When temperatures rise your best bet to cool down is to head towards water. While the beaches are big hits with most people, we favour inland dams and rivers more. Two big advantages are that you don’t have to battle huge crowds and you don’t have to run across the burning sand like a lizard on a hot tin roof. In addition there are usually big trees providing plenty of shelter from the sun.
So with the temperatures set to soar into the mid 30C we went in search of a waterway without the crowds. We found that the newest dam in South-East Queensland fitted the bill perfectly. I am of course referring to Wyaralong Dam.
Where is it?
It is nestled at the foot of the Dugandan Range north-west of Beaudesert.
What can I do there?
It is a popular spot for canoeing, fishing and camping with not permits being required for boating or fishing at the dam.
However, water sport is not the only activity being catered for. There are more than 40 kilometres of multi-use trails available for hikers, horse riders and mountain bike riders. It is important to note that there are very limited watering facilities available and users are advised to bring their own supply.
It is also a great spot for a picnic or barbeque. Facilities like picnic tables, shelters, barbeques and toilets are located at the Meebun Recreation Area located off the Beaudesert-Boonah Road. Even the children are catered for with a playground at this site. This recreation area is open 7 days a week from 6am-6pm.
Can I camp here?
Absolutely! In fact you’ll have a choice of three separate camping areas.
Individuals or small family groups looking for a short stay and easy access to the water or mountain bike trails can choose between Meebun Recreation Area and the Ngumbi campsite.
Meebun Recreation Area: It has 8 small tent-only sites, toilets and BBQ facilities but no showers.
Ngumbi: This campsite can only be reached via the trails or the lake. It has limited camping facilities including a toilet, simple shelter and water tanks.
Camping at both these sites are free of charge and operates on a first-in, first-served basis.
The third camping spot is located at the Lilybrook Recreation Area and is available for event use only. Fees apply. It is ideally suited for horse enthusiasts with holding paddocks, a watering area and loading ramps. Facilities include toilets, cold water showers, picnic tables and shelters.
As if the natural beauty of this area was not enough, we also stumbled upon the Wyaralong Sculpture Festival and Symposium held right on the banks of the dam. This event ran across 16 days. During this time 7 sculptors created large scale public artworks reflecting the recreational and environmental values of the area. It was spectacular to see these artists hard at work – it definitely created a new appreciation in us for their work. The finished artworks will be installed at the Eastern Trailhead.