2024-06-23 19:59:53 DAM CAPACITY 53.00% 33.47M HEIGHT 413,032ML VOLUME

Community and recreation

The main recreation area offers excellent facilities and is open to the public all year round. Framed by the rugged peaks of Mt Castletower National Park, Lake Awoonga is situated a short drive from Gladstone or Boyne Island/Tannum Sands and is only minutes from the Bruce Highway.

Please note that domestic animals are not permitted at the recreation area.

A new maritime safety zone will be established at Riverston Bay at Lake Awoonga from 1 July to help keep recreational boaties, fishers, paddlers and swimmers safe from harm.

From 1 July 2024, all motorised watercraft – including powered boats and jet skis – will be prohibited from entering Riverston Bay. The marine zone is approximately 4.77 hectares in size and sits inside the existing six-knot zone.  

This new marine zone is another enhancement for Lake Awoonga – which is a much-loved recreation destination for the Gladstone community, tourists and visitors to fish, swim, paddle, camp, or hike all year round.

Marine zones help to manage our waterways, making it safer for people wanting to fish, swim, kayak, stand-up paddle board or just float around in the calm, protected water. 

The restricted zones reduce the risk of a collision or near miss with powered vessel travelling at high speeds, and ensure that swimmers, fishers and users of non-powered watercraft can enjoy a calm, flat, and undisturbed water environment that is unaffected by motorised watercraft.

The main public boat ramp and Trevor Burgess boat ramp remain unaffected by the change. That means recreation users can still enjoy using motorised boats, vessels and jet skis throughout the 7,000-hectare Lake Awoonga.

  • New boundary marker buoys will be installed, highlighting the new marine zone which will be relocated inside the existing six knot marker buoys. 
  • New signage will be installed at Riverston Bay and the main public boat ramp to keep people informed. 
  • The main public boat ramp and Trevor Burgess boat ramp remain unaffected by the new restrictions on powered watercraft. That means recreation users can still enjoy using motorised boats, vessels and jet skis at other adjoining parts of Lake Awoonga.

Meanwhile, existing rules still apply for powered watercraft to reduce speed to no more than 6 knots when within 60 metres of:

  • the Awoonga Lake shoreline
  • people who are in the water
  • at the boundary of a bathing reserve.
  • anchored or moored boats
  • boat ramps, jetties or pontoons
  • structures and construction sites.

The Riverston Bay Marine Zone was established by Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ), through the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) (Riverston Bay Marine Zone) Amendment Regulation (2024).

The change in zoning was requested by the local community as part of the development of the 2020-2025 Lake Awoonga Recreation Strategy. GAWB formally requested the change with MSQ. 

From 1 July 2024, penalties will apply to those in control of a motorised watercraft who enter the protected marine zone. Non-compliance can result in fines of up to $464.

To find out more about maritime safety and Queensland’s marine zones, go to

As part of our commitment to improving the liveability of our region, we are expanding waterfront access, available recreation spaces and car park facilities at the Riverston Bay recreation area.

Public access to Riverston Bay recreation area, including access to Coomal Bay, the Kalinda building and sections of the walking trail will be closed from Monday 8th January to Thursday 28th March 2024 while construction works are completed.

Access to Ironbark Gully recreation area, the public boat ramp, Castle Tower lookout and recreation area and Lookouts One and Two will remain open for public use throughout. Access to the Lake Awoonga Caravan Park will not be impacted.

This $2 million community investment is an initiative of the 2018 to 2025 Lake Awoonga Recreation Strategy, developed in collaboration with our Community Consultative Forum.

Project information

Closure dates: Monday 8th January 2024 to Thursday 28th March 2024

Hours of work: 6:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

Principal Contractor: RoadPak

Principal Contractor Contact Information: Matt West, Site Supervisor – 0423 398 522


Signage and barricading will be in place. Please follow all instructions and be aware of machinery and vehicles move through the area.

Things to do at Lake Awoonga



Fish for barramundi (and other fish) all year round



Enjoy a picnic or barbecue



Go swimming with family or friends



Go sailing, canoeing or skiing



Saunter along one of the landscaped walking trails



Photograph the wonderful wildlife or go bird watching (around 25% of Australia's bird species can be found in the region)



Explore the beauty of Lake Awoonga by boat



Sit back, relax and take in the lovely landscapes and sensational scenery.

Helpful information