The cool crisp foggy September morning makes way for a typical warm sunny day as the sun rises and the fog clears away over Brown Lake.

Gorgeous tree formations showing exposed roots, with the fog clearing over Lake Bummeira.

Brown Lake is known as a perched lake on the sandy islands of Queensland and is one of the hidden treasures of North Stradbroke Island. It is perched because it retains water. The lake is teeming with fish, and the surrounding is capped with picnic groves, wildflowers, and bushland.
It derived its name from the fallen tea tree leaves and paperbark trees that line its banks. The leaves stain the water which causes it to turn brown.

It is also known as Bumeira, by the Quandamooka people.

Lake Bumeira has a rich, interesting and enchanting history. The old Quandamooka people used to caution people from swimming on the lakes because it is believed that it should be approached with reverence and respect.

Stories of old passed down from generation to generation spoke of an extraordinarily huge carpet snake that lived in Lake Bumeira and the adjacent Lake Kaboora. It is said that the carpet snake’s spirit resides in both lakes up to this day.

This is why the Elders would ask visitors to stand back, sing out and patiently wait for a sign from the snake spirit. The sign usually comes in the form of calm and still waters. They fervently believe that ripples or disturbance in the waters mean that they are unwelcome, while calm waters mean that the spirit of the carpet snake is telling them that they are free to swim.

To the local community, this ritual of stopping, singing out, and waiting for a sign became common practice when approaching Brown Lake and Lake Kaboora, in order to show respect for Yuri Kaboo, the spirit snake.


The lake offers miles of scenic native fauna and freshwater swimming. Its edges have picnic and barbecue facilities, as well as walking trails.

This captivating scene spells romance!

Tourists who want to take breaks from sea salt and waves will love Brown Lake’s fresh and calm water. The tea tree leaves that line the lake’s floors is credited for the lake’s soothing effects. Many tourists attest to how the waters made their hair and skin glow.

The picturesque backdrop of Brown Lake coupled with its fascinating cultural history makes this hidden gem a popular tourist attraction.

Paperbark trees, Brown Lake, North Stradbroke Island
Spider webs glistening in the morning sun – fascinating or nightmarish??
Love those paperbark trees!
Paperbark trees framing the lake, it’s as if this is from another world, or another time.

From these images, it may seem like Brown Lake offers no other colour than greens and browns, but visit during Springtime and be awed and mystified by the bursts of colours from the smattering of wildflowers all over!

Experience the wild and eye-catching flora and fauna, the cool and calm fresh water, breathe in the unpolluted air and watch the sunset – whatever it is that you wish to do when you visit magical Brown Lake, take it all in because you may never find another place that seem to take you to another time.


Brown Lake is only a fifteen minute drive from Dunwich, the main gateway for tourists. Simply take east onto Cunningham St toward Oxley Parade, after about 200 metres turn right onto Ballow Road until you find Alfred Martin Way. In less than 7 kilometres, you will find Brown Lake.

Take a piece of Brown Lake home with you when you buy a print of one of these beautiful photographs.

To see our full gallery of Brown Lake images available as wall art, click here. (page will open in new tab)

Julie Sisco Photography Wall Art Brown Lake Stradbroke Island Melaleuca paperbark trees framed print Lake Bummeira
Julie Sisco Photography Wall Art Brown Lake Stradbroke Island framed print Lake Bummeira

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