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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Another section of the Mural - Image: Elaine de Wet
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.
Unfortunately, there are no camping areas at Wappa Dam, but happy campers can access camping sites within the Mapleton National Park.
✖️4WD driving and motorbike riding;
✖️Dumping rubbish or littering;
✖️Hunting (of any form);
✖️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
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.