Wivenhoe Dam

Wivenhoe Dam sits on the Brisbane River above the town of Fernvale, in the Brisbane River valley. It lies on the western side of the coastal range that runs from Mt Cootha to Mt Glorious to Mt Mee. Access is from the Brisbane Valley Highway out of Ipswich towards Esk, about five kilometres past the town of Fernvale. The dam water stays close to the highway all the way to Esk. Alternate access is from the Northbrook Parkway from Mt Glorious, and then down the south-eastern side of Wivenhoe Dam. The road from Kilcoy past Caboolture, on the D'Aguilar Highway passes Somerset dam on its way, and runs along the north-western shore of the Somerset Dam. This is a rural dam set in cleared cattle grazing grasslands. All trees have been cleared from the shoreline. The eastern shores have a distant backdrop of blue ranges.

The area can seem bare when seen from low down next to the water, and this is one location that looks at its best early morning or late afternoon. The water can be several kilometres across from shore to shore, and this coupled with low lying land on the shore can give the feeling of total isolation. The same open space can see the wind push up waves on a windy day. It is not a good place to get caught far from shore if the weather changes.

There are four access points to the water. Logan's Inlet is a couple of kilometres off the highway, past the dam wall towards Esk on the highway. This is a day use area with a vehicle gate that is unlocked 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. Day use access is free. Do not paddle past the row of marker buoys that close off the approach to the dam wall.

Just an inlet bay and 250 metres away along the shoreline is Captain Logan's Camp, a camping area. If you are planning an early or late paddle on the water, and don't fancy driving far beforehand, then perhaps a overnight stay might suit.

Billie's Bay on Hayes Inlet is across the otherside of the dam from Logans. Access is limited to members of the Brisbane Valley Sailing Club, and a locked gate will stop you a kilometre short of the water.

Hamon Cove is on the north west side of the dam, about seven kilometres short of Esk township just off the Highway. There is a day use launching area. Almost all the land around the dam water is privately owned, and other access is unavailable. No camping is permitted other than at Logans. Persons planning a long day paddle would do well to have a good satellite topographic map, compass and ideally GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) handheld. Landmarks can be hard to make out from the water, and the many inlets with lack of trees to define them can be confusing. Changes in water levels will drastically alter the lie of the land, and change its appearance to what a map may show.

Click on thumbnails below photos to see larger images.
north from Logan's Inlet looking across the dam from above Billie's Bay visitors at Logan's Camp Cormorant Bay
Billie's Bay
Cormorant Bay