Hinze Dam

Twenty years since my last visit to Hinze Dam

Dam Gold Coast Hinterland

I haven’t visited Hinze Dam for over twenty years and I must say it wasn’t on my short list either. With the upgrade over, it looks like Hinze Dam may have fallen off the Tourism landscape.

A Facebook friend asked if I had been there lately and I had to confess no. But now was the time to revisit this location and take some photos, “if you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk literally”.

Where is Hinze Dam?

We know that its in the Gold Coast Hinterland, approximately 15 kilometres south west of Nerang so I did a quick search on Google for directions for the best route from the southern Gold Coast was the northern Mudgeeraba Road exit 79.

This route follows the State Route 42 then onto Worongary Road and you turn left at Gilston Road and onto Hinze Dam Road. See map below for full details.

What struck me while travelling along this stretch of road was the lack of signage So if you are new to the Gold Coast I suggest you use Nerang Exit 69 the signage along this route is well marked.

This map is a guide only if you are coming from the southern Gold Coast along the Pacific Motorway Mudgeeraba Exit 79 is a picturesque route.

Best route to Hinze Dam

Pacific Motorway M1 Nerang Exit 69 heading South and Nerang Exit 69 heading north are the best routes to take, with plenty of signage to Hinze Dam..

View How to get to Hinze Dam in a larger map

 It seems to me that this beautiful location isn’t getting the promotion it deserves. Please comment at the bottom of this post if I am mistaken.


Take a virtual look at Hinze Dam Now!



Beautiful location

Hinze Dam

Arriving at the main building, I was impressed with the building, I liked the concrete bunker look and amenities they were first class, clean and airy, including the lovely outlook over Waterside Park, a nice spot for a coffee and snack from the Hinze Dam Coffee Shop.

The circular and straight lined concrete pathways down to the waters edge have a hypnotic effect, you just have to walk it…although it would be very hot in the summer months.

While searching online I did come across an article where some expressed disappointment at some of the recreational facilities; however I can’t recall what it was like before. my readers… their comments below:

 A visit to the Hinze Dam would be in the top 5 things to do on the Gold Coast.  

Walk the Dam walk

After speaking to a very friendly staff member at the Interpretive Centre, it was suggested that walking the Dam wall was a good option.Dam wall You can also ride your bike; a centre line is painted for that activity.

Let me say this is a 4 kilometre round trip on foot and best done in the cooler weather, I wouldn’t attempt it on a summer day.
As I started my walk a bus full of day trippers arrived, and some decided to walk the Dam wall too. (Sounds like I’m swearing) However I left most of them behind after a couple of hundred metres.
Hinze Dam was peaceful and tranquil, and with no breeze the water was smooth and inviting, I couldn’t help thinking, this is the water that pours out of our taps here on the Gold Coast, how fortunate that we have clean drinking water and a beautiful location to house it.

There wasn’t a sound or a breath of air…just silence

There wasn’t a sound or a breath of air, just silence… very relaxing and pleasant in the winter sun and then suddenly I was startled by a loud speaker telling me how far I had come, for a nanosecond I thought it was coming from the Main Building and I had strayed into a ‘no go zone’ and any minute I would see a vehicle full of security speeding up the road coming to arrest me.
But alas no such excitement I had ‘mapmywalk’ app activated and it was so quiet the voice from my iphone echoed off the wall.

Arriving back at the main building I sat and enjoyed a coffee from the cafe and I must say it was ‘dam good coffee’ at Hinze Dam Coffee Shop.

What other activities are there to do?

The Interpretive Centre is full of useful information about the construction process and the importance of looking after one of our most vital resources – ‘water’ along with many audio-visual displays.
This centre is opened seven days a week, Check the resource link below for more details about times.

  • Fishing is another popular activity, however you need a license and they can be purchased at a number of locations, addresses are available in their brochure.
  • Boating is permitted but only electric or non-powered only.
  • Canoeing, kayaking and other paddle craft – check the links below for further detail.

Some facts about the Dam

The $395 million Hinze Dam Stage Three upgrade saw the dam wall raised by 15 metres, doubling the dam’s capacity and providing increased water security and flood mitigation.
Hinze Dam was originally constructed in 1976, with a water capacity of 42,400 million litres, after raising the dam wall by 15 metres it now holds the storage capacity to 310,730 million litres.

