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About Lake Broadwater

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Getting there and getting around

From Dalby, drive 20 km west along the Moonie Highway then turn left into Broadwater Road. Drive a further 9 km to the picnic and camping area.

Contact RACQ to enquire about local road conditions.

Wheelchair accessibility

The Lake Broadwater toilet and shower block is wheelchair accessible.

Park features

Lake Broadwater is an important wetland in inland Queensland. Photo: Robert Ashdown, QPWS.

Lake Broadwater is an important wetland in inland Queensland. Photo: Robert Ashdown, QPWS.

Waterbirds travel long distances to feed and breed at Lake Broadwater. Photo: Robert Ashdown, QPWS.

Waterbirds travel long distances to feed and breed at Lake Broadwater. Photo: Robert Ashdown, QPWS.

Lake Broadwater, surrounded by cypress pine, eucalypt and brigalow open woodland, is a shallow lake which covers approximately 350 ha of the 1,212 ha conservation park. It is listed in the Directory of Nationally Important Wetlands and is an excellent example of a semi-permanent freshwater lake in an area where these are rare. The lake fills only after heavy rains and when full is up to 3–4 m deep. It dries out periodically, sometimes for lengthy periods.

More than 230 species of birds have been recorded at the park. The number and variety are due primarily to the wide range of habitat types; from wetlands to vegetation representative of drier inland regions. It is a valuable breeding ground for waterfowl, including migratory species that have travelled long distances from other parts of Australia and the world.

The park preserves valuable remnants of the vegetation types which once covered the western Downs before European settlement. Many are now uncommon elsewhere due to agricultural development. Four hundred and fifty species of plants have been identified in the park, along with at least 30 mammals, 55 reptiles, 22 frogs, numerous fish and a myriad of invertebrates.

With easy access to water, tracks and recreational facilities, Lake Broadwater a great spot to relax and to appreciate nature.

Camping and accommodation

Wilga bush camping area offers secluded camp sites. Photo: Karen Smith, QPWS.

Wilga bush camping area offers secluded camp sites. Photo: Karen Smith, QPWS.

Camping

Stay overnight at one of two camping areas. Both have toilets, barbecues, picnic tables and tap-water (boil or treat before drinking).

Wilga Bush camping area has secluded campsites and is set among the forest, 1 km from the Lake. The recreation area beside the lake also has a camping area with cold showers.

Camping permits are required and fees apply. Permits must obtained on site prior to setting up camp.

Other accommodation

A range of accommodation options are available in Dalby and at other towns in the region. See the tourism information links below or consult the local telephone directory or internet.

Things to do

A 5 km drive leads through the park's eucalypt and cypress woodland communities. Photo: Robert Ashdown, QPWS.

A 5 km drive leads through the park's eucalypt and cypress woodland communities. Photo: Robert Ashdown, QPWS.

Watch waterbirds from the bird hide near the lake's 'neck'. Photo: Karen Smith, QPWS.

Watch waterbirds from the bird hide near the lake's 'neck'. Photo: Karen Smith, QPWS.

Pack your camera, binoculars or spotting scope. There is much to see at Lake Broadwater. Photo: Robert Ashdown, QPWS.

Pack your camera, binoculars or spotting scope. There is much to see at Lake Broadwater. Photo: Robert Ashdown, QPWS.

Lake Broadwater is a great spot for a picnic. Photo: Karen Smith, QPWS.

Lake Broadwater is a great spot for a picnic. Photo: Karen Smith, QPWS.

Walking

Two tracks lead through river red gums and blue gums along the lake edge.

Key to track standards

The classification system is based on Australian Standards.

Class 3 track:
  • gently sloping, well-defined track with slight inclines or some steps. Track may be uneven and partially overgrown
  • caution needed on loose gravel or muddy surfaces
  • reasonable level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.

