Glenbawn Dam One of the largest rock-filled dams in Australia

Glenbawn Dam
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Visit the Dam


  • Camping
  • Children's playground
  • Picnic areas
  • Toilets
  • Kiosk
  • Shower facilities
  • Boat ramps

Glenbawn Dam is a popular inland sport and recreation destination near Scone, offering year-round attractions for water sports and fishing enthusiasts, nature lovers, bushwalkers, campers and picnickers. The dam has one of the largest rock-fill embankment walls in Australia, 100 metres high and 1.1 kilometres long. The main purpose of the dam is to supply water for irrigation, power generation, stock, industry and household needs in the Hunter Valley, and provide flood mitigation and environmental flows.

Look out points

Dam wall

The wall is 100 metres high and 1,125 metres long.

Lake Glenbawn State Park

The park has many vantage points with panoramic views of the lake and countryside.

Things to do

Opening hours

Lake Glenbawn State Park

Entry to the dam can be purchased through Lake Glenbawn State Park. The office is open 9am to 5pm daily. Phone 02 6543 7193.

Please note: WaterNSW does not manage any of the facilities at this dam.


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Glenbawn Dam is 14 kilometres east of Scone in the NSW Hunter Valley. Scone is about 270 kilometres north-west of Sydney via the Pacific and New England highways.


  • Camping
  • Children's playground
  • Picnic areas
  • Toilets
  • Kiosk
  • Shower facilities
  • Boat ramps



Restrictions are in place to protect our water supply and ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and safe visit - with penalties up to $44,000 applying:

  • No model aircraft or drones
  • Keep to vehicle speed limits and be aware of pedestrians

Recreation Areas at WaterNSW dams will be closed on ALL Total Fire Ban days.

The Glenbawn Experience

Things to see and do

1. Stay

A range of powered and non-powered camping options are available on the shores of the lake along with cabins and bungalows run by Reflections Holiday Park - Lake Glenbawn.

2. Water sports

The large lake offers water sports including skiing, jet skis, sailing, canoeing and swimming. Lake Glenbawn State Park has several boat ramps.

3. Fishing

Fishing at Lake Glenbawn includes Australian bass, Golden perch (yellow belly), silver perch, Murray cod, catfish, eel and carp.

Dam Summary

Metres High
Length: 1,125 metres
Size of lake:
26 km 2
749.84 gl total operating capacity
Catchment: 1300 square kilometres

Facts & History

Glenbawn Dam is situated on the Hunter River about 14 kilometres east of Scone in the NSW Hunter Valley. The dam is about 270 kilometres north-west of Sydney.

Glenbawn Dam has a capacity of 750,000 megalitres, one and a half times that of Sydney Harbour. It has additional potential capacity of 120,000 megalitres for flood mitigation.

Glenbawn Dam is named after a property on which it is built.

Why the dam was built

The dam was built in the 1950s to secure water for agriculture, industry and the surrounding townships, and to mitigate flooding.

Vineyards and pastures for dairy farming are the main agricultural industries supported by irrigation. The dam also provides water for nearby power stations and the towns of Scone and Muswellbrook.

Glenbawn Dam operates in conjunction with Glennies Creek Dam to supply water requirements along 40 kilometres of the Hunter River from Glenbawn to the tidal reaches near Maitland.

A six megawatt hydroelectric power station uses irrigation, flood mitigation and environmental flows.

How the dam was built

Glenbawn Dam is a rock-fill embankment with a clay core. An ungated concrete chute spillway is located about one kilometre south of the dam wall.

The original embankment was 78 metres high, providing a storage capacity of 300,000 megalitres. Construction began in 1948 and finished in 1958. The dam was enlarged in 1987.

Later improvements

Glenbawn Dam was enlarged in 1987, raising the wall to 100 metres high and increasing storage capacity to 750,000 megalitres with additional potential capacity of 120,000 megalitres for flood mitigation.


In consultation with our stakeholders and the community we review and update these notifications.

To receive Early Warning Network notifications below please register your details with us.

To see past notifications, please visit all dam notifications.

Dam safety notifications

Alerts will be issued in the following unlikely events:

  • When there is a reasonable possibility of dam failure.
  • State Emergency Service (SES) require advance public warning to evacuate if such a failure may occur.

Amber alert

  • Trigger - Storage level has reached Design Flood Level.
  • Notification - You are advised to move to higher ground and if necessary evacuate.

Red alert

  • Trigger - Storage level has reached crest level.
  • Notification - Residents are advised to evacuate to their designated flood assembly points.

Flood notifications

Flood notifications indicate the dam is releasing controlled or uncontrolled flows, likely to cause downstream flooding.

Flood operations

  • Trigger - Flow increases of 12,000, 30,000 and 60,000 megalitres per day
  • Notification - Flows of XX,000 megalitres per day are being passed.

Flood of record

  • Trigger - Spillway flows of over 98,000 megalitres per day, last reached in 1995.
  • Notification - Flows of over 98,000 megalitres per day are being passed, levels last reached in 1995.

High regulated release notifications

High regulated releases are when our operations may impact landholders immediately downstream or we are releasing higher than normal flows.

Normal operations

  • Range - 0 to 1,000 megalitres per day.
  • Notification - No notifications in this range.

Increased flows

  • Trigger - When flow increases above 1000 megalitres per day, and when they raise to 4,500 megalitres per day for the first time.
  • Notification - Releases are planned to increase from XX,000 megalitres per day (ML/day) to YY,000 ML/day at 00:00 on DD/MM/YY.

More information

Bureau of Meteorology Weather forecasts and warnings BOM varies by region
NSW State Emergency Service Flood or severe weather warnings/advice NSW SES 132 500
NSW Water Information Storage levels and river heights Water info N/A
WaterNSW Algae Hotline Algal alert details and algae levels WaterNSW 1800 999 457
Early Warning Network To view or edit your registration details EWN 1300 662 077


Tuesday 17 May
2,573,926 ML
2,581,850 ML
9,342 ML
1,335 ML
50,768 ML
Tuesday 17 May
Glenbawn Dam
Tuesday 17 May