Creekside camping at Borumba
  |  First Published: June 2005

Borumba Dam is one of the most popular of the southeast Queensland impoundments. It’s most famous for its saratoga and other native fish, but it’s also one of the most picturesque bodies of water in the state.

The countryside around Borumba is what really set this lake apart. Picturesque hills covered in rainforest reach right to the water’s edge, and the lush green pine forests and pastures are some of the most beautiful in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.


Borumba is situated just west of Imbil, which in turn is south of Gympie. To get to the dam just take the Imbil/Borumba Dam exit from the Bruce Highway (about 20 minutes south of Gympie). From here you need to take a number of turn-offs, but all are well marked.

An interesting feature of this road is that it crosses Yabba Creek six times. The water in the creek makes its way from the dam to the junction with the Mary River and is very clear and inviting.


The signed entrance to the Borumba Deer Park is on the left, not far from the dam and before the sixth crossing of Yabba Creek. This privately owned area is aptly named as there are several pens containing different species of deer, as well as antelope, to admire as you drive in.

The park is conveniently close to the dam, located just 2km from the dam’s launching area, and has a lot to offer the visitor. There are level and grassy tent sites with fireplaces set out strategically so visitors can enjoy a great campfire. There are also self-contained cabins, on-site caravans and plenty of powered sites.

A kiosk with food, ice, bait and gas and a laundromat are there for visitors to use, and I particularly liked the large undercover dance floor set up next to the kiosk. There are free gas BBQs and a good-sized children’s playground, and you can arrange farm tours and go on bushwalks or forest drives through the surrounding pines as well. Canoe hire and powerboats for the dam are available from the park at very reasonable rates, and people with disabilities can easily access all facilities throughout the park.


Yabba Creek runs through the Deer Park camping area and there is a massive waterhole near the lower area of non-powered campsites that is used for swimming and canoeing. Some native fish can be found there as well, with dam escapees, stocked fish, eel-tailed catfish and saratoga often taken.

The camping is set up on two levels – the lower area with its tent sites is established all along the edge of Yabba Creek, while the cabins, on-site vans, and powered van sites are set up on the upper level of this spacious park.


The second camping area at Borumba is adjacent to the dam and set up on the edge of a pine plantation. This well-sheltered camping area has plenty of trees and is virtually within walking distance of the dam. At night you can hear the water running in Yabba Creek below the camping area – a peaceful sound to fall asleep to.

The campgrounds here are very informal. There are no designated sites; you can set up camp anywhere within the designated area. Naturally, sites with fireplaces are the most popular, but there are certainly enough to go around. Firewood is provided so there is no need to scrounge the forests in search of a log or two.

Most weekends the camping area is fairly busy and it’s a case of first in best dressed, particularly on long weekends and holidays. Clean amenities with hot showers, some BBQs and ice (at rostered times) are all available. For those who aren’t interested in fishing the dam, there are lots of wonderful bushwalks nearby.


The launching ramp at Borumba Dam is below the popular picnic area and it’s easily accessed. Since the wall of the dam was lifted a couple of years ago the depth has increased greatly, but those who make the effort can still take some fish from the bank around the parking area.

Most anglers, however, elect to launch and head up the dam in search of the resident native fish. While saratoga are the glamour fish, good numbers of bass and golden perch can also be caught. Some of the most popular techniques are lure fishing around the timber, using flies for saratoga and spinnerbaits for the other species and saratoga. Baitfishing is equally productive, and if you can’t dig some worms at home there are some available at the Borumba Deer Park.

Of course, the fish are not confined to the dam and many escapees have taken up residence in the large pools down stream of the camping area, between the sixth crossing of Yabba Creek and Imbil. Canoe-based anglers do well in these large holes with their gentle in and out flow areas and, thanks to an abundance of overhanging trees and shrubs, the scenery is still very attractive.

You can make a booking at the Deer Park by contacting Rick and June Gibson on (07) 5484 5196 (phone/fax). No bookings are required for the upper camping area at the dam as Rick and June also manage it and will call on campers to collect the modest fees involved.

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