for canoeing at Lake Cressbrook, not far from the boat ramp.
Boat Ramp at Lake Cressbrook

Camping at Lake Cressbrook

The campground is on the shores of the lake. There are more than 30 campsites and large areas for groups. There is a choice of shady or open sites. Site numbers  23 to 28 are dedicated for caravans and motorhomes. No bookings are taken. There is a self-registration booth at the entry and you need the correct money as no change is given.  Fees are $8.00 per person over the age of five. There is a family rate of $32 ( 2 adults and children under the age of 18 yrs). Groups of 20 or more are $5 per person. A 14 night maximum applies. There are toilets, showers, bins and camp kitchens. Wood barbeques are scattered throughout the campground, BYO wood, and there are two gas BBQs. However, at time of writing, there is a ban on all wood fires due to the drought. Generators, pets and swimming are not permitted. There is lake access for paddle craft only, otherwise use the boat ramp adjoining the day use area.

Campsites at Lake Cressbrook
View of Campground across Lake Cressbrook

Lake Cressbrook Walking Track

The Lake Cressbrook Walking Track is 6.7 km. Walking from the Boat Ramp to the Campground is approximately 2.5 km  one way. The track itself is mostly an easy flat, wide, mowed grass strip.

Grey Kangeroo Macropus giganteus, Lake Cressbrook
Black-fronted Dotterel, Lake Cressbrook
Lesser Wanderer Danaus chrysippus, Lake Cressbrook
Varied Sittella Race leucophala
We saw a number of other birds such as, Azure Kingfishers, Rainbow Lorikeets, Willy Wagtails and other common Australian birds.

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