The Hinze Dam might seem like an out of the ordinary Road Trip destination as its primary function is the Gold Coast’s main water supply catchment area. Set in the impressive surrounds of the Gold Coast Hinterland with a Visitor Centre, View Café, Wall Walks, Scenic Picnic Areas, BBQ’s, Playgrounds and Bike Trails it is also a terrific stopping place for bike riders, day trippers and tourists.
The Hinze Dam is situated near Advancetown approximately 15 kilometres south-west from Nerang. Stage 1 was completed in 1976 and provided 42,400 megaliters of water storage. Stage 2 – With an upgrade in 1989, water storage was increased to 161,700 megalitres. Stage 3 – The final stage was completed on 19th December 2011, increasing the dam wall height from 93.5 metres to 108 metres with a huge capacity increase in storage to 310,730 megalitres.
The upshot from all these upgrades is the creation of this magnificent aquatic playground, Advancetown Lake. Fishing is available from several land-based locations (catch and release only). Electric powered vessels, sail boats and paddle craft are all allowed on the lake. 🔥 Tip: A fishing permit is needed at Hinze dam.
The launching of your watercraft is also made easy with two areas located at the Eastern and Western boat ramps. As is the Hinze Dam Day Use area, a lot of the lake surrounds have great facilities including toilets, bins, picnic tables, shelters, and free BBQ’s.
The Hinze Dam (the dam is the wall holding back the waters of Advancetown Lake), is situated about an hour’s drive south of Brisbane or a half hours drive from the Gold Coast. On arrival at Hinze Dam, you’ll find there are 3 main areas in the Day Use Area:
- The Dam Wall
- A viewing area of the spillway and carpark
- Further down the road an excellent Picnic Ground, Playground, Toilets, and plenty of car parking spaces
After turning into Spillway Road, we proceeded to the top car park, where you’ll find The Hinze Dam Visitor Centre and right next door the View Café.
The Visitor Centre is the spot to get all the information on the history and building of the dam as well as some good advice on how to be “Water-Wise”. The educational displays add a different perspective on the history of the Dam but unfortunately today, the Visitor Centre was closed and all we could do was peer through the window. The staff in the Café told us it is definitely worth taking a few minutes to have a look. Most definitely on our next visit.
If the stunning panoramas from the View Café are an inkling of what’s ahead, what a sensational day trip this will be. Inside or outside, this a great place to relax enjoying an exquisite coffee and a tasty treat from the cafe’s extensive menu (Gluten Free & Vegan options are available), while overlooking beautiful parklands and the Nerang River. The café is open Monday -Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It was very busy during our visit mid-week, and I would imagine that it would become busier in the Summer months and if the dam was spilling. A check of their web site before arrival might avoid any disappointment and also give you a chance to check out the menu. 🔥 Toilets are also located here.
From the Café there are a number of pathways leading to the Parklands below which wind their way to the edge of the waterway via vast green open spaces and colourful manicured gardens.
For the best walk of all, stretch out and take a stroll on the top of the dam wall. The Dam Wall walk meanders out across the spillway for a few kilometres with superb views of the Advancetown Lake and Valley below. We were fortunate on the day of our visit the Spillway was spilling. Standing right above this massive water flow as it tumbled down to the catchment below – absolutely sensational.
While walking is our preferred method of getting around, if you are a keen mountain bike enthusiast this is the place to bring your bike. The dam wall doubles as a mountain bike trail and this locale is the home of the Peter Hallinan Mountain Bike Precinct, a trail that was also the official 2018 Commonwealth Games race route. The precinct is a network of 5 purpose-built mountain bike trails that range in distance and degree of difficulty all available to the general public. 🔥 Tip: These mountain bike trails can be used by the public when competitions are not underway.
From the top car park, we headed on down to see the spillway. There’s a number of places to park the car and an easy walk will get you to the viewing platform at the base of the spillway. The dam was in full spill when we were there, what an impressive sight and a fantastic place for a photo or two. From here you get the enormity of this Dam Project and is a worthwhile stop, the spillway flowing or not just stop, take a few minutes and check it out.
Not far from the spillway viewing platform is the final stop of our day trip of the Hinze Dam where we found a top-notch children’s playground and picnic area. The BBQ facilities were well maintained with several covered picnic tables scattered around the area. We had brought our own picnic hamper and cooked up an amazing sausage sizzle for our lunch-time feast while the younger members of our family took full advantage of the covered children’s playground to let off a little steam, after all there’s only a certain amount of sightseeing for some that you can take in one day. 🔥 Tip: Toilets are also situated here.
We had a really enjoyable day trip to Hinze Dam. The facilities are good, there are dine-in or take-away food options from the Café, or you can BYO and enjoy a picnic or BBQ in some stunning surrounds. For us the dam and spillway with those impressive views were the highlight of our visit, but what was also amazing although we visited during the week and it was still quite busy, you still felt that you had the place to yourself. The Hinze Dam being set in a semi-rural environment and only a short drive from the Gold Coast, with little traffic noise, was still so nice and quiet, we felt like we were way out in the country. We’ll be back again, if for no other excuse then to check out the Visitor Information Centre and some rumored HOT fishing spots.