Walk the dam walk

It is certainly a significant contributor for long term water storage. (source )

I highly recommend taking a scenic drive to Hinze Dam, it’s only 20 -24 kilometres from the Gold Coast depending on your location. Recently I took some relatives from interstate and my Dad for a morning outing and they loved it.

Why not take a scenic drive this weekend, check out the Dam and then head for Route 97 to Chillingham and the Numinbah Valley.


SEQ Water and brochure click here for more details

Wikipedia Hinze Dam
Whilst every effort was made to give the correct location, Google maps and don’t reflect the current changes.. This map is only a guide.

12 Responses to Hinze Dam

  1. Having a strong ‘conservation’ bent and many years of experience in teaching Geography, I have to say that I am very pleased and impressed with the work done in increasing the water capacity of Hinze Dam over the last 4 years. It is refreshing to see that Seqwater has understood the need to approach the water quality and supply issue in a way which, while not eliminating access to the water resource for some recreation, has finally realised that drinking water needs to be protected. I remember the old picnic grounds with their water craft, kids immmersing themselves in the shallows during summer, wood fired barbecues and family picnics, the old kiosk and open grassed areas that stretched to the water’s edge. I must admit that, even as a child, I used to wonder why people were allowed to swim in my drinking water.
    I am happy that the way we consider our precious water resource has changed, as reflected in the ‘new’ dam environment, that hard decisions about if and how we access and use water has finally been made, not just to suit the ‘now’ but to reflect realistically on the future needs of a growing population.
    The dam is a beautiful and memorabe place to visit, to have a picnic in the modern picnic grounds or just to relax witha great coffee and the magnificient vista from the kiosk viewing deck. The well appointed Interpretative Centre, with its focus on education of public and school children is testament to the realisation that the way we regard and use water in the future needs to be more sustainable.
    A visit to the Hinze Dam would be in the top 5 things to do on the Gold Coast. The photo ops are just amazing, but come to the dam in the early morning, before the wind gets up for wonderful water reflections.
    You really do h ave to take time to realign your past memories, if you are one of those who have previously enjoyed the ‘old’ dam facilities. Walk the 1.8 km dam wall, watch the short video, talk to the lovely girls in the Interpretative Centre and spend some moments interacting with the panels of information both in the Intrepretative Centre and on the wall and Waterside Park walks. Once you KNOW why the changes have been made with the raising of the dam wall in Stage 3, only then can you really understand and appreciate the ‘new’ dam. Change is not always easy to accept but change is often necessary for a sustainable future!

  2. Thanks for your comment I must admit, I feel the same about swimming in the dam. I can’t remember the former facilities, but I love the modern building and the walk along the dam wall is enjoyable. I took some video which I will upload in the next day or so, which reflects your comment about the tranquility of the location. Recently I revisited Hinze Dam with family and they were impressed with the whole environment. I totally agree that A visit to the Hinze Dam should be in the top 5 things to do on the Gold Coast, you could only be impressed with the visit. Thanks again for your informative comment.


    • Personally I cannot agree that swimming in the dam should have been banned. Both Somerset and Wivenhoe dams, among others in South East Queensland, allow swimming. Why not Hinze? The beautiful, peaceful, park-like picnic areas have been removed, leaving picnickers to stare at a dam wall instead. I think it is a shame. As for the hygiene issue – the dam is full of fish pooing into the water and I don’t believe a few swimmers in such a large body of water would greatly worsen water quality. Our water is treated to a very high standard after it leaves the dam to remove all harmful pathogens. Swimming in the dam was never a mainstream activity anyway so why ban it for the few who used to enjoy it? Furthermore, the moving of the boat ramps so much further away from the main interpretive area is environmentally unsound – people who live in the main suburban areas of the Gold Coast must now drive much further to go boating. This is a further disincentive to use the dam as a recreational facility. Sadly, picnicking and boating have also largely been separated as activities, and little shade has been provided at the boat ramp areas. I believe we have been hoodwinked into believing these changes are “better for the environment” when in fact they are just easier for managers for other reasons.

  3. I have photos from many Sunday picnics at the old dam parkland and feel that GCCC residents have been completely dudded. The old parkland had numerous rockwork picnic areas with fireplaces, flat areas to play cricket, children’s play ground, and lots of picnic tables looking out over the water, and I may be wrong but I thought that Rotary had built much of the infrastructure. There was a small pier too, kayaking there was a family favourite outing.
    Now we are completely separate from the water, last time we went to picnic we were in a park at the foot of this massive rock wall with no water view at all, it was really shady and overpowering.
    And I dont buy the ‘clean water’ keep people away view, other SEQ water sources are used for water skiing and boating, and water treatment facilities would deal with any impurities. Plus there are fish and eels in there, bird life, why cant we paddle and swim in the water. Its all about $$$$, Peter Beattie took this resources Way from GCCC to drought proof the SEQ but we were ripped off!

