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Lake Awoonga

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Lake Awoonga
Lake Awoonga Info
  > Facilities
  > Local Highlights
  > Lake Facts
  > Fish Stocks
  > Catch Limits
  > Fish Species


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Lake Awoonga - Cities, Towns and Localities

Lake Awoonga is located 30 km from Gladstone in Central Queensland and boasts spectacular lake and mountain views and picturesque waterfalls. Excellent recreation facilities are provided free to the public by the Gladstone Area Water Board with shelter sheds and barbecues, walking paths and playgrounds.

Enthusiastic anglers come to Lake Awoonga to catch the famed barramundi of which over two million have been released into the lake. The largest caught by August 2007 weighed in at a hefty 33.3 kg! In addition, Lake Awoonga is one of the few dams in Queensland to have been stocked with Mangrove Jack.

Alternatively, you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery and wildlife. Feathered, furry or scaled, Lake Awoonga is home to a thriving array of small animals, several of which are of conservation significance. Aquatic vegetation maintains a wondrous array of small animals that support the fish, eels, turtles, platypus and birds. Further from the water's edge and into the bushland live other species of birds, reptiles, and native fauna including Bandicoots, Rufous Bettongs, Kangaroos, Wallabies, Greater Gliders, Yellow Bellied Gliders, and Brushtail Possums.

Lake Awoonga hosts more than 200 species of birds and is ideal for ornithology with highlights including the southern squatter pigeon (listed as of conservation significance) and a further fifteen bird species listed on International Migratory Conservation Agreement Lists. Lake Awoonga is arguably one of the most important near-coast bird refuges on the East Coast of Australia.


  • Boat ramp
  • Boat hire (including houseboats)
  • Caravan park & camping grounds
  • Café
  • Walking trails
  • Scenic lookouts
  • Easy parking
  • Children’s playgrounds
  • Picnic & barbecue facilities
  • Parking and toilet for the disabled

Sunset at Lake Awoonga © Gladstone Area Water Board, August 2007

Local Highlights:

  • Excellent all year round for barramundi and other fishing
  • Swimming spots ideal for the family
  • Enjoy a picnic or barbecue
  • Lunch at Kalinda Café on the deck and enjoy the views
  • Hire a houseboat, BBQ boat or fishing charter, or stay at the caravan park/camping grounds
  • Watersports: go sailing, canoeing or skiing
  • Photograph the wildlife or go bird-watching (over 200 bird species or around 25% of Australia’s bird species can be found in the region).

Lake Facts:
at full height of 40m above sea level, total capacity is 777,000 megalitres which is about 1.4 Sydney Harbours. Because of fluctuating water levels, boat users of the lake should be aware that submerged hazards exist. The waters of Lake Awoonga are controlled by Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol and Queensland Water Police under the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act, enforced to prevent potentially dangerous or annoying activities. The onus for safety is on the owner and master of a vessel. Maps of the lake are available from Kalinda Café, Lake Awoonga Caravan Park kiosk or the boathouse near Kalinda Café.

Fish Stocks:
Approximately 300,000 fish are released each year including 200,000 barramundi, 100,000 mullet and some mangrove jack. By early 2006 a total of over 2.8 million fish had been released into Lake Awoonga including 2.6 million barramundi, 470,000 sea mullet and 13,000 mangrove jack. (These fish were bred at Gladstone Area Water Board’s Fish Hatchery facility.)

Catch Limits:

Barramundi – no closed season for Lake Awoonga but seasonal limits apply:
Season Open: 1st Feb - 31st Oct CLOSED: 1st Nov - 31st Jan
Size Limit 58cm min. / 120 cm max 58 cm minimum
Possession Limit Five (one of which can be greater than 120 cm) One of which can be greater than 120 cm
Other Rules Only one and can be over 120 cm No special tagging required

Sea mullet – minimum 30 cm / no maximum
Mangrove Jack – minimum 35 cm / no maximum
Other Fish – DPI&F fishing regulations govern capture of other species

Catch Records by August 2007:
Barramundi – 33.3 kg (122 cm approx.)
Mangrove jack–  4.5 kg approx (61 cm)
Sea Mullet–  4 kg (80 cm approx)

Fish Species:

  • Barramundi
  • Sea Mullet
  • Mangrove Jack
  • Longtom
  • Bony Bream
  • Snub-nosed Garfish
  • Long-finned Eel
  • Eel-tailed Catfish
  • Banded Grunter
  • Mouth Almighty
  • Spangled Perch
  • Forktail Catfish

Camping is permitted at only two places on Lake Awoonga (1) the Lake Awoonga Caravan Park in the main recreation area, and (2) the Boynedale Bush Camp.

1 Lake Awoonga Caravan Park: Provides full caravan park facilities including showers/toilets etc. For more information on the Lake Awoonga Caravan Park and to make bookings, please Phone: (07) 4975 0155.

Directions: the Lake Awoonga Recreation Area is located about 20 minutes drive from Gladstone, via Benaraby off the Bruce Highway. If traveling north, just before the intersection to Gladstone, there is a turn-off on the left.
2 Boynedale Bush Camp: Boynedale Bush Camp is a basic bush camping facility, providing a composting toilet, fire rings, wheelie bins, picnic tables and shelters. Campers are permitted to stay for up to seven days, and sites are on a “first come – first served” basis. Basic boat access for boats is provided nearby.

Note the following:
1. There is NO potable water - visitors must bring their own water supply.
2. Access roads are unsealed and may become slippery or boggy during wet weather.
3. Visitors are discouraged from bringing pets to the area as Lake Awoonga is a wildlife sanctuary. Small dogs may be allowed at the Boynedale bush camp, but must be kept strictly under control at all times.
4. There is no electricity supply.

Directions: Turn onto Gladstone-Monto Road just west of Calliope, Central Queensland and drive for 26 km – watch for signs for the site on the left. Turn onto dirt road, then drive 1.9 km to the camping area.

Awoonga recreation area gates are opened at 7am and closed at 8 pm, but the waters of Lake Awoonga are open 24 hours a day. The recreation area is open 365 days a year.

The waters of Lake Awoonga are governed by Maritime Safety laws and recreation users are advised to follow all relevant rules and regulations and to read the signs at the lake which provide further details about speed limits etc.

Source: Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB)

Information Centre Contact the Rangers at Lake Awoonga
Ph: 07 4975 0335
Mobile: 0419 661 482

Lake Awoonga Caravan Park
Ph: 07 4975 0155 (For more information and to make bookings)

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Lake Awoonga Images

Hut view overlooking Lake Awoonga © Gladstone Area Water Board, August 2007 Sheds at the recreation area © Gladstone Area Water Board, August 2007 Playground and Shed at Ironbark Gully © Gladstone Area Water Board, August 2007 Kalinda Cafe © Gladstone Area Water Board, August 2007
View of Lake Awoonga © Gladstone Area Water Board, August 2007 Sailing boat on Lake Awoonga © Gladstone Area Water Board, August 2007 Sunset at Lake Awoonga © Gladstone Area Water Board, August 2007 Sunset at Lake Awoonga © Gladstone Area Water Board, August 2007
Lake Awoonga © Gladstone Area Water Board
* Special thanks to the Gladstone Area Water Board for their contribution to the content of this section.
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