Spillway Lookout recreation area – temporarily closed (Friday, 5 April 2013)
- boating (electric powered, yacht or row boat) (permit required)
- electric model boating (outside designated swimming areas)
About Wivenhoe Dam
Wivenhoe Dam (Lake Wivenhoe) is built on the Brisbane River, approximately 80 kilometres from Brisbane. It was designed by the Water Resources Commission and built in 1984. Its primary function is to provide a safe and reliable water supply to the south-east Queensland region.
- Wivenhoe Dam consists of an earth and rock embankment 2.3 kilometres long and 50 metres high, measured from the lowest foundation to the crest, with a concrete spillway section on which five steel crest gates have been installed.
- The gates measure 12 metres wide and 16.6 metres high and are among the largest of their type in the world.
- The dam has a total storage capacity of 2.6 million megalitres. At full supply level it will hold 1.15 million megalitres, or about 2000 times the daily water consumption of Brisbane.
- More than 200 separate properties were acquired to provide the 33,750 hectares of land required for the construction of the dam.
- The Brisbane Valley Highway was relocated to pass over the dam wall, while 65 kilometres of the road and a number of new bridges were required following construction of the dam.
- The construction of the dam involved the placement of around 4 million cubic metres of earth and rock fill, and around 140,000 cubic metres of concrete in the spillway section. Excavation of 2 million cubic metres of earth and rock was necessary to construct the spillway.
Wivenhoe Dam houses a pumped-storage, hydro-electric generating facility. This power station is situated between Splityard Creek Dam and Lake Wivenhoe.
During the pumping phase in the operating cycle the generator will operate as an electric motor driving the pump to lift water from Lake Wivenhoe to the upper storage of Splityard Creek Dam. When peak electricity demand occurs the flow of water is reversed, flowing from the upper to the lower storage and driving the turbine generator to generate electricity.
The pumped storage power station consists of two circular concrete silos, each of about 32 metres internal diameter. Each of the silos house a 250MW turbine generator and pump set.
The power station is unmanned and is controlled remotely from the central operating centre for the Queensland power grid system. All aspects of the operation are monitored by computers within the centre. Twin 275KV transmission lines connect the power station to the State’s grid system.