Wilga campground track—4.4 km return (1 hr 30 mins) Class 3

This track along the lake's shore joins the two camping areas. It passes the remains of a dingo fence built in the 1860s for St Ruth Station.

Red gum track—3 km return (1 hr) Class 3

Learn about the park's vegetation as you skirt the lake. Birdwatching enthusiasts will see many species of bird in the lake-side forest and on the water.

What to take on walks

  • Carry drinking water and nutritious snacks.
  • Wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen and apply insect repellent.
  • Carry a first-aid kit.

Driving

A 5 km self-guided drive starting near the bird hide leads through eucalypt woodland south-west of the lake. Signs help you to identify some of the more common trees and shrubs of the area.

Picnic and day-use areas

Have a picnic under the shady river red gums and blue gums at the lake edge. A recreation area situated on the western shore of Lake Broadwater has picnic tables, toilets, showers, barbecues, a boat ramp, childrens' play equipment and a community hall. The recreation area is adjacent to, but not part of, the conservation park and is managed by the Western Downs Regional Council. To hire the hall phone (07) 4663 3555.

Boating

Motorised boating and water skiing are permitted on the main body of the lake only, when sufficient depth of water allows.

  • Boating permits are required prior to launching.
  • No boats are permitted in the 'neck' area of the lake which is a designated waterfowl refuge.
  • Boating is permitted from 6.00 am to sundown only. All boats must be removed from the water by sundown.

Permits are not required for non-motorised water craft. However, the 'neck' area of the lake is closed to all forms of watercraft at all times.

As the lake can dry out for lengthy periods, contact the Lake Broadwater caretakers on (07) 4663 3562 to check if conditions are suitable for these activities and for details of how to obtain boating permits.

Viewing wildlife

Lake Broadwater is a great spot for birdwatching with more than 230 species of birds recorded in the park.

The lake is a valuable feeding and breeding ground for waterfowl and attracts ducks, moorhens, grebes, cormorants, darters, herons, swans, stilts, black-necked storks, brolgas and many migratory wading birds. White-bellied sea-eagles have been seen nesting at the lake when optimal conditions exist. A bird hide located near the neck of the lake provides ideal cover for viewing waterbirds.

Long-necked turtles, fish, frogs and other freshwater animals live in the lake, while kangaroos, forest birds and many terrestrial animals inhabit the surrounding woodland.

See nature, culture and history for more details about the Lake Broadwater's diverse wildlife.

Other things to do

Lake Broadwater is a great place to relax at any time of year, with the lake and wildlife providing many photographic opportunities.

You can swim in the lake, but stay well away from areas where people boat and ski.

Fishing is not permitted at Lake Broadwater.

Things to know before you go

Giant river red gums fringe Lake Broadwater. Photo: Robert Ashdown, QPWS.

Giant river red gums fringe Lake Broadwater. Photo: Robert Ashdown, QPWS.

Essentials to bring

Be self-sufficient. Ensure you have enough food for the duration of your visit and make sure your vehicle and equipment are in good order.

Bring:

  • a first-aid kit, sunscreen, hat, suitable clothing and footwear
  • drinking water, a fuel stove to boil water for drinking and/or chemical tablets to treat water
  • insect repellent to ward off ticks, and tweezers to remove ticks from skin
  • sturdy garbage bags or containers in which to store rubbish and recyclables for proper disposal after you leave.

Opening hours

Lake Broadwater is open 24 hours a day.

Permits and fees

Camping permits are required and can be obtained on arrival from self-registration stands. Boating permits are required before launching. Contact the caretakers on (07) 4663 3562 for permits and fee information.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Lake Broadwater Conservation Park.

Climate and weather

Expect warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters. Temperatures can peak at more than 35 °C in December and drop below freezing overnight in winter. Most rain falls during the summer months, often as storms.

For more information see the tourism information links below or the Bureau of Meteorology.

Fuel and supplies

The nearest fuel and supplies are available 30 km away at Dalby.

