Tropical North Queensland has so much to offer tourists so take a visit to scenic Copperlode Dam, it is no exception. Just a short 40-minute drive west and then south in your Cairns hire car brings you to one of the most stunningly beautiful spots on the planet! So jump in one of our beauties and take a cruise out
Drinking water for Cairns was originally sourced from Freshwater Creek but population growth required an additional source to be located. So in 1935, Mr E.R. Morris, a former Cairns City Engineer suggested that an earth and rock fill dam should be located at the headwaters of Freshwater Creek. Completed in 1976, Lake Morris (named after the engineer) holds 37,000 megalitres of water behind a dam that’s 122m long and 45m high.
The drive in your Cairns car rental to Copperlode Dam takes you along slow, windy roads that are popular with cyclists. It’s a fabulous drive through lush world heritage rainforest, ending at a good size carpark with steps that lead up to a huge deck with awesome views over the dam. The dam opens at 8 am but closes at 6 pm (7 days a week), so keep that in mind when setting out from Cairns.
There are plenty of outdoor activities at Copperlode dam with the most popular being the walking track up to the Crystal Cascades and kayaking, fishing and paddle boarding. You can’t swim in the dam as it provides drinking water but these other water activities are great.
Once you’ve parked your Cairns hire car, it’s time for the strong at heart to stretch their legs with a 3km strenuous walk along a rough walking track that ends at the Crystal Cascades. The walking track begins just outside the main gate to the dam, past the large electricity pylon and through a yellow gate. The walk passes through the rainforest with fabulous views of the coast but becomes steeper and more difficult from the halfway point.
When you arrive at the Crystal Cascades you can enjoy a wonderful, refreshing swim in the natural rock pools, so take a backpack, fresh water and a towel. You return along the same track and since it’s only a 2-hour round trip, you can be there and back in a few hours (accounting for a dip in the Crystal Cascades pools). When you arrive back at the carpark, it’s time to retrieve your picnic from your Cairns hire car and find a spot to enjoy a well-earned rest for an hour or two.
Lake Morris is kept stocked by the DPI with barramundi, bony bream, sooty grunter, sleepy cod, archerfish, mangrove jack and eel-tailed catfish. Since barramundi and mangrove jack cannot breed in freshwater, they are regularly restocked by the DPI.
Copperlode Fish and Kayak offer you a range of fishing, kayaking and paddle boarding activities on the lake. Since it provides drinking water for the population of Cairns there are strict regulations about activity on the lake, so these are the only boats that are allowed. This also means that you won’t be worried by water hoons racing their kayaks or boats up and down the lake. Instead, you can enjoy a restful and calming day on the water.
The activities provided by Copperlode Fish and Kayak include a half-day kayak hire that includes fishing. You can also opt for a 1 hour guided tour of the dam in a boat that accommodates up to 3 passengers. Then there’s a half or full-day fishing charter, kayak hire or paddle board hire. So park up your Cairns car rental and get ready for a fabulous day on the water!
There’s no longer a café at Copperlode Dam but the local council provides free tea and coffee at the viewing deck located above the carpark (where you parked your Cairns hire car), as well as a vending machine. You’ll also find picnic grounds, a kiddie playground and shelters at the dam, along with gas and wood BBQs, disabled access toilets and an information display. So it’s a good idea to take a picnic with you or food for an outdoor BBQ.
There are also plenty of open areas for the kids to run around, so it’s ideal for families with kids of any age and unless you want to go fishing, kayaking or paddleboarding, it’s free!
After a day of activities at Copperlode Dam, it’s a pleasure to get back to Cairns and park your car rental outside the Bluewater – an awesome family bistro with fabulous water views. Located on Harbour Drive, Trinity Park they serve pub favourites such as pizzas, tapas, burgers and seafood - alfresco dining doesn’t get any better!
For more information on Cairns car rentals, and to book your next adventure. Arrive in style. Call us on 0447 809 899 or BOOK ONLINE today.