Fancy some freshwater impoundment fishing in a countryside environment? Or maybe relish the opportunity to kick back, unwind, and simply enjoy the ambience of parrots in the nearby trees, a few kangaroos hopping about and some beautiful clean country air.
If either appeals, Lake Coolmunda Camping and Cabin Holiday Park is well worth a visit.
Established in 1968 to primarily provide irrigation water, this relatively shallow lake (average depth is 4.3m) has a surface area of 1740ha with 30km of pasture-shrouded shoreline. It is well stocked with natives such as Murray cod, and golden and silver perch to complement the long established resident eel-tailed catfish and spangled perch.
Around three hours west of the Brisbane CBD and 95km west of Warwick (13km east of Inglewood) lies Lake Coolmunda.
If travelling from Warwick towards Inglewood, look for the Coolmunda turnoff around 95km west just as you see the lake on the south.
If travelling east via Inglewood, the same strategy applies; in either case the Coolmunda Roadhouse is on the corner of Cunningham Highway and Coolmunda Road.
Not far from the shoreline of the lake is one of the best kept secrets within the Southern Queensland camping scene, namely Lake Coolmunda Caravan and Cabin Holiday Park.
The main camping area is not quite on the banks of the lake, but within sight of it, and with its typically unfussed and modest rural setting it’s a facility that offers plenty more than just open ground on which to camp.
Along with the spacious grounds and their ample shaded trees and well kept lawns, there’s a swimming pool, a tennis court, barbecue shed with gas and traditional wood barbies, with firewood on hand. There’s also a clean and well kept amenity block, a comfortable camp kitchen, and also available are several cabins for hire if the visitor is shy of camping gear.
If the youngsters want to bring their bicycles along to have some fun that’s fine with management as well. What’s more, pets are welcome so long as they are kept under control.
Its entirely open plan and lack of fences around its perimeter, Lake Coolmunda Caravan and Cabin Holiday Park differs in many respects to the ‘standard’ camping area we see today. Signs restricting this or that don’t exist. It’s the sort of place where the camper can drive in/out of the chosen campsite with the ease that only an entirely open plan can offer.
Camping, on either powered or unpowered sites, couldn’t be easier. It’s not surprising that so many fishing clubs, schools and the like stay at the Park as part of their yearly club events or curriculum. It’s a very relaxing way of spending time away from the hustle and bustle of city life, while also being linked to the associated joys of camping.
Lake Coolmunda is a great place to enjoy a swim and other water sports. Canoes, kayaks and small craft can be launched from the ramp within a minutes drive from the camping grounds. Time on the water is as much part of the fun as a great camp fire at night.
People without camping gear may book one of the cabins, which offer cooking facilities, ensuites, plus air conditioning and TV.
As an adjunct to the main camping area, outlined plans are well underway to see the long spit of land leading to the lake’s boat ramp being used for camping. The area is well developed with ample shade, well maintained lawns, plus a quite new and large amenity block for campers use.
Indications are that it may well be in use by Easter, but if not it won’t be long after that. The current Coolmunda Camping area management of Troy and Idalia Herbert will be overseeing this new section.
The camp office carries a range of fishing tackle, including lures, but as the Coolmunda Roadhouse is located just a few minutes away on the corner of the Cunningham Highway and Coolmunda Road, most visitors re-stock their supplies of small goods, ice, and the like at that venue.
Excellent take away food is also available at this Roadhouse. Inglewood is only around 10 minutes drive away and has quite a few different businesses including a post office, hotel and store as well as fuel outlets. Any major requirements might be best sourced at Goondiwindi some 90km west.
Like most impoundments, it’s necessary to have some sort of boat to get the best out of the available fishing. That said, there is nothing wrong with soaking a worm, crayfish or shrimp bait from the shore; lures will be harder to work due to weed interference.
From a boat, or canoe, things are different and trolled shallow diving lures, as well as plastics, cast and retrieved along edge drop-off areas will work well in this impoundment. Most anglers prefer bait, and I must admit that if youngsters wanting to catch fish are aboard there’s no better way to put a bend in the rod and a grin the young face.
‘Stay a night or stay a while’ is the recommendation of proprietors Troy and Idalia Herbert at Coolmunda and for a memorable stay it’s quite easy to make a booking on (07) 4658 4171.Reads: 4045