Through some stories we may learn a little more about the history of our area.

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Baroon Pocket Dam

With the Sunshine Coast area continuing to be one of the fastest growing regions in Australia water is like liquid gold. Both Caloundra City and Maroochy Shire draw their majority of water from the Baroon Pocket Dam.  This is situated on the outskirts on Maleny, on the western side of the Blackasll Range in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.  In days past this area was a meeting place known to aborigines for centuries.  This area was an area to where aboriginee tribes came to not only settle fights but to hold festivals commemorating the bunya nut.  The area derived its name from the Rat Kangaroo, "Barung". 

Baroon Pocket Dam is fed by the Obi Obi Creek, a significant tributary of the upper Mary River, which drains the basalt, capped Maleny plateau.  Water runoff statistics have been kept in this area since the 1940’s showing that the average annual rainfall is 2037mm and the runoff into Baroon Pocket Dam receives annually about 64,000ML.

Original Farmland where dam now sits

Baroon Pocket Dam was constructed at the head of a local area known as The Narrows on Obi Obi Creek in 1988 and completed in 1989.   Lake Baroon has a surface area of 400 ha, an average depth of 15 metres and holds some 61000 ML of water.  An area where the banks of Obi Creek sidewalls rise steeply to form a natural channel.  Baroon Pocket Dam is a clay cored rock filled dam about 1 kilometer wide and 53 meters high.  From the dam there is a tunnel about 2.5kms long and 2.5 meters high.   This tunnel takes water from the dam to the water treatment plant on the coast side of the Blackall Range.   The water flows naturally from the dam to the treatment plant.   The treatment plant supplies about 150 megalitres of treated water to the Sunshine Coast daily.

ABOVE & BELOW - Dam site in early construction stage

   

The runoff area around the Baroon Pocket Dam is utilized mainly for agricultural and grazing activities.   The Lake Baroon Catchment Care Group is a body formed within the local community to assist in the important task of managing this catchment area to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering the dam to assist in reducing the possibility of algae blooms.

Since its construction the dam has become an important recreation area for the Sunshine Coast hinterland. There is a sailing club, naval cadet unit, fishing club, secluded accommodation, and picnic facilities – all well supported by the local Sunshine Coast Community.

Photos Above  Overlooking Baroon Pocket Dam from the Public Car Park on the Maleny Side.

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Pictures left & below show the vast expanse of water after rains in the early part of 2003.  The Photos are taken from the Montville side of the dam.

Below Left:  Looking back towards the boat ramp on the Maleny side of the dam.  Left:  Looking towards water intake tower.

 

 
Because the water is used as a domestic water supply for the Queensland Sunshine Coast no petrol powered boats are allowed on the dam.  Despite this the area has become very popular for sailing and other types of water sports.  The Lake Baroon Sailing Club and the Naval Cadet Group, TS Centaur hold regular sailing regattas.

Above:  Dam Spillway on Montville side - dry

 

Above:  Dam Spillway on Montville side - Running over.

 

 

The Lake Baroon Fishing Club has instigated a fish stocking program
thus ensuring a good supply of fresh water fish for all.

(Photo below shows picnic area Maleny side looking towards dam wall)

Access from Maleny is via North Maleny Rd which leads to Baroon Pocket Rd.   The dam wall and spillway can be accessed by taking Western Ave out of Montville. This leads to a turnoff on the left which leads directly to the dam.

 

        Photo Left:  Looking from the Dam wall on Montville side towards Witta on the Maleny side.

Photo Above:  Looking towards water Montville Road from wall side of dam

Click here to view a short movie about Baroon Pocket Dam.....   (Caution file is 4.8MB & is a Quicktime File)

Morning cloud hangs low over the Baroon Pocket Dam.

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Like the naked city there are a thousand stories in the
Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Tell us your story.....

just email those bits to  :  thegrapevine@westnet.com.au