While the warm weather drove people to the beaches in flocks, we opted for mountain breezes to help us cool down. We travelled through the historic town of Dayboro onto Mount Mee, about 50km north-west of Brisbane.
Mount Mee is part of the D’Aguilar Range and is a delight to visit with a variety of walks, icy cold streams and rocky waterholes on offer. The Gantry is the first stop about a 150m into the park. This grassy picnic area is well equipped with tables, toilets and barbecues. To access the park past this point four wheel drive vehicles are recommended.
The huge shed at the Gantry is a silent reminder of the timber industry of this area from as early as 1879. The shed itself was erected during the 1950s by Hancock’s Sawmill to house the overhead gantry. The sawmill ceased operation in 1981. A variety of wood was sourced from Mount Mee. Saint Stephan’s Cathedral in Brisbane and the bridge which connects Brisbane and Redcliffe were built using wood from this area.
There are two walks departing and ending opposite the Gantry, namely the Somerset Trail and Piccabeen walk. The Piccabeen walk is a short 1km circuit taking you through a grove of piccabeen palms. Somerset Trail is a class 4, 13km circuit that offers panoramic views over Lake Somerset and Wivenhoe. As always take water with you as there is no drinking water available on this trail.
Our next stop was 1.5km from the Gantry: Falls Lookout. It is a short, easy 500m walk to the viewing platform overlooking a series of small falls, the D’Aguilar Range as well as the Neurum Valley.
3.3km from the Gantry is Mill rainforest walk. It is a spectacular 1.4km circuit through subtropical rainforest. Take your time and listen to all the different bird species. We had a wonderful encounter with a male fantail. Although we had seen a few of them darting through the leaves, we were quite taken with this particular one. His territory included one of the bridges and he definitely wasn’t shy in showing off his plumage.
Camping is allowed at Archer and Neurum Creek campground. There are plenty of level spots, fire rings and toilets. Just note that there is no firewood, remember to bring your own. Also remember to treat all water in the camping area (yes even those obtained from taps) by boiling it for 10 minutes or using sterilization tablets. Camping permits are required.
Lophostemon walk starts at Neurum Creek campground. It is a short 750m circuit going through tall eucalypt forest.
The absolute highlight of the day for us was a swim at Rocky Hole. It is such a picturesque spot with water cascading over the rocks into a big pool. It is the perfect place to get rid of all the sweat and dust that you accumulated on all your walks.
Just another few kilometres down the road will bring you to Broadwater. This is a popular picnic spot next to another large waterhole. Toilets, picnic tables and wood barbecues are provided.