Pindari Dam Downstream from the Severn River Nature Reserve

Pindari Dam
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Visit the Dam


  • Camping
  • Barbecues
  • Picnic areas
  • Toilets
  • Shower facilities
  • Boat ramps

Pindari Dam is a popular sport and recreation destination north of Inverell near the NSW-Queensland border, offering year-round attractions for water sports and fishing enthusiasts, nature lovers, bushwalkers, campers and picnickers. Pindari Dam operates with Queensland’s Glenlyon Dam to meet irrigation, stock and household needs in the Border Rivers valley.

Look out points

Dam wall

Walk across the dam wall for views of the lake and valley. The wall is 954 metres long and 85 metres high.

Camping ground

The dam’s camping ground provides panoramic views of the lake, rocky bluffs and densely wooded bushland.

Things to do

Opening hours

Dam grounds

Open 24 hours a day, all year round. Inverell Tourist information Centre 02 6728 8161.

The children’s play area, picnic tables, boat ramp, camping areas, showers and toilets are run by Inverell Shire Council.

Please note: Untreated water (not suitable for drinking).


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Pindari Dam is 80 kilometres north-east of Inverell near the NSW - Queensland border. Inverell is about 570 kilometres north of Sydney via the Pacific and New England highways and Thunderbolts Way.


  • Camping
  • Barbecues
  • Picnic areas
  • Toilets
  • 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 firearms
  • No model aircraft or drones
  • No smoking within 10 metres of children's playgrounds and four metres of shelters, toilets and public buildings
  • 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 Pindari Experience

Things to see and do

1. Camp

Camping is available for free at a small camping ground just south of the dam wall. There are unpowered sites for caravans and camping and a modern amenities block with toilets and solar hot water showers.

2. Water sports

Water sports include skiing, jet skis, sailing, canoeing and swimming. A concrete boat ramp is available at the main camping ground near the dam wall on the southern foreshore dependent on water levels.

3. Fishing

Murray cod, golden perch (yellow belly) and silver perch are the top catches. Redfin, catfish and carp are also caught.

Dam Summary

Metres High
Length: 954 metres
Size of lake:
11 km 2
312 gl total operating capacity
Catchment: 2,000 square kilometres

Facts & History

Pindari Dam is situated on the Severn River about 22 kilometres upstream of Ashford and 80 kilometres north-east of Inverell near the NSW-Queensland border. The dam is about 650 kilometres north-west of Sydney.

The dam has a capacity of 312,000 megalitres, three-quarters the volume of Sydney Harbour.

Pindari is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘high rock’ and is the name of an early pastoral run near the dam.

Why the dam was built

Pindari Dam was the first major dam in northern NSW. Built in the late 1960s, it was enlarged in the 1990s to improve secure water supplies in the Border Rivers system.

Pindari Dam supplies regulated flows for irrigation, stock and domestic use, town water supplies and industrial use along the Severn and Macintyre rivers upstream of the Dumaresq River junction.

The dam provides town water for Ashford, Yetman, Boggabilla, Boomi and Mungindi, supports stock and household requirements to streams serviced by the Boomi River Trust, supplements supplies to NSW irrigators along the Border Rivers, and provides environmental flows.

A 5.5 megawatt hydroelectric power station uses irrigation, flood mitigation and environmental flows for generation.

How the dam was built

Pindari Dam is a rock-fill embankment wall with a concrete slab on the upstream face. The wall is 954 metres long and 85 metres high.

An unlined rock cutting spillway with a concrete sill is located just north of the dam wall. The cutting provided the rock-fill needed to build the dam wall.

An intake tower controls the quality and temperature of water released from the dam.

Construction began in 1967 and finished in 1969.

Later improvements

In 1994 the height of the dam wall was almost doubled from its original 45 metres and the dam’s storage capacity increased to 312,000 megalitres, more than eight times its original size.


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, approximate outflow of 1,917,808 megalitres per day.
  • Notification - You are advised to move to higher ground and if necessary evacuate.

Red alert

  • Trigger - Storage level has reached top of dam parapet.
  • 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 - Spillway flows (uncontrolled*) over 0.5 metres.
  • Notification - Flows over 0.5 metres over the spillway are being passed.

Flood of record

  • Trigger - Spillway flows (uncontrolled*) over 95,680 megalitres per day.
  • Notification - Flows of over 95,000 megalitres per day are being passed.

1 in 50 year flood

  • Trigger - Spillway flows (uncontrolled*) over 238,636 megalitres per day.
  • Notification - Flows of over 238,000 megalitres per day are being passed.

1 in 100 year flood

  • Trigger - Spillway flows (uncontrolled*) over 280,540 megalitres per day.
  • Notification - Flows of over 280,000 megalitres per day are being passed.

1 in 500 year flood

  • Trigger - Spillway flows (uncontrolled*) over 456,364 megalitres per day.
  • Notification - Flows of over 455,000 megalitres per day are being passed.

* refers to automatic spillway flows at un-gated dams once storage capacity exceeds 100%

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 1,200 megalitres per day.
  • Notification - No notifications in this range after first notification (below).

Increased flows

  • Trigger - When flow increases above or below 1200 megalitres per day.
  • Notification - Releases are planned to increase from XX megalitres per day (ML/day) to YY 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


Saturday 25 June
2,524,148 ML
2,618,706 ML
9,094 ML
1,300 ML
27,516 ML
Saturday 25 June
Pindari Dam
Saturday 25 June