Pride of the Namoi Valley
Keepit Dam is a popular inland sport and recreation destination near Tamworth, offering year-round attractions for water sports and fishing enthusiasts, nature lovers, bushwalkers, campers and picnickers. The lake foreshores are home to a popular holiday park and a NSW Sport and Recreation Centre. The main purpose of the dam is to supply irrigation, stock and household needs in the Namoi Valley.
Tolcumbah lookout just south of the dam wall provides excellent views of the wall, lake and surrounding countryside. There is no access to the dam wall.
The park has many vantage points with panoramic views of the lake and countryside. The office is open 8am to 5pm daily, phone 02 6769 7605. Entry fees apply.
HOURS - Entry is free
TOP SAFETY TIPS
Learn more about safety at our sites.
REPORT A HAZARD OR INCIDENT
Please phone 1800 061 069
In an emergency call 000
Accommodation around the lake ranges from cabins, and permanent tents to powered and unpowered sites for caravans and camping.
Water sports include skiing, jet skis, sailing, canoeing and swimming. Lake Keepit State Park has several boat ramps. Boats are available for hire. Visit Lake Keepit Sailing Club’s clubhouse near the dam wall.
Fishing at Lake Keepit includes Golden perch (yellow belly), silver perch and Murray cod.
Keepit Dam is 40 kilometres north-east of Gunnedah and 55 kilometres north-west of Tamworth on the north west slopes of NSW Northern Tablelands. Tamworth is about 400 kilometres north of Sydney via the Pacific and New England highways.
Keepit Dam is situated on the Namoi River about 40 kilometres upstream of Gunnedah on the north west slopes of the NSW Northern Tablelands. The dam is about 400 kilometres north of Sydney.Find out more
Keepit Dam is situated on the Namoi River about 40 kilometres upstream of Gunnedah on the north west slopes of the NSW Northern Tablelands. The dam is about 400 kilometres north of Sydney.
The dam has a capacity of 425,000 megalitres, making it nearly as large as Sydney Harbour.
Keepit Dam is named after a property Keypit on which it is built.
A dam on the Namoi River was proposed as early as the 1890s to boost agricultural production in the Namoi Valley. Farmers relied on artesian water to supplement variable river flows but by the 1930s water levels were falling. In 1939 work finally began on Keepit Dam upstream of Gunnedah.
Keepit became the first of three dams built in the Namoi Valley. Chaffey Dam was later built on the Peel River and Split Rock Dam on the Manilla River.
Cotton was one of the main crops to benefit from the availability of irrigation, as well as lucerne, cereals, oilseed, wheat and vegetables. Increased agricultural production drove the growth of downstream towns Gunnedah, Narrabri, Wee Waa and Walgett.
In addition to irrigated agriculture and environmental flows, the dam provides town water for Walgett and meets other industry and domestic requirements, flood mitigation and recreation. A six megawatt hydroelectric power station uses summer irrigation, environmental flows and flood mitigation.
Keepit Dam is mass concrete gravity dam with an earth fill abutment south of the wall. The concrete wall is 533 metres long and 55 metres high. A spillway in the centre of the dam wall allows flood waters to pass through six radial gates.
Work on Keepit Dam began in 1939, was halted in 1941 by World War II, resumed in 1946 and was completed by 1960.
During the construction period, hundreds of workers lived on-site in single and married quarters. Some of the huts from Keepit were later transported to Central West NSW for the construction of Burrendong Dam near Wellington.
To meet modern dam safety standards, in 2011 two additional spillways and three saddle dams were built to allow the dam to safely pass a rare and extreme flood. Work is currently underway on stage two of the upgrade which involves raising and strengthening the main dam wall.
WaterNSW acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands and waters on which we work and pay our respects to all elders past, present and emerging. Learn more