Beach weekends are something we take for granted in the Philippines. Given how our country has been blessed with the best beaches in the world, it’s only natural that we gravitate towards spending a great deal of our free time on them.
What most of us Filipinos have yet to experience, however, is a holiday spent by a lake.
As bodies of (mostly) freshwater in basins surrounded by land, lakes present a relatively calm oasis in the midst of forests, mountains, and even cities. More than just being a peaceful retreat for human beings, however, a lot of the world’s remaining lakes also serve as a habitat for many species of wildlife.
Brisbane’s Blue Lake National Park is exactly that. Not for nothing was it originally named “Kaboora” (Aborigine for “silent pool”), as this massive, 501-hectare haven was meant for visitors to appreciate all the natural beauty within and surrounding it. Such is the place’s dedication to conservation efforts that Blue Lake itself cannot be accessed by car. To get here, you’ll have to park your vehicle in an allotted space and from there, walk the 2.6 kilometer distance to the lake.
It might sound like quite a long walk, but the scenery surrounding it is fringed with lush, vibrant vegetation like reeds, banksias, paperbarks, and eucalyptus trees, so you’ll probably barely notice how far along your path is getting. And if you happen to visit this place during the springtime, you can expect to see a lot of beautiful, fragrant flowers blooming on the way to the lake too. (Do be more careful during the summer, however, as horse flies that bite are plentiful during this time. Yikes!)
Early mornings and late afternoons are arguably the best time for visiting the lake since that’s when its “locals” (e.g., sand goannas, swamp wallabies, and birds) emerge from their hiding places. This is also the time when schools of soft-spined sunfish flit across the lake’s still, blue waters, so those who take a moment to observe their surroundings are sure to be rewarded with a uniquely beautiful sight.
Best of all, the waters here are clean enough for you take a refreshing dip. If you aren’t keen on getting your feet wet, there are also picnic tables provided for your convenience and comfort. Do note that open fires aren’t allowed in this park, so you may want to bring packed meals or sandwiches rather than attempting a barbecue.
While camping on the premises is prohibited, Blue Lake National Park is open to the public 24 hours a day, so visitors are most welcome to experience what it is about the place that have some experts calling it “God’s bathtub.”