Big Fish Kayaks Trip Report - Lake Kurwongbah, Petrie

Posted by

Distance from Brisbane:

Approximately 40 minutes


Location Overview:

Lake Kurwongbah is located a short drive north of Brisbane in the Moreton Bay Shire and is bound by the suburbs of Petrie, Whiteside, Kurwongbah and Dakabin.

The lake was officially opened in 1958 and was created by the damming of Sideling Creek, a tributary of the North Pine River.

The dam is named “Sidleling Creek Dam” and is an earth-filled embankment dam with an un-gated spillway,allowing overflows to continue into Sideling Creek, working its way down stream into the North Pine River and finally exiting into Moreton Bay.

The dam provides potable water supply to the Moreton Bay region (hence no swimming permitted), however recreational uses available include water skiing (club members only), rowing (club members only), fishing, kayaking and canoeing.

Volunteers of the Pine Rivers Fish Management Association (PFMA) maintain an active stocking program of native fish to the lake to everyone's benefit.

Target Fishing Species:

- Australian Bass

- Yellow Belly (Golden Perch)

- Spangled Perch

- Mary River Cod

- Snub Nose Gar

- Saratoga

- Fork Tail Catfish

The lake also contains Tilapia (a noxious pest fish - see Note) and Redclaw yabbies both of which are not native to the area.


Tilapia is a noxious fish and has been declared harmful under Queensland law because it is, or may become, a serious pest to native aquatic communities.

Noxious fish have characteristics that are detrimental to other fish, aquatic habitats or humans.

The Queensland Government currently has over 100 fish species and/or genus declared as noxious by the Fisheries Regulation 2008.

People must not possess noxious fish or keep, hatch, rear, sell or consign them. 

Noxious fish must not be released into Queensland waters or be used as bait, either dead or alive.

After they are caught, all noxious fish must immediately be killed humanely and must not be returned to the water

Penalties do apply.

Fish Stocking:

Lake Kurwongbah has been stocked with native fish since 2008 by the Pine Rivers Fish Management Association (PRFMA) and is proving to be a very promising fishery.

Fish captured from the lake are showing good growth and on track for future projections.

The PRFMA Stocking Program has stocked the following species into the lake:

The PRFMA stocking program aims at reducing a resident population of Tilapia, an introduced noxious pest fish which harm our native fisheries also aims to create a new recreational fishery for the benefit of local residents and visitors to the area.

While some of the species will continue to breed in the Lake, unfortunately not all of them do, so the volunteers of PRFMA continue to restock the lake to everyone's benefit.

This restocking effort has been made possible through a commitment to recurrent funding by the Moreton Bay Regional Council, supported by annual grants from the State Government (Fisheries Queensland).

We thank these organisations for their commitment to making Lake Kurwongbah an exciting new fishery in the region.

Launching Facilities:

Mick Hanfling Park

Mick Hanfling Park is the lakes largest recreational area and is located on Torrens Rd at Petrie.

The park has a kayak launch area, wash down and car parking facilities.

It also contains general use areas including picnic shelters, electric BBQ's, a toilet and off-street parking open to the public 365 days of the year.

Gate times vary so please check for times on the SEQ website.

Please remember a few simple things when using Lake Kurwongbah.

1. The dam is a shared used facility with other parties including rowers, so keep an eye out for them.

2. SEQ water has established a designated launch area so to minimise bank erosion etc. This is located to the right hand side of the main entrance driveway into Mick Hanfling Park.

3. After your day out on the water, you must wash down your vessel in the facility provided, to help reduce spreading the water weeds (Cabomba).

Current boating access To Lake Kurwongbah - (check SEQWater websites for updates)

Shared recreation arrangements for Lake Kurwongbah:

- Rowing (Rowing club use) 7 Days per Week

- Canoeing/ Kayaking/ SUP’s Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday

- Water Skiing (Ski club use) Thursday, Friday & Saturday

Gate opening times:

As of Thursday, 1st September, the opening hours of the lake and park changed to 5:30 am to 6:30 pm, this forms part of our year-long trial of extended opening hours.

SEQ Water reminds visitors to be aware of the changes to the opening hours and plan accordingly. You are not permitted to access the areas outside these times unless you have a permit to do so.

The trial hours are:

5.30am - 6.30pm from September to April

6.30am - 5.30pm from May to August


  • Get away from the crowds and find your own secret spot
  • It’s a big waterway, plan your day and try and target your catch so to minimise travel time and increase fishing time.


  • A great impoundment less than an hour’s drive from Brisbane
  • Good range of fish species on offer
  • A mix of fishing structures throughout the dam area


The lake is infested with Cabomba weed, which can be quite annoying while fishing, with it getting tangled in lures etc

It can get difficult to get a car park in the watercraft launch area (we recommend the use of a trolley in case you have to park some distance away).

More information:

For more information of fish sizes, limits and rules visit the Queensland State Government, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website at:

For more information of fish about the Lakes rules, updates, etc visit SEQ Water’s website at Information:

For more information about the stocking of native fish in the lake visit Pine Rivers Fish Management website at Information:

Blog references:

The information in this Blog has been sourced from additional information from:

  • Queensland State Government Websites
  • SEQ Water
  • Pine River Fish Management

Check for up to date information before your trip