Paddling on Lake Samsonvale is like jumping into a postcard. When my friend Michael offered me the chance to try it, I didn’t hesitate.


Access to the lake is difficult. You have to be a member of a club to be able to paddle there.

Michael is a member of the watersports club, and kindly invited Russel and me as his guests.

We dragged our kayaks into the water and headed west. The peaks of the D’Aguilar Range framed the shoreline, with the pyramid of Mount Samson most prominent.

When you paddle in the cool of the morning on a smooth lake, there is no rush.

Our boats glided peacefully through the calm water while we relaxed.


Ahead lake Samsonvale Cemetery – one of the few remaining parts of the old town of Samsonvale. Most of the town was submerged by the lake when the North Pine Dam was built.

Next to the cemetery stood Golds Scrub, a small remnant forest of hoop pines. This hoop pine forest is a rare example of what the terrain was like in this area before European settlement.

We paddled past the cemetery towards the entrance of a creek.

Kobble Creek has its source high in the D’Aguilar Range near Mount Glorious.

Sometimes, after long spells of dry weather, the creek disappears. In the past I’ve ridden my bike over the dry bumpy cobbles from which the creek derives its name.

Today it was quite wet.

We dragged the kayaks ashore, and had a quick snack.

As we continued further up-stream, the creek grew shallow. We had to walk our boats over some of the rocky parts.

Eventually it grew deep enough for us to float again.

Kobble Creek is beautiful.

Our kayaks allowed us to reach parts of it that we wouldn’t normally see on foot, or by bike.

We went up the creek as far as we could, then turned around and drifted back towards the lake.

Ahead lay Joyners Hill.

The Joyner Family built their home, Aust House, near here in the 1860’s.

The home was eventually demolished in 1949. Trees have reclaimed the hill. It’s difficult to tell anyone ever lived here.

I am sure Isabella Joyner and her family would have enjoyed some amazing views from their front verandah.

We pulled our boats ashore again and scrambled up the banks. There was one nearby spot I wanted to check out.

This old Mango tree was probably planted while the Joyner family lived here.

I love mangoes and wondered if we could collect any delicious fruit to take home.


It looks like someone got here before us. There was no fruit left.

Note to self: If you want to collect any mangoes from this tree, try a few weeks earlier in the year next time.

We scrambled back through the “fukawi” grass towards the shore.

Ah well. No fruit. Might as well have a swim.

The water was tepid from the hot summer sun.

After soaking for a while, we clambered back into our kayaks and headed back towards our starting point.

Russel pointed out another small creek that he thought might be worth exploring. We took a short detour and checked it out.

Lake Samsonvale is full of small inlets like this. After a few minutes paddling upstream it feels like you’re remote – miles from anywhere.

Detour over, we continued back towards the watersports club.

That was fun!

Total distance: 12.63 km
Max elevation: 48 m
Min elevation: 5 m
Total climbing: 682 m
Total descent: -676 m
Average speed: 5.31 km/h
Total Time: 03:30:50
More data

We paddled 11.5 kilometres in about three and a half hours.

Despite the hot weather, this was an easy, relaxing adventure, with some spectacular views.

I’ll rate it 3 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

Thanks, Russel and Michael for a pleasant morning on the water. And thanks, Michael, for sharing it with us!

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