Tinaroo Falls Dam



Tableland Yidinji Country





Mega Litres








Tinaroo Falls Dam

Tinaroo Falls Dam Road





  • Boat Ramp

  • Car Parking

  • Road Access

  • Lookout

  • Picnic Areas

  • Toilets

  • Rubbish Bins

  • BBQs

  • Treated Water

  • Camping

Additional information


Recreational facilities are owned and managed by Tablelands Regional Council.


Boating activities are permitted at Lake Tinaroo, however, operators are reminded to read and obey and obey the signs, look for hazards, boat to conditions and stay away from the dam wall by at least 200 metres, as marked by the buoy line, or as signed. Water activities including swimming, kayaking and sailing are permitted among other activities, however, please note the exclusion zones as signed. The four boat ramps are owned by Transport and Main Roads and managed by Tablelands Regional Council. One is located on Bruce Road, the second on Black Gully Road and the third on Church Street.

Learn your responsibilities on the water through the Maritime Safety Queensland Boating and Fishing Guide.


Fishing is permitted at Lake Tinaroo, however, Sunwater does not permit onshore fishing on or near the dam wall. Fishermen are reminded to read the signs and look for hazards. To learn what fish are stocked at this dam, visit the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website. A Stocked Impoundment Permit (SIP) is required to fish. Permits are available from Fisheries Queensland that set out the conditions under which you can fish at Queensland dams.

Call Fisheries Queensland on 13 25 23 to locate your nearest fishing permit outlet or apply online.


Privately owned and operated camping and accommodation is available at Tinaroo Falls Dam in the designated camping area.


For everyone’s enjoyment and safety, please keep your pet on a leash or restrained during your visit.


Help us keep all recreational areas clean and tidy by using the rubbish bins provided. If rubbish bins are full or unavailable, please take your rubbish with you. Please also take any seafood rubbish with you to reduce odour.


There are recreational BBQs available for use. Please use common sense when around open flame. Contact 000 to report uncontrolled fire.

Antisocial behaviour

If you observe vandalism, antisocial behaviour or any illegal activities, please contact the Police immediately on 000 to ensure we keep the dam safe and enjoyable for all.

Commercial or large group activities

Please note that approval is required for the use of Sunwater land for any organised event or function other than normal visitor activities in approved recreational areas. Events or functions include, but are not limited to fishing, swimming, rowing, boating or skiing competitions or displays, community events, weddings or other organised on-land activities. To gain approval, submit a General Application for Access to Sunwater Land or Infrastructure and Events or contact us on 13 15 89.

Motorcycles and other vehicles

The recreational use of motorcycles and four wheelers within the area and the surrounding private property is strictly prohibited. Please practise caution when driving all other vehicles in the area and obey the speed limit.


There is a known presence of submerged trees and other objects. Floating objects may be present after an inflow or flood event. Fast flowing water may be released suddenly from the spillway.

Read the signs and stay safe

For your own safety, please take note of the signs around the dam including those regarding private property and trespassing.
The signs indicate hazards to watch out for and areas to avoid. Keep an eye on your children and inform them of the hazards and permitted areas.

Emergency Management

View the Tinaroo Falls Dam Emergency Action Plan, here.

Visitors must adhere to current COVID-19 social distancing guidelines and are encouraged to observe good hygiene practices.

All persons entering Sunwater property at their own risk should exercise due care and attention and must comply with all signs, notices, the lawful directions of Sunwater, Sunwater staff, all laws, regulations and applicable standards (e.g. boating, fire, road usage). All liability of Sunwater (or its subsidiaries) to you or any other person for loss or damage of any kind (however caused, including by negligence) arising from or relating in any way to access to, or use of, Sunwater property is excluded.

Playing safe

Stay safe at dams and weirs by looking out for potential hazards and risks.

Dam history

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Tinaroo Falls Dam construction

Tinaroo Falls Dam

Tinaroo Falls Dam stands as one of the few reminders of a once-thriving industry — tobacco. Completed in 1958 at a cost of $12 million, the dam’s primary purpose was to ensure continuity of water supply to a crop that brought great wealth to the Atherton Tableland.

Today the waters of Lake Tinaroo continue to nourish the same former tobacco farms, only now they produce a diversity of crops. The dam also has an important role in the generation of hydro-electricity locally.

The dam was built on the Barron River about 100 km inland from Cairns. It gets its name from nearby rapids known as Tinaroo Falls, which in turn were named by the region’s first settler, John Atherton, who discovered tin deposits.

From 2008 to 2013, $24.7 million was invested in a major Dam Improvement Project which included installation of active crest anchors, a dam crest wave wall, downstream protection works and raising the saddle dam.

Thanks to fish-stocking efforts, Lake Tinaroo has become a magnet for recreational anglers due to the extraordinary size of its resident barramundi.