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Copperlode Dam: Your Ultimate Guide!

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Copperlode Dam

Copperlode Dam is a fresh water reservoir dam servicing the Cairns area. It is located west of the city, surrounded by world heritage listed rainforest.

How do I get to Copperlode Dam?

Take the Brinsmead-Reservoir Road and look for the signposted turnoff. Then follow the 16km (10mile) narrow winding road to the dam. There are only a few sections with guardrails, so watch the road and take care for cyclists, runners and wildlife on sharp corners.

Can I swim in Copperlode Dam?

As the water stored provides drinking water for the people of Cairns, swimming is strictly prohibited. Do not do it!

Copperlode Dam Map

Copperlode Fishing

Fishing is not encouraged unless it is supervised. This is because Copperlode Dam is an important water source for Cairns.

However, Copperlode Fish and Kayak does offer supervised fishing tours in this sensitive environment. Interested fishers can contact them direct for further details.

History of Copperlode Dam

In 1935 Cairns engineer Frank Morris searched the mountains to the west of the Cairns to find a place to build a dam. There he discovered a location at Copperlode falls that he thought may be suitable.

Subsequently, the dam was completed in 1976 at a total cost of approximately $6.5 million. Later a reinforced masonry wall was added to the dam crest in 1993 to prevent waves from overtopping the wall in the case of extreme floods. As a consequence of the work and vision of Frank Morris, the lake formed by the dam was named Lake Morris.

Copperlode Dam Specifications

The reservoir holds 38,475 megalitre. Indeed this is the equivalent of 15,000 olympic swimming pools. Hence the dam was designed to capture some of the high seasonal rainfall and provides a reliable water source for homes and businesses in the region.

Furthermore, it is a 45m high zoned earth and rock fill dam, 122m in length. The embankment has a crest level of 403.84m AHD and a width of 6.4m.

Copperlode Dam Lookout

There are two lookouts of note, one on Lake Morris Road and one at the dam itself.

The Lalke Morris Road Lookout is around 2.5 kilometres from the turn off from Reservoir Road. However, there are size limits as to which vehicles can access this road (no caravans or coaches are allowed). Also remember the road is closed to vehicles from 8pm to 8am.

Copperlode Dam level today

You can find the level of the water in Copperlode Dam published online by Cairns Regional Council.

Thank you for reading about Copperlode dam.

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