Even though the lake is so huge that it is classified as an inland sea. (the official classification is “Partially Smooth Waters”) there are up to 70 islands to explore and endless hidden bays to discover for various watersports. You can launch your own boat at the boat ramp and spend days exploring the lake, waterskiing, canoeing etc.
The waters of the lake are very calm 70% of the time and there are two different weather patterns that you need to be aware of depending on the time of year.
Dry Season (April to September) – Moderate to fresh south easterly winds generally blow during the night and in the mornings up until about midday with very calm conditions prevailing most afternoons. So do a bushwalk in the morning and go boating in the afternoon.
Wet Season (October to March) – Generally very calm days all day every day, but when there is a thunderstorm visible in the distance, be careful! The lake can become very rough surprisingly quickly, so make sure you don’t leave it too late to retreat to safety.
Caution! Apart from the area of Coolibah pocket adjacent to the dam wall, the rest of the lake is full of dead trees. They were flooded in 1974, but to this day most of these trees are still standing and are not rotting. Be very careful, especially if the lake levels are low. Ask at the information centre for more safety information and to purchase a chart that will help you navigate around more than 70 islands (once the tops of hills) set amongst 1000 square kilometres of fresh water.
The almost constantly calm weather make this lake a water skier’s paradise! There are not any designated skiing areas, just be aware of the 8 knot speed limit in the boat ramp bay and Bamboo Cove.
During the Dry Season very predictable south easterly trade winds blow 7 out of 10 mornings dropping off to mirror calm afternoons. The perfect place to do some sailing in the morning then drop anchor as the wind eases in time to appreciate a magnificent sunset. Just make sure you are anchored in a location protected from the south easterlies that will more than likely blow up again during the night.
The lake is still virtually undiscovered by boating enthusiasts, so make the most of it, you may find that you have the whole 1000 square kilometres of perfectly calm drinkable water all to yourself!