We’ve spent most of our travels on the coast but when we have ventured inland we’ve been captivated by the landscape; rolling hills and endless paddocks lined with towering gums. It’s iconic Australia and at times it’s vast and rugged, beautiful though.

For the past week we’ve been perched on a hill overlooking Somerset Dam. We’re only 1.5hours west of Brisbane and yet it feels like we’re a world away from the city. NRMA Lake Somerset Holiday Park is on 45 hectares in the Somerset valley. It’s incredibly popular on the weekends with caravaners, campers and water-sport enthusiasts. If you’re a keen fisherman, book your next holiday here because it’s reportedly the best spot to catch Bass in Australia.

And if you’re not into water-sports then come for the picturesque views across the dam. It’s wildly different from the coastline and the trees lining the water make for the ideal picnic location. We’ve spent most afternoons in the shade by the water; the rocks, clay and grass just right for hours spent playing. And I admit, regardless of the children’s squabbles and seemingness endless food requests, it’s been very relaxing to sit and watch the water in the evening when it changes colour as the sun sets.

NRMA Lake Somerset Holiday Park is one of the biggest we’ve visited on our travels. There’s an abundance of space for unpowered and powered camping and caravanning as well as accomodation options for those who want to glamp it including safari tents, water-view villas and a large dorm-style log cabin.

If you’re interested in exploring the local country towns, Lake Somerset is the ideal base. It’s a short trip to nearby Kilcoy and Woodford and only a 40minute drive to the famous Australia Zoo. In my opinion you should definitely make a day trip to Maleny; a 55minute journey up the mountain with the most inspiring views. Once you’re there visit Shotgun Espresso for great coffee and food served in the prettiest courtyard, meander through Rosetta Books and get your op-shop hit at the three second-hand stores in town (they’re very, very good). Make sure you visit the co-op on the main street which stocks a great selection of organic produce and natural remedies (and fabulous baskets!) and then before you drive back get an afternoon gelato at Maleny Food Co.

And if you just want to stay put at NRMA Lake Somerset Holiday Park and enjoy the countryside, stock up on groceries before you arrive (Kilcoy is a 10minute drive from the park and has a great IGA). Many of the powered sites don’t have a lot of shade so I highly recommend an awning or annex so you can create your own. But most importantly, bring a big picnic blanket so you can sit under the trees in the late afternoon and watch the water – and the world – go by.

I’m sharing my favourite family-friendly locations in collaboration with NRMA Parks & Resorts as we travel the East Coast of Queensland and NSW.

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