If you thought water sports were reserved for the coastline, it’s time to dust off the jet ski, pull out the paddles, and find the floats because there’s an inland watersport scene making waves across our country.

Read on to discover our top 10 best spots for water sport activities in Southern Queensland Country.

Toowoomba region

1. Lake Cooby

You might best know the Toowoomba Region for its world-class garden beds, quirky laneways, and mountain climbs – but it’s also home to some of the state’s favourite lakes.

If you’re happy to spend more time in the canoe than out of it, take the rig out to Lake Cooby, a two-hour road trip from Brisbane or half an hour from Toowoomba’s CBD.

Although you can’t swim in this dam, you can still throw in a line or get up close and personal with the water birds and other native flora and fauna found here.

Take in the tranquillity by the water’s edge and make the most of the picnic and barbecue facilities at the Loveday Cove or the Dam Wall picnic area afterwards.

Also check out: Lake Cressbrook, Toowoomba Region

 

Southern Downs & Granite Belt

2. Leslie Dam

Whether adrenaline-pumping activities float your boat, or you prefer a soul-refreshing swim, Leslie Dam delivers with easily accessible boat ramps, spots for swimming, and plenty of room for park games and activities.

Want the fun without the hassle of towing on the highway? You can even hire a boat and fuel once you arrive, with permits and bait available.

Set up camp in the bushland at the Washpool Reserve or Lake Leslie Tourist Park, a stone’s throw away from the water’s edge, both packed with free amenities.

 

3. Glenlyon Dam

Explore Mother Nature with horsepower behind you at  Glenlyon Dam in the Southern Downs & Granite Belt.

After making waves, lower the anchor and drop in a line; this dam is also abundant in local wildlife and fish species.

Enjoy a midday feast using the park’s facilities which include picnic areas, wood barbecues, as well as basic amenities.

There are plenty of campsites and cabins available onsite at the Glenlyon Dam Tourist Park to choose from, but if you really want to splash out, stay at the Cherrabah Resort overlooking the lake with free activities for guests and day visitors.

Also check out: Storm King Dam, east of Stanthorpe

 

Goondiwindi Region

4. Natural Heritage Water Park

If you consider yourself a water sport pro and know your boardslides from your bunny hops, make tracks to the 210-hectare Natural Heritage and Water Park in Goondiwindi.

The premier water sports location is a purpose-built facility for water skiing, wakeboarding, boating, and kayaking.

Spend the day, or two, taking advantage of the great facilities nearby including toilets, hot showers, a barbecue, picnic, and playground areas in the park.

 

5. Coolmunda Dam

Take things at a slower pace, load the trailer up with your flippers, tubes, kayaks and other motorless toys, and hit the road to explore the Coolmunda Dam.

After kayaking around the lake, put the paddle down and pull out the bird book – this lake is a great spot for bird watching with shady trees to relax under.

This dam also has a boat ramp for easy water access if jet skis and sailboats are your preferred water toys.

Psst – you might like to check out our top 10 things to do in Goondiwindi while you’re there.

 

Western Downs

6. Caliguel Lagoon

Eat. Swim. Canoe. Repeat. Cast the rod or cool down at Caliguel Lagoon in Condamine with prime spots for swimming and water sports.

Enjoy the peaceful setting and sit back and relax on the banks after a long day out on the water, knowing you don’t have to go far to rest your head with plenty of camping options on offer.

It’s also a perfect pit stop when passing through thanks to a recent upgrade, with fresh facilities ideal for taking a break with barbecues, picnic tables, a playground and more.

 

7. Chinchilla Weir  

Be sure to prop up the tent and make yourself at home at the Chinchilla Weir, situated on the Condamine River and 10km south of Chinchilla.

Bring the boat, whip out the wakeboard or cast a line before making a donation at the Chinchilla Visitor Information Centre and settling into the campgrounds.

As of 2021, this park is also showing off a flashy upgrade, with a new picnic area, playground, and barbecues for when you’re ready to tuck into lunch.

Bring the binoculars– it’s a top-rated bird-watching spot too.

Also check out: Tara Lagoon, Tara

 

Lockyer Valley

8. Lake Dyer

Looking for a lake without the commute from the City? Enter Lake Dyer, a 90-minute drive from Brisbane City.

Hoist the sail and spend the day taking in the surrounding sights, have a relaxing row around the lake, or brush up on your water-skiing or jet-skiing skills here.

You won’t need to go far to relax after all the water-action, with shady picnic areas and tables, a playground to entertain the young ones and barbecues to cook up a storm.

Don’t hesitate to stick around, the campgrounds include powered and unpowered sites for both campers and caravanners.

 

South Burnett

9. Lake Boondooma

If you’re towing a water-toy, put three hours on the bitumen to travel from Brisbane to Lake Boondooma where you’ll find this water sport oasis.

More than just two boat ramps and a pontoon, it’s a fishing hotspot with several catch and release tournaments held each year, including the Boondooma Fishing Competition (held February).

Keen to extend the stay? There’s plenty of accommodation surrounding the lake, with camping facilities and park amenities, including a kiosk.

 

10. Bjelke-Petersen Dam

Bjelke-Petersen Dam, also known as Lake Barambah, is an all-rounder when it comes to boating and fishing.

Popular for sailing, kayaking, recreational freshwater fishing, birdwatching, picnicking, and camping and caravanning, you’ll want to give yourself more than one day to enjoy it.

Whether you’re passing through, or making a trip out of it, there’re plenty of accommodation options on offer around the lake too – with cabins and powered and unpowered camping sites available.

Make friends with the local wildlife – koalas, kangaroos and wallabies are known to frequent the area.