Starting and ending at the day use area, this is a clockwise loop in the hills around Lake Manchester through a conservation park adjacent to the D’Aguilar Range National Park (Brisbane Forest Park section).

Getting there

Lake Manchester day use area is near Kholo, about 25km west of Brisbane off Lake Manchester Road. This is well signposted from Mt Crosby, west of Kenmore.

The last section of road is gravel, but well maintained.


A location map is available on the DERM website (PDF) with the trail map here. A sign outlines the route at the start of the walk also.

Route/Trail notes

It starts up past the dam wall, and for a time follows the lake shoreline before climbing up into the ridges. For most of the walk the lake itself is not visible.

The route uses forest/fire roads which are well graded but a covering of loose gravel means caution must be taken on descents. The trail is very hilly with some testing steep sections.

Most of the walk is through open eucalypt and ironbark forests with plenty of birdlife. Each intersection is signposted to remind you to turn right, with distances to the next feature.

SEQwater signs warn that water should be boiled/treated before drinking so bring plenty of water. There are a few creek crossings but these are seasonal and for most of the year will be dry.

Sections of the track are shared use with horse riding and trail bikes.

The loop passes a couple of huts but for the most part is open without shelter or shade.

Camping is allowed at the Blue Gum Flat camp site which is reached on the walk. This is a large flat grassy area surrounded by forest but has no facilities. Bookings are required via DERM and the site may be closed periodically for regeneration and during the wildfire season.

The final leg of the walk is along Lake Manchester Road as the trail does not lead directly back to the BBQ area. As a variation here it is possible to keep to the ridge above the lake on the boundary of the paddocks by climbing through a locked gate on the right of the main track. You will find this about 50m after you pass the locked road gate with the trail map at around 15km (you will still need to get back onto Lake Manchester Road for some of the walk regardless, through the railing fence at the end)


None required for the walk, and access is free. Booking is required via DERM for camping at the Bluegum Flats.

Other References



Well graded track, lots of up and down good work out

troy on 10 Sep, 2017

Did anti-clockwise and started at 2 pm. Took us 5 hours as part of the track had sign that led to a dead end and had to back track, however follow the signs that indicate trails for all 3 (walking, bicycle and horses) and you should be fine. Some of the hills have a killer incline. Bring atleast 2 litres water per person and if you are starting after 2 pm then DO CARRY TORCHES. Overall awesome walk, plan to do it clockwise also so that we can get the view during daylight that we missed towards the end of our walk when we did it anti-clockwise

TK on 3 Sep, 2017

Did the loop clockwise, some hard/steep inclines and declines for the first third. The cabin is easy to spot and a great place to take a rest. Blue Gum campground is also lovely. Started the walk at 10am and took 4hrs. Was very warm for most of the walk with patchy shade.

TJ on 22 Aug, 2017

Did anti-clockwise, great running loop with some creek crossings, climbs are not very steep, but accumulation of elevation in legs over many hills takes its toll.

Marcin Piotrowski on 16 Jul, 2017

Great walk as described which we did in clockwise direction. Signage was spot on and the track well maintained. This took us 4hrs including lunch stop.

T18 on 13 May, 2017

Sadly I didn't get to complete this walk. I struggled to find the trail. I attempted anti-clockwise first but lost the track pretty well immediately. Then turned around to go clockwise and lost the path again a few times. I was on my own so I didn't pursue it for long as I was on my way and didn't want to get lost. Not sure if it's just quite overgrown since Cyclone Debbie or it was just too foggy and I couldn't see well. Will try again after the Trail runs happen later in the year.

Eileen on Apr, 2017

Nice walk. Did it clockwise and some good undulation for first third. The cabin at 5km makes a great morning tea/lunch spot with lovely views of the lake and a nice bench. Views of the lake are limited past this point until you get near the end. Creeks were dry today so the water filter didn't get any use, but I was glad of the extra water I'd brought with me (3l total). Well signposted the whole way round and there's now a path that takes you all the way round, skipping out the 800m on the road at the end that it appears you used to have to do. Overall a great day out

Henny on 22 Jan, 2017

**Good times!!**

Done this walk a few times now. Usually takes between 3-4 hours at a decent pace. If you are slow walker and like to slowly appreciate the nature, expect to walk for 5-6 hours. It can get warm quickly so doing this walk between 6am - 10am is a lot easier.

Well signed trail with a few extra trails going off the course (some of these trails are dead ends and you will have to turn back).
Hills: Majority of the Hills are in the first third of the course going clockwise (starting near the dam wall). However there are still some steep hills in the rest of the sections.

If you want to challenge yourself start anticlockwise and walk until the damn wall just before the course ends and turn back, this doubles the course distance and ends up being around 33-34km.

doc on 17 Nov, 2016

*** Please read before attempting this trek***

Bring lots of water!!

This was quite a difficult trek, my wife and I took 6 hours of solid walking with 15kg packs to complete the full circuit.

Some of the track isn't very well signed and its easy to get a little lost. Some of the hills have a killer incline so i hope you're keen! There was also an awesome spot for a rest just near the damn wall with a freshly mowed field (depending which way you started the hike). Enjoy!

Zach on 6 Nov, 2016

Started early around 7am kick off and went counter-clockwise. Took just over 3 hours to complete and the hills toward the end were quite tough especially after having completed 14 or 15 kms by that stage. Really enjoyable walk !

Pidge on 13 Aug, 2016

This walk was completed in an anti-clockwise direction commencing at 8.20 am, lunch at 12.00 pm at the log cabin and walk completed at 2.30pm. Strong south westerly wind blowing which was felt on the ridges to the north of the lake. Very scenic walk.

GlasshouseBW on 26 Apr, 2015

Lots of steep up and down with very loose gravel.
Nice and quiet with not a lot of people.

bronwenz on 21 Sep, 2014

A few big inclines and lots of loose gravel. A nice walk but you hardly see the lake and the circuit ends at a road you have to walk back to the car park. Don't do this walk for the scenery :0)

Handi on 26 Apr, 2014

The northern bank was closed due to back burning, so we did the southern trail up to Blue Gum Flats campsite. Easy walking through woodland with some glimpses of the lake - some of the hills seemed higher on the return! Will come back to do the whole loop out of fire season

Shorts on 13 Oct, 2013

We have been up many times and love this area.

goldielover on 4 Jan, 2013

The signs are not clear at all which makes it very easy to get lost. Always make sure you know where you are and whatever water you bring, double it! We got lost and in the pitch black, found it very difficult to find our way out. Turned into a nightmare hike but the silver lining is that we were probably a minority of people that get lost and the walk is very beautiful.

Lewis Paulo on 22 Sep, 2012

Only managed to Hike for 3hrs about 6kms as I took my son who is 9yrs and the hills were pretty tough going. Advice is to take lots of water, start early as the hills can get to you. Planning to come back and try for a bit further next time.

Lizzie Dwyer on 18 May, 2012

Lots of birdlife, turtles in the lake and evidence of wallabies though we didn't see one. Unfortunately some pig wallows too. Take lots of water as this track is hillier and longer than you expect : )

stryker on 21 Oct, 2011

Nice walk, great views, take lots of water. After rain it can be very muddy in sections.

Tanya on 2010

Went with a friend walked about 8k all up had to turn back due to time constraints - it is harder than it sounds and I agree with other posters - take lots of water.

kyiee81 on 2007


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