Recreational facilities at Fairbairn Dam / Lake Maraboon are back open to the public, as part of Queensland’s COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery. Read more.
Located 25 kilometres south-west of Emerald, Lake Maraboon is Queensland’s second largest lake. It has a massive 15,000 hectare surface area when full, which is three times the size of Sydney Harbour, and can hold 1.3 million megalitres of water. While the water is called Lake Maraboon, meaning ‘where the black duck fly’, the wall and spillway is called Fairbairn Dam.
Things to Experience
Fishing Lake Maraboon is a popular freshwater fishing destination and is stocked with Murray Cod, Yellowbelly, Saratoga and Barramundi. A fishing permit is required and can be obtained from the Emerald Post Office or online here.
Listen to Australian Lure Fishing’s podcast on Fairbairn Dam Barramundi.
Red Claw, a freshwater crayfish, is abundant and is best caught in opera house traps. When it comes to bait, every fisher has their own theory, but generally fruit, partially cooked vegetables or pet food are most popular.
Boating There are no boating restrictions on Lake Maraboon although there is a no boating and no fishing zone around the dam wall. Waterskiing, jet skiing and kayaking are popular activities.
Swimming Take a refreshing dip in the designated swimming area.
Lookout Enjoy stunning views of the lake, spillway and surrounding area from the lookout.
Picnic Enjoy a relaxing and picturesque picnic. The sunsets are particularly stunning and should not be missed. Tables and electric barbecues are available.
Accommodation Camping is not permitted around the lake, however camping and cabin facilities are available at the privately-run accommodation provider nearby.