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Toonumbar Dam Picturesque dam in the mountains of the North Coast

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Visit the Dam


  • Camping
  • Barbecues
  • Picnic areas
  • Toilets
  • Fishing
  • Boat ramps
  • Water sports
  • Bushwalking

What Toonumbar Dam lacks in size it more than makes up for with its picturesque setting among tall timbers in rugged mountain country. Situated in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range above Casino and Lismore on the North Coast, the dam helps irrigate the Richmond Valley and supplies water to towns and farmers along Iron Pot and Eden creeks and the Richmond River. The dam is also a popular fishing and water sport destination.

Look out points

Dam wall

Walk across the dam wall for spectacular views across the lake fringed by the rugged bushland of Richmond Range National Park and downstream along Iron Pot Creek. The dam wall is 229 metres long and 44 metres high.


A lookout and picnic area just north of the dam wall provides excellent views of the lake and its rugged bush shoreline.

Things to do

  • Fishing
  • Water sports

Opening hours

Dam grounds

Open 24 hours a day, all year round. Entry is free.


Winter AEST Fridays 6am – Sunday 5pm - (plus open on all recognised NSW Government public & school holidays)

Summer AEDT Friday 6am – Sunday 7.30pm - (plus open on all recognised NSW Government public & school holidays)

Closed: Monday – Thursday - to all vehicles/camping - (except on all recognised NSW Government public & school holidays)


  • Limited boat ramp & jetty access to Toonumbar Dam (patrolled by RMS)
  • Limited car parking
  • Basic unisex toilets
  • Non-potable water
  • Picnic tables & shelters
  • Designated fire pits (except in Total fire Bans)

Please note: No rubbish bins, firewood or toilet tissue provided & mobile phone coverage unreliable at this site


Adults $10 per person per night (no concessions)

Children (5 – 17 years) $5 per person per night

Child (under 5 years) Free

Groups of 10+ By arrangement only – contact Kyogle Fishing Club on: 0459 383498

Large camp shelter hire $20 per night - by arrangement only contact as above


  • Fill-in camp information slip & deposit correct money in box - camping tags must be displayed at all times
  • Set up camp site & the patrolling warden will come to you
  • Cash only payments accepted
  • No pre-booking/set sites
  • Camp stays/payments non-transferable & non-refundable
  • Campers stay here at their own risk and are solely responsible for the safekeeping of their belongings


  • No unregistered vehicles allowed
  • Under 18s must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times
  • No pets allowed
  • Open fires/BBQs allowed in designated fire pits only (except on Total Fire Ban days)
  • Gas BBQ/stove use allowed (naked flame) - except on Total Fire Ban days
  • No firewood to be cut/collected from site
  • No fireworks allowed at any time
  • No amplified music allowed
  • Generators can be used between 8am and 10pm
  • Consider other campers and keep noise to a minimum (quiet time after 10pm)
  • Please take your litter home
  • No commercial activities or organised events allowed without prior written approval
  • Wilful damage, illegal, anti-social, threatening or abusive behaviour will not be tolerated & will be reported to the Police. These actions and/or breaches of site rules may result in the eviction of those responsible without refund.


View in Maps

Toonumbar Dam is about 30 kilometres west of Kyogle on the NSW North Coast. About 8km of the road is unsealed. Kyogle is about 750 kilometres north of Sydney via the Pacific Highway and Summerland Way.


  • Camping
  • Barbecues
  • Picnic areas
  • Toilets
  • Fishing
  • Boat ramps
  • Water sports
  • Bushwalking



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

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

The Toonumbar Dam Experience

Things to see and do

1. Water sports

Water sports include power boats, sailing, canoeing and swimming. There is an 8kph speed limit for power boats. Canoes are available for hire.  Boat ramp available 3km further north at Bells Bay.

2. Fishing

Toonumbar Dam is regularly stocked with bass which are the top catch. Fishing is best on the water by canoe or boat but the foreshores also provide fishing spots. Access is via boat ramp –  at Bells Bay 3km north of the wall.

Dam Summary

Metres High
Length: 229 metres
Size of lake:
3 km 2
11 gl total operating capacity
Catchment: 98 square kilometres

Facts & History

Toonumbar Dam is situated on Iron Pot Creek about 30 kilometres west of Kyogle on the NSW North Coast and about 750 kilometres north of Sydney.

The dam was completed in 1971 to provide water for irrigation, stock and domestic requirements in the Richmond Valley.

Toonumbar is an Aboriginal word meaning heelmark.

Why the dam was built

Toonumbar Dam was built to provide a reliable supply of water for irrigation in the Richmond Valley, meet downstream stock and domestic needs, and provide flood mitigation and environmental flows.

The dam’s 98 square kilometre catchment falls largely within the Richmond Range and Toonumbar national parks featuring rugged mountain terrain of steep ridges and deep gullies.

How the dam was built

Toonumbar Dam is a rock-fill embankment with a clay core. The wall is 229 metres long and 44 metres high.

A concrete chute spillway is located just south of the dam wall.

Construction began in 1969 and finished in 1971.

EWN Notifications

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 all past archived 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 153,000 megalitres per day.
  • Notification - You are advised to move to higher ground and if necessary evacuate.

Red alert

  • Trigger - Storage level has reached crest level, approximate outflow of 206,000 megalitres per day.
  • 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 20,000 megalitres per day.
  • Notification - Flows of XX,000 megalitres per day are being passed.

Flood of record

  • Trigger - Spillway flows (uncontrolled*) over 38,000 per day.
  • Notification - Flows of over 38,000 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 200 megalitres per day.
  • Notification - No notifications in this range.

Increased flows

  • Trigger - When flow increases above or below 200 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 MeteorologyWeather forecasts and warningsBOMvaries by region
NSW Algae HotlineAlgal alert details and algae levelsDPI Water1800 999 457
NSW State Emergency ServiceFlood or severe weather warnings/adviceNSW SES132 500
NSW Water InformationStorage levels and river heightsWater infoN/A
Water NSWTo view or edit your registration detailsEWN1300 662 077
To provide feedback on our EWNFeedback1300 662 077
Tuesday 22 May
1,841,964 ML
2,581,749 ML
6,351 ML
908 ML
-15,112 ML
Tuesday 22 May
Toonumbar Dam
Tuesday 22 May