Brown Lake Conservation Area

Paddle on the pristine tea-colored waters and explore the sandy foreshore fringed with fragrant trees at this nature reserve on North Stradbroke Island.

The Brown Lake Conservation Area protects the beautiful tannin-stained waters of Brown Lake and its foreshore forests. Swim in the cool waters and feel soft sand beneath your toes. Bring your stand-up paddleboard and explore the shoreline. Rest by the lakeside and look out across the dark waters to the dense forests beyond.

Wander down to the lake beach, following a pathway that weaves between the exposed roots of the surrounding trees. Take a deep breath and smell the scent of tea trees and paperbarks. These trees are the reason behind the Brown Lake’s signature color. The leaves that fall into the lake seep dark tannins into the water, giving it the appearance of tea. Don’t be daunted by the dark color of the water, the lake is perfectly pristine and an ideal spot for a swim.

Pick your place on the sandy bank and stretch out on your towel. There’s plenty of shade under the canopy of lakeside trees. Take the plunge and swim in the russet-colored waters, which are fresh, clear and invigorating. Also known as Bummiera, the lake has a special significance to the Quandamooka Aboriginal people and remains an important cultural site.

Bring your kayak or stand-up paddleboard to skim over the smooth surface of the water. The Brown Lake is 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) at its longest point and is a great spot to paddle some leisurely laps.

Pack some snacks and enjoy a picnic on the foreshore or the waterfront tables. There is a playground for the kids to explore while you relax with a drink or tend to the barbecue.

By car, the Brown Lake Conservation Area is 2.2 miles (3.5 kilometers) from Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island. It’s an easy drive on a graded off-road track. There is plenty of parking by the lakeside, as well as public restrooms with disability access. It is recommended that you arrive early to secure your spot at this popular beach. Bring your own food and supplies, including sun protection and water, for an enjoyable day by the lake.