Laid back Lake Leslie
  |  First Published: May 2012

Winter is only around the corner so a lot of adventurers, including myself, are probably making plans to leave the city and enjoy a good stint of camping before it gets too cold.

The Lake Leslie Tourist Park is a perfect getaway just over two hours travel from Brisbane, making it an easy drive yet far enough away from home to make it feel isolated.

The park is located 6km west of Warwick and sits virtually on the banks of Lake Leslie. After a few kilometres of negotiating a meandering country road the lake will come into view over a small rise, with the entrance to the Park being at 113 Saddledam Road.

Once up the long drive way into the camping ground you will see the office on the left, with the wide expanse of camping grounds stretching to either side of the road and beyond.

Features for the camper

If you are into boom gated entrances with pin numbers, well manicured lawns and flower garden bordered drive ways then maybe Lake Leslie won’t be your thing.

On the other hand if you like to camp in a truly rural atmosphere without any crowding or confinement and enjoy having the privilege of selecting the perfect sort of area that suits your requirements then the 16 hectare Lake Leslie Tourist Park is going to suit you and your family quite well, so long as there’s no objection to the odd kangaroo or hare sharing your spot with you.

On your arrival to the park office managers Vince or Darlene will make you welcome and offer advice on the best area to set up camp. The adjoining shop also offers some small goods, refreshments, ice, plus they do make quite excellent coffee.

With so much space and all of the camping area quite level it certainly won’t be hard to find a suitable spot to set up camp and while most of the area is unpowered, there are approximately 20 powered sites available. Booking well in advance would be wise if you need a powered site.

A number of compact but quite comfy on-site cabins are also available for rental and Vince or Darlene can provide details as to their features and availability.

Clean amenities are provided as is drinking water with taps being placed within easy access of most camp sites. A fair few shade trees are scattered about although my guess is that this will not be so important with autumn upon us.

Note that generators are permitted so long as the managers are advised of their use. Pets are not allowed on site because the Lake Leslie Tourist Park is within a national park.

With autumn bringing cooler nights a camp fire will make camping much more enjoyable and useful fire rings are provided for the purpose. On the other hand the park’s pool is available for those wanting to enjoy a swim through the day.

Fishing Lake Leslie

Lake Leslie has been stocked tirelessly by the Warwick District Fish Stocking Association for over two decades. Through droughts and hard times the dedicated group never wavered and finally in 2011 their lake went from 9% to 100% and fish stocking was boosted to the max with 195,000 golden perch and a healthy number of cod and silver perch also going into the lake.

While natives such as spangled perch and eel tailed catfish are also present, it’s the golden perch that makes up the majority of catches with the other fish species a bonus.

Fish in this lake respond to all legal methods with many anglers preferring to use bait such as worms, shrimp and crayfish. That said a lot of Lake Leslie fish are finding lures such as Jackalls and various soft plastics hard to resist.

Anglers are in fact encouraged to take legal sized fish home as this is a put-grow-take style of fishery mainly because the fish won’t breed in the impoundment. Be sure to learn the legal lengths and bag limits so you don’t run into trouble.

A boat is handy to fish the 1250 hectare dam with a concrete ramp and other less formal but equally handy launching areas available. Boulders, rocky areas and some standing timber in the upper reaches all provide good fish habitat.

Shore based anglers can work the deeper areas adjoining boulders and the like for their catches and if there is a more relaxed way of catching a fish than simply soaking a bait in fresh water, I’ve yet to see it. A Stocked Impoundment Permit is required to fish Lake Leslie and may be purchased at the park office.

Contact details are Vince 0403504394 or Darlene 0432344087. For a relaxed and restful holiday or a convention held in very quiet surroundings, then look no further than Lake Leslie Tourist Park.

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