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A Day Trip to Hinze Dam on the Gold Coast

The Hinze Dam – Gold Coast Hinterland

Just 15km south-west of Nerang is the Hinze Dam, a fabulous recreational and picnic area for families and lovers of the great outdoors.

The dam was originally constructed in 1975 but it was raised in 1989 and had a significant makeover and upgrade in 2011. It supplies the main drinking water supply for the Gold Coast region and is quite a spectacular sight, especially when the flood gates are open.

What is there to do at Hinze Dam?

So much you won’t quite believe it until you take the drive out there. Sure it takes about 20 minutes from the M1 but it’s truly worth it, so make sure you pack a picnic, bikes, scooters and your camera.

The facilities include picnic areas, playgrounds, boat ramps, fishing (in certain spots) and a range of tracks and trails that are open for walking and cycling.

There is even the chance to take a Seqwater educational tour of the facilities; this must be arranged prior by visiting the Seqwater website.

Hidden Gem for Kids on the Gold Coast - Hinze Dam

Where are the picnic facilities and playgrounds?

The main Hinze Dam parklands incorporates Picnic Parkland, Pocket Park and Waterside Park, these are all located below the dam on Advancetown Road.

Features include an include an interpretive walk with interesting facts about the dam wall, catchment, local fish, plants and wildlife. The area also includes picnic tables, shelters, toilets and BBQs.

My kids love the playground for the great swing and the fact they can scooter or bike around it, I love the fact it’s shaded!

Perched above this area is the Hinze Dam Visitor Centre.

What is there to see at the Hinze Dam Visitor Centre?

Well most importantly the cafe there has tasty treats, hot coffee, cold ice-creams and a lovely seating area overlooking the lake and surrounds, but it also houses educational displays and a function centre.

There are also toilets which are a must when you have children that are ‘busting’ two minutes after you ask them if they need to go! It can get kind of windy at the centre as the wind rolls down the hills and across the lake so pack a jacket or a warm coat.

Hidden Gem for Kids on the Gold Coast - Hinze Dam

Can we go boating and fishing at Hinze Dam?

Yes and no, there are certain areas where these popular activities are allowed. A fishing permit is required but a boating one is currently not required at the dam.

Only electric-powered watercraft, sail craft and paddle craft are allowed on the lake with launch points located at the Eastern Boat Ramp on Range Road and the Western Boat Ramp on Nerang-Murwillumbah Road.

But don’t bring your jet ski, water skis, wakeboard or donut (tube) because these activities are not allowed on the dam. Boaties are asked not to launch, retrieve or beach on land around the lake other than at designated areas.

Are the walking and bike tracks suitable for kids?

The Hinze Dam wall is open for you to walk, bike or froggy hop across, and the 3km walk/ride is popular with those looking for a picturesque place to get their exercise fix.

Below the lake, where the picnic areas are, is an interpretive walk with interesting facts about the dam catchment, local fish, plants and wildlife.

The Peter Hallinan Mountain Bike Precinct is on the northern side of the structure located on Seqwater land and it’s accessible by foot or bike across the dam wall.

It is a network on purpose-built mountain bike trails constructed and maintained by the Gold Coast Mountain Bike Club, when not used for competitions the public is free to ride on them.

In addition, some fire trails around the lake are often used for horse-riding, walking and running, as well as providing links to the trail network within the adjoining Springbrook National Park.

Hidden Gem for Kids on the Gold Coast - Hinze Dam

What activities ARE permitted at Hinze Dam?

  • Barbecues, picnics
  • Horse riding, walking, running
  • Canoeing, kayaking, sailing, rowing and dishes
  • Mountain biking
  • Fishing

What are we NOT allowed to do or bring to Hinze Dam?

  • Camping or having an overnight stay on the lake
  • Swimming, scuba diving or snorkelling
  • Hunting of any form
  • 4WD or use of motorbikes
  • Motorised boats

Since this water is the town’s supply, do we need to be careful around yet?

Well yes please! Seqwater maintains this supply and asks that all visitors respect the waterways by leaving the facilities as you found them and not damaging any flora or fauna.

There are plenty of litter bins provided so your rubbish doesn’t end up in someone’s house, and pets should be controlled at all times so they don’t pose any harm to native animals.

Hidden Gem for Kids on the Gold Coast - Hinze Dam

The essentials:

  • There are toilets, barbecue areas, sheltered playgrounds and picnic tables
  • A cafe and function centre on site
  • Drinking fountain
  • Lots of free parking above and below dam
  • Opening hours from September to April are 5.30am to 6.30pm
  • From May 1 until end of August the opening hours are 6.30am to 5.30pm
  • Dogs on leash are permitted at Picnic Parkland, Pocket Park and pathway from Picnic Parkland to the upper car park
  • Dogs are not permitted on trails, the dam wall, the cafe or information centre
Photo of author

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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