Great Lakes of South East Queensland, Australia

I decided to by pass the greater Brisbane metropolitan area in a wide birth, as it was another sunny and extremely calm day. With bright and intense autumn colours, I rather spend my time in nature.                                                                                      Several Great Lakes are situated in the Brisbane hinterland, which are man made dams. These support potable waters from the Gold Coast Region all the way up to the Sunshine Coast Region. With Australia being such a dry country, it was a sensible decision to create such infrastructure.

South Bank in Brisbane inundated, Queensland, Australia

South Bank in Brisbane inundated, Queensland, Australia

These dams can run way low at times, often get to a critical stage. However, playing with water can have the opposite effect as well. The summer of 2010/2011 experienced a very wet season and dam levels were at maximum capacity. A tropical cyclone made its way down the east coast and dumped even more water. High altitude townships like Toowoomba experienced flash floods, people and cars were washed away by a raging torrent. Having no other choice, the dams needed to be opened before dam walls would break.

Wreckers next door in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Wreckers next door in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

The waters released rushed through the Brisbane River and flooded low lying properties along its banks. Full moon tidal movement pushed the already flooded plains to major devastation. Brisbane was inundated. Many people lost their homes and valuables to river sludge, a million dollar damage was caused within a few days. I remember those scenes as they were yesterday.

Losing my mind in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Losing my mind in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I didn’t loose any valuables, only my job. News reports warned for major flooding, but weren’t exact on how big the proposed inundated area would be. At least, I didn’t receive that information.

Goofy at surreal times in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Goofy at surreal times in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

My boss and owner at ‘King of Cakes’ had no idea either and rather spent time with his young girlfriend at the Gold Coast. It was a surreal scenario in all imaginable ways.

Me and then apprentice and owners son in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Me and then apprentice and owners son in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I went to work as usual and noticed the nearby creek slowly rising. At some stage, I told my co workers to evacuate the premises. Troopy has an air snorkel for a reason and we got away just in time. The unreal part was that it was eerie calm and it wasn’t raining. Yet, the water rose to extreme levels. Boats and even houses were washed off with flood waters down the Brisbane River. Scenes that made headlines around the globe. Suncorp Stadium became a water polo pitch. The extremes couldn’t be more obvious. 

Awesome calm day at Lake Wyralong, Queensland, Australia

Awesome calm day at Lake Wyralong, Queensland, Australia

Driving by Late Wyaralong, there were no signs of floods today. In fact, it was an extremely calm and sunny day. The lake acted as an oversized mirror, reflecting the eastern mountain range in style.

Australia, Queensland, Lake Wyralong

Scurry flooded trees at Lake Wyralong, Queensland, Australia

Flooded trees looked like scurry creates within the waters edge.

Cormorant resting spot at Lake Wyralong, Queensland, Australia

Cormorant resting spot at Lake Wyralong, Queensland, Australia

Cormorants used them to dry off, before diving back in to the water. And there is always at least one pelican.

Pelican sailboat at Lake Wyralong, Queensland, Australia

Pelican sailboat at Lake Wyralong, Queensland, Australia

This one looked like a remote control sailboat, heading out to sea. 

Calm reflections in sepia at Lake Somerset, Queensland, Australia

Calm reflections in sepia at Lake Somerset, Queensland, Australia

Lake Ivanhoe links up with Lake Somerset. I know this area quite well too. I used to work in Kilcoy on the northern edge of Somerset Dam when I returned to Australia in 2008. This didn’t work out well either. However, there are some fantastic photography options, particularly on days like today.

 Flooded Trees at Lake Somerset, Queensland, Australia

Flooded Trees at Lake Somerset, Queensland, Australia

As the sun was setting lower, the flooded timbers reflected in ever longer shadows. An underwater tree graveyard as it appears.

Waterbirds Paradise at Lake Somerset, Queensland, Australia

Waterbirds Paradise at Lake Somerset, Queensland, Australia

Cormorants and other birdlife use these for drying, resting and nesting.

Lucky ducky at Lake Somerset, Queensland, Australia

Lucky ducky at Lake Somerset, Queensland, Australia

Ducks are scurrying the edges like being on a sunset cruise.

Pelican sunset cruise at Lake Somerset, Queensland, Australia

Pelican sunset cruise at Lake Somerset, Queensland, Australia

And off course, a sole pelican made his rounds through the array of waterlogged trees.

Cloudy reflections at Lake Somerset, Queensland, Australia

Cloudy reflections at Lake Somerset, Queensland, Australia

 

A blissful afternoon came to an end with the last sun rays disappearing behind the clouds. The reflections of the clouds were impressive by themselves.

A peaceful end to a blissful day at Lake Somerset, Queensland, Australia

A peaceful end to a blissful day at Lake Somerset, Queensland, Australia

A trip down memory lane, memories I rather not had. 

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