Split Rock Dam
The third dam built in the Namoi Valley
Split Rock Dam is a popular inland sport and recreation destination near Tamworth, offering year-round attractions for water sports and fishing enthusiasts, birdwatchers, bushwalkers, campers and picnickers. Split Rock operates with Keepit Dam to supply water for irrigation, environmental flows, stock, industry and household needs in the Namoi Valley.
The dam’s extensive foreshores provide many vantage points with views of the lake and rolling countryside. There is no access to the dam wall.
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Split Rock Dam’s extensive foreshores offer sites for unpowered camping with lake views. The main camping ground about one kilometre north of the dam wall on the western foreshore has powered and unpowered sites, wood barbecues, toilets, picnic shelters and fish cleaning area. Glenriddle Reserve on the northern shore of the dam’s upper reaches also provides camping at unpowered sites with wood barbecues, toilets and a gravel boat ramp.
Water sports include skiing, jet skis, sailing, canoeing and swimming. A concrete boat ramp is available at the main camping grounds about one kilometre north of the dam wall on the western foreshore. A gravel boat ramp is available at Glenriddle Reserve on the northern shore of the dam’s upper reaches.
Murray cod, golden perch (yellow belly) and silver perch are the top catches. Catfish and carp are also caught.
Split Rock Dam is 70 kilometres north-west of Tamworth on the NSW North West Slopes. Tamworth is about 500 kilometres north-west of Sydney via the Pacific and New England highways.
Split Rock Dam is situated on the Manilla River about 28 kilometres upstream of Manilla and 70 kilometres north-west of Tamworth on the NSW North West Slopes. The dam is about 500 kilometres north-west of Sydney.Find out more
Split Rock Dam is situated on the Manilla River about 28 kilometres upstream of Manilla and 70 kilometres north-west of Tamworth on the NSW North West Slopes. The dam is about 500 kilometres north-west of Sydney.
The dam has a capacity of 397,370 megalitres, three-quarters the volume of Sydney Harbour.
Split Rock Dam is named after a fissure in a giant rock near the dam site.
Split Rock Dam was built in the 1980s to supplement supplies from Keepit Dam and meet increased agricultural demand for water in the Namoi Valley.
Split Rock Dam on the Manilla River became the third dam built in the Namoi Valley. The others are Keepit Dam on the Namoi River and Chaffey Dam on the Peel River.
Cotton was one of the main crops to benefit from the availability of irrigation, with many farmers switching from sheep and cattle to cotton after Keepit Dam was built in the 1960s. The Namoi Valley is also well-known for its agricultural production of cereal, oilseed, lucerne, wheat and vegetables.
In addition to irrigated agriculture and environmental flows, the dam provides town water for Walgett and Barraba, and meets other industry and domestic requirements, flood mitigation and recreation. A two megawatt hydroelectric power station generates on irrigation, flood mitigation and environmental flows.
Split Rock Dam is a rock-fill embankment wall with a concrete slab on the upstream face. The wall is 456 metres long and 68 metres high.
A concrete chute spillway is located just north of the dam wall.
An intake tower controls the quality and temperature of water released from the dam.
Construction began in 1984 and finished in 1987.
To meet modern dam safety standards, in 2012 a two-metre high concrete parapet wall was built on top of the embankment wall to improve the ability of the dam to withstand a rare and extreme flood.
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