After a short but lovely drive from the Gold Coast, you will find the entrance to the dam on Advancetown Road, Gilston.
There are several areas you can park, get out of your car and take in the large scale of the dam wall. You can choose to park on the lower level and walk to the top where you will find another carpark, information centre and café.
On the upper level, you really get to feel how large and intimidating the dam is. Start at the information centre where there are several interactive touch screen tv’s providing everything you need to know about the construction of the dam plus interesting facts on water.
Watch the movie located centrally in the information centre and learn even more about this fantastic water resource. Pick up a free four minute shower timer for each bathroom while you are at the centre. A touch screen information stand is also available to provide information on the area or there are always friendly staff on hand to answer any questions as well. There is an Education Room for school and tour groups.
The café opens out onto a spectacular view of the walkway and park area. There are bbq’s to enjoy a picnic lunch with the family, bike and horse trails. Two new boat ramps have been constructed, The Western Boat Ramp on Nerang-Murwillumbah Road and The Eastern Boat Ramp on Little Nerang Range Road. Electric or manual powered boating is permitted as well as kayaking, canoeing and the use of other paddle craft. They must be launched from the boat ramps. Fishing is also allowed if permit has been obtained.
Head over to the entrance to the dam wall and take a walk across to the other side, reading the information signs as you go.
Stage 1 – Hinze Dam was completed and opened by Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen on 11 June 1976. This provided the Gold Coast’s first bulk water storage resource. The dam’s capacity was approximately 42,000 megalitres.
Stage 2 – Premier Michael Ahern opened the second stage on 18th March 1989. This second stage was greatly needed due to the rapid increase in population on the Gold Coast which resulted in dwindling water supply. On the day of this stage opening, the dam was 60% full which was more than twice Stage 1’s full supply level. Six weeks later, the dam was at 100% capacity.
Stage 3 – The Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth largest city with a population of over 500,000. This in conjunction with the worst drought in South Queensland’s history has resulted in this latest stage being constructed. The dam can now hold 310,000 megalitres. This stage consisted of raising the dam walls, raising the upper and lower intake towers, the dam can now be used as a secondary water storage area, construction of two new boat ramps at Mudgeeraba and Advancetown, upgrade of surrounding roads and the development of new recreational facilities.
How much time you spend here is really up to you. You could come out for the nice drive and a cuppa or learn everything there is to know about the area in the interactive visitor’s centre. Bring a picnic to enjoy with the family or take a walk around the park. There is so much to learn and enjoy at Hinze Dam. It really is a spectacular place to visit!