Escape the hustle and bustle to discover a unique range of activities in South East Queensland’s best kept secret, the Somerset Region – just one hour from Brisbane! Enjoy shopping, dining, walk a llama or even going skydiving! Maybe you’d prefer to sit back, relax and watch the world go by.
Dining in Esk
Esk is well known for its coffee shops, but the township is also home to a diverse range of cuisine that we highly recommend for our retreat guests.
For more information on where to EAT in Esk, check out our blog post for more information.
As we’re in a regional area, most local businesses are family owned and run.
Please check their operating hours for dinner and make a booking where necessary before travelling, especially on public holidays, Sundays and early in the week.
BBQ facilities are also available at the retreat if you wish to bring your own food (plates and cutlery included with the BBQ facilities). Dine under the millions of stars in our night sky or enjoy the brilliance of a full moon!
In the middle of town, you’ll find Palliaers Emporium – located in the same building as the Red Deer Cafe. The combination of businesses in the one building makes for a great atmosphere.
For the antique lover, there’s Salts Antiques (opposite the Friendly Grocer)
Esk Pharmacy and Esk Newsagency also stock gift ideas. Nash Gallery & Cafe also stocks a wide range of pottery and art and other unique gift ideas.
The Somerset Region is the place for art enthusiasts…
- In Esk, The Glen Rock Gallery is located in the Esk Information Centre.
- In Toogoolawah is The Condensery, the restored packing house of the original Nestle Factory
- In Moore, there’s the beautiful Old Church Gallery Moore. Enjoy a coffee and a light lunch while chatting to the artists in residence, David Mackenzie and Deborah Johnston-Booker.
- In Kilcoy, the Kilcoy Courthouse Art Gallery can be found in the old Courthouse in Yowie Park.
Check opening times, especially if travelling through early in the week.
Brisbane Valley Rail Trail
The 161 kilometre rail line originally ran from Ipswich to Yarraman. It is now being recycled to provide walkers, cyclists and horse riders an opportunity to experience the history and landscape of the Brisbane River Valley.
The trail follows the old rail line along the western side of the Brisbane River and travels through farming landscapes, native and plantation forests, rural, residential and country towns.
Once completed, it will be the one of the longest rail trails in Australia.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the view. Our views of Lake Wivenhoe and the Brisbane Valley from Weltevreden Domes Retreat are nothing short of spectacular.
Lake Wivenhoe Dam has several access points around its perimeter.
For more information on boating, fishing, required permits and general use of Lake Wivenhoe, download the SEQ Water Lake Wivenhoe Recreation Guide.
Lunch is available at Cormorant Bay Cafe near the dam wall.
Approx. 30 minute drive from Weltevreden Domes Retreat is Lake Somerset.
Here you can enjoy motorised watersports to your heart’s content.
For more information on boating, fishing, required permits and general use of Lake Somerset, download the SEQ Water Lake Somerset Recreation Guide.
It’s easy to see why the Somerset Region is called the ‘Valley of the Lakes’!
Ottaba Llama Walks
For a fun and unique activity, look no further than Ottaba Llama Walks.
Stroll through the local countryside with a friendly llama as your companion! Walk the rail trail and visit a local winery!
Llamas are affectionate and intelligent animals with their own character and personality. They have llamas to suit anyone.
Whether you choose to trek the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail or to walk around Winya Winery, you’re guaranteed a special and memorable experience.
Contact them via their website for more information.
Ravensbourne National Park
Located approx. 33 km west of Esk via the Esk–Hampton Road, the Ravensbourne National Park features the examples of the rainforest that originally covered this part of the Great Dividing Range.
Short walks are available through the rainforest and eucalypt forest. The national park has an amazing array of native birdlife and the picnic area with a view from Gus Beutel lookout is nothing short of spectacular.
For more information, please visit their website.
Wivenhoe Hill Trails
16kms of multi-use trails are now available at Wivenhoe Hill. They offer the opportunity for walkers, trail runners, mountain bike riders and horse riders to explore and enjoy spectacular views of Lake Wivenhoe.
Four trails are available with each one identifiable by an different colour and have been rated class 3, as per the Australian Walking Trail Standard. A reasonable level of fitness is required. Ensure you have correct footwear, allow time for breaks and take plenty of water.
For more information, download the Wivenhoe Hills Trails Fact Sheet
Esk & Fernvale Country Markets
The popular Fernvale Country Markets can be found at the Fernvale Primary School along the Brisbane Valley Highway every Sunday from 6am-12pm.
The smaller Esk Country Markets are in Pipeliner Park in Esk every Saturday from 7am-12pm. Other markets include –
- Linville – First Saturday of each month – 8am-12pm
- Kilcoy – Second and last Saturday of each month – 7am-12pm
- Moore – Third Saturday of each month – 6am-12pm
- Toogoolawah – Second Saturday of each month – 7am-12pm
A Taste of Somerset
The surrounding areas of the Somerset Region Wine Trail are home to some of the valley’s best boutique wineries. Enjoy award winning regional wines, cellar door sales and dining experiences.
From Kilcoy to Coolana, you can experience tastings, tours and personalised experiences.
For more information, check out their websites. Call ahead to check for times and bookings.
If a shot of adrenaline is what you’re after, Skydive Ramblers is for you.
Only 20 minutes drive from Weltevreden Domes Retreat, Ramblers Parachute Drop Zone at Toogoolawah offers skydive lessons for beginners through to tandem skydives and activities for experienced skydivers. Ramblers is Queensland’s largest and longest established skydiving operation, having taught people to jump out of aeroplanes since 1972.
Pick up your free copy of the Somerset Region Valley Of The Lakes Brochure during your stay at Weltevreden Domes Retreat for more information on things to see and do in the region.