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Esk War Memorial and Esk Memorial Park

Esk, Somerset Area

An opulent bronze, marble and sandstone cenotaph has stood in Esk since 1921, even though it took another 58 years for the surrounding park to be proclaimed as a memorial reserve.

The foundation stone was laid in December 1920 by Colonel Graham Butler, the original medical officer who landed with the Queensland 9th Battalion at Gallipoli.

The Esk Patriotic Committee had started fundraising in 1916. They needed £885, a high price for a community paying a high human cost. Of the 545 men from the Esk district who enlisted, 83 died.

All the names are captured on this monument. Fixed bronze plates on the base bear the names of the dead. The others' names appear on huge bronze plates fixed to recessed marble panels.

Designed by Georg Brockwell Gill of Ipswich, the stonework was executed by masons Frank Williams & Co. Art metalwork was supplied by Wunderlich Ltd of Sydney.

The memorial park, proclaimed in 1979, was extended four years later. It now includes a stone memorial to Captain Patrick Logan, commandant of the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement who was murdered while exploring the Brisbane Valley in 1830, and plaques honouring those who died in WWII and post-1945 conflicts.

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Savages Crossing

Fernvale, Somerset Area
Free Entry
Looking for a quiet spot to drop a line or take the canoe or kayak out for a spin? Fish where the locals fish and visit Savages Crossing. Located along Banks Creek Rd, its just a short five minute drive from the township of Fernvale. The crossing is a beautiful spot where you can get back to nature and unwind in this tranquil creek setting. Catch a fish or go for a paddle in your kayak or canoe, you won't be disappointed!

Somerset Trail

Mount Mee, Moreton Bay Area
Free Entry
At the D’Aguilar Range’s northern end, this huge expanse of rainforest and eucalypt forest in Mount Mee Forest Reserve contains clear creeks, and lookouts with lovely views. Beginning at the Gantry, this mind-calming walk contains beautiful open forests, scribbly gum forests, rainforest remnants, hoop pine plantations and picturesque creek scenery. About halfway along, enjoy the magnificent views to the west, overlooking Somerset and Wivenhoe Dams. On your return, enjoy a picnic at the Gantry picnic area where the remains of the old sawmill that operated here until 1981 can still be seen.

National Paintball Fields

Ironbark, Ipswich Area
For a fun and adventurous day out, you can't go past Ipswich's National Paintball Fields at Blacksoil on the Brisbane Valley Highway - a 15-minute drive from Ipswich and just over half an hour from the Brisbane Central Business District. The family-owned Paintball Fields have 23 acres of lush fields so you can enjoy a safe adrenaline rush overseen by referees. Whether it's for a family outing (for over 15s), birthday party, group celebration or corporate event, you're guaranteed to have a day to remember in one of the largest skirmish and paintball fields in Australia. There are eight different themed concept fields, with forts, tournament field, bush fields, open playing fields and more. Once you check in and are provided with your overalls, goggles and breast vests for women, you're ready to splatter paint at your rivals! They have a package and catering tailored to suit your needs. National Paintball Fields is also licenced for Archery Tag - a game played similar to dodgeball but with bows and patented foam-tipped arrows. Suitable for 10 years and over, an Archery Tag birthday party will be a hit with kids and adults alike!

Yowie Park

Kilcoy, Somerset Area
Free Entry
Yowie Park is a must see when you visit Kilcoy. Pick up a special handmade gift at the craft cottage and have a chat to the volunteers who made it, or if you are a bit of a history buff, explore the Kilcoy and District Historical Society's Hall of History and learn a little bit about Kilcoy' past. You might also like to take a stroll around Fred Greensill Lake and the "For Valour" memorial walk designed by the Kilcoy RSL and learn about the town's war veterans. If art is more your style wander over to the Courthouse Art Gallery, to view the ever changing local and regional exhibits and have a chat to one of the volunteers about the artwork and workshops that they hold. Yowie Park also has picnic and barbecue facilities, public amenities, and a children's playground. Eateries are within walking distance to the Kilcoy Aquatic Centre which is adjacent to the park for easy access. Don't forget to have your photo taken with the Yowie statue before you leave.

Lake Somerset

Somerset Dam, Somerset Area
Free Entry
Lake Somerset is just south of Kilcoy and is a very popular boating and recreational spot. Motorised and non-motorised watercraft are allowed on Lake Somerset along with waterskiing, jet skiing, and wakeboarding. Boat ramps are available at three locations across the lake and can be found at The Spit, Kirkleagh and Westvale road. The lake is also a great fishing spot either from your boat or along the shoreline. Don't forget to grab your boating and fishing permits before heading out or dropping a line. If you would rather be in the water than on it, take a dip at the designated swimming areas at The Spit and Kirkleagh. These areas also provide picnic and barbecue facilities, along with Somerset Park, so make the most of if and enjoy the whole day by the water. If you want to stay longer there are a number of private campgrounds, holiday houses and retreats close by. Find out more about the accommodation around Lake Somerset at the Kilcoy Information Centre.

