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Dam This Summer

Dam This Summer

by November 7, 2015

Summer is here! Sun, surf, sea move up a notch on the Gold Coast. And boaties and fishos—the experts, neophytes, occasional ones—all gather up their gear to soak up the heat with families and friends. If the Broadwater and the wild oceans are not your thing this year, why not try visiting lakes and dams that allow you to use your boats, paddle on your canoe or kayak, catch some fish, relax, and play with family? Escape the crowded beaches and head inland to a picturesque lake instead. Here, we list down four Southeast Queensland lake destinations that are no more than two hours driving distance from the Gold Coast.


Wyaralong Dam

Lake Wyaralong

Lake Wyaralong, north-west of Beaudesert in the Scenic Rim region nestled at the base of Mt Joyce, is a little over an hour’s drive (78 km) from the Gold Coast. Lake Wyaralong and the surrounding areas provide a great variety of recreation facilities to the local community and visitors to the region.

The lake is popular for paddle craft, fishing and campers. Permits are not required for boating or fishing at the lake. Boating is a very popular activity for rowers and nature lovers. Only electric powered watercraft, sail craft and paddle craft are permitted on the lake.

The boat ramp is located at the Meebun Recreation Area (Eastern Trailhead). Water skiing, jet skiing, wakeboarding and tubing are not permitted at Lake Wyaralong. You can, however, fish from your boat or paddle craft or along the shore of the designated recreation area. Note that swimming in the lake is not allowed as there are currently no designated swimming areas.

If you enjoy exploring trails, bring your bikes and enjoy more than 40 kilometres of multi-use trails are available for walkers, horse riders and mountain bike riders.

moogerah dam

Lake Moogerah

Lake Moogerah is located on Reynolds Creek near Boonah. It is 121 kilometres away from the Gold Coast, a little less than a two-hour drive. Moogerah Dam provides irrigation supplies to riparian landholders along Reynolds Creek and also supplies water to Warrill Creek and Warrill Valley farmers through a series of diversions. It is an un-gated dam, meaning that when it reaches 100 per cent capacity, water flows over the spillway and safely out of the dam.

Boating is a very popular activity at Lake Moogerah for fishermen, nature lovers and those who enjoy the thrill of water skiing or jetskiing. Motorised and nonmotorised watercraft are permitted on the lake. There are two boat ramps located at AJ Muller Park (off Muller Park Road).

Permits are not required for boating. However, a Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme (SIPS) permit is required for fishing.

Due to the safety risks posed by submerged hazards, a 6-knot speed limit in the heavily timbered arms of Lake Moogerah has been endorsed by Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ). Signage has been erected at boat ramps advising of the-6 knot speed limit areas. Buoys have also been installed to define these areas to lake users while on the water. Seqwater staff and other authorities, including Queensland Police Service and Boating and Fisheries Patrol, will continue to actively patrol the lake.

Maroon Dam

Lake Maroon

Maroon Dam is situated on Burnett Creek and is part of Southeast Queensland’s drinking water supply, as well as supplying water for irrigation. It is 121 kilometres away from the Gold Coast. Completed in 1974, Maroon Dam permitted expansion of irrigation along Burnett Creek and the Logan River for about 130 kilometres downstream. It is also an un-gated dam.

Lake Maroon is another popular destination for fishermen, nature lovers and waterskiing or jetskiing. Motorised and nonmotorised watercraft are permitted on the lake. The boat ramp is located at Slater Park, off Slater Park Road.

Boating permits are not currently required at Lake Maroon. Water skiing, jet skiing, wakeboarding and tubing are all permitted on Lake Maroon. You can fish from your boat or paddle craft or along the shore of the designated recreation area. A SIPS permit is required for fishing at Lake Maroon.

hinze dam

Hinze dam

Hinze Dam is located 15 kilometres south-west of Nerang in the Gold Coast hinterland, so is a perfect option for those who do not wish to venture too far. It is a fantastic recreational destination, featuring lakeside parks, walking, bike and horse trails, ample car parking, toilet facilities and barbeque areas for public use. Dogs on leashes are now welcomed in designated areas at the dam. Access to the Hinze Dam recreational facilities is now via Advancetown Road.

The Hinze Dam Interpretive Centre houses educational audio-visual displays, a kiosk, function centre and viewing platforms. The state-of-the-art audio-visual displays take you on the journey of our water supply from source to tap, featuring informational panels, videos and interactive virtual tours. The displays also trace the history of the Nerang Valley and catchment, as well as the surrounding Border Ranges.

Boating is a very popular activity at Hinze Dam for fishing and nature lovers. Electric powered watercraft, sail craft and paddle craft are permitted on the lake.

Designated launch points are located at:

  • Eastern Boat Ramp (Range Road)
  • Western Boat Ramp (Nerang-Murwillumbah Road)

Water skiing, jet skiing, wakeboarding and tubing are not permitted on Hinze Dam.

Fishing is permitted on Hinze Dam from vessels, as well as from the shoreline of the Eastern and Western Boat Ramps. Fishing will also be permitted from the shoreline of the paddle craft launch point at the Western Boat Ramp.

Take a leisurely stroll or cycle along the dam wall. The three kilometre walk/ride is popular with visitors wanting to stretch their legs and take in the sights, or check out the Peter Hallinan Mountain Bike Precinct which is located on the northern side of the dam.


General safety guidelines for all SEQWater destinations 

  1. Remember to slip-slap-slop. And do not forget a (reusable) water bottle for each person.
  1. A first aid kit is also handy to carry with you, as is a mobile phone—in the event you need assistance.
  1. Let someone know where you are going and when to expect you back if you are embarking on a considerable hike or ride.
  1. A lifejacket is a must if you are boating, paddling or skiing. Seqwater is a safety partner of the International Lifejacket Wear Principles, a collaboration of boating safety authorities and organisations around the world. Safety at our lakes is a priority.
  1. When conducting activities at the lakes, please be guided by the following:
  • Please be courteous to our neighbours. Much of the land surrounding the lake is private property. Do not launch, retrieve or beach on land around the lake, other than at signed, designated recreation areas. Accessing private land to fish is not permitted.
  • All activities on Seqwater lakes are covered by the Boating Regulations set by Maritime Safety Queensland (
  • Remember the lake is home to an abundance of wildlife. It’s very important to ensure that all rubbish, especially fishing line and hooks, are disposed of properly to avoid serious harm to wildlife.
  • The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) control the fishing rules and regulations in Queensland and administer the Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme (SIPS). Please visit to purchase a SIPS permit or for a list of outlets in Southeast Queensland that sell permits.
  1. Before you leave home, check the latest recreation and safety notices at the Seqwater website.



Editorial by Andy Kancachian

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