GUIDE TO VISITING: Lake Boondooma
HAVE you ever ventured to Lake Boondooma for a spot of fishing, skiing or camping?
If you’re considering checking out the South Burnett’s ultimate camping and water sports getaway, then you’re in luck.
We’ve put together an extensive guide on how to make the most out of your stay.
Location and history
The award-winning Lake Boondooma Caravan and Recreation Park can be found just 20 kilometres north of Proston, in the picturesque South Burnett.
The dam is on the Boyne River on the boundary of Boondooma and Proston.
It is a tranquil setting perfect for the whole family.
The dam was built in 1983 to provide a water supply to the Tarong Power Station.
Recently, under the direction of South Burnett Regional Council, it has been developed into a major regional recreation area known for its fishing.
The temporary Lake Boondooma park mangers Kath and Doug Hughes said the best way to get to the dam was via Wondai and Proston.
“Sometimes Google maps and the GPS can take people funny ways,” Mrs Hughes said.
“I always recommend going via Proston. It’s the most direct way and there is clear signage.
“You can get to Proston from Wondai.”
Wondai is only 257.5km from Brisbane, and Boondooma is another 115.1km from Wondai.
Boondooma Dam is currently at 23.1 per cent capacity.
The dam can hold 204,000 mega litres at 100 per cent capacity. There are one million litres in a mega litre.
The lowest Boondooma Dam has ever been is 0.18 per cent, back in 1982 during construction.
The fullest Boondooma Dam has ever been was 173.8 per cent full in 2013.
According to Matthew Mott, a member of the Boondooma Dam Fish Stocking Association, the water is really healthy.
“We’re really lucky here that we’ve got a lot more water than a lot of other places,” Mr Mott said.
“It’s at about 23 per cent and is really healthy at the moment.
“The fish are healthy, the water quality is great, and there’s good boat access.
“I haven’t seen the dam water levels this low in about 20 years. But the dam is holding its own and doing all right.”
Lake Boondooma is known as the place to go fishing.
Temporary park manager Kath Hughes said people will travel from far and wide to try their hand at the highly competitive sport and hobby.
“A lot of fish are regularly released into the dam so there’s always something to catch,” she said.
“Just this week we’ve had over 40,000 yellow bellies released.
“We also run a lot of fishing competitions that are usually very popular.”
It’s important to remember if you’re planning on doing some fishing to get a permit.
A stocked impoundment permit is needed to fish at Lake Boondooma.
You can purchase a permit online, purchase over the counter at Australia Post, or call 1300 575 359 during business hours.
The 2020 Boondooma Dam Yellowbelly Family Fishing Competition is coming up on Saturday, February 8 and is celebrating 30 years of the competition.
Water skiing is another popular activity at Lake Boondooma.
Mrs Hughes said they get about the same number of fishermen and water skiers at the dam.
“Most people come here to either fish or ski,” she said.
“The skiers will often camp right down by the water’s edge so they can leave their boats in the water instead of taking them in and out of the water every day at the boat ramp.”
Lake Boondooma is home to two boat ramps, and has plently of room for skiing.
“Even with our levels being pretty low at the moment there’s still so much room for skiers,” Mrs Hughes said.
“No one is getting in anyone’s way and they’re still all spread out.
“Water skiing really seems to be a great family activity, especially for the holidays.”
If you’re planning on skiing at Lake Boondooma make sure you don’t forget your boat, boat licence, ropes and equipment, and life jackets.
Camping is one of the best ways to get the most out of your little getaway at Lake Boondooma, especially if you’re hoping to get a bit closer to nature.
Luckily there is plenty of space to camp, with two powered camping site areas and plenty of lakeside camping.
Mrs Hughes said it’s a first in best dressed policy when it comes to camping.
“We recommend calling up to book your camping in advance,” she said.
“But even then you only have access to camping spots that haven’t already been taken.
“The powered camping sites run out pretty quickly, as do the good spots right on the water.”
The powered campsites (also for caravans) cost $35 a night for two adults, an extra $15 a night per adult, and an extra $10 a night for children under the age of 12.
Lakeside unpowered camping is $15 a night for one adult, $25 a night for two adults, an extra $10 a night for another adult, and an extra $5 a night for children under 12.
All bookings recquire a 20 per cent deposit and a 100 percent up front payment over Christmas and Easter.
Prices increase during peak season.
Where to stay?
If you’re not one for camping, don’t stress. There are other options.
Lake Boondooma has five on-site cabins.
The cabins are fully self-contained and include televison, airconditioning, one queen bed, two single beds (bunk beds), and one single pull out trundle bed.
It costs $100 a night for two adults, an extra $10 a night per adult, and an extra $5 a night per child under 12.
There’s also the option to stay in the bunk house near the lookout which can sleep a maximum of 32 people, with four to a room.
The bunk house is only $70 a night per room for four people.
Three villas are also available and fully self contained and offer air conditioning, a dvd player, television, one queen bed, one single bed, one double bed, and one double pull out lounge. The villas are $140 a night for two adults, an extra $10 a night for extra adults, and an extra $5 a night for children under 12.
Prices increase during peak season.
Proston is also only a 20-minute drive away and has accomodation options at Golden Spurr Hotel.
Bush walks and lookout
If water sports aren’t your thing, or you just need a break from all of the fishing, there are a few walking trails to check out.
Mrs Hughes said her favourite track takes you up to the lookout.
“It takes you from the kiosk up the hill to the lookout,” she said.
“The lookout has a lovely view and is also the only place you can get phone service at Lake Boondooma.
“There’s lovely wildlife around here too and you see a lot of it when going for walks.
“Exploring the grounds really does pay off.
“We get lots of wallabies, kangaroos, koalas and much more.”
It is reccommended you pack as much as you can when taking a trip to Lake Boondooma, but if you do find yourself short on bread you can drop by the park’s kiosk.
Mrs Hughes said the kiosk has a few essential items on offer.
“We’ve got fuel and ice, which are probably our most in demand items.
“We also have ice creams, lollies, pies, and a few essential items like bread, milk and more.”
If the kiosk doesn’t have what you’re after, Proston has a convience store and is only a 20-minute drive away.
Despite having such a large space for camping, during peak times Lake Boondooma can get pretty damn full.
Mrs Hughes said prices go up during these times for that very reason.
“Our prices do go up by about $10 or so,” she said.
“And we require a full deposit up front.
“It can just get really hectic.
“Our busiest times are over school holidays, Christmas, New Year, the Australia Day weekend, Easter, and just any long weekend really.
“We reccommend getting in early if you want a good camping spot over those peak times.”