Whilst staying in Cowra we went for a day trip to Wyangala Dam. Wyangala Dam is a short 20 minute drive from Cowra. It is an extremely popular spot for water skiing, camping and fishing.
Wyangala Dam was originally completed in 1935 by damming the Lachlan and Abercrombie Rivers. The dam now holds 1 218 000 megalitres of water or 2 ½ times more water than Sydney Harbour. It is used to supply water to towns on the Lachlan River including Cowra, Forbes and Parkes.
The last time we visited the dam was about eight years ago and at that time the dam was at about 7% capacity. This time it was wonderful to see it at 98% capacity. I have also seen it at 102% capacity back in 1990 when the area had major flooding.
The main park area of Wyangala Dam has cabins, powered and unpowered sites available. There are excellent amenity blocks, barbecues and a playground. It is a very popular destination for families especially over the Christmas school holidays. Wyangala Dam is an excellent spot for water skiing. It has some lovely calm bays which are ideal for beginners. Miss Oz is a novice skier and managed to get up on double skis on her 4th attempt. She skied for about 15 minutes which she was very happy about.
CAMPING AT WYANGALA DAM
If you head further along from the main park you can find more ‘free-range’ style camping spots. There are no facilities at any of these camp spots, so I laughed when I saw some people had bought their own port-a-loo’s on little trailers. Markhams, Oakey Creek and Gerties are the most popular camp spots, but if you have a 4WD there are plenty of other spots you can get into where you can set up with no one else around.
Most of the tracks into these camp spots are gravel and many are full of wash-outs and potholes so caution is needed when going in and out. They are accessible by car, but 4WD would be best.
One of the best things about this section of Wyangala Dam State Park are the many 4WD tracks and fire trails that you can explore along. One of my favourites is a track that takes you up to a look out where you can see right out across the dam to another camping area called Grabine which is on the eastern side of the dam and can be accessed through the small town of Bigga. No matter where you go in the park the views are always amazing.
If you are camping in the Park anywhere, please be aware of the fire restrictions in place at the time. As you can see from the photo it is very dry there at the moment.
If you don’t want to stay at Wyangala Dam, visitors can gain access to the Main Park on a day pass. This is valid until 10pm when all day visitors must leave the park. Outside the park the small village of Wyangala Dam offers picnic areas or you can get a basic meal at the Wyangala Dam Country Club.