Day Tripping to Wappa Falls and Jack Harrison Park
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On the banks of the Wappa Dam
, day-trippers will discover a lush-green open parkland, called Jack Harrison Park - also known as Wappa Park. Wappa Dam and its surrounds provide a natural sanctuary to a multitude of native wildlife and form part of an important wildlife habitat linking to Mapleton National Park. These native animals need to be protected, so unfortunately, this is one outdoor activity our furry family members cannot participate in.
The Jack Harrison Park has undercover picnic spots and BBQ facilities with enviable views overlooking the dam, perfect for family get-togethers and special milestone celebrations. In Autumn, Jack Harrison Park becomes a kaleidoscope of warmth and vibrancy, as a motley of maple leaves fill the sky with their glorious sun-burnt reds. Feel the crunch of the leaves underfoot, heralding the start of another new season.
Following a short bushwalk from Jack Harrison Park, wild water daredevils will find the exhilarating and refreshing Wappa Falls swimming hole and rock falls. Alternatively, one can reach Wappa Falls directly, via Pump Station Road, where limited street parking can be found, and follow the little track through the scrub to the water. A word of caution here: the rocks to access the swimming hole from the parking area may be slippery and a bit of scrambling may be required to access the water.
There are no lawn areas or picnic facilities at Wappa Falls, so a suggestion for day-trippers would be to set up at Jack Harrison Park and scoot off to the Falls for a refreshing dip every now and then. The swimming hole is surrounded by rocks, which absorb the heat from the sun, making them perfect spots for drying off and sunbaking. On a good day, there are plenty of leisure seekers lounging around, enjoying the scenery and the activities.
There has sadly been a fatality at the Wappa Falls - we came across the memorial plaque, set in the rocks - due to a young person swimming after heavy rains. Visitors tend to throw caution to the wind and are often seen jumping from the rocks above the falls into the swimming hole, but this can be an extremely slippery take-off area, so wild water swimmers need to be experienced swimmers and be aware of the dangers. The pools downstream from the swimming hole have calmer waters and are generally less populated, which is the safer swimming option.
There are no camping areas at Wappa Dam nor the Jack Harrison Park, but happy campers can access camping sites within the Mapleton National Park here.
Facilities at Jack Harrison Park -
Please note no dogs, no camping and no water-based activities (including fishing from the shoreline) are permitted at the day-use, Jack Harrison Park.
How to get to Wappa Falls and Jack Harrison Park -
Travelling north on the Bruce Highway, take the Yandina exit and head into Yandina town. At the first roundabout, turn left into Fleming Street and then left again at the traffic lights into Nambour North Connection Road. After 1km turn right into Wappa Falls Road. Turning right into Pump Station Road will take you to the head of the falls car park. To access Jack Harrison Park, continue further along Wappa Falls Road and turn right into Wappa Park Road.
Wappa Falls and Jack Harrison Park are both open every day, all year round. Jack Harrison Park is subject to seasonal closing times and during summer the hours are usually between 6.00am to 6.00pm (these hours may be affected by Covid restrictions).
Bookmark a date, the long days of summer are about to hit our shores and pack a picnic for an adventurous family day trip to Wappa Falls and Jack Harrison Park on Wappa Dam.
No matter the season, these two spectacular locations are sure to become firm family favourites.
Images courtesy of author, unless otherwise indicated
98138 - 2023-06-12 06:39:29