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Taking the Scenic Route: Somerset Region

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Taking the Scenic Route: Somerset Region 

Do you have a new car that you're eager to drive? Are you looking for a Sunday activity that doesn't require much thought? Or, maybe you just like getting behind the wheel? Whichever it is, the Somerset region has a range of great driving roads, eclectic cafes and stunning views that make for an enjoyable day of exploration.

We've put together an easy guide on what we call the Somerset Loop, which shows some of the best roads to tour, places to explore and cafes at which to take a break on a day of beautiful Queensland weather. We'd recommend setting aside about five or six hours of your day if you wish to complete the full loop without rushing, as there are about three hours spent on the road.

Section One: Mount Nebo and Mount Glorious

The Gap to Lake Wivenhoe

One of Brisbane's premier mountain driving roads is the 54.5-kilometre section that begins at The Gap Park 'n' Ride bus station at the end of Waterworks Road and snakes its way through Mount Nebo, Mount Glorious and terminates at the end of Northbrook Parkway by Lake Wivenhoe. The well-surfaced road is packed with sweeping curves and tight switchbacks as you climb up the mountain range and through the forests.

It's a great road for a spirited drive however it's just as captivating on a relaxed cruise with a couple of stops at the various lookouts, each facing a different direction and showcasing a unique view of the region. Make sure to check out Jollys Lookout, Westridge Outlook, and Wivenhoe Outlook.

If you're keen for a quick bite or coffee break, check out the cozy Cafe in the Mountains at Mount Nebo, or the popular retro-themed Mount Glorious Cafe - a favourite amongst motorcyclists.

Duration: You'll spend about an hour on the road travelling this section so account for longer if making stops.

Section Two: Lake Somerset

Lake Wivenhoe to Kilcoy

At the end of Northbrook Parkway, turning right and heading north on Wivenhoe Somerset Road will take you onto the second section of the loop. After cruising through open plains and farmland for twenty minutes you'll reach Somerset Dam and the southern end of Lake Somerset. The road here worms its way back and forth around some tight bends as it hugs the lake shore then gains some elevation before slowly easing its way back down to the D'Aguilar Highway and Kilcoy. This makes for some fun driving while offering awesome views over the lake and surrounding farmland.

If you're up for a picnic, The Spit offers plenty of space and amenities that make it the perfect spot. Stretch out on the grassy banks and soak in the sun while you enjoy a feed and watch the waterskiers slice across the water, or take a dip in the refreshing lakewater.

The best view you'll see during the whole drive is at Shiels Lookout on the side of the road about halfway up the drive along Lake Somerset. The lake disappears from view just after passing The Spit as the road starts to climb until it crests out and the lake bursts back into view with the most spectacular panorama stretching across in front of you. It's impossible not to stop and take a few snaps.

Duration: This section includes about 45 minutes of driving.

Shiels Lookout

Section Three: Mount Archer and Mount Delaney

Kilcoy to Delaney's Creek

Just down the road from Kilcoy, at Winya, take the right turn off the highway and onto Neurum Road. This stretch of the loop is less about a spirited drive and more about enjoying the scenery of the surrounding farmlands, various creek crossings and the rising peaks of Mount Archer and Mount Delaney in the distance.

From Neurum Road, you want to take the right turn onto Stanton Road, which you'll identify by following the signs for D'Aguilar National Park. Stanton Road leads onto Vidoni Road, Dewhurts Road and eventually Delaney Creek Road.

If you opt to continue to the end of Neurum Road, you'll arrive in the popular little town of Woodford. Stop for a bite at one of the enticing cafes or schedule your trip for the third Sunday of the month to catch the Woodford Country Markets!

Duration: 30 minutes of driving.

Section Four: Mount Mee and Mount Samson

Delaneys Creek to The Gap via Samford

The final section of the loop features another great mountain drive up and over Mount Mee featuring large sweeping bends that slowly climb up the mountain, across the top of the ridge, and back down the southern side through lush forest and into Dayboro. The descent includes a rather steep section of sweeping bends that offer some excitement as well as a stunning view to the southwest - especially during the afternoon when golden sun rays shine across the plains below.

You have a few options for meal breaks along this section with the route passing through both Dayboro and Samford Village. Up on top of the mountain though, you'll find the auto-themed Pitstop Cafe that features one of the best views of the region from the large deck. For something a bit more fancy, check out the indulgent Entangled on the Hill - just make sure to book in beforehand as space is limited.

Once you're back at sea level, the tail end of the drive is pretty tame as you make your way back into the suburbs of Brisbane.

Duration: Just over an hour of driving back to your starting point in The Gap.

After all that, hopefully, you've had a fulfilling day of driving featuring some tasty food experiences and gorgeous scenery. The Somerset region is a lively area on weekends and driving these roads is a popular activity amongst motorcyclists and sports car owners. Enjoy what the region has to offer and stay safe on the roads.

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