    • Thanks for your comment, much appreciated. I would be happy to post photos of the old picnic areas on this page, I think it is important to get a well rounded view. The thing that did strike me was there is a disconnect with the water from a recreational aspect.
      Contact me if you would like some photos posted..


    • Totally agree. We used to take our aged care residents there all the time, can’t see the water from the picnic area now, it is totally ruined

  4. I too agree! Advancetown Lake images take your breath away.Majestic scenic wonder of Gold Coast.

    Hi all! Many locals reminisce over Advancetown Homestead & PUB.Also barefoot surfing down the
    Tallebudgera Spillway and cardboard surfing down the high grass banks of Hinze Dam II.Locals also flocked to watch the spill over of Hinze Dam II as with new Dam.
    If you’re into local Dam spillovers you must see visitors dramatic video(Little Nerang Dam- WaterFall-YouTube)(Before visiting L.N.Dam Check first with seqwater- as of now access is limited)

    No your not mistaken….Main Roads signs never entice travellers to Gondwana World Heritage panorama showcasing Advancetown Lake.
    Big end of town slips Dean Bro’s a quid for smashed up crook as old hell Hinze Dam props.
    Loop da loop signage points finger at Real Estate Agents’Taken for a ride out of towners Map’.
    (Advancetown Lake vs HINZE DAM)
    Never gonna be a fair fight,that one!

    X-No Access-X
    Previous lower seaboard access… driving westward across dam wall off Gilston Road now prohibited.(East bank mountain Bikers @ events are excepted).
    Free Access
    Stage 3(only)ENTRY via hinterland route(97) Nerang-Murwillumbah Rd turn into Advancetown Road. (Walking/cycling over dam wall/Dogs on leash rule/fishing ok)(no swimming).

    {Welcome to Visitors key}..=Rail..#M1..[bus]..(R)oute..<Left..{Entry]

    Following State routes offer reasonable cycling access.(Helmet laws enforced in Australia)


    (Train/Bus/Hike)Airport==Brisbane==Nerang[748]..[V.H.Dr].Trek..<42)..<97)..{LakeEntry][Bus-Lake 6kms]

    (Train/Bus/Hike)SydneyAirport==Grafton/Casino.[C]..Tweed[760]..G.C.Airport[760]..Robina[748]..[V.H.Dr].Trek..<42)..<97)..{LakeEntry][Bus-Lake 6kms]

    Motorists-KEEP LEFT-(Seatbelt laws enforced in Australia)

    Panel Van From Brisbane #M1 .. (90)..(97)..{LakeEntry]
    Crew Cab From Gold Coast (2)<Southport <20)..(90)..(97)..{LakeEntry]
    Combi Van From Gold Coast (2)<Broadbeach <90)..(97)..{LakeEntry]
    Grand Tourer From Sydney #M1 <Mudgeeraba <42)..<97)..{LakeEntry]

    (Routes may change over time/reusable as study tool)Love walking the Gold Coast… Happy Holidays!

  5. What a disappointment. Have not been to Hinze Dam since before the upgrade. Will not go back. So many good times before the area was upgraded – no words describe the terrible spoiling of a beautiful natural area to enjoy. It is ruined. Sterile area with an ugly cafe and no picnic areas. Cross this off your list. Waste of a day.

  6. Why don’t they publish the comments saying that people are disappointed with the ‘new’ look. We will never visit again after seeing what has been done. What a shame!

  7. why cant they open the hill on the opposite side for picnics and family time by the water because there is now NO where to have a picnic or bbq by the water and its views

  8. we used to spend most weekends with our kids at the old picnic ground. Many bbq with plenty of free fire wood, kids playing and swimming – now it’s all gone, only locked gate at the end of Gilston Rd >> Spillway road.
    At least local residents benefited from heavy traffic on weekends down to zero traffic now – there are some Multi Millionair properties so they now can enjoy the piece and privacy….
    We don’t even bother to go onto the other side, kids are grown up now ang go rather surfing anyway

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