Toogoolawah

Toogoolawah, Somerset Area
Step back in time and experience the town of Toogoolawah. Begin your journey to the past at the Toogoolawah Condensery Art Precinct. Experience old meets new as you walk through the old factory packing shed whilst viewing exhibitions of modern art. Next stop is the Toogoolawah Railway Museum. As you enter the old railway station house, you will be greeted by a team of friendly volunteers who will happily regale you with stories of the past and the Toogoolawah of yesteryear. Outside the station house you will see the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, a passage of disused rail corridor now a popular recreational trail for cyclists, horse riders and runners. Fancy a great meal and drinks? Toogoolawah is home to three pubs which are open for lunch and dinner; each pub has its own unique style. The main street in Toogoolawah also features a quaint shops and cafes which are well work a look. On Saturday nights visit the Alexandra Hall, which houses the Toogoolawah Pictures. Here you can watch the latest new release films, whilst sinking back into the old canvas chairs. Just up the road is Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield and museum. Their open day fly in events provide great opportunity for history buffs and flight enthusiasts to view vintage and military aircraft. Whilst Watts Bridge specialise in the planes of yesteryear, you can also take a ride in modern day aircraft with Skydive Ramblers. Take to the skies with Skydive Ramblers and experience the beauty of flight and some of the best views of Somerset.

Mount Glorious

Mount Glorious, Moreton Bay Area
Glorious by name, glorious by nature. Tenderly embraced by lush rainforest, the endearing mountain hamlet of Mount Glorious is just 45 minutes drive from Brisbane on the magnificent D'Aguilar Range. Accessed by a winding mountain road, the tiny village is surrounded by mountainous National Park and protected forests. The drive up the mountain is peppered with breath-taking lookouts, picnic spots and points of natural interest. Be sure to stop a while and enjoy the view. At 680 metres above sea level the village is sometimes shrouded in cloudy mist. The cool mountain air makes Mount Glorious a particularly glorious place to visit during the hot summer months. In and around Mount Glorious you'll find a range of attractive accommodation options from weekend retreats and rainforest chalets, to bed-and-breakfasts and cosy cottages complete with fireplaces. Mount Glorious also plays host to a magnificent world-class sculpture garden set amongst thick lush rainforest. Feel your work-day worries melt away as you marvel at these beautiful works of art crafted from marble, stone, bronze and onyx. The stunning natural beauty of the mountain can be enjoyed with a bushwalk through adjoining Maiala National Park. Breathe in the crisp rainforest air, hike to the waterfall and be serenaded by hundreds of rainforest birds in song.

Mount Mee

Mount Mee, Moreton Bay Area
Overlooking the magnificent Glasshouse Mountains, Mount Mee is approximately 90 minutes drive north west of Brisbane and is part of the beautiful D'Aguilar Range. The delightfully bohemian village of Woodford is just 10 minutes drive to the north. From on top of Mount Mee, expansive and picturesque views of seaside Caloundra and pristine Moreton Bay can be savoured. The Mount Mee Forest Reserve contains huge expanses of rainforest and eucalypt forest and includes many picturesque bushwalks and four wheel drive tracks. Clear water creeks, lush rainforest canopies and stunning views make the Reserve a perfect place to unwind and get back to nature. Bushwalkers can explore beautiful, open forests, scribbly gum forests, rainforest remnants, hoop pine plantations and cascading rainforest creeks. For an extra challenge, hike the Somerset trail and be rewarded with glorious views of Somerset and Wivenhoe Lakes. History buffs can inspect the remains of an antique sawmill and take the Piccabeen Palm walk to learn about the area's forestry and logging history. The area has a number of good camping spots with toilets, barbecues and firewood provided. Camping and four wheel drive permits are required. With its rich volcanic soil and good rainfall, this area is also known for its coffee growing and wonderful variety of local cheeses. These gastronomic delights can be savoured at the local restaurants and eateries. Several charming bed-and-breakfasts offer accommodation on Mount Mee with further accommodation options to be found at nearby Dayboro and Woodford.

Morelia Track, Manorina

The Gap, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
On a clear day, the Morelia Track, Manorina offers spectacular views as far as the sparkling white sand hills of Moreton Island. Walk from the picnic area through tall open forest to the summit of Mount Nebo. Patches of rainforest along the way provide a cool contrast to the more open forest and pockets of cabbage tree palm rainforest. At the end of the walk there are large granite boulders on which to sit and ponder, and perhaps plan your next walk.

Esk

Esk, Somerset Area
Nestled beneath the magnificent Glen Rock, Esk is a beautifully kept town with a range of cafes, gift and antique stores and sites to explore. As you drive into Esk, leave your cares and worries behind you. Your first stop is the Esk Visitor Information Centre on Ipswich Street where you can get travel tips from the locals. Drop in and see the friendly team of volunteers who are always happy to share their local knowledge with visiting tourists. Whilst you are there be sure to visit the Glen Rock Gallery and see the latest exhibition of local artwork. After driving up the steep incline of Highland Street, you will arrive at Lakeview Park Lookout. There you will see stunning views which stretch across to Wivenhoe Dam and beyond. With shaded picnic tables and breathtaking views, Lakeview Park Lookout is a prime spot for a picnic lunch. Back on the main street, take a stroll and discover the many unique gift and antique stores. There are a number of locally owned cafes and restaurants that offer real country hospitality and delicious meals. For those who enjoy getting active in the outdoors, the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is a must visit. Explore the disused rail corridor which connects Esk to the towns of Coominya and Toogoolawah. The old Esk Railway Station was built in 1886 and today it's a popular meeting spot for groups using the trail, as well as history buffs who like to reminisce the days when the old steam trains used to pull into the station. Just outside of Esk, many adventures await at Ottaba Llamas where you can do a guided tour with a llama along the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail and see many other friendly farm animals. The Ostrich and Fish Farm also has an array of farm animals and visitors can enjoy a slice of farm life as they wander through the 100 acre property just outside of Esk. Esk is the gateway to all the hidden delights of the Somerset region such as Lake Wivenhoe and Lake Somerset.
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