Looking for a reason to get the ski boat out of storage? We share our knowledge on the best recreational lakes within an easy reach of Brisbane.
If you're like us, you love nothing more than a summers afternoon of waterskiing, wake boarding and general water-based shenanigans, so it was no coincidence that we established the closest boat and jet ski storage facility to Brisbane's major recreational dams! In South-East Queensland, we are absolutely blessed with water recreation resources, with so many Dams, Reservoirs, and Lakes on our doorstep. Almost all of them cost nothing to use, and are available to access 24-7, 365 days a year.
There is nothing quite like a day of boating in glorious Queensland weather, so we thought we'd share some knowledge on some of the more popular water-sports lake destinations throughout the region.
Somerset is undoubtably the largest and most popular recreational dam in the SEQ water grid. This comes as no surprise, with its accessibility being just over an hours drive from Brisbane. Second only to Wivenhoe in size and capacity, the dam is well set-up for water-sports, camping and fishing. The Dam features boat-ramp access either on the northern end via the Kirkleagh (accessible via the Bruce Highway via Kilcoy), as well as a Southern access called 'The Spit', which can be accessed from the Warrego Highway via Fernvale. Both locations offer Camping & Caravanning facilities, as well as toilet and BBQ amenities.
When at near-full capacity, Somerset provides an expansive boating area, with several small pockets and tributaries to be enjoyed. However the Dam itself is relatively unprotected from the wind, an issue that typically amplifies as the water level decreases. Being a popular dam, its almost always quite busy with boat traffic, in particular larger wake boats which tend to kick up a large amount of wash. If the wind forecast is heavy (above 20km/h) and its a summer weekend, it might be best to look elsewhere if its smooth waters you are after!
Moogerah Dam tends to be a go-to for the more avid Skier's and Wakeboarders out there. Like Somerset, its only a short 1-hour drive from both Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and is nestled within the back drop of the mountainous Scenic Rim region. The Dam facilities cover all the normal essentials - camping & caravanning, BBQ areas and toilet amenities. Moogerah is unique in that offers water-front 'Ski Cabin' accomodation, for those who are enthusiastic about skiing, but not so enthusiastic about camping.
Not unlike Somerset, Moogerah is fairly exposed to the wind, and also gets busy with boat traffic, so choose your weekends wisely!
If you're looking for a more intimate dam experience, Lake Atkinson is the one for you. Located in the Lockyer Valley, just a just short drive from Fernvale, Atkinson is one of the smallest boating-friendly bodies of water in SEQ available. The dams purpose is to feed irrigation for local farming, so levels can get rather low in the dryer periods. However, Atkinson can sometimes be a skiing haven if the dam level is near-full and there isn't much boat traffic around.
Other Ski/Wake Friendly Dams to Consider:
Maroon Dam - Boonah
Lake Kurwongbah - Pine Rivers
Lake Borumba - Sunshine Coast Hinterland
These will obviously fluctuate based on cyclical weather patterns. Its not uncommon for the dams mentioned below to reach capacity levels well under 20%. Needless to say, the lower the capacity, the less water available for recreation. A lower level will also mean a more congested Lake, with increased levels of wash from other boats, which is not ideal for any productive water-sports. How do you find out the capacity of your go-to dam? SEQ water provide up-to-date dam levels on their website.
How windy is too windy?
From our experience -
Its never really too windy for more relaxed activities such as tubing, discing/moon boarding and skurfing, though these are certainly enjoyed more with flat water.