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Ewen Maddock Dam for Swimming & BBQs with Family

Located on the Sunshine Coast, the Ewen Maddock Dam is our new favourite place to go swimming with the kids! During the QLD school holidays, we stayed in the Mooloolah Valley and found this awesome swimming spot that is usually frequented by locals.

Even though it is part of South East Queensland’s drinking water supply, SEQ Water have roped off a section of the dam for swimming! It has a gorgeous white sandy beach and clean water… and we LOVE IT!

Some history the local area

The Traditional Custodians of the land where you will find the Ewen Maddock Dam belongs to the Kabi Kabi people and the Jinibara people.

Landsborough was named after the explorer William Landsborough (1825-1886) who settled in the Golden Beach area in 1881-1882. Landsborough township was known as Mellum Creek from 1871-1891. Mellum is said to be a local Aboriginal word for volcano. Mellum Creek township name was changed in 1891, after the railway went through the town.

How do I get to Ewen Maddock Dam, Landsborough

About an hour north of Brisbane, straight up the M1. Take M1 to Steve Irwin Way in Elimbah. Take the exit from M1. Continue on Steve Irwin Way to your destination in Landsborough. Then follow the directions above to the dam off Mooloolah Connection Road.


There is lots of parking directly beside the park and dam.

Ewen Maddock Dam & park with kids

Ewen Maddock Dam Playground

Maddock Park, right beside the dam is a popular picnic spot for locals. There are picnic tables, shelters, free BBQs, and a swimming area with sandy beach. If you’re looking for something more active Maddock Park is also a great starting point for paddling, bush walking, mountain biking and horse riding.

More picnic facilities can be found at Ornamental Wetlands (located off Steve Irwin Way).

Remember to bring your own drinking water supplies, as water provided is suitable only for cleaning, washing hands etc.

Can you swim in Ewen Maddock Dam?

Ewen Maddock Dam is great for swimming

Yes! Swimming is encouraged at Ewen Maddock Dam  – the water is cool in winter and we found it to be warm in summer – especially at the end of the day!  For your safety, please swim only in the designated area and remember there are no lifeguards on duty.

You maybe even Kayak on the lake if that suits you better!

Walking tracks

Ewen Maddock Dam boardwalk

Ewen Maddock Dam walking track

Can dogs go to Ewen Maddock Dam

Yes! You can take your dogs to walk around the dam and on the walking tracks whilst on their leash, but dogs cannot swim at Ewen Maddock Dam. 

Can you fish at Ewen Maddock Dam

Yes! You can fish at Ewen Maddock Dam in the designated areas.

Safety information

The dam and surrounding catchment is home to a variety of wildlife. Snakes are an ever-present threat in the Australian landscape, particularly in the warmer months. If you encounter a snake, give it a wide berth and do no try to handle or move it in any way.

Please be aware when you choose to recreate in natural areas such as lakes, rivers and streams, there are natural hazards associated with this including bites and stings from insects and snakes.

There are no lifeguards on duty at this dam. To help you play it safe, follow these simple rules:

  • Only swim in designated swimming areas at lakes where swimming is permitted. These areas are marked with buoys on the water.
  • Always know where your children are – there are no lifeguards here.
  • Never dive into water where you can’t see the bottom.
  • Still water can still be dangerous – monitor conditions and be aware there could be submerged obstacles or uneven ground underfoot.
  • Wear a lifejacket when appropriate.
  • Do not swim after drinking alcohol.
  • Take your rubbish with you or place litter in a bin if provided
  • Use common sense and follow safety signage.
  • Follow the direction of onsite signage at all times.

For more information, download the Ewen Maddock Dam recreation guide.

Looking for more great things to do with kids on the Sunshine Coast? Check this out!

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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