The sprawling Lake Samsonvale is an easily accessible body of water on the northside of Brisbane, popular with families for a variety of leisure activities including picnicking, water sports and bush walking.
About Lake Samsonvale
Lake Samsonvale is located on the northside of Brisbane, bordering the suburbs of Joyner, Petrie, Warner, Whiteside, Bray Park and Lawnton and is managed by SEQ Water.
Towards the east end of the lake is the North Pine Dam. Opened in 1976, the dam is part of the water grid and is a primary source of drinking water for the area. According to SEQ Water the dam wall is 580m long and 40m high, with five steel gates to release water, when required.
Water levels can fluctuate according to weather conditions, maintenance, and controlled releases, and may affect water-based activities, so check https://www.seqwater.com.au/ for updates before visiting.
Activities to Enjoy at Lakes Samsonvale
While a variety of leisure activities can be undertaken at Lake Samsonvale, it is important all visitors pay careful attention to permitted areas for each activity. Please consult the Lake Samsonvale map for designated areas and permitted activities.
Grabbing a rug and a picnic is a wonderful way to spend time near Lake Samsonvale. Enjoying a picnic while overlooking the lake, and being surrounded by towering trees, is a popular activity among families, especially on the weekends and in the school holidays.
Many choose the banks of Lake Samsonvale to hold birthday parties and large gatherings, with McGavin View and Bullocky Rest, being particularly popular due to the amenities provided.
If you are visiting Lake Samsonvale with young children and want to couple time in nature with a spot of play, then you will want to make sure you visit McGavin View and Bullocky Rest. Both locations have playgrounds which are well shaded by established tree and a fun way to spend time outdoors.
Visiting Lake Samsonvale will almost guarantee you the chance to spot wildlife. Birdlife is in abundance flitting between the trees or floating on the lake, but perhaps one of the most exciting creatures to spot near Lake Samsonvale is the seriously cute koala. On many occasions we have spotted koalas at Bullocky Rest, resting high in the treetops (usually to the surprise of oblivious picnickers below).
Given the bush location coming across snakes is also highly possible, especially in the warmer months. As a precaution always stick to the tracks (where possible), keep your eyes open and wear closed in shoes.
Strap on your walking shoes and explore the area that surrounds Lake Samsonvale. Visitors can amble along the banks of the lake, taking in the peaceful surroundings, or for those seeking a little something extra, can partake in a longer bush walk.
A gentle walk extends from Bullocky Rest to Forgan Cove, with the return journey perfect for spotting wildlife. You can choose to walk part of the trail until little legs tire, or walk all the way to one end, have a rest and then turn around and head back.
Additionally, at the end of Postman’s Track Road in Samsonvale there is more than 5km of multi-use trails, suitable for those on foot, mountain bikes or horses.
Non-motorised paddle craft can be launched from the launch point at Forgan Cove and used in the designated area (Zone 2) seven days a week.
Public sailing and motorised boating is NOT permitted on Lake Samsonvale, however members and guests of approved water sports associations are permitted to use the lake in designated areas.
There are NO designated swimming areas at Lake Samsonvale.
Lake Samsonvale is well stocked with golden perch, silver perch, Australian bass, Mary River cod and Southern saratoga and is popular among families for shoreline fishing (in designated areas). Alternatively, fishing from paddle crafts can be undertaken in the designated zone near Forgan Cove.
Please note, that a valid permit is required to fish at Lake Samsonvale. More information and permit details can be found at Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
What We Love About Lake Samsonvale
We always find it calming to visit anywhere near the water, and Lake Samsonvale is no exception. When you arrive at any part of the lake you will instantly feel yourself relax as you view the sun shimmering on the water, the trees swaying in the breeze and the abundance of space which surrounds you.
As a family we particularly love visiting Bullocky Rest, where we always find time for a picnic and a walk. On most occasions we are lucky enough to spot a koala high in the trees resting, so keep your eyes open and bring your binoculars and camera.
What to Know Before You Go
- There are many restricted areas on Lake Samsonvale, so check carefully before undertaking any activity.
- Shoreline fishing requires a permit.
- There are NO designated swimming areas at Lake Samsonvale
- Protect yourself and your family from the elements by wearing appropriate clothing, footwear, sun protection and insect repellent.
- Keep a close eye on children at all times as this is a mostly unfenced waterway.
- For closures, restrictions, and important alerts please check https://www.seqwater.com.au/
How to Get to Lake Samsonvale
There are many access points to Lake Samsonvale on the northside of Brisbane. The most popular ones include:
McGavin View – Vores Road, Whiteside
Bullocky Rest – Forgan Road, Joyner
Forgan Cove – Forgan Road, Joyner
Kobble Creek – Mount Samson Road, Kobble Creek
More Pics of Lake Samsonvale