Lake Awoonga Caravan Park is a great choice for people who want a nice quiet location to set up camp, relax and maybe catch a fish or two.
The park is situated 8km from the Bruce Highway on Lake Awoonga Road, Benaraby, just south of the Gladstone turn-off. From the moment we arrived until we said goodbye, the management and staff couldn’t have been more helpful. The site we had booked turned out to be unsuitable for our large tent, but it wasn’t a problem. Within a few minutes a new site was arranged and we were all set for a wonderful week.
There are both powered and un-powered sites here, and several trees provide shade over the tables and benches that are situated around the park. Gas BBQs and campfire areas are available for everyone to use and an ample supply of firewood is at hand (camping around the fire is a great way to meet your new neighbours). The camp kitchen is always open with jugs, toasters, a fridge and a kitchen sink, and the amenities were clean and airy.
Lake Awoonga Caravan Park has a range of accommodation options including budget permanent tents for overnight use, onsite caravans, fully self-contained cabins and a bunkhouse for groups. Linen is provided in the cabins and can be hired for the vans, bunkhouse and permanent tents and canvas cabins. Pillows are provided for all onsite accommodation. The permanent tents sleep two and the canvas cabin sleeps six to eight people.
An excellent range of lures, including Richo’s, Reidy’s, Vipers and many more, is available at the kiosk. The prices were the best I’ve seen for quality fishing tackle. Of course, the kiosk also sells supplies such as milk, bread, ice, basic foodstuffs, gas, souvenirs and a selection of fishing gear.
Paddleboats and tinnies can be hired from the kiosk. Tinnies cost $47 for half a day and $72 for a full day. The kiosk also has canoes and kayaks which are hired out to the public, and which are available free of charge to campers.
Lake Awoonga is a native refuge with several different species of wallabies, bandicoots, bats, possums and gliders. Pretty-faced wallabies roam everywhere and are often seen in camp or relaxing by the side of the road at the entrance to the park. The birdlife is also quite astounding. Kookaburras and lorikeets are ever present and there was even a pair of king parrots feeding in the trees above our tent.
There are scenic walking trails which start at the caravan park and follow the shoreline of the dam around to a picnic area with shelter sheds, toilets, playgrounds for the kids and BBQ pavilions. These trails are easy going and with lunch in the backpack, it is lovely way to spend the day.
Awoonga Dam is under the control of Gladstone Water Board and they provide rangers to supervise all activities on the dam. The gates to all public areas of the dam (including the boat ramp area) are locked from 8pm until 7am every day.
If you are planning on fishing, the rangers should be your number one visit after booking in. Boats musthave a permit, issued free by the rangers, before launching.
Because the rangers are anglers themselves, they are a valuable source of information, and can provide a list of fishing access conditions and outline some rules that should be followed. There are a number of no-go zones and the rangers will provide a map to show exactly where they are. Being a stocked impoundment, a current SIP licence is required.
Lake Awoonga also has a research station and data is constantly needed to assess the success of the stocking program. Another of the ranger’s responsibilities is to weigh and measure as many fish caught in the dam as possible. Their equipment is tested to world standard, and a certificate and tag number is issued for fish brought to the ranger station.
Back at camp, with fish and certificate, the park management provides a fish cleaning facility, with running water and a bin for rubbish. Once you have cleaned your fish, select the largest scale and take it along with your certificate to the kiosk and they will place the scale at the top edge of the certificate and laminate the whole thing for free. What a perfect memento of your stay at the park!
Lake Awoonga Caravan Park is a member of the Family Parks group, so if you are a member you get a 10% discount. Non-members can join at the office. At the moment, if you pay for six days you get the seventh day free. This really is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery or get out there and catch some great fish.
Lake Awoonga Caravan Park
Ph - (07) 4975 0155
Fax - (07) 4975 0090
Owner - Merv Hinneberg,
Manager - Meg Le Hogue
Un-powered sites - $9 for adults/$4 for children
Powered sites - $13.50 for adults/$8.50 for children
Air conditioners – Add $1 extra for caravans with fitted with air con
Cabins - From $67 per night for two (extra adults $7/ extra children $4)
Onsite vans - $50 per night for two
Permanent tents - From $12 per person, per night
Bunkhouse - $37 for one, $50 for two, $70 for three, $80 for four
Linen hire - $6 per bed (includes towels)Reads: 3289