Glenlyon Dam country angling
  |  First Published: July 2012

For the angler that enjoys a country drive and the opportunity to set up camp beside an impoundment well stocked with feisty native cod and golden perch, then Glenlyon Dam is a destination for you!

A stay here for those new to camping will be a real eye opener. There are rolling hills in every direction, wild goats roaming along the banks and as many grey kangaroos within the Park as campers.

For those visiting again after years of absence, like myself, the sight of the dam full after so long of very low water is indeed a sight for sore eyes. And seeing so many anglers busy at the fish cleaning facility is even more pleasing!

Glenlyon Dam is situated at the western edge of the Granite Belt (97km west of Stanthorpe). Most nights during winter are pretty cold but as most fishing activity is generally undertaken during the warm daylight hours, and a solid bed of BBQ coals glowing after dinner and a warm sleeping bag awaiting at day’s end, it’s a genuine pleasure being there.

Enjoy the Drive

To get to this laid back and pretty informal camping destination from South East Queensland travel west from either Stanthorpe via the road to Texas (the Texas turnoff is well-marked within Stanthorpe at Connors Street) or west from a point a little north of Tenterfield where a sign indicates both the Bruxner Highway and Glenlyon Dam.

When coming from Toowoomba the route will take you into Warwick then into Stanthorpe before heading west to Texas.

The actual turn off to Glenlyon Dam from the Texas Road is around 60km west of Stanthorpe at the end of a long down hill slope. Between Stanthorpe and the turnoff there are a fair few signs indicating hazards from animals so drive according to the conditions and slowing down at night is advisable.

Ample sites

Camping at the Tourist Park is a totally informal business with the visitor pretty much selecting their own site after consulting with Brian and Debbie Dare, proprietors. The only rules are no open fires, must be in a BBQ, no pets and no generators.

There is such a large area on offer, and with plenty of BBQs available, it would be hard not to find just the right place to set up camp for a tent, camper trailer, or caravan. There’s a great view of the lake to the north, plenty of shady trees on hand if desired and there’s an abundance of wild life, such as beautiful parrots and friendly kangaroos

Fire wood is provided for camper’s convenience.

Within the main camp grounds there are paired (and very clean) amenity blocks, a play ground for youngsters, both powered and unpowered sites, public telephones if you don’t have a Telstra-linked mobile phone, plenty of BBQs throughout, a kiosk offering fuel, ice, gas and a range of staple food items plus a veritable wall of proven lures that work within the impoundment. Best of all is Brian Dare’s advice. He’s an expert on catching the dam’s fish, which include silver perch, spangled perch, eel-tailed catfish along with the cod and goldens.

bookings essential

Fully self-contained and reverse-cycle air-conditioned cabins are also available and these very comfortable units come with all cooking equipment and refrigeration. It’s only necessary to bring your own sheets, pillows, blankets and a basket of plates and cutlery.

Cabins sleep five with handy external power points for extra fridges and the like. Outside of each cabin is a picnic table and BBQ area.

However, if you are requiring a cabin make sure you book well in advance as these are in great demand.

The kiosk runs a useful hire service with mattresses, life jackets, freezer space, bar fridges and freezers available.

Boat hire is also available with 4hp engines and a boating license is not required.

All boating in this dam is covered by Queensland boating regulations and a Stocked Impoundment Permit is required, available at the kiosk.


Following the recent bountiful wet seasons a boat is necessary to skirt weed beds around the dam’s edges, and small trailer boat launching could not be easier.

Trolling or casting lures, casting plastics or spinnerbaits or bait fishing will all be productive in this impoundment and each method certainly has its place. Trolling or lure casting anglers tend to work their lures along bare banks and drop-off areas closer to the dam wall than the bait angling fraternity, who target fish in the standing timber well up Pike’s Creek.

If trolling is the major part of the game plan, deep diving lures are the ones to tie on first, especially if they have a wide, slow, action that the cod seem to find hard to resist.

Bait anglers should note that with the colder water favourite bait, such as shrimps and fresh water yabbies, are hard to come by in this impoundment. However, if you can secure a supply elsewhere and keep them alive with an aerator the fish will reward your efforts. That aside a lot of native fish are taken on good old earth worms.

Contact details for the Glenlyon Dam Tourist Park are by telephone on (02 ) 6737 5266 or via MS 312 Stanthorpe 4380.

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