Looking for a reason to take the ski boat out of storage? Then read on to learn about one of Queensland best secret recreational dams!
Finding itself nestled within the South Burnett Shire region, Boondooma Dam (or Lake Boondooma) is a hidden gem for Water-skiers and Fishermen alike. The dam was constructed in the early 1980's, with its primary purpose of facilitating a water supply of the nearby Tarong Power Station. It has since become a go-to destination for fishing and water-sports enthusiasts for its scenic beauty, expansive size and camping amenity.
Where Is It?
Boondooma can be found just outside the Darling Downs townships of Okeden and Proston, or about 122km North-West of Kingaroy (which is the nearest major town). From Brisbane, allow 4.5 hours travel time, and what route you take will depend on where you are starting from.
Lake Boondooma is very camping friendly, with a choice of 'camp anywhere' unpowered sites, as well as a small number of powered sites available. If unpowered camping is all ok (which it certainly was for us), then you are free to pitch up really anywhere along the water line. This allows you to beach/anchor your boat literally within metres to your campsite (which is glorious). The lake bed is sand-based so you won't be contending with undesirable shore mud.
Don't fancy pitching up a tent? Never fear - they also have Cabins and Bunkhouses available for rent. The camping amenities more than adequate, with most essentials available from the Kiosk (ice, gas refills, food & drink, fishing bait & tackle etc), meaning you don't have to venture out to the local townships.
Campsite/Caravan Park Amenties
Powered Campsites/Caravan Sites
Shower & Toilet Facilities
Fishing Bait & Tackle
2 x Boat Ramps
What Does It Cost?
Unpowered Camping: $10-15 per person, per night
Powered Campsites: $35 per couple, $15 for each additional adult or $10 for each child under 12
You can find a full detailed camping price list here.
On the Water
The dam itself is quite unique in that it features river-like characteristics in its layout. This means instead of being 'wide and circular', like most conventional dams, Boondooma is quite long and narrow, as it was constructed across the Boyne River below its confluence with the Stuart River. Despite this, it still boasts an impressive capacity of 204,000 mega-litres, spanning across 10km2 of surface area, with an average depth of 11 metres. All these aspects combine together to create rather attractive waterskiing conditions, with lots of pockets and tributaries to explore away from the main dam area. Whilst low dam levels are never normally preferable, in the case of Boondooma a low level will mean better protection from the wind, meaning generally flatter water throughout the day. It's certainly worth asking either the Kiosk Staff or Dam regulars about any hazards to keep an eye out for. During our stay, we stuck mainly to the Boyne River fork, which is in the Dam's south-west section, because it offered safe and quiet river-like conditions away from the traffic of the central area near the boat ramps and camping ground. We were told the Stuart River fork is prone to scatterings of submerged rocks, so we kept well away from that particular area of the dam. As with most water-sports orientated dams, the direction of travel is anti-clockwise, being sure to always keep right of boats travelling in the opposite direction.
Drop a Line In
Boondooma is arguably better known as a fishing destination, as oppose to a water-sports lake. The dam has been massively stocked of Australian Bass, Golden Perch and Yellowbelly, with nearly 1.5m fish being released into the dam through the Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme. (Note: If you want to fish, you will need a Stocked Impoundment Permit). Whilst our first love is water-skiing, breaking up the day with a spot of fishing isn't exactly a bad idea, especially if you can BBQ up your catch for dinner. However do you due diligence on what tackle/bait set up to run, and also where to drop your lines in (a boat depth sounder will prove very helpful here).
Thanks for reading! The Autohouse Storage Team.