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Jack Harrison Park on Wappa Dam

Home > Sunshine Coast > Animals and Wildlife | Barbecue | Parks | Picnic Spots
by Elaine (subscribe)
Impromptu adventuring, exploring our backyard and then putting pen to paper, hoping to entice you to try one, if not all, of our escapades, is my true reward!
Published October 17th 2016
Impromptu Adventuring
Jack Harrison Park, Wappa Dam, Sunshine Coast hinterland, South Maroochy River, Kiamba, native wildlife, sheltered picnics, playgrounds, BBQ's, seating, flying fox, mural, tracks, trails, bird-watching
Tranquillity - Image: Elaine de Wet


I do love this impromptu adventuring - getting out and about and exploring one's own backyard, so to speak.

Today's outdoorsy expedition took us to the Jack Harrison Park on the Wappa Dam, positioned west of Yandina in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. This dam was built in 1963 on the South Maroochy River and supplies drinking water to the interconnected supply network. The lake holds approximately 4694 megalitres of water at full supply.

The lookout at the Jack Harrison Park on Wappa Park Road, Kiamba, is an excellent spot to view the dam when it's spilling - unfortunately, we haven't had any recent rains, so this feature was just not happening. But, a return visit after the rains will definitely be on the cards.

Jack Harrison Park, Wappa Dam, Sunshine Coast hinterland, South Maroochy River, Kiamba, native wildlife, sheltered picnics, playgrounds, BBQ's, seating, flying fox, mural, tracks, trails, bird-watching
Co-existing - a rooster and a guinea fowl - Image: Elaine de Wet


Wappa Dam and its surrounds provide a natural sanctuary to a multitude of native wildlife and forms part of an important wildlife habitat linking to Mapleton National Park. These native animals need to be protected, so alas, this is one outdoor activity our furry family members will need to stay home for. Perhaps if you tell them it's to protect the home, they'll be happy.

Picnics, Playgrounds and BBQ's

Jack Harrison Park, Wappa Dam, Sunshine Coast hinterland, South Maroochy River, Kiamba, native wildlife, sheltered picnics, playgrounds, BBQ's, seating, flying fox, mural, tracks, trails, bird-watching
Sheltered Picnic Areas - Image: Elaine de Wet


A variety of sheltered picnic spots are catered for at the Jack Harrison Park on the Wappa Dam with free barbecues and stunning views over the water and the dam wall. Seating is also plentiful throughout the park, enabling one to sit back, relax and watch the water wildlife ducking and diving.

Jack Harrison Park, Wappa Dam, Sunshine Coast hinterland, South Maroochy River, Kiamba, native wildlife, sheltered picnics, playgrounds, BBQ's, seating, flying fox, mural, tracks, trails, bird-watching
Shaded Seating - Image: Elaine de Wet


A large grassed area for the family picnic, with a playground for the children, including a flying fox, which should keep them entertained for hours.

Jack Harrison Park, Wappa Dam, Sunshine Coast hinterland, South Maroochy River, Kiamba, native wildlife, sheltered picnics, playgrounds, BBQ's, seating, flying fox, mural, tracks, trails, bird-watching
Impromptu adventuring - Image: Elaine de Wet


Alongside the playground and picnic areas is an extremely colourful mural. The image was designed by a local artist, Colleen Heathwood who worked with more than two hundred and forty children from Yandina and North Arm State Primary School to paint the mural.

Jack Harrison Park, Wappa Dam, Sunshine Coast hinterland, South Maroochy River, Kiamba, native wildlife, sheltered picnics, playgrounds, BBQ's, seating, flying fox, mural, tracks, trails, bird-watching
A section of the very colourful Mural - Image: Elaine de Wet


'The mural is a visual story about our need to take responsibility to conserve water, keep our waterways clean and to always consider our native flora and fauna. This representation of the Maroochy River starts at the source in the mountains (rainfall and springs), flows through the country and ends at the sea. Local children painted themselves (via handprints and figures) into the mural to represent the future, education and co-operation on better water use not just for us but for all the natural world.' - Colleen Heathwood

Jack Harrison Park, Wappa Dam, Sunshine Coast hinterland, South Maroochy River, Kiamba, native wildlife, sheltered picnics, playgrounds, BBQ's, seating, flying fox, mural, tracks, trails, bird-watching
Another section of the Mural - Image: Elaine de Wet


Boats, Fishing and Swimming

No boating access, no fishing and no swimming is permitted at Wappa Dam, but as mentioned in a previous article of mine, all these activities can be enjoyed at Maddock Park on Ewen Maddock Dam.

Tracks and Trails

One can enjoy a short walking trail from the Jack Harrison Park to Wappa Falls, which is in the adjacent Mapleton National Park. For the more energetic, one can access multi-use trails at the Cooloolabin Dam which runs through Mapleton National Park.

Camping

Unfortunately, there are no camping areas at Wappa Dam, but happy campers can access camping sites within the Mapleton National Park.

Jack Harrison Park, Wappa Dam, Sunshine Coast hinterland, South Maroochy River, Kiamba, native wildlife, sheltered picnics, playgrounds, BBQ's, seating, flying fox, mural, tracks, trails, bird-watching
Stunning Views - Image: Elaine de Wet


Do's and Dont's

✔️Picnicking;
✔️BBQ's;
✔️Walking;
✔️Bird-watching

✖️Dogs;
✖️4WD driving and motorbike riding;
✖️Dumping rubbish or littering;
✖️Hunting (of any form);
✖️Camping;
✖️Fishing;
✖️Boating or Paddlecraft;
✖️Swimming, scuba diving or snorkelling;
✖️Taking off or landing of aircraft (including amphibious aircraft);
✖️Visiting outside of 6.00am and 6.00pm

Jack Harrison Park, Wappa Dam, Sunshine Coast hinterland, South Maroochy River, Kiamba, native wildlife, sheltered picnics, playgrounds, BBQ's, seating, flying fox, mural, tracks, trails, bird-watching
Ducks enjoying the Hyacinth - Image: Elaine de Wet


While it would appear that there are a lot more 'dont's' than 'do's', this is a spectacular area, offering walking, wildlife and panoramic views. Pack that picnic basket, gather the family together and head off to Jack Harrison Park on Wappa Dam for a tranquil 'get-back-to-nature' family picnic.

Jack Harrison Park, Wappa Dam, Sunshine Coast hinterland, South Maroochy River, Kiamba, native wildlife, sheltered picnics, playgrounds, BBQ's, seating, flying fox, mural, tracks, trails, bird-watching
Enjoy your stay - Image: Elaine de Wet


The park is open seven days a week from 6.00 in the morning until 6.00 in the evening providing plenty of daylight hours for everyone to have fun in the sun.
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Why? Get back to Nature
When: Seven days a week 6.00am to 6.00pm
Where: Jack Harrison Park, Wappa Park Road, Kiamba QLD 4560
Cost: FREE
Your Comment
This looks like a great place with plenty of facilities.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|6154) 729 days ago
Hi Elaine,
What a great spot to discover! I also loved how you did the Do's and Don'ts - very clever! Congrats on your Gold and Silver in the comp!
Sue
by Sue W (score: 2|983) 728 days ago
Well done Elaine! Great article and photos, agree with Sue's comments below.
by Kate Blake (score: 3|1285) 728 days ago
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