Weekend water skiers and wakeboarders happily share the 37sq km lake with jet-skis, sailing boats, kayakers, canoeists, kite-surfers, anglers, bird-watchers and swimmers. Around the shoreline near the township of Tinaroo are walking and cycling paths, barbecue areas and large grassy lawn areas and pine trees for kicking a ball around or setting up an artists’ easel.
The lake is open all year for anglers hoping to land a barramundi, with a monster 40.7kg catch recorded. Or drop a pot to catch some red-claw crayfish. Permits are required to fish with dingy hire, fishing permits and bait available from the Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park, not far from the boat ramp.
About Tinaroo Dam
Tinaroo Dam was completed in 1958, submerging towns and forest to create the water playground and irrigation reservoir. Take the 28km Danbulla forest drive from the dam wall around the back of the lake to see the 500-year-old Cathedral Fig and historical chimney stacks, check out the volcanic remnants of Mobo Creek Crater and Lake Euramoo, go bird-spotting on a forest hike, or launch a canoe from the National Park and State Forest camping and day-use areas.
About 25km from the Dam at the other end of the lake is the township of Yungaburra, where colourful hanging baskets and quaint cafes and shops invite you to stay a while and soak up the country charm. Lakeside access is available for watersports just out of town.
A bustling, country market is held on the fourth Saturday of the month (third in December). Look for platypus from the dedicated viewing platform on the Gillies Highway or take the Geoff Tracey Botanical Track for an extended walk along Petersen Creek.
From camping and caravans to a handy motel room or luxury cottages and wedding venues, Lake Tinaroo has accommodation to suit the single traveller, couples or large groups.
Tinaroo Lake Resort
Great for a romantic getaway or special event, Tinaroo Lake Resort offers plush one, two and three-bedroom townhouse apartments with full or partial lake views. Each apartment has a fully equipped kitchen, laundry, comfortable lounge area, spacious bedrooms and a private balcony/patio. A popular wedding and conference venue, Tinaroo Lake Resort opens the Lodge Restaurant to the public on certain days and for group bookings.
Relax around the swimming pool or birdwatch from your balcony. Tour bookings, kayak and bicycle hire is also available. There are covered barbecue areas on the lakeside lawns or sample the country hospitality at Kairi Hotel, 8 minutes’ drive away. Family rooms, disabled facilities and covered parking at the door add to the appeal.
29 Palm St, Tinaroo
Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park
Set on 6.8 hectares directly opposite the lake, this holiday park is the go-to place for your fishing needs and has plenty of room for campers and caravans as well as a choice of villas, cabins and family units. It also has a wheelchair-friendly unit with disabled facilities.
There’s plenty of activities to keep you entertained, with a swimming pool and jumping pillow for kids or you can hire motor boats, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, and fishing boats. Ice, firewood, gas and bait are also available. Dine at the onsite café and store or mingle with others around the comfortable camp kitchen.
28 Tinaroo Falls Rd, Tinaroo
Birds ‘n’ Bloom Cottages
For award-winning, luxury Yungaburra accommodation just a short stroll from cafes and restaurants, consider Birds ‘n’ Bloom Cottages.
The property offers a spacious two-bedroom cottage, three-bedroom cottage and three-bedroom spa villa set amid bird-attracting flowering gardens.
The perfect holiday haven for short or long stays, it can accommodate couples, families and corporate groups of up to eight people in each of the three-bedroom cottages in spacious country-style luxury.
3 Elm St, Yungaburra
Yungaburra Park Motel
Look for the white picket fence near the towering fig trees about 300m from the platypus viewing at Peterson Creek. Set around an open lawn and hanging baskets, the motel is handy to Yungaburra markets, restaurants and cafés.
Family rooms sleep up to five people, with a kitchenette for self-catering. Choose from ground-floor garden view rooms or upper level rooms with a terrace.
All are air-conditioned and include outdoor seating to enjoy the Tableland views. Yungaburra Park Motel is 5km from Lake Eacham and 10km from Lake Barrine crater lakes.
29 Gillies Highway, Yungaburra
Curtain Fig Motel
Small, well-behaved dogs are welcome at the Curtain Fig Motel. This licensed motel has an outdoor restaurant and barbecue area, offers freshly made bread with breakfast and tea/coffee facilities in the rooms. Relax around the saltwater swimming pool or take the short drive to the nearby Curtain Fig and crater lakes.
Free off-street car parking and free Wi-Fi are provided. Shops, cafes, restaurants and other attractions of Yungaburra town centre are on the doorstep.
28 Gillies Hwy, Yungaburra.
So, get your adventure on and consider exploring around Lake Tinaroo for a bit longer than a day trip.
Cover Image Credit IG @megankerri