Staying safe

Your safety is our concern but your responsibility.

  • Supervise children. Natural areas have hazards that children are unfamiliar with, including water, stinging plants and wildlife.
  • Take care near water. Never dive or jump into the water as it can be shallow or have submerged objects.
  • Heed all signs. From speed limits to track and camping information, signs give guidance on how to stay safe and enjoy your visit.
  • Treat or boil water from all sources before drinking.
  • Take a first-aid kit and don’t rely on mobile phone coverage in emergencies.
  • Stay together and keep to tracks. Wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen. Carry drinking water and nutritious snacks.
  • Apply insect repellant on exposed skin and shoes to discourage biting insects and ticks.
  • Take care with fire. Use constructed fireplaces and make sure the fire is out before you leave. Preferably bring a fuel stove.
  • Drive carefully on unsealed roads—especially after rain. Stay on your side of the road and avoid sudden slowing.
  • Roads are shared with other cars, cyclists, walkers and wildlife. Be courteous and allow time to react to unexpected situations and changed conditions.

In an emergency

In case of accident or other emergencies please:

  • call 000 or 112 from mobile phones (if 000 not contactable)
  • advise your location and nature of the emergency
  • stay on the phone until you are told to hang up.

Mobile phone coverage is not reliable at Lake Broadwater.

The nearest hospital is located at Dalby.

For more information about staying safe while visiting national parks, please read the guidelines Safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

Apostlebirds (pictured) and grey-crowned babblers squabble in noisy family groups around the picnic and camping areas. Photo courtesy of Bruce Thomson.

Apostlebirds (pictured) and grey-crowned babblers squabble in noisy family groups around the picnic and camping areas. Photo courtesy of Bruce Thomson.

By observing these rules you will contribute to the protection and conservation of Lake Broadwater so it may continue to give enjoyment to you and others.

  • All plants, animals and natural and cultural features of the environment are protected. Do not remove living or dead plant material (including fallen timber), animals, rocks or other material.
  • Never gather wood (or even kindling) from the bush. It provides home for wildilfe and nutrients for the soil. Bring your own firewood or use a fuel stove.
  • Take care with fire. If you light a fire, make sure it is out before you leave it. Use water, not sand or dirt, to extinguish the fire. Summer is a high fire risk time.
  • Stay on designated roads and tracks and obey all signs.
  • Never feed or play with native animals. Feeding wildlife upsets the balance of nature and can make animals sick or aggressive towards humans.
  • Protect streams from pollution. Do not use soap or detergent in either the lake or watercourses.
  • Leave pets at home.
  • Be tidy. Please take your rubbish and recyclable waste away for proper disposal.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.

See Caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

Lake Broadwater is managed to protect its natural values while allowing recreation. Photo: Robert Ashdown, QPWS.

Lake Broadwater is managed to protect its natural values while allowing recreation. Photo: Robert Ashdown, QPWS.

The Western Downs Regional Council is trustee of the Lake Broadwater Conservation Park and manages the lake and facilities on a day-to-day basis.

Lake Broadwater Conservation Park is managed primarily to protect its natural values as an important habitat for a large diversity of bird species and other animal and plant life, while at the same time providing a range of recreational opportunities for visitors.

A draft management plan has been prepared for Lake Broadwater Conservation Park.

Tourism information links

Dalby Visitor Information Centre
www.dalby.info

Thomas Jack Park
Cnr Drayton & Condamine Sts, Dalby Qld, 4405
ph (07) 4679 4461 
email:

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

The Caretaker
Lake Broadwater Conservation Park
Lake Broadwater Road, Dalby Qld, 4405
ph (07) 4663 3562

Western Downs Regional Council
www.wdrc.qld.gov.au

PO Box 551, Dalby Qld, 4405
ph 1300 268 624
email
or
Dalby Service Centre
107 Drayton Street, Dalby
ph (07) 4679 4000

Contact us

Last updated
15 September 2016