I am a marketing and communications consultant and freelance writer. Living on the Gold Coast in Australia. Check out my website www.sarahsays.com.au or follow on Twitter @WENGoldCoast
Published September 23rd 2012
A dam fine picnic spot
If usually on the weekend, you go out to the local BBQ space, or the nearest green space for a picnic, or you head to your kids favourite playground, why not do something a bit different and head to the Hinze Dam, which has all of the above but with a huge working Dam with some of the most spectacular views I have ever seen.
It has a cute exhibition in the visitors centre which is completely free and has pretty much everything you need to learn about the Dam including interactive pods, displays, models and a video. For me, the most interesting aspect was learning how it was constructed with water constantly running through and the different (and dangerous) stages of construction.
It began construction in 1976 with stage one, then a stage two upgrade was in 1989 and the third upgrade stage was completed between 2008 and 2011 - which took approximately 2000 workers over 2 million hours of work, wow - and I think my job is tough sometimes.
It is an incredible construction, which I learned is a zoned earthfill and rockfill embankment, that has the capacity to supply 225 ML of water per day, whilst also mitigating flooding for more than 3000 homes downstream. The wall stands at 85m from toe to crest - so you can imagine the incredible views from the top.
I find any sort of history fascinating and really enjoyed understanding more of the process and what goes into the planning, creation and maintenance of such a thing as a Dam - something that I had never really given any thought to if I am honest.
It was also interesting to understand more about the environmental objectives of such a large construction and how the dam has been designed and upgraded to ensure the survival of native freshwater fish. In fact, it is the first Australian dam to provide a "fish trap and truck transfer facility" allowing them to move up and down stream with ease for migration and breeding.
They have a small kiosk / cafe which overlooks the reservoir but mostly it is set up for bringing your own food and drink. It has a great playground, lots of green space and a large BBQ and seating area. It has loads of parking too - for those that cannot manage the uphill walk up to the Hinze wall, you can drive and park at the top so everyone can enjoy the views.